I’ve checked out Ninja Gaiden, and it looks impressive. It would be a definite rental (and possible purchase) if it wasn’t for the fact that my newest console is an N64, but it would just be playing off my affinity for ninjitsu. There’s really nothing there I haven’t seen before, only it’s rendered better.
I’ve played Halo, and it plays like Goldeneye, only with better graphics. The enemies still run at you and shoot, only this time they don’t see pits as walls so they can shoot over them.
I’ve come to accept the fact that pretty much the only real innovations we’ll see from here on out are in the graphics and audio department, and that doesn’t really bother me. Once you’ve played Age of Empires, you’ve pretty much played Starcraft and Command and Conquer. What gets me to play the C&C series even though I also have Age of Kings, and even look forward to the next installment in the C&C universe, is the storyline.
In Age of Empires/Kings you have to advance your civilization. Good concept. C&C puts you fighting against or even as a quasi-terrorist faction, and in the Red Alert series it puts you on either side of a highly fictionalized post cold war (it’s not a cold war if there’s fighting, hence the post) scenario. Also a good concept. Also why I shy away from Starcraft, because it also has a warring factions plotline.
Hitman is also a fairly innovative game. I know there are games that preceded it with similar game play, but I don’t know of many where the entire point of the game is to assassinate people, though it kind of falls apart at the end when it takes it back to the same old lost identity, gotta kill your leader scenario.
Sadly, though, the games that seem to be the biggest sellers merely recycle the same old storylines. You’re the only one who can save the world from an army of undead minions/supernatural beings/rogue nations/evil scientists/terrorists/hippies, etc. or you’ve been launched into a parallel universe/another planet/planet’s core and have to fight your way back to the transporter/rocketship/surface while picking up vital items along the way.
Is eye candy really a substitute for good storytelling? If someone were to release a game with the graphics of the new Ninja Gaiden game with the following storyline:
You wake up in Hell and have to fight your way through two levels to collect pieces for a teleporter, after which you’ll have to spend several levels shooting your way into and through a lab to take out a group of scientists in a terrorist nation who are attempting to clone an army by using the demon that followed you through the portal.
would it sell half as well as Halo, Halflife, Doom, etc.?