Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Splinter Cell Conviction

I have been waiting for this game for sooooo long and iut has finally arrived! I've not enjoyed a game this much in a long time and I have been surprised to discover that it is powered by unreal technology. When the deafening unreal animation came up i was taken by surprise as i had not expected that Ubisoft would use a game engine like Unreal, being that its most commonly used for big meat headed guys with more scars and crators on their square chins that one of jupiters moons. However, 'Batman: Arkham Asylum' was powered by Unreal and that to stunned me and gave me quite a few hours of enjoyment, and a few parrells can be drawen between to the two games. They are both dark, gritty and for the most part a stealth orrientated platform game, though Batman is naturally very acardey.

Splinter Cell has gone in a new direction as seems to be the theme over at the Ubisoft offices, only instead of people slating them for dumbing down Prince of Persia but awarding its art style, the critics have been drooling over the new Jason Bourne/ Jack Bauer-esque action approach. Instead of being given a laod of cool weapons to take out enemies but then being told not to use them or you fail like in the last game Spliner Cell: Double Agent, you now get to use them and with great effect as well! Visually it's very impressive and with the new added feature of having the game go black and white when your lurking in the shadows and highlighting useful objects in their natural colour has been not only a clever visual style but a useful one in terms of gameplay. Another great additrion is the HUD has been completely stripped down and now the missions appear on objects in the environment as if they are projected and keep the flow of the game going without irritating cutscenes every time you take a step [cough, Metal Gear Solid, cough].

Where to go now?

Being on the course has been a big learning curve for me and at times has seemed to be a huge mountain to be able to climb in such a small amoun of time. Though i know that a trait of mine is to expect sometimes too much too soon, especially when it comes to my artistic skills. I've started to see that with time and perserverance what i've been learning does pay off and starts to come through in my work and I have to have patience and not expect to be the best straight away. It's early days still for me to even have a clue to where I want to head in the future, but looking at the 3rd years heading off into the world that is the games industry it made me realise a few things. They didn't get good over night and i've still got another 2 years to get to the standard they are and hopefully surpass them if i'm lucky!

I guess that wondering where to go is part of the learning process and is always going to be a question that i will constantly ask myself. I tried to think back to the reason I wanted to do game art in the first place and the company name Ubisoft jumped straight to mind. They have always produced interesting art and styles in their games, but have also managed to back the visuals up with involved characters and stories. I guess I imagined myself creating art for a purpose for games generating the assets, environments or characters with the great story behind it and allowing me to bring that to life.

Well for now I guess i'm on my way and getting closer to finding where I want to go, though as time goes on and my skills improve my goals will be moving around and will ultimately shape what i'm looking for.