Halo Reach and Gears 3: Proof that the 360 Still Has Some Fight Left in it
In 2007, the Xbox 360 was an unstoppable force. Fresh off the heels of the release of the now famous Gears of War (arguably the true beginning of the next gen of gaming as we know it *on consoles anyway*) Microsofts not-so-little (and quite noisy) box enjoyed exclusive blockbuster release after blockbuster release. Just a few notable hits included sci-fi epic Mass Effect, the gigaton release of the conclusion of a certain space marines trilogy, and sleeper hit "hey-this-isn't-just- a-$60-Halo 3 beta", Crackdown. Meanwhile, the PS3 was still stumbling out of the gates. It was the most expensive home console at "599 US Dollars" and had little in the way of exclusive blockbusters other than games like launch title Resistance and the stellar Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. However, these could hardly slow the momentum of the 360 (despite the RROD issue, which by the way just goes to show how damn good the 360 must have been at the time if people were willing to deal with multiple console failures). 360 fans bashed the PS3 to no end, calling it the "world's most expensive paperweight" while the desperate PS3 fans clutched their consoles in the corner touting the systems features such as Blu-Ray and Cell architecture and telling 360 fans to "wait and see", which the 360 fans presumably laughed at while continuing to log countless hours into Halo 3.
Fast forward 3 years and the situation is nearly opposite. The 360 fans are now the ones backed into the corner by the PS3 fans, whose "wait and see" attitude seemingly has paid off. In 2008, 2009, and 2010 Sony's machine seems to have gained the upper hand with titles like Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, God of War 3, Little Big Planet, and Infamous and a revamped market campaign. Yeah you remember that whole Cell and Blu-Ray combo that 360 fans laughed at? Well it turned out to be pretty damn key to Sony's success. The 360's momentum has slowed and while the system is still lining Microsoft's pockets its line-up has started to falter and the graphics havent been able to match Sony's exclusives (with the 360's standout title being Gears 2, which while a beautiful game, is no Uncharted 2). The sequel to acclamied hit Crackdown was met with mostly negative critical reception (though I admit I thourouhly enjoyed it) and Alan Wake, in development for 5 years, had top-notch graphics and was a great game overall, but failed to make a splash at the box office... err rather game store. Many thought that the 360 was losing it's touch.
However, the 360 appears to be back on the rise in 2010 and beyond minus those few hiccups. The platform has been graced with the release of part two of the Mass Effect series and the long awaited Splinter Cell: Conviction, both met with great critical reception. However, it is when one looks to the future when you realize that Micrrosoft is stepping up it's game, or games rather with releases such as Halo:Reach, Gears 3 and the upcoming Kinect (yes I said Kinect deal with it; despite what extremist fanboys may tell you the device does have potential in the future, although it seems as if it will take awhile for the momentum to pick up... whoa wait a minute doesn't that sound just like a certain console at launch that is now cherished by millions? Hmmm... its name eludes at the time...). Now I know some PS3 fans will look at that list and laugh saying "hahaha look all the Xbots have nothing to look forward to but sequels and a motion controller. Good thing Sony has the Move comming out along with Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5... oh shit". I am in no way bashing Sony's line up but the hypocrisy needs to stop, and yes I realize that those aren't Sony's only games, but they are the most anticipated just like Reach and Gears... and what do you know they both also happen to be the fifth and third releases in their series respectively.
Anyways these games are out to prove that the 360 still has some juice left in it. Some people saying that Reach is a "minor upgrade over Halo 3 but nothing special" really need to take off the fanboy goggles. The game looks fantastic and is hardly what I would call a minor upgrade over Halo 3. Just look at this comparison between the two:
The game also stacks up well amoung other graphical beasts in the FPS genre and shows that the 360 is still a competitor in the graphics war. Just check out this new gameplay vid and tell me that it doesn't look fantastic: http://www.youtube.com/watc... Let's not forget that graphics aren't the only thing that matters and the gameplay in this video is also top notch. Also, with all the content crammed on this one (or possible two) DVD9 disk such as Firefight, an epic campaign-confirmed to be 10 missions in length, Forge World, an extensive armory, saved replays and screenshots, robust multiplayer, and more, it shows that 360 games can still pack a lot of content without Blu-Ray disks. In fact, it just might have the single most content of any game released this gen (kinda makes me wonder how Bungie pulled it off considering God of War 3 was around 32 gigs of a Blu-Ray with just a 10 hour (epic) single player campaign). Maybe they know something we don't. With Gears 3, another graphical beast, coming out shortly after, a few things are certain. 1). The haters will be silenced, 2). It will be one hell of a battle between the 360 and PS3, but most importantly, 3). Gamers will be satisfied no matter what their system of choice is. Seriously guys, there's no need for fanboyism. Both consoles are great and both have amazing upcoming exclusive releases. If you don't enjoy a game, there's no need to hate on it because millions of other people do. Just play the games you enjoy rather than trolling the internet. And yeah that's right the entire article seemingly pitted the 360 against the PS3, but just because the consoles are competitors doesn't mean the gamers have to be. Competition in the games industry leads to innovation while fanboy wars lead to living with your mom until your 35. Seriously guys, games are supposed to be fun. I don't buy a game to come home, pop it in the Xbox and say "Oh man, those PS3 guys must be sooooo jealous of me right now. Haha those morons". No truth is those PS3 gamers would be too busy enjoying their game of choice to care. Be a gamer not a hater.
PS: If you take the time to read this please comment. I felt the need to write an article that was atleast somewhat insightful when the main articles on N4G are usually "Why (Insert Product Name) Will Fail" or the one-millionth "PS3 vs 360" article. I just wanted to ssay that both consoles are great and are more similar to each other than fanboys would like to admit.