I recently finished playing Call of Duty 4. I’ve played Games on Computers and consoles for years – my earliest memories being catching falling arrows in a little green line drawing truck on a BBC computer, the tennis paddle game on a TV at a friend’s house and also Manic Miner.
But I have never been really into them and my playing has come in fits and starts depending on who’s been around and other external factors. There was a time 5/6 years ago when I played a lot of Pro Evolution Soccer on the PS2 with my brother, Edward in South West London.
So, basically – on and off for a long long time with a pretty good idea of what’s around based on my general fascination for all things techy rather than as an active participant. And, I suppose, with games like COD4 I am interested in them for their immersive qualities as part of my broader interest in what it takes to get someone immersed in an experience.
I have been playing Halo 3 on and off since I got my xBox 360 and I suppose it’s pretty good. The graphics are beautiful and all the other stuff is great….. it’s just that, well, I find the whole futuristic setting detracts from my experience. There’s something about immersing myself in an environment I can relate to (if I can relate to modern warfare at all) that I find hugely appealing.
The sniper mission in the game was just awesome. Crouching in the long grass as a patrol (including tanks) passes by just inches from your position was incredible. Visually it was comparatively ordinary compared to some of the other episodes in the game but from an immersion point of view the experience was very powerful.
The game continued to surprise and delight me. I really enjoyed the lack of a puzzle element. I remember playing games where it was a real pig to find your way and then you had to remember a series of confusing turns to get back. I’m not interested in this. COD4 makes it extremely simple to find your way and progress to the next episode. This leaves someone like me able to concentrate on becoming part of the incredible experience. I will be looking to repeat this kind of experience with other games. A couple of people on the xBox forums have suggested BioShock although I’m wondering about that futuristic element again.
And then again, there’s always a Wii and Super Mario Galaxy