Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shhh! 50 Cent is making a game.

Where do I start with this one. Hm.

Videogames, like movies, are often hailed for their fantastic stories. Sadly, that hailing doesn't happen quite as often with games, but what can ya do. At least the appreciation is there, albeit only sometimes, right? Now, I've talked about the importance of writing before. It's my assertion that writing for a game should be at least in some dimension of the term "acceptable." It's always at least appreciated when a game, though being somewhat sub-par with its gameplay, can still in some special way soar because of its story. Those things, I think, rest in those "warm and fuzzy" moments of our lifetimes...when you can walk with your character through their tremulous life and emerge, after a series of impossible circumstances, victorious. It's wondrous.

However, I would say it's pretty fucking rare that a game is produced with a fantastic story, but horrible gameplay. Usually, there has to be some kind of symbiosis in that chemical mix. That, and I doubt most people would push through really bad gameplay just for a story. I mean, why piss yourself over terrible controls or horrible voice-acting when you could be reading, I don't know, a book or something. Playing through one of those games would be like getting cozy with your favorite novel, then blasting Bjork as loud as possible while you enjoy it. It just doesn't make sense.

Well then. I just have to mention this up and coming doozy. It's called 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Rather than give a quirky introduction, I'll just post the excerpt supplied by Kotaku from an IGN interview with the producer of this next fantastically amazing in every awesomistic kind of way game:

"...what's inspired the title is, 50 and G-Unit are putting on a sold-out performance somewhere in a fictional Middle Eastern setting. This is where the 'blood on the sand' comes in. They put on the performance; the people are pleased, but the concert promoter stiffs them and doesn't give 50 and G-Unit their payment.

So, of course, 50 isn't going to leave until he gets paid, so he hassles the concert promoter, [saying] if he doesn't come up with the money now, there will be consequences. And instead, the promoter offers him a very valuable gift - something that's valuable to this particular country - a diamond encrusted skull.

So 50 gets the skull, and as he's about to leave this war-torn country, when they're ambushed and the skull is taken. They escape the ambush, but they're without the skull. So 50's motivated to get what belongs to him. So basically, throughout the game, he's trying to track these people down and find out who they are and why he was ambushed."

You see that, right there. That. That is why I want to be a writer. That's gold. GOLD. I mean, just look at all of the possibilities. That story can go anywhere. Nazis? Oh I think that's doable. Nukes? Fuck it, let the Nazis have them. Hell, throw Angelina Jolie in there for no reason what so ever. What's that? She needs a reason? No she doesn't. O-- Okay, fine, she's fucking Bin Laden. No, no--she's making porn with Bin Laden. And 50 Cent gets caught up into producing it. See? GOLD. I am not talking to myself. Pass me the crack cocaine please.
Honestly. I mean...really? Is that really what's being made into a game? A multi-platform game!? Give me a moment.

See, games that are produced with a foundation like that are the prime reason why the gaming industry isn't taken seriously. That's also why writing for a videogame can appear as almost...unprofessional. If you were aspiring to write for videogames, and you read that, I'd imagine you would think one of two things: Either you would try harder to gain access to that most prestigious of job positions because you know you're better than that, or you would give up because that's what the industry wants. So, which is it?

I don't think it's the latter--yet. Though it's disturbing just to see something like that taken under serious consideration and get published, I don't think such a terrible staple will ever make it to the point of engrossing the industry. Us nerds just aren't that stupid. I hope not, anyway.

Let me just give you all my thoughts onto what that game will be like... I think it will incorporate every major videogame mechanic that's been proven to work in the past five years, but each one will be utilized in completely the wrong way and thus (hopefully) this game will burn like the pile of shit it isn't yet.

It will have cover fire mechanics (because it worked in Gears of War), but they will be horrible to maneuver. Your character will stick to the wrong walls, be shot when they shouldn't be, and the enemy AI will have NO IDEA how to use the mechanic.

It will have a billion multiplayer modes (because it worked for Halo 3), but the servers will be in such shitty condition and the controls will be so awkward that it just won't be playable. Either that or the servers will be vacant because no one will be playing.

It is set in a war-torn fictitious Middle-Eastern country (because it worked for Call of Duty 4), but, as proven, the story will blow.

It will have some kind of RPG element (because it worked for Bioshock), but the abilities will be unbalanced, and thus near-nonexistent. You will also be able to unlock the most useful abilities only after playing the game through at least once--something no one will do.

It will have button-timing cut-ins or fights (because it worked for God of War), but they will suck because every fucking game since God of War has tried to implement that mechanic--badly--and it's gotten to the point of being an annoyance rather than something "cool."

I could go on, but I think that's sufficient. Though a part of me wonders... what if this game turns out to be absolutely fucking incredible. What if the gameplay is stellar and every mechanic is so tight and perfect that it tops every chart imaginable. It outsells Halo 3. It kills CoD4 in multiplayer. Remember, there have been good games with bad stories before (Resident Evil for one...oh come on, the story really wasn't that good at all... okay, fine. Serious Sam. Happy?). It is possible. Man, that's a scary thought.

Now I need a beer.

But I don't have any.

Oh's happening...

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