Games have the unique ability to tell a story with the player experiencing it. Ether storming the beaches of Normandy, or being a spy in the 60s. Most games like to bring a sense of realty to their games. While itís always good to have a sense of history in games, I would rather have developers go full-out into that place where most donít dare to go. This would be wholly unique to video games. The developers have wild imaginations and itís a shame to see something that could be outrageous be brushed aside because itís not ďrealĒ enough. One of the best examples of the insane ways games can be is in the first few missions of Saintís Row the Third.
Saints Row 4 seems to do it right.
In that game, there was this mission where you have to fight your way out of a plane with a friend. After you do something that only came out of the movie Shoot 'Em Up, you go back into the plane, and yet never touch the ground as you are shooting anything that moves just to get another parachute. It was fast, it was crazy, and that was the most insane thing that happens in the game, and itís about twenty minutes into the game. Thereís nothing wrong with the game, but it set itself up a bit too high in the insane meter. Itís a game well worth playing, if only for that one mission. Saintís Row the Third embraced the insane by not taking itself seriously and knows itís just a dumb game. More games needs to embrace the insanity that can go for it. Far Cry 3 had a few moments, but it did not beat you in the head with it, and when it did go down that path, it was due to drugs. Not every game that embraced insanity it overly violent. Psychonauts is a brilliant game by Tim Shaffer that knows a thing or two about crazy games. If you havenít play Psychonauts, I highly suggest you do. Everything in that game is unique, and youíll never see anything like it again.
One of the craziest games to come out in sometime is Lollipop Chainsaw. Itís not partially a good game, but itís insane enough to know it, and plays to its strength. Just watch a few game play videos to know what I mean. Itís worth playing at least once. Another that is coming out is called Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Blood Dragon seems to embrace the action Direct to Video VHS movies of the eighties. It knows itís dumb, and it looks amazing because of it.
Did you just say Monkey?
Not all games need to be crazy. There are games that have something to say. The best example for this is Spec Ops: The Line. Without spoiling too much of the story, but it deals with the state of games today. It may not the most fun game youíll ever play, but it does what other games donít often do; tells us something about ourselves and the games that we all enjoy. If developers can give us a game that tells us something with meaning, then they donít need to make the game insane to prove a point. Most games fall apart when they try to do something serious. Metal Gear Solid has deep themes about the military, war, genomes, clones, nuclear weapons, and the state of world affairs. What Metal Gear Solid does that no other game like it does is that itís willing to make fun of itself and not take itself too seriously. Even the very thought of bipedal tanks was laughed at in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The self-awareness is one of the best parts of the Metal Gear Solid series. Kojima knows how to say something with meaning behind it, while knowing that itís for entertainment.
One of the few games that has something to say.
More games needs to embrace the insane. Let developers take insane risks to popular franchise. Let them not be shackled by tradition of the rules of the game. Let them show us that they are highly imaginative. If need be, let them show the horror that we can inflect in ourselves. If they are not going to show us something with meaning, then let them go crazy. Enough of the seriousness of meaningless games and let them embrace the insane. This ride can go both ways; meaningful or insane.
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