2D or 3D?

This question has certainly been floating around a lot lately. It's like all of a sudden gamers have this undying desire to kill off 2D so they're looking for the consent of game developers and reviewers. Well, for those of you with that twisted motive you better look elsewhere, because I not only want to keep 2D alive but, at the current time, I think it's better than 3D.

Ok, ok, stop laughing. I said stop.


Ok, now that you've regained control of yourself let me explain: 3D is in its infancy. No one can deny that. 2D has been here since the dawn of the arcade game but 3D didn't pop up until the original Battlezone and 3D as we know it today not until much later than that. 2D has been tried and perfected in every aspect: Birds-eye-view, isometric-view, side-view for fighting games, etc. And since the techniques were perfected so long ago, 2D gamemakers have been able to concentrate on gameplay. And that's what's important.

Basically, gameplay has not caught up to 3D games yet, as developers are still trying to perfect the graphical routines of the 3rd Dimension. And they have only succeeded at doing that in a few select games, mainly console games. Camera problems, clipping errors and other bugs plague the current wave of 3D games. The only 3D game I have thoroughly enjoyed through-in and through-out is LucasArts' Grim Fandango. This is because the graphics enhanced and added to the the game...they didn't make the game.

Gamespot ( called Bungie Software's upcoming game Halo a "game that will change gaming." Why? Because it the most beautiful game ever made in 3D. All terrain lines are smooth, character animations are fluid and... by this point I moved on to one of their next selections, Ron Gilbert's new RPG: Good and Evil, that will change gaming through story and gameplay. As a game developer, graphical bells and whistles don't interest me unless there is something fun to back it up.

The Exception - FPS (First Person Shooters). These games have a right and a reason to be in 3D. Revolutionary games such as Doom, Quake, and Half-Life have perfected 3D to a simple perfection: You're runnin' around fragging aliens so it might as well look nice. Unfortunately, a game like Quake 3 Arena aimed for better graphics as opposed to better gameplay. It seems that the rush to "look the best" has infected even the exception-genre.

In conclusion, I'd just like to say that I hope 2D games never die, even when 3D is eventually perfected. The two methods present different kinds of gameplay modes, and a certain concept or idea could be best expressed in one or the other. For now, at least, 2D games will not be shoved out of the picture, as their gameplay is far superior to current 3D games.

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Article by:

Alex Kriss

Date: 1999 Dec 22

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by: Hemd

Absolutely agree!!
While I'm not a programmer, I'm a player from way back and think the 3-d'ers seem to concentrate their efforts more on graphics than on quality of play.
Some of my all-time fav's are still the old platformers. While maybe not looking too great, they were often very clever and challenging to the ol' braincells, which is more than one can say for the beautiful-looking but mindless shooting games available nowadays.

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