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This week marks the release of Infinity Ward’s eighth installment to the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
After seven predecessors, one has to wonder how the game’s creators plan on improving it in a way worth buying. Will they throw us into cool new city and desert levels in Iraq? Or will they perhaps incorporate a mission to take out Bin Laden?
Unfortunately, it is unlikely either of these will be present. Instead, one of the focal improvements of the game will probably be the graphic design.
Between 2001 and 2003, the video game world changed forever as a new generation of games dominated with their new, visually stunning graphics. This class was headlined by Halo: Combat Evolved, and also included Kingdom Hearts, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto III and IV, Prince of Persia, Half Life, and some others.
Ever since, video game designers have strived to release the game with the best graphics, and quite frankly, it makes me somewhat nostalgic. I miss the simpler games that attempted to provide me with the best game play rather than wow me with visuals.
Remember those times when we were younger and that bulge in your pocket was a Gameboy and not a cell phone? Games like Pokémon, Star Fox, Mario 64, and Super Smash Bros. gave us reasons for slumber parties, and were an excuse to socialize with anyone, as almost everyone played.
Now it feels like video games have lost that personal touch as advancements in online play and visual art improve.
Sure, Gears of War 3 and Halo 3 are fun, but I generally end up dissatisfied at the conclusion of the story modes because the game play is similar to that of many other games.
Popular video games nowadays seem composed of a story that involves shooting many people, zombies, or mutants, and a pretty picture in the background to make it all feel real. In fact, the commercial for the new game Battlefield 3 shows a montage of battle footage and asks viewers whether they can tell which shots are real and which are part of the game.
What’s missing is replay value, which can no longer be achieved through multiplayer unless one plays online. The single player modes are significantly less entertaining after the first time through.
In an era where online play is superior, I actually find my most enjoyable gamer moments to come from the 2D video game Worms, a game too primitive for online usage. This four player game involves each player using a team of worms armed with various rocket launchers, grenades, and guns, trying to eliminate a friend’s team—also consisting of worms. The pleasure does not come from the graphics, as they are comparable to that of Nintendo 64, but rather stem from a social setting of being surrounded by friends and the value of the experience.
The only popular recent game that seemed truly intent on providing excellent game play above all else was Portal 2. As much fun as it is, though, it appears that game has already become an afterthought.
Sometimes the beauty of a game is what makes it fun to play. Last year’s release of Red Dead Redemption has graphics that are so stunning that one could enjoy playing it by merely riding through the detailed world it presents. However, exceptions like this are few in number and generally still don’t provide the satisfaction I received from older games.
I do admire the visuals of these new, state of the art games, but until the actual game compares to the graphics, I’ll stick to Worms.
Contact CU Independent writer Edward Quartin at email@example.com