RPGs, simulations, and strategy games are my preferred genres, but I’ve played and enjoyed several shooters that prioritized story over gameplay (BioShock Infinite), explored the moral gray areas of violence as a solution (Spec-Ops: The Line), or whose sci-fi settings simply put things in a less problematic context (Halo). The timing of Hardline’s switch from military fantasy to militarized police fantasy couldn’t possibly be worse, either, in light of the ongoing problems in Ferguson, MO, one of the more egregious examples of a systemic cultural problem in this country that most video games either completely ignore or cynically tap into.
it’s the non-gaming aspects of the Xbox One that I find most intriguing because I don’t believe “next gen” will ultimately be defined by graphics, and the first real example of that is Twitch. Per Google research, “Gamers are an important driver of brand engagement, as they create, curate, and share content.” And that’s where Twitch comes in and things get really interesting.
When it comes to technology, I’m generally an early tester, late adopter, especially when it comes to gaming. We got a Wii about 1.5 years after it had launched, and didn’t buy an Xbox 360 until last December, but something about the Xbox One grabbed my attention from the moment it was announced. More importantly, though, it grabbed my non-gaming wife’s attention, who then shocked me by pre-ordering it from Amazon the first day they opened pre-orders!
“Wow…” That was my whispered, slack-jawed reaction to the final 30 minutes of BioShock Infinite, arguably the most compelling video game experience I’ve ever had. It’s not a perfect game by any stretch of the definition, and since completing the game, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the more measured reviews that haven’t been afraid to point out its flaws, but to borrow a phrase from Grace Jones, it might not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me.
It’s not a huge stretch to posit Amazon as the reverse-Valve of the ebook world, constantly pushing the envelope in unexpected ways, aggressively experimenting with pricing, developing a core of popular franchises, while staying focused on delivering and optimizing the best consumer experience.