Innovative gaming takes the back seat
Simple ideas have always gone a long way before. Not so long ago it was feasible for the solitary coder with a good idea to produce a game worthy of our time. Examples? Pong, Asteroids, Tetris... I have not seen a game with the same fresh thinking for some time now, with so many reworked FPS's released, with Electronic Arts throwing the same game out year after year with a new number stapled to the end of the name. This has become the death of the innovative idea. The consumer will no longer look at a game unless it offers HDR, life-like physics, groundbreaking lip-sync (or if the game is of a highly controversial nature).
Now, without being hypocrtical I loved Half Life 2. The physics engine was incredible, the level of thought and detail gleamed through City 17. I also loved The Eldar Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which was, without a doubt, the prettiest game I have played since Far Cry. This doesn't mean I am against these uber-games but I do feel a sense of mourning that classic gaming ideas no longer reach the full gaming medium they deserve, merely inhabiting a Java Applet window somewhere on the internet. Maybe the times have changed? The internet offers everyone the opportunity to voice their opinion and expose their work (among other things it seems) to others. Maybe innovative gaming ideas no longer reach the consoles because they linger on one of the many websites that reduce productivity by 137%.
It is possible that simple games no longer exist in full commercial glory. Although, having played the Constantine game I feel Tetris would give it a run for it's money in terms of simplicity. Times are a changing. We seem to only want games that offer as much realism as possible (graphically obviously) and i'm sure both Ati and Nvidea have no objections; this situation allows them to continue releasing cards of increasingly large model numbers with more grunt, more pixel pipelines, more memory, more clockspeed, more money, more money money money money!
Let's just hope that the next great gaming idea doesn't go dismissed because "i could never get it anywhere". After all, the YetiSports of yester-year resulted in Britain's lowest ever productivity (or so I assume) so maybe innovative gaming hasn't disappeared? Merely relocated to the most available medium.
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