A friend of mine struck a conversation topic I seem to have been avoiding as of late, last night. He said to me "What WAS the last great game?". Instantly, being me, I said Bioshock.
But then I thought myself, hang on. I got Bioshock in September... Surely I've played better games since then. Well the Orange Box is probably my most played game of all time, Team Fortress 2 especially. But why didn't I say that straight away? Surely that must be the obvious choice? Well, thinking of it in hindsight, it didn't move me as much as Bioshocks story did. There wasn't as much thrill as exploring rapture for the first time. (It pains me to say that, it honestly does. But Bioshock beats Orange box by a mere millimetre)
So then I pondered some more. I got loads of games for Christmas, one of them must have beat Bioshock and the Orange box? Surely it hasn't been almost 11 months since the last truly enjoyable game was released? I got Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, Super Mario Galaxy, Mysims, Metroid Prime 3 and Sim City DS for Christmas. Not one lived up to expectations, and to be honest not one gripped me enough. Crysis got boring very quickly, as did Unreal Tournament 3. As for Mario Galaxy, well it was fun but it was just another Mario Game.
It seems to me that the games market is becoming stale. Super Mario Galaxy was the first indication. It was meant to be a completely new Mario experience. It was just Mario. In space. Unreal Tournament 3 was just UT2004 with a healthy dose of LIQUID MUSCLE. And It was also, rather boring compared to the others.
"But what about the others!?!" I hear you cry. "What about Grand Theft Auto 4? Metal Gear Solid 4? Surely these are sure choices!". Well, no. GTA4 is GTA3 in essence, but I can't argue that it's not a good game. Personally I love it, and I'm currently playing through it for the first time and enjoying myself immensely. But it's nothing groundbreaking, nothing immense. It's a good game. But not a great game. Oh, and Metal gear Solid 4? I haven't finished it yet, but It's still the same formula as the others.
So now I've established there hasn't been a great game in around 11 months. That makes me rather cynical to be honest. Especially with games such as Resident Evil 5, Left 4 Dead, Little big planet, Tomb Raider Underworld and Mirrors Edge coming out. Will these games live up to expectations? Will they manage to make me feel an emotional connection to the game like Bioshock did? We'll have to see, because right now I don't even want to think about it.
Oh, and I didn't mention about Spore. I'll talk about that tomorrow.