The president of Silicon Knights—they’re developing Too Human—thinks the video game industry is drowning under a deluge of sequels and is altogether uncreative. Sure, he could just be saying that in order to promote Too Human, what’s with its mythological Norse astronauts or whatever, but the man has a point—how many times can you play Halo and call it great?
At the same time, it’s not really developers’ fault, per se. Today’s publishers—there’s what, three left, EA, Activision and Microsoft?—don’t necessarily want “hit” games, but rather “hit” franchises. Your critically acclaimed game is worthless unless we can turn it into a cartoon and partner with McDonalds for a toy promotion. And since development costs are so high right now, developers have little other recourse than to make Cookie Cutter FPS or Yet Another Sandbox Game, as per the wishes of Giant Publisher.
I played a little of Half-Life 2 Episode Two the other night and stopped like an hour in. I think my days of running around with a gravity gun, decent story notwithstanding, are pretty much over. How about something different?