November 5 - November 9
A late start to what is likely a busy gaming week for me.
Although, I don't have the full list below as normal with the panoply of games coming to a retailer or download organizer near you, the 4.7 million pound gorilla in the room is obviously Halo 4. And, I have to admit that I've warmed to this game over the past few weeks, hearing both some pretty positive early buzz, but also just because there is something iconic and fascinating to me about a game like Halo making the transition away from Bungie that is interesting to me. There's a part of me that really is interested in the question of how much a franchise is really about the developer or if it is about staying true to some kind of more nebulous ethos that any talented studio could step in or out of.
I remember the last time I really thought about this was when Irrational Games was not the team responsible for Bioshock 2, and to be honest that still turned out to be a pretty good game. But even saying that, there still feels like some kind of sacrilege to suggest that an usurper could just swoop in an make a sequel to a game as well or on par with the guys who created it. Would a Half-Life 3 made by Epic Games feel like a Half-Life game? Would a Gears of War made by Bungie be an offense to the very gods themselves? So, can this new studio really step in and take over Halo?
Frankly, I can't help but want Halo 4 to be a great game, but also a great Halo game. I have to admit I like the idea of creative people stepping in and enhancing, standing on the shoulders of giants and recognizing both that the giant exists and that they can build upon it. And, we see it all the time in other media. The best Star Wars stories are the ones told by people who aren't George Lucas. The best superhero movies only have Stan Lee as a cameo rather than the driving creative force. Should video games be any different?
So, Halo 4 is both the obvious choice for Game of the Week, but likely the game I would have choose even if it wasn't. It will be an interesting experiment, and also an expensive one.