Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Is realism really what we want?

The Summer, a time to sober up, catch up on sleep and gorge myself on mum’s cooking.

For me it’s also a time to get my teeth back into gaming.

With the luxury of a huge TV and my brother’s ps3, I couldn’t resist starting a game of Saint’s Row 2.

Now I have always been a fan of Grand Theft Auto but I was bitterly disappointed by GTA4. Sure the graphics were nice and it was fairly entertaining to see a balding Russian fly through a windscreen every time I nudged a car or tree. But where was all the ridiculous gang warfare and jetpacks that kept me entertained for hours on San Andreas?

Well unfortunately for me, this is the sad world of realism.

With the fast development and improvement of game engines and graphics, the race to achieve a realistic game has started. But does that necessarily mean we want to play realistic games?

Playing as Nice in GTA4 was dull, I didn’t want to watch a character watch TV or buy a drink, no matter how ‘pretty’ or ‘awesome’ it looked, which brings me back to Saints Row 2.
Saints Row 2 is the direction GTA should have gone in. its gives you so much freedom within a sandbox environment. Random side missions include streaking, holding car passengers for ransom and impersonating cops. Homies can be customised to dress as ninjas and pimps. Not to mention the character customisation. ( mine is a 6ft female bondage punk with a giant purple Mohawk if you’re interested.)

Although the game does have an element of realism (buildings, cars etc) which are beautifully modelled and textured, it doesn’t make you play realism. I can still lose myself in an absurd environment for a good few hours, which I hope games stick to in the future.

Sure realism is nice to look at and compare to our own but that doesn’t mean we want to live it through on our consoles.