Today, Dipswitch takes us to the not-so-distant future, where all our problems can be solved by digging holes and creating miniature mountains. Think about the possibilities: you stumble home from a night at the bars, and can't find your keys. No problem! Just dig a hole under your doorstep.
Am I the only one who enjoyed the Fracture demo? I was impressed with the functionality of manipulating the world around me. Unfortunately, I saw no reason to move past the demo and buy the game, as I couldn't see playing the game for more than 20 minutes and enjoying it. That's the problem with a lot of games now adays; a developer creates an innovative, interesting idea, puts it on a pedestal, and places it on a giant mound of shit. Why can't a game with a really interesting new mechanic, be built around a really great game?
My feeling is, with the incredible budgets of many titles now a-days, you cannot take a chance on a title that has a new mechanic that may not work, and build an epic, AA or AAA title around it. Furthermore, there has to be an aspect of taking quite a bit of time to flesh out and test the game mechanic, which takes away from the other aspects of the title.
[URL='http://deadspace.ea.com/"]Dead Space[/URL] is a great title to reference in this situation. I am absolutely jiving on this title, and while I attribute it to some great design by the developers, I also attribute a portion to the fact that the Dead Space mechanics are pretty tried and tested. Third person, over the shoulder, shoot em up game. There's nothing too fancy being done here, so time can be spent polishing everything about the game, as opposed to focusing a microscope on one portion of the title.
Even if you were to bring in a comparison to Half Life 2, and the use of the Gravity Gun, it's pretty easy to realize that while the Gravity Gun was innovative, the game was not built around it, and it was used in a way that did not detract from the focus on the rest of the title.
At end of the day, though, it comes down to the fact that Lucasarts probably felt that the idea was interesting, but did not put the necessary budget, or talent, in order to make it really successful. The game industry truly needs to come to the point where it can try new ideas, and not have to worry about taking the risks necessary to bring those new ideas to market.
A man can dream.
See you next week for more Dipswitch!