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7 July, 2007

Flood of angst

With a very few isolated exceptions, I've never been a fan of computer games.  However, a friend at work recently lent me 'Halo' to follow-up a conversation we'd been having.

It's enjoyable enough, I suppose, if repetitive, and once I'd mastered the control system I soon found myself drawn into finding the optimum tactics, angles, etc., though I still don't quite 'get' FPS games – I prefer something more strategic or, well, intellectually-challenging. Yet I also found it somewhat disturbing.

The dominant feeling I was left with after each session was immense loneliness (not something to which I'm generally prone). Almost by definition, the only other entities in the game world were enemies, and the only interractions via a gun or grenade. It's all so... well, it goes beyond 'cold' or 'sterile'; I received an impression of massive emptiness.

This was the standalone 'narrative campaign' version, of course; there's also the networked 'player vs. player' mode, which is apparently the source of the game's true longevity. Somehow I think that'd be worse. I don't want to kill my friends.

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