Posted on October 10, 2007,

Halo 3 and Bioshock not "Next-Gen" Games, Frontier Developments Boss Says


Apparently, if you think that Halo 3 and Bioschock are the next leap in video game evolution, think again. But I guess it depends on who you ask.

They’re better looking, but still the same, says David Braben of Frontier Developments.

“I loved the 1930s-1950s atmosphere of BioShock: the lovely Art Deco visuals and the audio that worked especially well,” Braben told Eurogamer in a recent article. “Overall the whole game was beautifully executed, but the gameplay itself was not ‘next-gen’.”

And as for Halo 3?

“I found Halo 3 great fun, too, but also a little disappointing – as although there were a few nice touches and improved graphical fidelity, it hadn’t really moved on much from Halo 2 in terms of the gameplay,” he said in the article.

To him, Outsider is going to be the first of the “next-gen” games, where the game gives the tools to the player to change the outcome of the game, to deliver a complete storyline based on the player’s actions. So, a “choose-your-own-adventure” setting, it seems.

Whether or not Braben is actually right about his claims is up for debate, obviously.

via Eurogamer

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12 Comments on Halo 3 and Bioshock not "Next-Gen" Games, Frontier Developments Boss Says

used cisco

On October 10, 2007 at 11:41 pm

I’m not sure what he means by “next gen”. Certainly Halo 3 was not very next gen, seeing as its nearly identical to the last gen installments. Even the graphics didn’t make the full jump to HD. But Bioshock, thats an interesting claim. I thought it was pretty special in that it wasn’t just a few gameplay tweaks away from other FPSs. At the very least, the style and feel of the game were pretty unique, two features I put some value in.


On October 11, 2007 at 12:50 am

I guess he means not Next-Gen in terms of interacting with the game on a new level, I see the Wii as next-gen (or current gen now, if you like) in that it introduced a new and innovative way to interact with the game environment. Halo and Bioshock regardless of whether you liked or loathed either (and I loooved Bioshock) haven’t introduced any new level of interactivity through either the tangible (Wiimote) or intangible, like altering the story line or environment in a way that is not scripted or pre-planned in some way.

I guess he is just taking a different angle on next-gen, there is no doubt that graphics will always be on the improve, but is that next-gen? Innovation in the way we perceive what is possible in games has come about from the least powerful of the next-gen machines, time for the big boys to put something new and exciting on the table that takes things a little further than the graphical enhancements we expect to see repeated ad-nauseum.

NUSNA Mobius1aic

On October 11, 2007 at 2:28 am

I must agree that Halo 3 isn’t next gen at all except when considering a few graphical tweaks. Bioshock is IMHO close to achieving the idea of next generation FPS games, with an emphasis on depth rather than shooting itself. However it’s also a double edge sword I think, as many shooters in the purest of sense are also the most fun and engaging. Take for instance FEAR, Far Cry, and Rainbow Six: Vegas. They are very exceeding on the core gameplay that makes them good, and it carries them. Then you have games like Half-Life 2 plus the HL2 Episodes that continue to inspire and awe gamers despite being powered by some 3 year old technology. Now pure shooters don’t always make the best, but executing the game correctly within the lines of gameplay needed to create a fun and engaging experience are what make some games stand out from others. Halo 3 doesn’t do this. Bioshock does. However, I didn’t find Bioshock to be as fun as I hoped. I guess I’m a shooter purest, and I don’t like my shooters gunked up with too much overhead just to play the game.


On October 11, 2007 at 5:30 am

Personally my minimum requirement for a game being next gen is that it has considerably better graphics than the last gen and as such both of those games fit the bill (and almost all Wii games dont). If games designers want to go the extra mile and try new ideas and innovations in their games then that’s great, but I dont see that as a next gen requirement.


On October 11, 2007 at 5:45 am

To each theyre own. To me a “Gen” is alot bigger than what most people think. To me its more like the jump from Pong to Galaga, from Super Mario Bros. to Super Mario 64. Honestly to me there hasent been another major “next-gen” jump in overall gameplay, gfx, sound, controls, etc. Halo to Halo 3 a gen jump? Please. There hasent been a truly groundbreaking game in all categories come out in almost a decade. When a game comes along that truly turns what we think of gaming today on its ear, THAT will be ‘next-gen”.


On October 11, 2007 at 6:21 am

“When a game comes along that truly turns what we think of gaming today on its ear, THAT will be ‘next-gen”.”

The only game I can think of on the horizon that that offers that is LittleBigPlanet.


On October 11, 2007 at 7:04 am

Yeah oh ok I guess your game “LAIR” is next gen! stupid angry little developer cant make a decent game so you demonise every other AAA game on the market.

I dont think this guy even know’s that “generations” are pretty much non-existant in gaming, especaily when it comes to PC games every new tittle gets better and better there are almost no games that come out with completely new inovative idea’s or gameplay never seen before.

This is the generation of “Graphics” meaning that most of the “revolutionary” will be all tendered towards its beauty and physics engines that do bring games to life, but if your expecting “new” never before seen gameplay inovations your really going to be disapointed you will see improvements of previouse inovation but I guarentee nothing brand spanking new.


On October 11, 2007 at 9:14 am

I can agree Halo 3 having better graphics was the same game as Halo 2. i guess if its not broke dont fix it. But its not a nex-gen game i was expecting. It makes me feel like its Halo 2.5

I have never played Bio-shock, i dont play single player games often. never played Lair, but looks crappy. I dono if we will ever see a true nex-gen game, they all are just fancy paint jobs and tweaks.

used cisco

On October 11, 2007 at 9:35 am

For me graphics have little do with next gen. When I play a game, I like it to actually FEEL more advanced. Looking better is nice, but thats not whats important to me. To each his own.


On October 11, 2007 at 9:50 am

The meaning has changed. In the earlier gaming days, it WAS about graphics and expansion. Now, it’s far less about graphics, still on expansion and more about innovation.

fat guy

On October 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

you gus suck halo is next gen because it didnt flunt like gta or bio shock it grew into what itis it earned it place as #1

used cisco

On October 11, 2007 at 10:11 am


I couldn’t have said it better myself. Its almost like saying “next gen is about graphics” is a really LAST gen way of thinking. Games used to be so simple, that as long as they looked better, that was what was important. Now, there are SO many elements to making a good game besides graphics, games have gotten more complex, such that the value of improving the graphics beyond a certain point has decreased. Sure, improvements are expected, frame rates should always be solide, etc, but if a developer puts too much time focusing on graphics, they inevitably overlook many of the other game elements that have become just as important, if not more so. Lair is a good example of this.