Should Games be be committed?

Batman Arkham Asylum is probably my favourite game of 2009. It was so much fun to play and introduced some new play mechanics into a game genre that was getting a little tired. I think other super hero games can learn a lot from Rocksteady, the developers of this fine game.

Spiderman is arguably my fave super hero,  I loved his games on both PSone and PS2 but for some reason the wow factor has been lost on this generation, why? well IGN seem to have the answer and I’m inclined to agree with them. Open world sandbox games are great, as long as you have something to do in them. The Spiderman franchise seems to struggle with this concept, possibly because the ‘playground’ is just to big. I mean New York City! its pretty huge.  But it’s not just Spiderman that suffers. Far Cry 2 is another example. Here you had a game that let you explore Africa in some stunning detail, Probably some of the best graphics I have seen on the current generation, but boy there was nothing to do. Add in the dreaded re spawning check points was just a cheap way of keeping you awake. GTA San Andreas is the only Sandbox game I can think of that just about gets away with it. thanks to the random jobs you can do (truck driving, car dancing, dating the list goes on) . So where am I going with this? well, going back to Arkham Asylum, the developers managed to trick the player into thinking they were playing a sandbox game, but in fact you were just stuck in an asylum exploring ward after ward. Sounds boring but it was far from it, the variety in locations was superb and made you think you were exploring and entire island rather than a single building. Clever stuff. Other developers can learn from this, and create games with vast worlds and level variety with out the need to make the player go where they want, slowing guiding the player without them being aware around the game world.

So, until the Playstation 10 comes out or the XBOX dodecahedron comes out where you can map out the world and fly to Mongolia in on your hover board all in real-time then I think the way forward is to commit the player to an asylum.

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