Revolutionizing the medium of gaming

by Liam Wilson.

Advances in video game technologies are generating interest from top Hollywood actors, including Lord of the Ring’s Golem.

The video game industry is on the constant rise. The release of Halo Reach in September for the Xbox360 saw it pull in over $200 million in its first 24 hours. In the UK, 300,000 copies were sold. This, overshadowed Christopher Nolan’s Inception on its first weekend release, taking in just shy of £6 million in the UK.

Andy Serkis, the motion-capture (or mo-cap) actor from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, has recently seen the release of the new video game Enslaved. Serkis provided his voice talent to the script and his diverse skills of movement as well.

Games and film industries across the world have begun to realise that the two forms of entertainment can work well together. In Enslaved, gamers control Monkey (Serkis), taking part in a story ‘loosely’ based on ancient Chinese writings ‘Journey to the West’. With a script penned by 28 Days Later scribe, Alex Garland, Enslaved proves not only to be a great video game, but a great story with superb acting at the helms of Serkis and co.

Enslaved is a prime example of the evolution of combining motion capture in gaming with the acting skills of Hollywood-grade actors. The development of sciences behind motion-capture technology have helped create more interesting and cinematic games.

Tony McGowan, shop manager at Game in the St. James Centre of Edinburgh, has always believed that the games industry had the potential to be a leading market: “Games these days take in more money than CDs and DVDs in the UK. Hollywood is a good thing for games. Game play now has more action, attracting new audiences and making a lot of money in the process.

“With games like Enslaved being released, with Serkis as the lead, I think it’s a great thing considering ten or so years ago people were only lining up for new console releases. Now they’re cuing up for the games themselves. They are so realistic. It’s like playing a movie sometimes.”

Enslaved: Journey to the West was released today in stores across the UK on Friday 8 Ocotber 2010.