Welcome to the latest installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza created by bs angel and coordinated by Game Couch. Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month's topic comes from the lovely and talented Lou Lantos of Lou Chou Loves You.
Are there any video games that possess a timeless appeal? Games that, despite constant advances in technology, retain a game engine or narrative that will forever be relevant. If so, why?
It's almost 10 years old, does not have an intro CG movie, ran on a Pentium II with a measly 32Mb of RAM & a 4Mb PCI video card, and by today's standard it's ancient video game history. But still, Homeworld has, and always will, have that special place, that everlasting appeal to those of us lucky enough to have gone home, to Hiigara.
As I prepared my notes for this banter, as I yet again played a mission in this award winning space RTS, I couldn't put my finger on that one reason why this game has had such an impact on me, that a almost a decade later it will still pull me in for a few hours of fun and immersion.
Could it be the opening sequence? A set of simple flash-like grey & white animations that tells a story of legend, prophecy and promise. The soothing voice of the narrator, the appeal of a peoples struggle to reclaim their place amongst the stars? Or maybe it's the music. That brilliant piece of Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, the choral version of his Adagio for Strings?
Or maybe the actual gameplay? That innate perception that you, the player, are truly controlling the lives and fate of the last few survivor of a civilization?
I still couldn't make up my mind. I'm still too emotionally attached to the game. Homeworld was the first game (the only one come to think of it) that touched me on an emotional level.
I won't argue or try to convince you that this game is the best game ever made. What I will tell you is that a decade-old game, with sub-par graphic standards as compared to today's, can still give me goose bumps and get me to play for hours. To you the developers out there, you ask, "Can games be emotionally charged and touch players in ways other art forms can?", I say yes. Some have already. It's up to you to start giving us games that reach out in ways Homeworld has for some of us.