I’m sure that it has not only just come to my attention, but also a question that must have crossed the mind of all generation gamers alike. What is happening to games and what will become of them in the future? Back when I was growing up, games may not have had amazing graphics like they do today and we can only imagine what they will be like in the future. They did have something that had people playing them over and over again, even today I still play classics on my Nintendo 64, those things were none other than Story and Gameplay.
Growing up we received many amazing titles, a few of my personal favourites being: Baldur’s Gate, Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear, Resident Evil and Silent Hill. We were given unique stories, memorable characters, even if they did not actually talk, and were always having to adapt to each games’ different play style. However it seems now that when we play a game, it can frequently feel like companies seem to be caught up in making their games look phenomenal on the graphics side, they seem to overlook the quality of gameplay and story. Not to the point where it’s terrible, just to the point where the story could have had a bit more potential or the gameplay mechanics could have been further refined.
A portion of gamers do not seem to have the same appreciation of games as others do and are only really interested in games that portray frequent cases of death, blood, violence and high-end graphics. This may be due to majority of gamers now favouring the First Person Shooter genre. I am not attacking First Person Shooters in any way, every now and then I enjoy a friendly game of Call of Duty with my friends, but just because the Call of Duty franchise has a large majority of gamers in it’s pockets, does not mean that every game needs to take a turn into the shooter side to try and gain fans. We are already seeing this being done so much, games changing their gameplay mechanics to become more complex or more simplistic to cater shooter fans. This is a bad habit that urgently needs to stop. Not only does it ruin the franchise, but because of this companies may rapidly lose fans. Examples of this can be seen in my favourite genre, Horror.
These games are meant to be of a scary nature, but sadly, some games that are released under a horror title fail to meet that element. I can understand the developers wanting to explore possibilities of what they could achieve, but when it’s not working then you might need to revert back to what was, or go back to the drawing board in the case of a new company, instead of trying to tailor it more until the fans completely give up on the developers and lose interest. It is not the developers that are entirely at fault here, us gamers do need to take some of the responsibility for the outcome. Once we get a taste of something we like, everything then has to be the same. Whether it’s a Shooter, Horror or Role Playing Game, we are afraid of change and we tend to at times attack companies as an outcome for not giving us what we want. This puts a lot of pressure on companies because they do try to cater everybody, yet not everyone is pleased.
When I play a game, I try to keep an open mind and forget about everything else I have played. The moment you start comparing games, that is when the experience is ruined. What I am hoping to see with this new generation of consoles and games coming out soon is for a company to come up with something new. I don’t just mean a new game, I mean that I want to see something that will ‘wow’ me. A company to ignore the consumers wants, ignore what genre is most popular and come out with their own product that they can honestly say that they believe is original.
This would be a major gamble as the problem is we have gotten too caught up in games that we love or have played so frequently, that it’s like a second-nature to compare new release games with anything we can find remotely similar to another game already out. Even if a game has created it own unique story and gameplay, there will undoubtedly always be people who will try to find anything to compare it to. That is what makes games feel like originality is dead, but the truth is, it’s not. At times we’re blinded by what we perceive as a masterpiece and aren’t willing to try anything else.