Monday, July 27, 2009
I'd like to make a post about something very close to my heart, the adventure game.
Ever since I first played through broken sword as a young boy I've held it as the height of gaming. Indeed, not only the height of gaming but potentially the height of writing as well, a level of immersion is possible in an adventure game that is not possible in conventional fiction. A fusion of graphics and writing that can make you feel part of the story.
They are a rare breed however, and notoriously difficult to make a profit from. First because it is insidiously difficult to create a good adventure game and secondly because it's not a huge market. In fact it almost died off entirely a few years back but, thank god, it's on its way back. New technologies have offset the huge development cost associated with them and its possible to whack one out with as small a team as you could ten years ago. The new monkey island game is an example of this. Not only an example, but a moderately good example.
Tales of Monkey Island is the rejuvenation of a license that hasn't seen the light of day in a long time. It's also a license that has epitomised the true power of the adventure game medium. Monkey Island games were funny, clever and involving. They drew you in with it's lovably dimwitted protagonist and well, pirate adventure. The puzzles were fiendish and at times utterly inspired and the art still holds up in many ways today. Needless to say, I was dreading its remake. Seriously, I'm almost convinced that creativity is on its way out these days. It just isn't commercially viable.
But, in all fairness, Tales of monkey island is a good game. I only played through the first episode of five, but it kept me interested. The puzzles were easy enough but there was just enough challenge to keep me going. This could to be the turning point, at least for me.
It's time for the adventure game to return. Let's not let I have no mouth and I must scream, Broken Sword and the Lucasarts greats be the end of a medium, let them be merely the beginning. I'm inspired enough to have a go with this tool to put together something myself. A new age is coming, an age of adventure and red herrings.