Monthly Archives: August 2013
I find it very surprising that this past summer movie season has seen a few good original ideas like Pacific Rim and Elysium, with that in mind it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to say the same about video games. This is an industry that is practically built on sequels, most of which do little more than rehash the first game. It pains me that old ideas continue to sell because there are plenty of sequels that don’t have any need to exist. Every video game has this apparent goal of selling well enough to justify making another one. Is making money the only thing that developers care about?
I’ve always believed that any story, be it a novel, movie, or a game should stand on its own. There are plenty of games I can think of shouldn’t have gotten a sequel, such as God of War, Bioshock and Dragon Age: Origins. These are all games that told a complete story and left little room for expansion. There was no need to continue, and the sequels to all three of these games do pretty much the same thing that the first games do. Games like Bioshock; Infinite are a different story as it does a lot of things differently with the original game in both gameplay and story (mind you I haven’t played it yet) , but that makes me wonder why it can’t be a completely different game entirely. Every single video game franchise, from Halo to Metal Gear Solid started with an original idea that was successful enough to merit a sequel.
After a two-week hiatus I’m finally back in front of the keyboard, and it seems that I haven’t missed a lot. As usual the summer has brought a drought to the video games industry however the only thing of significance that occurred these past two weeks (at least for me) was the release of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It may be scraping the bottom of the barrel but this is something worth discussing, not the actual game itself (that would be within the domain of a professional reviewer) but there’s one particular detail about Splinter Cell: Blacklist that pertains to voice acting.
For those of you unaware, Splinter Cell is a franchise of stealth-based games made by Ubisoft; they’re also the most successful division of the “Tom Clancy” games. Most of you have probably seen the iconic tri-goggles worn by main character Sam Fisher. Fisher is one of the best-known characters in the video game industry, no small part because of the talents of voice actor Michael Ironside. Ironside’s performance of the forty-year-old spy is well-respected among players however for the sixth installment (Blacklist), Eric Johnson has taken over the role of Sam Fisher. The reason for this is because the performance of Fisher now requires full-body motion capture, which Ironside is obviously unable to do. While fans are unhappy with this news, at the very least Ironside is happy to pass the torch to another actor, and has even admitted that he’s impressed by Johnson’s acting ability. However there is a similar thing happening in another long-running stealth franchise, one that’s even more popular than Splinter Cell.
Upon completing Assassin’s Creed 3 I had many questions, but the most notable one was what I said when the credits rolled. “What the hell just happened?” The very last moments of Assassin’s Creed 3 are among the most baffling and poorly executed moments I’ve ever witnessed from a video game. It fails in just about every possible way that an ending can fail. The only good thing I have to say about the ending is that it’s so sudden and detached from the narrative that it doesn’t spoil Connor’s story (the one in the American Revolution), which luckily makes up the bulk of the narrative. To be honest, it doesn’t feel appropriate to call this an ending so much as the game simply stops the story and abandons it completely.