Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Happy Late New Year

Hello to all of you internet dwellers who occasionally stumble past here. Happy New Year!

Sorry for the slight lack of posting over the last couple of weeks, but the drink has been flowing, games have been played and a merry time was had by all.

This is just a quick note more than anything to put your mind at ease as you can now be safe in the knowledge that I am not dead. Things have just been a bit manic and I have gotten lost in the worlds of Fallout 3 and Red Alert 3.

Both are sequels that have done good for a series, unlike sequels that on a lot of occasions have taken the original idea, and glued neon lights and a grilling machine on in an attempt to make it better.

Fallout 3 offers all the fun of putting live hand grenades in people’s pockets, catapulting miniature nuclear warheads and horrifically graphic dismemberment of body parts, whilst Red Alert 3 has parachuting bears. Needless to say, I have been suitably entertained this Christmas.

Call of Duty: World at War was also tucked into my anti-static stocking, and that has a flame thrower in it which has actually made me feel bad for killing a group of pixels. Normally when someone dies in a game, they collapse like a bin bag full of potatoes in hilarious rag doll poses. Set them on fire in World at War though, and they will spend the remaining seconds of their life running and writhing in agony, not fully appreciating their brand new heat source. It made me ponder about how tasteful it was, but by the time I came to, another 5 or 6 enemy AI were burning on my monitor.

One thing that links all of these games though, that really took me by surprise, was the presence of celebrities. Being a 24 fan, I was ecstatic when Jack Bauer appeared and led me around Japan on my man burning adventure.

Likewise, in Fallout 3 I was surprised when Liam Neeson pulled me out of the womb and raised me in an underground bunker, whilst nutter Malcolm McDowell was yelling things over the radio.

The real star studdery shone through in Red Alert 3 with so many semi-famous faces and people I had heard of donning short skirts and military uniforms to take part in the cheesy cut scenes. Jenny McCarthy, Gemma Atkinson, Tim Curry, David Hasselhoff and Mr Sulu were all present amongst others, acting out as war generals, commandos and world leaders.

With celebrities lending their talents to games like these, how long before we will be seeing more famous names in every big blockbuster games coming out? I know we have had Samuel Jackson and others appearing in games gone by, but not quite this frequently. Will gaming eventually go the way of Hollywood movies and have all star casts?


Anonymous said...

And a happy new year to you :) I've been thinking about stars in games too, which got me to writing up this for one of my employers:

Anonymous said...

Happy new year to you. Glad the drink was flowing - hopefully it was in your direction!

Personally, I love the presence of celebrities in games, but it has to be worth it - i.e. they have to give a good performance, and there has to be more than enough investment in the game to make it stand up without the stars' endorsement.

The developers of the Lost game, for example, told me at a preview event that it cost enough to scan in each of the actors, so they didn't want to take more money away from the gameplay in order to get the voices as well. Which is encouraging, except the gameplay sucked, so what did they actually spend the money on??

In terms of performance, Keifer's a prime example. EA's 007: Everything Or Nothing featured the full James Bond cast but none of them seemed comfortable recording for a video game, so the result was Bond sounded rather flat and uncomfortable, ruining the effect of the game. In 24: The Game, however, the entire cast were in their characters' mindset, so we had the genuine Jack Bauer experience! (More please, Sony!)