Monday, March 16, 2009

Commentary: The Future of Gaming

I used to read a lot of gaming magazines (most likely due to the fact that my brother had a subscription to PCgaming and often had them lying all about his apartment for my boredom convinience). At some point later on, after reading many of those magazines, I was playing Bioshock and thought to myself "didn't I read about this like, 3 years ago? How long has this game been in production?"

I got to thinking about how the particular article I had read claimed that this 'new and amazing game!' was going to feature things like, the ability to create your own abilities by combining other abilities and mutating your genes, realistic physics, and a very twisted plotline that allowed you to be whoever you wanted throughout the game. It sounded pretty amazing.

Now, bioshock IS a good game, don't get me wrong, but it definately didn't quite meet what they had said it would. I thought to myself, "What happened!? Where did these features go!? Did they erase them or did they never have them in the game to begin with?"

I suddenly felt let down, and then I thought, dangerously, about the other articles I had read about games yet to be released, things like Hybrid and Deep Space, Fable 2, Ghostbusters, all titles that are reported to be absolutely amazing for X number of reasons. Would they fall down on the job to?

I remember hearing about Warhammer, early on, and how it would have a system in-game that would cause the game mobs to come together and form societies that would grow if unchecked, and eventually attack player cities. A feature that I think we'd all agree sounds pretty awsome, except it was scrapped, apparantly, so they could spend more time on PVP objectives.

I feel like every game is striving to re-revolutionize the industry with some new level of graphics, control scheme or in-game feature. All of which they spend too much time on perfecting (usually not even into perfection) while other features get overlooked and shrivel up like an unwatered house plant. How many more games are going to be released that are to easy, too short, or too clunky before designers realize that this isn't working?

Many gamers ask why people keep playing games like, World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2, and the answer is quite simple. No one yet has done something better. Instead, they try to re-make the same game only with better graphics or control schemes.

Ultimately, we as gamers are at the mercy of the developer, but we also will determine, always, what is popular. A new feature or control scheme will not be the deciding factor of what makes a game better than another. The only deciding factor is if it's accepted by the public, by us.