Monday, June 19, 2006

So what about episodic games?

Earlier this week I finished playing Sin Episode 1. I know, I’m a little late in the game (ha ha) but I felt like it was time so I got a copy of it and played it through. How was it? Well, it was ok. What was special about it? Erm… I’ll get back to you on that. Or maybe I won’t. Oh, wait.

There wasn’t anything special about it.

Sin was shorter than most games, and it only cost 20 bucks instead of the normal 40 or 50. It didn’t really innovate and essentially took the Source engine, did an incremental upgrade to it, and grafted a new story on it to make sure we weren’t making a half-life 2 clone. Very similar to HL2: Episode 1. This reminds me of something that we’ve all grown up with: TV. As a general rule (though there are notable exceptions) TV is considered to be lower quality in every way to movies. The stories aren’t as good, the acting isn’t as good, the cinematography isn’t as good… the list goes on. Like I said, there are notable exceptions, but in general TV was created to capitalize on people’s willingness to pay less per shot but more overall for content. So was Sin. And the HL2 episodic releases.

And thus begins the further commercialization of the Video Game industry. Not to say that Sin and HL2 were not of acceptable quality, they weren't bad at all. But what we need right now is innovation and gameplay evolution, not commercialization.