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Should games get extra points for innovation

1 min read

Mirror's Edge

Innovation, it’s the word that defines this generation in either a positive or negative light.

You are either on the side that feels this generation is full of innovation from the Blu-Ray playing PS3, to the motion controlling Wii to the Internet integrated 360.

Or you are on the side negative side that feels the Wii is a toy, Blu-Ray is a waste and the 360 didn’t innovate a single thing in this iteration.

But the question being raised by the Guardian newspaper is whether or not we should reward games for being innovative, in particular Mirror’s Edge.

Can we forgive the dodgy control scheme, linear gameplay and short story purely because they are pushing new boundaries and attempting to truly innovate? I honestly believe we can and should. However Destructoid has a valid counter argument where they rightly point out that crap games have been pointing to innovation to try and save themselves.

Step forward Space Giraffe, Lair and Too Human…

So how should we handle ‘innovation’ in this generation?

I think the answer is pretty straight forward to be honest, if it’s fun and adds to the overall experience then it’s a good thing and the game gets extra credits (ala Mirror’s Edge or LBP) if the innovation is crap then the game gets marked down for it.

However I couldn’t end this without pointing out that I honestly feel the author of the Guardian article is treading a thin line when he says

Games are games, true enough. They’re not artistic statements in the same way as movies are, but they are creative works and creativity needs to be nurtured.

Granted games are not the same as movies but I do feel they are more of an artistic statement than any movie has ever been. A game sits perfectly between a movie and a book where we get to get the visual effect of a movie with the thought provoking impact of a book.

Last Updated: November 17, 2008


  1. David

    November 17, 2008 at 13:19

    Mirrors Edge looks like a cool game


  2. Wolfy

    November 17, 2008 at 15:22

    Too bad its so short… Cant blame EA thought the game looks fantastic maybe next time around compressing it will be a piece of cake


  3. dislekcia

    November 17, 2008 at 16:12

    ME is amazing.

    “The game is linear!”
    Translation: Every level follows the previous one! I can’t sandbox around! Why do you keep talking about alternate routes, cos I couldn’t find any!

    “The control scheme is dodgy!”
    Translation: I have never played a Ninja Gaiden game. I keep turning around instead of sliding under guards and punching them in the crotch because I forget which is my thumb. I miss quicktime events!

    Also, just because a game points to innovation doesn’t mean it’s innovative… How on earth was Lair innovative? ME, on the other hand, is the outcome of a series of very well made and often counter-intuitive decisions (much like Space Giraffe) whose outcome is a game you’ve never played before but will want to play again (unlike Space Giraffe, unless you’re into synesthesia).


  4. doobiwan

    November 17, 2008 at 17:21

    I think innovation stands on it’s own and it’s our perception that a game needs to sell on Score that’s wrong. I’ve played many games that were far from perfect, but which had “that” hook, the thing that makes you want more.

    doobiwans last blog post..Gears 2 Flashback Map Pack, gimme! Please.


  5. Wolfy

    November 18, 2008 at 08:06

    Reminds me of Mass Effect man that was an awesome game


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