Core Game Design Concepts
I’ve chosen to review Spider-Man PS4, produces Insomniac Games. My daughter recently purchased the game, and we have spent the last few nights playing it late into the early morning. Not a good look for getting up the next day for work, but I have found this to be a remarkably well-organized game as far as its design and playability. I did more watching others play than actually playing myself. The views of Manhattan are so realistic its as if you are actually flying over the city yourself with old Spidey. If you have ever been to New York, you can easily identify landmarks and look across the water to see New Jersey. The character’s appearance reminds of the movie Beowulf that was done in CGI (Computer-generated imagery) which was also used in parts of the Hobbit for Gollum, Star Wars for Yoda and the Hulk’s exaggerated muscles in The Hulk. The realism was unsurpassed in any CGI I have ever seen. As I know very little about other superhero games, this one captured me and drew me in as I observed my daughter and her friend manipulate the characters through fight scenes and interactions with other characters in the game. I even tried my hand at the controls. The game system console made a remarkable visual impression with its bright red color with the Spiderman logo on top.The items I focused on, just because of what I have learned recently about games and their development, was the little items around Peter Parker's apartment; the way the street scenes appeared and how smooth the transition from flying through the city to having an active and aggressive fight scene. No stops just a smooth move from one aspect of the game scene to the next aspect of the game.
I’m sure as the game is viewed by more users they may find some weaknesses or disadvantages in how it was designed but as a newbie, I can’t see any. My daughter and her friend describe this game as raising the bar on all other video games, and even with my limited game experience I wholeheartedly agree. Check out reviews from such game reviewers as ScreenRant, IGN, and GamesRadar the commits where all strong and positive. The features of the game are amazing, and every character has their own motivations that are easily identified by the game player. Business Insider list five ways PlayStation 4’s Spider-Man games raise the bar for all other video games. (Smith, 2018)
It was easy for me to identify some of the system interactions in this game even with my limited knowledge of games. I had never heard of “Magic Circle” as it relates to games, but only as it related to crocheting. The authors define the magic circle as it relates to games is where the game takes place. When you play a game, you are entering the “magic circle.” Salen and Zimmerman (2004) described it as a physical component of a game like the game board or the playing field. I definitely felt that way as I played Spider-Man PS4 almost, otherworldly as if I had been transported into in an alternate reality. I definitely felt a lusory attitude as I became more involved in the many ins and outs of the game.
Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play: Games design fundamentals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Smith, D. (2018, September 6). The new Spider-Man game raises the bar for all other video games. Retrieved from Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/spider-man-ps4-review-marvel-playstation-4-2018-9
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Nona M. Batiste is a forty-year experienced public school teacher who has taught in both New Orleans Public Schools and Dallas Independent School District. She holds a B.S. in Education from Southern University of Baton Rouge, LA and a Master of Science Teaching (MST) from Loyola University of New Orleans, LA. Ms. Batiste has taught Environmental Science and General Science to middle school and high school students. She has been active in both school districts as a master teacher and workshop presenter.