• bebl09 - April 5, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Brilliant article Dave, this is proper games journalism, deep and thought=provoking, critiquing games and their themes rather than just hype and explosions and fanboy-baiting. Hats off to you, mate.
  • bebl09 - April 5, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    That should be a hyphen rather than an equals symbol there. You need an edit button, GR :P I did have a further thought though. Fallout 3 is a game that shows you can mix both, but then its quite a tonally mixed game. The environment is bleak and post-apocalyptic, but then you have some bright colourful weapons which sort of highlight the spoofy, B-movie sci-fi feel as well as the gritty post-apocalyptic wasteland.
  • FoxdenRacing - April 5, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    A great read, Dave, and I get where you're coming from. Desaturated palettes are a tool, no doubt...just a horribly overused one. What can be a narrative element instead becomes a crutch, and once every studio and their brother toying with the Unreal engine in his basement jumps on that bandwagon, when other, more appropriate tools are being neglected for the one that's in style, that's when we got annoyed. Not that it was used...but that it was overused, that there was no way to stay connected to the developments in the industry without having it thrown in our faces as seemingly every turn. Gears and MW4 had a tone, a narrative darkness, that complimented the color scheme. Splinter Cell: Conviction benefited greatly from desaturation and monochrome tricks. In those cases, it was the right tool for the job. Other games instead took a "Yes, our game is gritty and dark and super-serious. No, we don't reinforce that with the dialog, the setpieces, or the narrative, or plot, or the voice work. You should just know it's gritty and dark and super-serious because it's lovingly rendered in four shades of gray-brown." approach, and soon enough the market oversaturated as the market has tended to do with every break-out hit [Ultima clones, Doom clones, Tycoon Game Rip-off Tycoon, WWII Shooters, Ricer Racers, Gritty Modern Shooters] since the beginning of break-out hits.
  • chris-dibella - April 5, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    You can say the same thing about Far Cry 2 actually, and frankly I tried playing with color mods and it all looked too tecni-color for me, especially considering the setting and themes.
  • wiitard07 - April 5, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Mean streets of Halvo Bay in the case of judgment... Insignificant typos notwithstanding (I really don't care about that) fantastic article Dave!
  • ObliqueZombie - April 5, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    That pretty much sums up why, for as much as I love a gears of War, the third installment and Judgment didn't stick with me as hard as the first two did. Alas, Judgment IS more colorful because it's right at the start of E-day, and the desperation is just kicking in. But still, I understand where you're coming from Mr. Houghton. Good read.
  • taokaka - April 5, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    Good read, you raised some very interesting points and while I don't miss the brown and grey era of games yet I can relate to how you feel because I have felt the same way regarding a few other styles which wore out their welcome and were then swept under the rug entirely. For example my biggest complaint about the recent god of war ascension was the fact that it took place mostly during the day and I was nostalgic for the dark vibe of all the previous games all through out my play through, it felt unchartedish in presentation and not like god of war at all. It really is a strange sense of sadness to grow attached to an overused setting then have media go cold turkey on it, the setting type I miss the most is the dark, gritty semi-futuristic cities that 90's movies, games and anime, cartoons, etc were plagued with. Looking at my collection of current gen games the only game that I have that really captures that setting is deus ex: human revolution which probably explains my unnatural love for that game and it also explains why I still hold out hope that prey 2 and FFVXIII are actually coming and why remember me is one of my most anticipated games of this year. (If anybody knows of any current gen games or well aged older games which could feed my nostalgia then please do recommend them, I'm all ears) Dave, I hope you find a game that can feed your nolstalgia as well.
  • runner - April 5, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Mr Houghton, your choice of words and analogies always amaze me.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - April 5, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Yeah, the whole grey/brown color palette can certainly be an aesthetic choice that genuinely emphasizes the tone of a game or story. The real issue is that for a long time everyone tried to do the same thing. Everyone was making bleak looking shooters, to the point where they all started bleed together and it lost most of its impact as a stylistic choice.
  • Swedish_Chef - April 5, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Agreed, this logic can also be applied to other areas as well such as the oversaturation of modern military shooters in the gaming market with the gigantic success of the original Modern Warfare.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - April 9, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Yep. Everyone trying to Out-Call-of-Duty Call of Duty.

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