Well we can safely say the next generation of video games is here with the arrival of the Microsoft Xbox 360. Or can we?..
If you think about what the next generation in gaming means, what ideas instantly pop up..
Well your possibly thinking of photo realistic graphics, large immerse environments and interactive landscapes am I correct?.
Well the next generation is supposedly here in the form of the Microsoft Xbox 360, yes the all powerful Juggernaut of a gaming machine with powers with which to equal or suppress a very high spec PC.
The first thing you notice about the console is how shiny the graphics appear and how the level of detail on the textures look compared to current generation systems such as the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo Gamecube, you then pick up the controller and play, when suddenly a harsh realization comes to mind… If you brushed away those shiny visuals and crisp high definition looks what you get is a hollow feeling, a feeling that your not being offered anything new other than rehashed ideas from previous games which have barely been expanded on.
To be fair to the console the Xbox 360 is still very much in its infancy, but the problem is there is still no real next generation game out there for this all powerful console, which is just crying out to be taken advantage off with unique game ideas by developers. So what is it keeping the gaming developers from doing this, are they just content in releasing games which formular has been tried, tested and sold well in retail, the answer is most probably a resounding ‘yes’.
Now lets have a look at the big titled launch games:
* Kameo – A game intended for the Gamecube and then pushed back for release with the launch of the XBox 360. A prime example of a 360 game. It comes complete with some nice bright glossy graphics which look stunning in parts but once you’ve got over that five minute realization you realize that this plays very much like it would if it was still set to be released for the Gamecube.
* Project Gotham Racing 3 – The third incarnation of the popular racing series and a great one it is at that. This game is by far the best looking launch game on the Xbox 360 but does it play any differently to the original Xbox Project Gotham 2. The answer is most certainly no.
* Perfect Dark Zero- When the first installment of the game arrived on the Nintendo 64 it was a great success which was helped by the fact it was built upon the Goldeneye 64 game engine and had some of the Goldeneye development team behind it. They expanded on Goldeneye by having some larger environments and improving the already great multiplayer mode by adding lots of new features. Now enter the Xbox 360 version, a game that’s been released many years later where games such as Halo and Half Life have taken over the genre since. Has this game done anything new to change and reinvent the first person shooter genre which was something it was widely expected to do, again the answer is a defined no.
* Call Of Duty 2 – This first person world war shoot ’em up has received the best scores overall for the Xbox 360 launch games and is a very good game. But is widely available for all formats (though this version has more in common with the PC version). Again this is another prime example of a current gen game with spruced up graphics and a nice shiny glaze about it but barely plays any different from the other console versions that are available.
Notice a trend here?.
The point I am trying to make is not to rubbish the console, it’s just that the supposed next generation isn’t offering veteran gamers anything new, no new gameplay experience, nothing to get excited about once you look past the eye candy. Its just the same experience we all received in the 32 bit polygon era.
Are most gamers looking for something more or are the majority satisfied with what they are being given?…