Saturday, September 28, 2013

Where's My Team?

It has occurred to me of late, especially when watching television, that video games don’t do ‘the team’ very well. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that when a team is featured in a video game the game will suck; Binary Domain, Fuse, etc. and the list goes on. Go ahead, prove me wrong, with very few exceptions every single time a team was featured in a video game it was a pretty awful game.

It’s hard to get an accurate picture why, there aren’t ever very many of these games in any one year and if you go back long enough you start running into a question of whether or not the technology would have supported it. With the rare exception of games like Halo: Reach, the Gears of War trilogy and the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, most games don’t even bother to make the members of the team anything other than a one dimensional caricature. In television good teams are everywhere and more are being made every day (I’m looking at you S.H.I.E.L.D.) and even bad shows survive with a good team interplay (Hawaii 5-0 don’t bother hiding behind Grace Park).
And its not like video games don’t know how to do relationships; Master Chief and Cortana, Drake and Victor, Marcus and Dom, and the newly minted Joel and Ellie. If there’s one thing I believe in the new generation of video games, it’s that progress is going to far less splashy than it has been in yesteryears. It’s not going to be the polygon count in the explosions that leaves an impression on people or the shine of a really sweet ride; its going to be the little things that separate the great games from all the rest. As the saying goes ‘what is any ocean but a multitude of drops’, here’s to really great drops.

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