On Wednesday, JJ Abrams and Gabe Newell sat down for a session at the 2013 DICE summit where they discussed the strengths and weaknesses of games and movies as storytelling mediums. Polygon has a liveblog of the chat, and it’s definitely worth reading to get a sense of their alternating points. Newell argued for the value of player agency, of letting gamers be “architects of their own amusement”, whereas Abrams argued in favor of film’s “machinery” of storytelling, which allows for narrative control. They played clips from games and movies, and each made some excellent, thoughtful arguments.
Their discussion of the different forms of storytelling was especially exciting because they ended by announcing that Abrams and Valve are planning on collaborating on a game as well as possible Portal or Half-Life movies. If it’s even possible to make a decent movie out of a game, I think JJ Abrams could be the guy to do it. However, of the two properties, I think Half-Life is a bit better suited to the movie treatment, simply because there are more characters and settings to work with. Of course, Gordon Freeman would definitely end up talking in a movie version, and that might ruin some of his carefully cultivated mystique…
How about you? Do you find the prospect of a Portal or Half-Life movie exciting? Will you be curious to see what kind of game Abrams might make with Valve? How much would your head explode if a Half-Life movie came out before Episode 3? Let us know in the comments.
There’s nothing better than a video game that hooks you into its style and premise in its opening level. Well, I guess it’s better when the entire game can deliver on that promise, but you know what I mean. The first levels of video games in a lot of ways are a pitch for the entire experience. They teach you the rules, what to expect and tease some more of what’s to come. In fact, they can often give us the biggest “wow” out of any level in a game, if done right.
That’s why UGO has come along with its list of the best first levels in gaming history. They’ve got quite a few games on there, a few of which are a bit surprising, to say the least. If I’m being honest, I think it’s a decent list save for the fact that it skews a bit towards the last couple of years too much in terms of where it ranks the newer experiences.
As for my favorite first levels in video games, I’d have to go with a few of these: Goldeneye 64, Half Life (1 and 2), Uncharted 2, Sonic the Hedgehog and Medal of Honor: Frontline. Part of me is tempted to say Metal Gear Solid 2, because I just love the tanker section so much. However, if you consider the first level to be a promise on what the game wants to deliver, I feel like it’s more of a tease than something that the gamer actually gets. Just my opinion, though.
So what do you guys think? What are your favorite opening levels in video games? What do you think of the list? Go!
Every year, New Year’s Resolutions are the big thing to do once January rolls around. People make fake promises to themselves in order to build their self esteem and generally and make them feel better. In general, they hope this mental self flagellation results in them being able to sleep better at night, if in fact it causes any betterment at all in their daily lives.
I’ve only had a very minimal experience with these self imposed restrictions or boundaries, but only this year were they actually a positive thing for my health. However, I wondered what it would be like to pen up a few resolutions that related to video games. Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading 2010 Gaming Resolutions
So in possibly one of the freakiest mashups ever, a new video titled “The Combine Interview” is a re-imagining of that Tom Cruise scientology promo with characters and story elements from Half-Life 2. Seriously.
This thing is all kinds of messed up and all kinds of awesome. Two interesting tastes that taste kind of screwed up together.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run along and find Gordon Freeman.