With the seemingly endless list of top quality games which are due to be released this fall, there is a common theme which most of them possess. Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands 2, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty all heavily feature violence and mature content. Sometimes though, the mature games can concentrate so much on the story or content that it forgets about the main aspect of gaming… FUN! I am a firm believer that sometimes games aimed at children are more fun than games which has been adapted to suit a mature audience.
The first time I had noticed this was when I was playing Lego Batman 2: DC Universe and was thoroughly enjoying the campaign on my first playthrough. I have bought many major games on release day because of hype surrounding them including FIFA 12, Max Payne 3 and Dead Space 2. Another one of these games was Batman: Arkham City. I thoroughly enjoyed Arkham Asylum and was looking forward to the sequel. Sadly, in my opinion, Arkham City never lived up to the hype and couldn’t match the original’s story and feel of the game. Arkham City was too big and the same thing was constantly happening. Fight a bunch of thugs, end with a great cinematic and then whisk off into the night. The story was okay but I preferred the original. I felt rather let down with the Catwoman side missions as well.
It wasn’t long before I traded the game in, once I had completed it. Fast forward time to a year and a half later, there is major hype surrounding the new Batman: Dark Knight Rises and Lego’s latest game Batman 2: DC Universe is due to be released two months prior to the movies release. As soon as I seen the game on the shop shelves, I wanted it to get my hyped for Batman. What a game it turned out to be, one of my favourite surprises in gaming ever. The story didn’t matter too much, as always you are always trying to stop the Joker and other villains. The game was so well put together and hilarious to play. The script was very well written and now all the characters could talk which was a major breakthrough from the original Lego Batman (which I bought after playing this).
The sandbox gameplay in Gotham City was brilliant; the style in which it was created is almost as fun as Grand Theft Auto in my opinion. It felt as though I was 10 years old again smashing up everything to get Lego studs as the world of Lego is destructible! I could play the game all day and not get bored. This is where Arkham City failed in my opinion. The game has lost all the fun which the original Arkham game had featured. While it wasn’t as fun as Lego Batman, the seriousness mixed with fun in a great atmosphere won me over. Arkham City tried too hard to be a mature game for mature gamers. Lego Batman can be played by gamers of any age because it is fun for all. I am 23 and still love it.
I believe that games such as Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and Assassin’s Creed are all grown up games that focus on telling a great story. Sometimes though, the story has to take a stepback, even briefly during the campaign, to remind the player of simpler times when Super Mario was scrolling across the screen, stomping on mushrooms and collecting coins. Please gaming, we need fun back and we can learn a lot from the Lego games.