Saturday, July 21, 2012

Time moves forward. Nothing changes

Anyone who knows me at all probably knows I don't play that many single player games. At least in the last couple of years anyway. I just cannot find the reasons to justify spending $40+ dollars on a game that will more than likely disappoint me, especially after the likes of Rage, Bulletstorm and Crysis 2. While Skyrim was the latest single player game I actively looked forward to, played (extensively) and actually enjoyed, occurrences like this are more the exception than the rule. Maybe I'm just a fussy bastard.

Or maybe I'm not. I don't really know anymore. I know there are people out there, like myself, that have become annoyed with a lot of the game play 'features' that stain modern single player experiences. To name a select few we have frequent cut-scenes (which I don't actually mind if they are done well), unnecessary and clumsy cover systems (e.g. F3AR) and my most hated of all ... quick-time events. Features like these have a time, place and even specific genres where they can work really well, but lately developers just seem to want to cram them in to every facet of every game they make. The results, at least in my opinion, are games that become less immersive, disengaging and often just stupid to play and observe. Take this scene from Bulletstorm for example:

Anyways, I've been playing Max Payne 3. Maybe I knew what to except, that being a movie which has playable sections. Maybe it's because I actually like the character that is Mr Payne, the sarcastic, masochistic drunk who has the magical ability to slow time and jump horizontally repeatedly. Maybe it was simply because the game doesn't have stupid fucking quick time events. Whatever it was, I quite enjoyed Max Payne 3, even with its insane amount of mostly unskippable cut scenes. They were good and added to the atmosphere of the game. It is a worthy successor to the previous two games and expands on the series by taking the game into some interesting and believable locales. The ending was also rather epic and satisfying. Most importantly, the bullet time is as good as ever and still a lot of fun even after this long. It was and still is the most enjoyable part of the game, and probably the only game that did, and still is, getting it right. Observe.

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