Monday, October 15, 2007

Next Gen Sports Game Presentation

I have seen many reviews for sports game in this "New Generation" and they all seem to get high scores. But for what really? I think they boil down to the graphics being good. That should be a given (sorry Wii). There is much more to game presentation, however. The atmosphere of a sport can go a long way towards being captured with just good sound effects alone. Ambient sounds and crowd noise make the player feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Announcer play by play is also a huge factor in player immersion. I haven't seen much of any growth in either of these two areas since the previous generation. Madden 08 for example still has the lame radio broadcaster from last year. The game is named after one of the most high profile color commentators in all of sports. Use him. Other games like NHL 08, while b eing good overall games are seriously lacking in the presentation department. The announcers repeat the same 15 or 20 lines over and over again ad naseum. Keeping with NHL 08 as an example, the on ice sound effects are repetitive. I swear if I play any more I am going to hear: "Wheel! Wheel!" in my sleep. As far as I am concerned NFL 2k5 has the best game presentation of any sports game bar none. You would think that All Pro Football 2k8 would have as good if not better presentation, but that isn't the case. The Game Pass feature is cliche and annoying. The halftime presentation is decent but doesn't match NFL 2k5. What gives game developers? You getting lazy? We ARE paying more money for games now. I want more than good graphics. That should be a given considering the power of the new hardware (again, sorry Wii).

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