If A Game Is Cinematic In Nature, Is It Less Of A Game?
We gave Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception a perfect score. Eurogamer did not.
Their 8/10 review has raised eyebrows of gamers and critics alike, and it has generated plenty of heated arguments in gaming communities across the Internet. God of War creator and current Eat Sleep Play boss decided to address the controversy over at the developer's blog.
Firstly, it's important to note that he doesn't bash Naughty Dog's latest, and he points out that Eurogamer's review doesn't bash it, either. In fact, Jaffe - like most others - are amazed at Uncharted 3. But he cites the major point in Eurogamer's review as something worth considering and discussing:
"It doesn't bash U3 at all (for to do so would just be trolling for hits since it's clear there ain't a thing in U3 that is bash worthy) and it clearly sings the game's many wonderful praises and achievements. But it does call out what some people consider a fundamental flaw in many of today's console titles where making 'cinematic experiences'**** seems to have become a more important goal than making games. And it's nice to see that level of criticism and insight in games journalism, especially with a game as hyped and anticipated (and as amazingly great) as Uncharted 3. How refreshing that a great, hyped, and soon-to-be much loved game can be praised while at the same time intelligently and non mean-spiritedly criticized for what a reviewer thinks (agree or not) are genuine issues. Wow, that's just like big boy writing! And I love it! :)"
Now, you have to admit, he has a point. As we progress at a rapid pace and gaming begins to feel more and more like interactive movies, we do see significant alterations in the standard video game formula. Furthermore, given the required mainstream appeal of blockbusters like Drake's adventures, developers really can't afford to produce an inaccessible game. Hence, the long-time hardcore fans routinely bemoan the relative ease of titles today in comparison to games of yesteryear.
So all this begs the question: if a game is cinematic and that is clearly the developer's goal, and it is indeed more about "the experience" than direct total control, is it less of a "video game?" Jaffe doesn't suggest the cinematic approach results in a lesser product, but it's important to note that Jaffe has, in the past, said game storylines aren't as great as some people believe and in truth, we may not need novel-esque plots and narratives in this industry. What's your response to all this?
Related Game(s): Uncharted 3
10/25/2011 8:57:43 PM Ben Dutka