Under cover of night, Niko sneaks through the inky darkness, machine gun clasped to his chest. He turns around a few times on the spot. Runs down to a dead end. Jumps against a wall for a bit. OK, the truth is, Niko – or specifically, me – cannot see what the hell’s he’s doing.
It’s just too bloody dark. I try drawing the curtains in an effort to blot out the sunlight that casts a warm glow across my TV, but I’m still left squinting into the gloom. In the end, I’m reduced to grabbing the TV remote and pumping the contrast up to +20. Thanks, realism in games, you’ve accurately depicted the sensation of walking around the middle of the night. Now, um, can someone pop a light on? The closer gaming gets to photorealism, the more this commitment to depicting reality takes hold and overwhelms usability. But when does realistic become too realistic?
Louis is a freelance games writer.
The kind of games that bug me won’t be going away any time soon. They make money. They generate hype. What games am I talking about? Good ones.
Fact is, I was raised at a time when most games were shit. And not just shit, but arguably insane. I remember when some boy asked Jimmy Saville to fix it for him to “make a game” about pushing a trolley round a supermarket. It was called Supertrolley. Was anyone ever going to buy that? Yes. I was.
Now, when I empty my pockets on laundry day, I feel the phantom rustle of coins waiting to cascade through the guts of arcade machines that no longer exist.
My fellow writers will tell you I’m ‘retro enthusiast’, but what I like about games like Supertrolley (alright, maybe not that one), is that they symbolize a time when games were disposable. Seldom were they smart, post-modern, intricate or spectacular. Games were nothing but the time you spent playing them. Now games are so self-consciously important, that you rarely come across a memorable throwaway clanger.
Duncan is a freelance games writer.
Oct 1, 2008