When will the quality of video game animation rival the major theatrical animation producers? That day may already be here. Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer on-line game created by Valve, and while the game itself doesn’t boast Pixar-quality graphics, they’ve created an impressive series of “Meet the Team” videos that tell the stories of the game’s characters.
The latest episode released last weekend, “Meet the Spy,” boasts some entertaining animation that would appear quite at home on the theatrical bigscreen. (Then again, with cinematic waste like Battle for Terra, Fly Me to the Moon and Space Chimps, bigscreen CG standards aren’t exactly what they used to be.) I don’t know much about the artists at Valve, but I’m told that the company includes veterans of studios like Pixar, Blue Sky, DreamWorks and ILM. Their experience is on full display in “Meet the Spy,” and despite my lack of interest in playing videogames, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.