Unreal 2’s release shows us almost to the letter what the average formula game is all about. We have the standard run and gun game play, improved graphics, a few small innovations pulled from other titles and of course seven mysterious artifacts which combined make the ultimate weapon. There must be a game cook book out there we don’t know about. “Betty Crocker’s Quick and Delicious Games” maybe, I’ll have to check Amazon.Is there room in our hearts for a good formula anymore?Despite years of effort by Epic and Legend Entertainment to bring Unreal 2 to fruition many gamers feel that itÃ‚'s not worth the $50 dollar price tag. Is 10 Ã‚– 15 hours of solid if unimaginative single player fun not good enough anymore? No, I think we can safely say that itÃ‚'s not.
I get the feeling that somewhere along the way Legend got too buried in the technology to remember that it should only exist to serve the game play, not the other way around. What use are gorgeous environments (which they are) if they only serve as a pretty platter for some stale bread game play? I think we can all agree that good graphics have a Ã‚"wowÃ‚" period of about an hour before the game play either makes or breaks the experience.
You know what the problem is? Despite the fact that they didnÃ‚'t really do anything wrong in a technical sense, Unreal 2 it doesnÃ‚'t have a soul. There is no passion in this game; you can almost hear the developers yawn in the background as the plot unfolds into your typical Ã‚"find the artifactÃ‚" hunt. ArenÃ‚'t we past this same old bland sh*t by now? Would it kill them to come up with a plot that would serve game play and offer something new?
No, it feels like Legend is here for the check, not because they truly believed doing a sequel was creatively worthwhile. I am of course making things up, I donÃ‚'t really know how Legend felt about taking on the project. All I know for sure is playing Unreal 2 leaves you feeling empty, there is no substance here at all.
This begs the question then, what does it take for a formula game to win your heart? What is it other titles have that Unreal 2 doesnÃ‚'t? To be honest I donÃ‚'t know the answer myself, I just know that the formula needs some new ingredients.