Like everyone I have a starting point for my life long obsession, a traceable line back to where it all began. For me that would be Hexen, Doom and Realms of the Haunting on PC. I was 3 years old and fondly remember playing these games with my dad while my mum tried to get me to go outdoors. If only she knew how those moments were going to impact my life. I thoroughly enjoyed those games, Hexen especially with the chance to live in a different world as a mage fighting demons and the wandering down scary corridors in Realms of the Haunting standing on rats and hearing them pop! It was all so enthralling for me and graphically looks alot better in memory than it actually does, odd. Other games I have fond memories of include, Zool, Sonic, Cannon fodder and various pinball games.
For a few years I played outside like other kids but continued to play games on and off but my memory is hazy at best. My parents were PC users and wouldn't allow me or my brother consoles, despite our pleading! Sadly I never really got to experience the true beginning of video games through consoles, apart from playing my friend's consoles were ever possible. I was however, given my own PC around the age of 9. I didn't have much use for it but played games like Starcraft, Monkey Island, Tomb Raider and Warcraft.
The next big leap for me was the indescribably exciting moment when my parents finally got us a Dreamcast for X-mas. That was my first console and I absolutely loved it! Soul Reaver Legacy of Kain was probably one of my favourite games and the action/adventure genre is still my favourite to play on console to date. I later convinced them to let me get (yes LET ME with my own money ¬.¬) a PS2. This being my console (no sharing here!) it really sealed my addiction to video games and I spent many hours playing games like Prince of Persia and God of War! Since then I've really been absorbed in the world of video games and the machines they run on. I've spent far to many hours (mostly the ones between 12:00am and 7:00am) playing Counterstrike: Source on my PC rather than sleeping in preparation for school a few hours later. I later spent far far more hours, basically 2 solid years playing World of Warcraft, I wouldn't touch it with a barge poll now. Blizzard have nailed that game to the point that its necessary for life to the gamers that play them. That is the longest I have ever played a game and I find it difficult to even say why that is, they managed to make that game addictive.
|World of Warcraft - Raid interface|
I've continued to follow trends since then, keeping my PC up to date and getting all the new consoles. I will try most games and enjoy most genres of games (apart from racing and sports games) with my favourite genre differing depending on format. I prefer to play action/adventure games on PS3 and first person shooters and real time strategy on PC. I think those preferences are largely down to the way the games play on each format.
Looking back I've played too many games to remember and a lot that I had completely forgot about. If I had to peg an ultimate favourite I would probably say God of war. I've played all 3 and its step into the big new world of next gen gaming was a stunning performance! I'm a fan of pretty games, I love them and God of War is a damn pretty game. I think God of War just ticks all the boxes for me, it plays well, it looks good, it has a strong story line, isn't too long or too short, it has atmosphere, intrigue, a strong grounding in well known history and lore, a kick ass character and good combat. I find myself comparing alot of games to each other because I've played so many and God of War is something I always compare other games to, "yeah its good, but God of War did it better". The latest game makes full use of what the PS3 is capable of and I can't recall a nicer looking game and I find I can appreciate all the time and effort that made that game so beautiful now that I realise what really goes into the artistic creation of games.
|God of War 3|
|PS3 Sharp Shooter Gun|
I think what might be the most interesting aspect of the future is how we'll play future games. New ways of experiencing games and getting involved with them. We've already moved into motion control and how that affects the way we play. With peripherals like the Killzone 3 Sharpshooter gun for Playstation Move and 3D TV how far away from that truly realistic game play are we? Could we get to the point were games and real-life are indistinguishable, and should we even do it? Are we even that far off?
|Real Life - Crysis 2 comparison|
I personally think we have to stop somewhere. I'm all for getting that game to look stunning but I'm not in a rush to plug myself in and start living Battlefield 3 or GTA. People get addicted to games already, if we ever did get to the point where you could live inside a game, I worry how the world would be. Why live in this world when you could live in a better, nicer world, that you could feel, smell and enjoy? But more importantly a world you can control and do what you like.
Ok bit of a tangent there, perhaps better put as a separate blog. Its a deep subject and quite a worrying idea for the future. Maybe games should just stay how they are now. Controller played, fun and pretty!
You can go now :O