When the Xbox360 launched I can remember being blown away by the likes of Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero. I can remember watching trailers for PDZ with friends thinking the lighting effect was incredible and out of all the things we focused on can specifically remember thinking the floor looking amazing. Yes the floor… And then there was Kameo, watching trailers and seeing the grassy fields blowing in the wind and witnessing the number of enemies on screen at one time. It was all impressive and incredibly exciting. But it wasn’t till I saw one specific game in motion that I was truly in awe of what this console and that generation could do. Out of all the titles that launched on 360 and the earlier games that followed, the one game that stood out was Fight Night Round 3.
I can remember going to a Halo 2 night with fellow GSRR writer Will and other friends. I showed up late, Will was already there and set up. We had to wait for other people to arrive and set up too, in the meantime Will and another friend were shouting at the TV… hollering and hooting if you will.
I set up, and approached the ruckus that was being caused by the guys. There it was no HUD on screen. Just 2 guys literally smashing the crap out of each other (no one really played the blocking technique) it was just a melee and blur of fists swinging. The 2 boxers in motion on the screen despite the unrealistic nature of the fight (come on while I do like boxing, it isn’t as exciting as Rocky makes it out to be) looked fantastic. The sound effects of the fighters straining as they tired was frighteningly real. And then it happened, someone connected with a knockout blow… the game went slow motion and zoomed in, and then we saw the face crushing final punch that sent the fighter to the canvas. Sweat, spit and blood flew in slow motion across the screen. The fighters face crumpled under the connection of the hit, you could hear the crushing of the fighters face taking the punch. Then it went back to real time and the downed fighter is in a struggle to get back up.
He makes it. Now I can’t remember if it was Will or my other friend who made the knockout… for the basis of this article we’ll say it was Will that just put his opponent on the ring floor. Well that’s it. Will smells blood… no sooner had our friend’s boxer composed himself… Will is on the attack and another windmill of punches connects and it happens again… the glorious slow motion happens and we see devastating body blows and hear the damage caused.
I could not believe what I was witnessing. This was next generation gaming. This game to me was the wake up that next generation had arrived. I understand since then we’ve seen some incredible looking games from that generation, and you could say that Fight Night doesn’t hold up now compared to other character models, but then again… look at WWE12. But this was the game that really wowed me and I could really appreciate the new generation power.
Well here we are with a new generation of gaming upon us. With it we’ve been treated to some very impressive looking games. KillZone looking like the flagship “wow” game for PS4 and Ryse being the Xbox One’s “check this out” title. Of course you also get the standard 3rd party games such as Assassins Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty & FIFA which again all looks significantly better on next generation consoles.
I am yet to own or play any next gen console yet (other than WiiU) But I think my stand out “WOW we’ve arrived” game this generation has to be NBA2k14.
Now I know that may be rather controversial choice compared to the likes of the games listed above, and I can totally agree. To be honest KillZone did blow me away the most from what I’d seen of it. But I spent some time browsing threads on forums for NBA2k14 last night, and viewing screenshots that users had ‘shared’ and posted. And it was that moment again… that moment from many years before where I’d seen the most lifelike and realistic character models on a game had repeated but this time it was down to a basketball game. I watched a 30 minute video on YouTube of a match that someone had posted and I was enthralled by it… Seriously I was hooked watching a simulated basketball match. The players movement were stunning, the close ups and replays were just phenomenal. The likeness of some of these character models to their real life counterparts is fantastic, from James Harden’s beard to Anthony Davis uni-brow.
To see launch games for these consoles looking this awesome it really does excite me just what developers will be able to do with them a year or more down the line.
I just cannot wait to get my hands on the next generation, and I’ll be sure to pick up NBA2k14 when I do make the plunge.