Ben's Week In Review: December 16
Only 9 days left before Christmas...got all your shopping done? ;) I'm not even close.
I'll be interested to see Bioshock Infinite's story
Ken Levine impresses me. It's not so much that the Irrational Games boss has presided over several fantastic games, it's more that he's outspoken, candid, and willing to do whatever's necessary to produce a fantastic, memorable plot with excellent characters. That much came through in that interview where he said he wasn't afraid of any topic. Levine was referring to the potential controversy surrounding some in-game subject matter, and he quite simply said "there's a story I want to tell" and that's that. In all entertainment mediums where a work of fiction is featured, from the stage to the big screen to video games, this is a philosophy that needs to be embraced.
Far too often are so-called writers pushing their own political agendas when penning a script; they begin with the agenda, the idea, the thought, the belief; then they develop a story around it. As any real writer will tell you, that's wrong. It results in the work of an amateur. It's also pathetically transparent, like that preachy, insulting slop that was "District 9" (and "Avatar" wasn't much less transparent). You set out to write a story and if various political and societal factors are required for you to write your story, then so be it. Even if you set out to write a story that reflects the state of politics or society today, you still start with the plot and characters. Levine obviously understands this, which means I'm going to be very intrigued to play Bioshock Infinite. It should be extremely compelling...
Duuuuude...and all-encompassing Grand Theft Auto?! Hell yes!
Being such a huge fan of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the idea of a huge, cohesive GTA universe that would feature Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas put a big ol' smile on my face. I'm still not sure if he meant that they'd actually implement all three full games, or if you'd simply be able to explore each area and find extra things to do. Either way, though, I'd love to do it...I just would want to make sure that we'd only get a graphical upgrade; I don't want Rockstar to do anything else to those cities. I mean, the only reason we go back and visit is because they're familiar, right? And it'd be awesome to see Vice City get a visual overhaul...
They also mentioned revisiting Vice City at some point in the future, which I'd also like to see. Admittedly, I'm a big 80s fan so VC is my favorite GTA setting almost by default. But I also thought it had the most compelling story because it kinda mirrored "Scarface" and on top of which, there's just something about that fictional Miami. It exudes exotic vice in more ways than one; everything from the pleasure yachts to the beaches to the clubs to the sports cars. It just symbolized a world of over-the-top crime and debauchery that was very much in step with the era. Maybe I'm in the minority but I'm willing to bet that many people around my age will agree.
Personal gaming update
I think I've abandoned my quest to get full 100% synch on all memories in Assassin's Creed III. I did it in past entries but this one seems harder and in truth, I don't have a ton of time these days. I also want to maybe finish Far Cry 3 and let's not forget that the first three months of 2013 hold some enormous titles. It starts with DMC in mid-January and doesn't really stop until April, as far as I can tell. We'll be looking at Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, God of War: Ascension, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance...good God.
By the way, while I definitely see the appeal and I enjoyed the original style, Black Knight Sword ended up being one of the most frustrating games I've ever played. I was pretty close to chucking the controller and I haven't gotten that annoyed in a while. The good news is that I got to play a very relaxing game directly afterward, which de-stressed me: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. In some ways, I like it even more than LittleBigPlanet Karting. It's so much damn fun and highly recommended if you just want to forget about your problems for a while and take it easy. I.e., great for unwinding. :)
12/15/2012 Ben Dutka