Polycount, and bumpmapping the heck out of everything, seems to be the idea of not just good visuals, but of a good game. With the next-gen promise, I had hoped that they would utilize this power for improving on the actual gameplay. What I was longing to see was more believable interaction between the playing character and the world around. Things like physics and animation, that’s what I had desired for them to spend more time with, so that you would get a greater feeling of being there, and not have to suffer the horrors of invisible walls and dodgy collision-detection. I remember when we were kids, and were excited by the idea of procedurally destructible environments, though I doubt we called it that. This was back in the Dreamcast era, but it would be quite a while until I ever saw anything like it in a game.
I eventually came to accept that the focus would lie somewhere else, that the interactivity I wanted would be confined to scripted events. It’s not that modern games fail to impress me, especially when they pull off illusions I cannot see past. Many bring new possibilities and ideas to the table. However, quite a number of new titles are just polished rehashes of tried and true concepts, remakes, sequels or just clones that add nothing more than a specular finish.
*Character customization (with multi-ethnic male and female option. I said AND FEMALE, you bastards!)
- of movement : open world,
- of exploration : large world,
- of action : vast possibilities (destroy things, scale geometry, fiddle with objects)
- of socialization : multiple players (splitscreen, online or preferably both)
*A good realism to playability ratio
*Convincing and dynamic animation
And now, finally, it seems that BattleField 3 will bring a lot of these together, what with their impressive animation system, large player count and massive, destructible maps. Well, not to mention the impressive visuals, but like I said; I think focus should be somewhere else for a while. At least as well. The people at Frostbite seems to have been focusing on a lot of realism-enhancing aspects, both sight and sound.
I’ll be monitoring this, closely. Perhaps this is finally a game that is worthy of what I thought Next-gen would mean.