Free Radical: Halo 3 is child's play

Critically acclaimed developer Free Radical, creator of TimeSplitters and now the murky future-shooter Haze, believes that next-gen games should push us into new, mature territory, and that devs should be looking "beyond the technology" and instead focus on changing what it means and feels like to play videogames.

Using Bungie's blastacular Halo 3 as an example, Haze scriptwriter Rob Yescombe believes that "while Halo is brilliant, you're a teenager - the next-gen is about becoming more mature," explaining that "in Haze you become an adult."

Speaking to Edge magazine, Yescombe stresses that it should become the responsibility of developers to move towards more mature subject matter, using world events as inspiration. "It's about what's happening in the world today - it's ludicrous, and how can you make something that doesn't reflect that? Well, you could bury your head in the sand and make Halo 3, but the fact of the matter is there are more important things at stake."

Obviously, as scriptwriter, Rob Yescombe has reason to crave a move toward more interesting plot devices and topics in videogames. That said, the pure high-value entertainment of Halo 3 will mean it has as much a place in our hearts as the disturbingly thoughtful and challenging Manhunt - for the same reasons that we can still love every minute of Die Hard, yet find more serious films like Jacob's Ladder just as compelling.

You might be thinking "Where the hell does Haze fit into all this?" Well, thanks to Yescombe and Free Radical's ever-so-slightly-political bent, Haze's narrative has been crafted as a satire of modern-day warfare, while also working as a guns-blazing blastfest. So don't worry about it being the gaming equivalent of a pacifist's soapbox rant. "Maybe they'll get the satire and maybe they won't," Yescombe points out, adding "our job is to entertain."

May 15, 2007