Saturday, April 6, 2013

Something New, Yet Familiar.

Something new, it's what keeps things going, it's what keeps things fresh and it often at times goes hands in hand with a concept that's been around for a while. For this instance it's the norm that becomes the standard, the mediocre, the uninspired that always has the chance to suffocate great originality  I recently finally watched the remake movie X-Men: First Class. Being an avid fan of the previous X-Men movies I was actually fairly excited about a remake of such a classic story that originated from flipped panels of intricate artwork. I was also sort of put off that they were already making yet another X-Men movie. With the days of the next Wolverine or The Hulk movies, it can be quite tiring - and usually people loose interest in the content matter. Assassin's Creed comes to mind (slow the heck down Ubisoft, you're killing your own creation).

Having recently experienced completing the game Bioshock Infinite two days after its release - I was immersed and driven to explore the game's world and story - and having watched the X-Men remake I came to a conclusion, story-telling needs brave and creative ideas to keep an audience entertained. However more on that later though as it seems the remake model is the successful method of the future with as can be seen in the movie and gaming industry.

Just recently I ordered the Collector's Edition of Tomb Raider (2013), the remake that finds Lara Croft finding herself, so to speak. I am eager to jump into the world crafted by the original creators of such an iconic franchise. A lot of new concepts and ideas were brought into the fray for this game including even giving Tomb Raider a multiplayer arena.  This adapts the franchise with the rest of the already connected global audience that play games against or with people online. There's also tons to do within the game with an open world like design set in place to again adapt to the growing popularity of choice. Are you with us or against us, Paragon/Renegade, etc.

Going back to Bioshock Infinite though I had found myself all caught up with the world that I had fallen in love with - metaphorically of course I would never want to live in such places - as previously experienced from the original Bioshock. When people played the first Bioshock it was a vastly new experience, from the world, the characters and even the combat that players carried out in a Utopia city underwater. We learned and discovered about a society that became made with power, so many variations of power might I add. In Bioshock Infinite the story really ramps up and the combat and new imaginative setting really captures own's imagination and sense of play.

After completing Bioshock Infinite and taking a step back from being immersed and living in a world where Nationalism was deemed a norm and revolution was right around the corner, I sat back and really breathed in the fresh new concept the people of Irrational Games had so handily crafted. As to not spoil anything I will just mention that the ending was totally not predicted nor was the city in the floating sky or the affection I would feel for an AI character, Elizabeth. I've played many video games before but never have I felt such a philosophical feeling as I did finishing Bioshock Infinite - Mass Effect 3 was close in this regards only to the state of constantly contemplating the game after weeks of completion.

With X-Men, Bishock and Tomb Raider we see innovation through risk, through daring story-telling and that I believe is what will keep each respected industry going. With next-gen systems coming around the corner one can only be so optimistic that more studios will want to generate more quality work through new ideas and innovation instead of blatant cash ins or sequels that run a series into the ground. It's ok to have a cash in here or there, as I know it's hard to stay afloat as a creative studio these days, but injecting some creativity and moxy into this industry will keep it from stagnating or worse loosing fans in a drawn out war of attrition.