I'm having a crisis of faith in video games.
Yes, I have not blogged for a month, but let me explain.
1. I just graduated from university.
2. I've been caught up with looking for jobs
3. I've been writing
4. Making a short film
5. The games that have come out of late has sucked real bad
Wait, what was that last one again?
That's right, you heard me, the games that have come out of late SUCKS.
Kane & Lynch 2 disappointed me so much. I confess I must've gone nuts when I set hands on the demo. In demo form, the hyper-tension of action setpieces were thrilling, and the gaming world hadn't seen anything so brutal in a long time. But the game in its entirety is a farce; born of stupidity, tactlessness and little care for a well-written story. It's just one endless violent ride with no respite. And it is so grim I don't feel like I'm having fun playing at all. Kane and Lynch just keep getting into "Oh f*ck" moments, people just keep wanting to kill them. The shooting works fine for awhile and then it just goes on without stopping or having any variation.
Starcraft 2 is for the drones. Sure, the fanatics will say it is a return to form for Blizzard and all that hyper clicking will not only improve finger dexterity for other uses in real life, but truly we just like old Starcraft but need new graphics for it. I'm fine with all that hullabaloo but when Blizzard pours gazillions of dollars into this epic video game that will make them even more money (because of South Korea alone), they could have at least written a story to blow the mind. Instead, we have a dull story about a dull captain trying to save a dull universe. And man, is the dialogue horrific.
Mafia 2. I wanted very much to like this game. The first was stellar, a contrast to GTA back when GTA was still lame-brained. But now Rockstar has produced a classic in Red Dead Redemption and Mafia 2 in comparison is a regression. The protagonist is horribly unidentifiable: he only wants shortcuts in life, has no qualms about doing bad deeds and looks too stupid to be really heroic, and it's a cliched story if I saw any. A man trying to make it but comes to terms with the dark underbelly that is the American gangster way. And ohmygawd, have developers not learnt that no one wants to spend half the game chauffeuring themselves or other people around, especially not in old automobile rustbuckets. And as shiny as the cutscenes are, they are really quite empty of any real revelations or profound stories.
I think the underlying problem with all these latest releases is that none of them have a story that really matters. I know that games should first and foremost be about the gaming as opposed to the storytelling, but as a writer myself, I believe that the most compelling games (outside of Mario and Tetris) are the ones that can move you with a plot and characters.
If we want video games to get out of loserdom (I just watched Glee) and join the popular kids TV, film, and music, they've got to keep up their interactive qualities but also strive for excellence in storytelling. A bad story ruins the illusion, a bad story doesn't keep us playing. That's all.