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IN THE GRID: Games above films?

Quick thought now, looking at some of the most advanced, outstanding great video games around and how many of them are seriously challenging the success of films and movies to win our attention.

Personally I am an XBox guy right now, but I also can very much appreciate and respect the great wealth of stunning PC games around as well. Graphics have advances so much, but also I argue, the storytelling, games structure and concepts have helped make them more impressive. Also in the last few years we have had the Wii, the Kinect, PS3 which have broadened the potential and kinds of people who play games. So here are some of the best right now:

1)BATMAN ARKHAM CITY

The previous game was of course one of the best of the decade, for any gamer. Possibly the best version of Batman in games ever, so absorbing, atmospheric, thrilling now this sequel expands upon it and brings in other fan favourite characters like Catwoman, Two Face and more.

2)SKYRIM-ELDER SCROLLS V

Some people do not really like or get into fantasy role play style games, but some examples such as this just beg to be noticed. Apparently a totally massive huge huge, with endless paths to follow aside from the main plotline.

3)HALF LIFE 2-THE ORANGE BOX

It is a rebranded edition of a very well respected modern classic. One of the most affecting, asborbing, engaging games, very film like style and play.

4)BIOSHOCK/BIOSHOCK 2

Another amazingly film-like game, it really is stunning. If you like classic films such as BLADE RUNNER, CITIZEN KANE and more you will be knocked over by this masterpiece.

5)MASS EFFECT 2/3

A truly stunning engrossing science fiction game, it really does take you right into worlds so similar to STAR TREK and the best sci-fi films, and features many splintered paths and choices of narrative decision, altering the course and outcome of the game for the player.

6)ALAN WAKE

Another hugely flm styled game, illustrating the influence of films upon games greatly but with a good quality game. It is so atmospheric, a high level dramatic thriller, open and deep, highly intense.

7)DEADLY PREMONITION

This one is a lesser known and controvertial choice. Not perfect, and patchy yes but also quite original and still very atmospheric game. It comes across like TWIN PEAKS or a Stephen King novel, creepy, dark, disturbing but very atmospheric.

8)L.A. NOIRE

More recent game, this one styled like a detective gangster drama in forties period setting made big news. It pushed graphics and game style in new ways, as much of the gameplay came down to studying characters in the game-their movements, factial tics, dialogue. That line where game characters become so convincing and realistic is almost disappearing…

9)DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION

Absolute mind blowing BLADE RUNNER influenced huge paranoid, stealth detective thriller, with all kinds of sci-fi weapons, plotlines and excitement

10)DANTE’S INFERNO

Not one of the hugest recent games, but very dark, bloody, gore-filled horror game.

11) DEAD SPACE /DEAD SPACE 2

Sci-fi horror scary ALIEN influenced dramatic game

12)FALLOUT NEW VEGAS

Very unique epic dystopian thriller game

13)ASSASINS CREED

Series of deep action filled fantasy games

14)DRAGON AGE 2

Like Mass Effect, provides many narrative directons and choices to the gamer with huge epic fantasy visuals

Obviously the most successful games right now are those including MODERN WARFARE/CALL OF DUTY, RPG’s like WORLD OF WARFARE, SIMS, and football games, some kinect and Wii interactive family/friends games, previously there was a massive addiction to GUITAR HERO which was great fun. I am here though, interested in how many modern games are so greatly influenced by films and movies, even popular books and graphic novels. But the blur of film and game style and rivalry of success is to be noted. Some of it is down to marketing and publicity, with games like MODERN WARFARE CALL OF DUTY earning more than the biggest Hollywood movies or around the same on opening day sales.

Are we as audiences just tired of films or movies which might be simply getting way too predictable, and we are just sitting, watching waiting for the end while with games  we decide the end, we move and direct the outcome interactively earning a sense of achievement? In some ways, a number of modern game narratives have been arguably more interesting, unpredictable and exciting than nearly all of the big genre films of the last couple of years. What does this suggest to us? Should actors and filmmakers-or film companies at least-be just a bit scared or unsure now?

I will still watch films of all kinds, from all around the globe and play any good game but the successes and failures of both industries is continually facinating today.

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About JAMES E PARSONS

Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

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