November 29, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized


The thing that impresses me most about the current generation of games, the thing that differentiates it from the previous generations, is the level of spectacle on offer. While I’m sure that in a few years time I’ll look back on this and cringe, I can’t help but think that there really has been a huge step-up in recent years in delivering some eye-opening experiences.

To be clear, I’m not talking about any sort of deeper engagement or interaction (better advances in that arena will surely come later), I mean a purely surface-level increase in wow-moments. Some highlights:

  • Burnout Paradise brought us a massive streaming city, with over the top speed, insane collisions and the potential for a lot of carnage.
  • Left 4 Dead took the zombie apocalypse movies that people love so much, and turned them into a game. The sheer amount of action and messiness, coupled with the great 4-player co-op, really makes a difference. The finales are great.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is exactly like playing through an action movie. While the general shooting mechanics are okay, the level of spectacle on offer is almost unparalleled. The cliff-climbing, the dodging helicopters falling out of the sky, the massive pitched-battles in a fast-food car park; every section brings another eye-popping moment.

There are many other examples, I’m sure. It seems like a great time for gaming, and finally one where we seem to be getting some pay-off for all the time developers have been putting into mimicking films, even if they are mostly dumb action-movie clones.