Today is a happy day as Player One Start is now four years old. What started as my personal playground of writing fun on the Internet has, well, not really changed. It was never meant to be more than my own space in this mental digital age we live in. But it has persevered and stayed updated whereas so many other blogs have ended up neglected and abandoned in the cyber-cold. That’s something to be happy about.
So what’s happened in four years? Well, the world has been collapsing economically and some unlikeable politicians have been replaced by more unlikeable politicians. But as far as games are concerned there have been some big developments.
There have been some cracking titles released in the last four years, including Grand Theft Auto 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, Portal 2, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction (well I liked it). Of course, the worrying trend here is that all of these critical successes are sequels, although in their defence, the original Uncharted, Portal and Mass Effect only just miss this four year window by a few weeks as all were released around this time in 2007.
The point is I’m struggling to think of an original, break through title that has enjoyed the same level of critical acclaim over the life of this blog. The one that springs to mind is Batman: Arkham Asylum, which really took the world of Batman and applied it successfully to a game. At the moment we are in a climate where new ideas are serious risks, especially when you can re-tread old ground with an established IP and find success. It’s a real shame that Bulletstorm didn’t sell well because that was a great game with a new setting and character set. Possibly not the most original idea in the world, but it was still brave enough to try and be different.
Call of Duty has crumbled for me over the life of this blog. I loved Call of Duty 4, a brilliant game with fresh ideas and incredible set pieces. Then came World at War, not quite as good, but it had a flame thrower and Kiefer Sutherland. Modern Warfare 2 had the appeal of a microwave meal being reheated after its initial zap and Black Ops lost me completely. I try not to hold grudges, but a regurgitated Modern Warfare just doesn’t interest me.
But oh well, I’ll stay optimistic for the future. I’m already planning what sequels I’m picking up next year, such as Prototype 2 and Mass Effect 3. Until then I’ll still blog, trying to ask and answer all of the great questions out there, such as “Will Hitman Absolution be good?” “Does Half-life 2 Episode 3 exist?” And “What does the soldier on the cover of Battlefield 3 have in his left pocket that is so hot it has caused him to smoulder?”