It's Like I can Touch you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010
Last month saw the announcement that Killzone 3 would be joining the slowly growing ranks of 3D capable games on the market. Sony has also stated that they are adding 3d capability to many of the PS3's titles. The latest return to 50's film gimmicks made it's way to console games (appropriately) when Avatar: The Video Game was released in 2009. Now more and more titles are announcing 3D capability in time with the hungry consumer hoof-beats.

We got a look at the Avatar game in 3d at last year's PAX. What we saw was not the breathtaking experience described by so many who saw the film in 3D. The use of 3D in game felt lackluster, more distracting than immersive. Above all else it gave me a headache the size of Pandora. Similar reports have come in from Kotaku regarding Killzone 3's 3d effects.

Is there really a need for 3d capable games out there? Surely there are those with the money and the home theater setup to handle such a task but 3d TV's aren't exactly in every home (certainly not mine).

The draw of 3d games is understandable. People who want the latest and greatest from their tech or those who really feel it enhances the experience are bound to get a great deal of fun out of it. We simply feel that there hasn't been any real significant use of it in any games we've seen so far, and until it can show us that it really can change the way we play the game, we're calling it a gimmick.

We would prefer that developers spend more time working on story details, voice acting (please, for the love of god), immersive new mechanics, or getting the most out of motion controls (for once) before we spend another minute on 3d.

Video games suffer from an overabundance of new technology. The medium doesn't have time to adapt to any one new technology before it's replaced or one-upped by the next big thing. Developers end up victims of "jack of all trades, master of none." The only companies that seem able to really focus on and perfect these things are indie developers, and that's often because they can operate with much less scrutiny- the only perk of anonymity- than the larger industry.

We can't speak for everyone, but we want better games, not prettier games. Talk to your developers, they aren't unreachable. Go to their contact pages, write e-mails, call them or even just post in their forums. Let them know that it's about depth of content, not depth perception.