My column this week is a list of games that were harmed by their cinematic aspirations. It very nearly turned into a rant against Square Enix. Once I realized they made the list three times, I started thinking maybe the problem is less with the industry and more with a couple of wannabe filmmakers at Square.
I’ve said before that I’m pretty sure Square has a top-of-the-line mocap studio in Redwood City, California. That’s the home of Crystal Dynamics, the developers behind the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. Without any evidence, I’m suspecting that a big part of the problem is that Square is now a hammer in search of a nail. They have this expensive facility, and so they want to use it as much as possible, whether it makes sense or not. This explains Thi4f and Absolution having such an unwelcome and inappropriate focus on story. Although it doesn’t explain Human Revolution, which doesn’t seem to use full-performance capture like the others. I assume the Crystal Dynamics mocap facility wasn’t available during the development of Human Revolution.)
Then again, this is Square Enix we’re talking about. They rose to power making Final Fantasy, and it’s entirely possible that they’re simply following typical executive monomania: Take something that worked in one context and DO IT EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME AT EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY. Like EA assuming that since DLC worked so well in X, then it will work equally well in ALL GAMES. Same goes for yearly releases. And multiplayer level-grind deathmatch.
Still, if we could spend some of this money on more gameplay and less horrible movies, I’d be happyOr at least, complaining about something else. Which is kind of like being happy..
 Or at least, complaining about something else. Which is kind of like being happy.
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