Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gaming update

The other day I attempted to finish the single-player campaign of Battlefield 3.  I didn't want to add another title to my huge list of unfinished games.  Plus it is supposed to be short.




I am not saying it is not short.  It may be.  I am saying I couldn't finish it because I was finding the entire experience to be a dreadful bore.  Maybe I should have tried to finish MW3 instead.


Something about this game's single-player experience rubs me the wrong way.  At a glance it doesn't appear to be much different than any of the CoD games.  Fairly linear, action packed, and mindless fun right?  I was even enjoying it during my first session.  But BF3 just isn't . . . well, fun or exciting.  It looks nice.  The sound is amazing.  The set pieces seem to be good enough.  But I am bored out of my mind playing it.  It feels more controlled and scripted than any of the CoD games.  I found myself playing it simply hoping I would somehow reach the end, not because I was having fun.  Once that dawned on me I turned it off and I may not play it again.  At least not the single player.




Still sinking hours into Skyrim.  Yet I hate playing Skyrim.  Not that it isn't fun mind you.  Unlike BF3, Skyrim is actually fun.  But I feel like I am wasting my life playing it.  I start playing for a bit and when I glance up at the clock I've spent my entire evening sitting on my couch and I have barely advanced the story.  I can see this repeating for the next two months.  That may be a positive to some (you sure get your money's worth), but I can't shake the feeling that I could be doing other things.  Or playing other games which I would be able to complete after a few sessions and feel like I at least accomplished something.


I don't mean to knock the game for this, since really, that was Bethesda's goal for this game.  I am simply saying that this formula may not be for me.  Skyrim is a fine game.  Pretty buggy and it contains what I consider to be many design flaws and shortcomings, but any game that can make time fly by that fast has to be doing something right?  I see myself playing this damn game until August of next year.  And never finishing it.  I really should finish one of these damn Elder Scrolls games . . .




Alright, I am about to make my above argument about wasting your life not accomplishing anything completely moot, but I continue to sink endless hours of my life into Dark Souls.  I am now on my third run through the game on NG++.  Funny how perception works.  I find spending 4 hours playing Skirym a waste, when in those 4 hours I probably completed about 6 or 7 quests, found endless loot and gold, and experienced many unexpected encounters.  And yet I cherish my time with Dark Souls, a game in which you can actually spend 4 hours replaying the same section over and over and not really advancing the "story" at all because of a difficult boss or tough area.  Yet as crazy as it sounds, I find those 4 hours of Dark Souls much more satisfying than the 4 hours of Skyrim.  I may have to deeply analyze what it is about this Souls' series that just speaks to me as much as they do.  But I freakin love 'em!




So I finally started playing Uncharted 3 last night.  Finished about 8 chapters or so.  My thoughts so far are . . . well, they are confused.  It starts off on a different note from the other games.  It does some things with the narrative early on which is pretty cool and unexpected.  Sorry, trying not to spoil anything here.  The game is absolutely beautiful of course.  A technical marvel.  Yet I am finding it more scripted than prior titles.  Naughty Dog is going for major cinematic feel here and as a result the player seems to get less and less control in favor of cool camera angles and set pieces.  You still have some influence over these scenes, but it is all arbitrary and it makes me feel less in control than if they would have gone with just a straight up cut-scene instead.  I dunno, I am still collecting my thoughts on this one.  Maybe I am experiencing Uncharted fatigue after 2 titles.


I also still have Bastion waiting for me.  Definitely will start it after I am done with Uncharted.


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