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October 12, 2007


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I didn't expect much of Halo 3 when I picked up my copy (it was a day before Quake Wars arrived and I had some spare time) but I was shocked by the level of mediocrity (at least of the Single Player campaign). Gameplay seems to be stuck in the 90's and for a PC gamer, this whole thing is pretty forgettable. When gives a rating of 9.5 I expect a Single Player experience equal to that of Half Life 2 or Episode 2.

I think you're absolutely right--the mere existence of that article is a fantastic step towards games being lifted up to the next level. I think the author's point about movies floundering for almost half a century before entering their "golden age" was one of the more salient parts of the article, though games might take more than 35 years to have a shot at "really becoming art".

I'm kind of unconvinced narrative games can "embrace the dynamics of failure, tragedy, comedy and romance" and "stop pandering to the player's desire for mastery". The very fact of agency completely changes those dynamics; instead of a protagonist who fails, it's the player him/herself.

(I want to cite, say, Grim Fandango as a counter-example, but then again most of its comedy, failure, tragedy, and romance come from its borrowings from cinema... (and Photopia, which borrows from text storytelling.) I dunno.)

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