We’ve seen a lot of really cool and innovative things from this year’s E3. It has once again shown that it is the event that defines this industry. The SWTOR trailer gave me chills and the lineup for console games this year is enough to make me wish I had the money to buy them all, but there was only one announcement that made me stop and think “That’s the future of gaming”: Project Natal and Lionhead’s Milo Project.
Imagine the future of this technology and how it will be implemented to exponentially increase immersion in RPGs. You’ll approach a NPC in a town and he’ll look at you with an inquisitive look wondering what the heck you want. To sell your goods to him you’ll actually have to speak to him and tell him that you’re looking for a new sword. He’ll show you the wears and you’ll actually be able to reach out and take them from him and feel them in your hand, see how they feel, maybe test them on a dummy, and make the transaction with the merchant.
This technology could truly connect the player to the world in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. Just think about the ways in which developers can take this to entirely new levels of getting the player involved. Let’s say that there is a quest for you to appear before a King and you enter his throne room. You will actually have to kneel and show reverence before the King because he will know! You will have to speak to him with respect (the m’lord’s and all that) and he will actually have a conversation with you instead of just responding to pre-thought out commands. The characters will know you! I could walk into a town and I may have earned the respect but Graev may be someone the town’s people do not like. Depending on how the player speaks to and treats people is now real instead of simulated. Imagine sneaking in the dark, ducking behind boxes, casting spells, playing a GTA style game… the innovation we’ll see from this is immeasurable.
We’re going to be connected to the games like never before, taking part in them like never before, going places, and doing things that would have only been inputs in a controller in the past. I’m not a fan of motion controls in general. I don’t like the Wii motion controls and I hate the PS3 axis based controller. I think it’s gimmicky. This is different though. Peter Molyneux is absolutely correct that this will change the landscape of games, but change isn’t a strong enough word. The gameplay and way we go about playing games is going to be so different that we won’t recognize it. It will redefine interactive.
I guess the only concern I have now is whether or not being in shape will be a requirement for raids. 😉