So I watched the 12 minute game play video for EA's COD killer and you can color me impressed. I have said before in this blog that soldiers shooting soldiers, being in space, or in a real life situation is a bit played out for me, but the 12 minutes of game play we saw had some of the best current gen graphics we have seen, had realistic and beautifully rendered and designed environments, had some incredible voice acting (and not just for a video game), and in general was incredibly well produced. It looks like what a Call of Duty killer should like and Activision should be quaking in their boots.
With that said I'm not impressed because, despite looking amazing, it still looks like soldiers shooting soldiers.
Of course it will sell well. It will get glowing reviews. I will get $15 map packs for the multiplayer. It will be a fiscal success for EA in the same vein as Madden. My issue is that it does nothing to take risks or move our industry forward.
Now, any number of people I know would call me a hypocrite citing that the game already clearly tackles a real world current event issue. We have young men and women from the US and many other countries all over the world fighting together against insurgency in the Middle East. We have makeshift revolutions going on in the Ivory Coast, Libya, sort of Egypt, and many other North African and Middle Eastern countries. What is going on right now is complex and mature and video games have not been afraid to tackle "modern warfare as a subject matter and setting.
Beef is that it's been done to death. It may look beautiful and may be expertly written and produced, but is it different enough to really resonate?
I actually played the original Modern Warfare about a year ago (I know, pretty late to the party but hello?! PC Master race here) on XBOX 360 and I was legitimately impressed then too. The game felt real and was brilliantly produced. It wasn't perfect, but then again what game is? I feel it was different enough that it resonated, but when I went online to play some of the acclaimed multiplayer there wasn't a match to be found.
War FPS's are the new Madden except we get 2 every year. They are more expensive roster updates and for every one that sells well it holds back innovation and our industry from real growth as an artistic medium.