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Halo Threeie

Ron Alpert, Blogger

September 24, 2007

4 Min Read

  Yerrrrah so I am reburning my lights. AGAIN. alright well unreal engine is, well.. it's a weird thing alright. it's about 6 months in and i am pretty accustomed to working with this engine these days (though there's still mountains of information that I have yet to learn about it).. i can honestly say that, although it's very powerful, it's definitely not without it's share of "eccentricities." Yeah, any engine would have the same gripes, so i won't go off too much (but oh! how I LOVE to!) I mean, the ones I have worked with in the past had some pretty annoying issues - but over time, after dealing with something for a couple of years, you get used to it's idiosyncracies. And of course we can all understand how things like "legacy code" sort of get built up and over, however inefficiently.. and "feature creep" and whatever other buzzwords you'd like. But MAN. When you move to a new neighborhood, you're always gonna see some things that just sort of make your jaw drop and go "why. WHY. WHY does it have to work like this.. it's so stupid!" And so it goes, yeah....

  So Halo 3 eve or whatever you wanna call it. A million nerds rejoice. IGN gave it a pretty spiffy review. I am glad to see that something like Bioshock can still edge it out a little (yeah, a LITTLE).. so say what you want about the games industry of today, and the "generification" of product, but it's nice to see something like this released with a bunch of hype and STILL deliver on what is expected. Yeah, perhaps there's a bunch of shoulder-rubbing going on between reviewers and moneybags, but when they go on about how certain features and things are handled well in a game, you kinda know what you are dealing with. I am just saying, it's nice to see that they are not gonna let their product descend into disarrary quite yet. That's gonna come after about 6 more iterations...

  Honestly, I have worked for some sequel-happy companies, say what you will of them - and I have seen them take "the easy way out" more times than I'd've like (good reasons notwithstanding), so I can feel proud of a large company that is willing to put reputation and customer satisfaction above (ever-so-slightly) ripping the willing customer off at every chance they can get. I mean let's face it, guys like Bungie, Epic - they could release tons of DLC for their titles and charge a little here, a little there. They could do annual updates with new maps and slightly upgraded feature sets. They could dilute their brands, pretty significantly, and get away with it. They could, but they don't, and from this side I do sort of wonder why. I guess overall, games are still not quite like movies - not yet! You still see a lot of good intentions rounded out with honest-to-goodness followups. Yeah games are always gonna be buggy, late, etc. etc. But they are going to provide a meaty package and fulfill expectations, maybe not "more times than not," but certainly ENOUGH times for me to even be typing this paragraph. There's never been an honestly "BAD" Metal Gear. There's never been a "horrible" Zelda, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Pokemon, GTA, etc. Okay, once in awhile you'll get subpar spin-offs that are taking away the integrity of the license, but even then it's not often that terrible (I am talking game-to-game license, not like... movie-to-game, of course). It honestly seems that everyone is concerned with getting that golden "special IP" and then mining it for all it's worth, but.. carefully. Again, not always the case... and companies like Activision, Ubi and EA are certainly guilty of crimes in this area.. but even for those guys, when they do take advantage of a brand, they'll (usually) at least turn out decent product (level 7 or thereabouts), which is more than satisfactory for the casual audience - the casual audience being their most important one.

  I am not sure what the future holds in this regard, and it's true "everything is coming to a head.." it's all gonna go haywire in a few years, business wise. I always whine that "the Golden Days are Over" but truth be told, it's a NEW Golden Age, if anything. Yeah the bloom is off the rose but the forest is just starting to sprout. Hard to imagine but someday, 5 or 10 or 15 years from now, I will look back at these (relatively easy) days and just miss this stuff. Sigh, I wanna go home and play Advance Wars 2 (finally).

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