by Scott Pell
I love video games. I really do. It doesn’t take much for one to sweep me off my feet, and have me day dreaming about them. When I’m away from them, I feel passionless, and depressed. Though, when I sit myself down and play a new game, I become enamored with it.
Recently I sat down to play Broken Age, the record setting game by Tim Schaefer of Double Fine studios who funded the whole thing with Kickstarter. I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic, story and the gameplay. The game play isn’t all that intensive, it’s really more problem solving than anything, but I love the thrill of figuring stuff out. I found myself strongly relating to the character of Shay. I was captivated by the visual style of the game, and the music whisked me away. I awoke the next morning needing to go to work, but longing to stay in and play the day away with Broken Age. That is a feeling that I haven’t felt for a long time.
I love video games. I love the things that they can do. I love the stories that they can tell, and how by taking control of the characters, their actions have so much more meaning than if I were to just sit back and watch or read about them. I love the music that they play, and the memories of the moments that I first heard them when I played the game. Games aim to create a cinematic experience, but they become something more than that. Uncharted 2 may be the closest thing to a Hollywood experience that video games have seen, but it’s much more exciting to play it, than to watch it.
Recently, I picked up the game Titanfall, the game by the people who found Infinity Ward (creators of the original Call of Duty), and left after a huge dispute between them and Activision ( their longtime publisher). After leaving Infinity Ward, they formed their own company called Respawn Entertainment. Titanfall is their premier game, and boy is it a good one. I was so excited to see a game with giant robots, and jetpacks, and explosions. I was a kid again. Why don’t games do this more often? Why do games always strive for realism, when we can have unicorns with rocket boosters that are powered by their innate magical abilities? Titanfall is the culmination of pretty much everything that I could ask for in a video game. Tight gameplay that is functional and fun, maps that are fun to explore as well as traverse with my jetpack, a sci-fi setting, the ability to make a multiplayer match meaningful. Yeah, the game has a story to it, and Titanfall is strictly multiplayer. Titanfall presents the story off to the side while the match is going on, making it feel like you’re an integral part to the mission at hand. Titanfall forces players to go through the story first before letting them loose in standard multiplayer matches. Which isn’t such a bad thing, as it allows players to see things from both angles of the story, as well as get a good feel for the maps. Titanfall is so much fun, and I want everyone to play it because it ditches the whole realism shtick that so many games try to achieve and it creates something original and wonderful at the same time.
Games are wonderful because they can create these wonderful worlds of imagination, that are totally impossible with practical means, and they allow us as players to explore and experience them like no other medium can. Support games, and gamers alike, and explore, experiment and play like no one else. Games are art, and they are a beautiful thing.