Tuesday, 26 February 2013

(Feature) DON'TS: Next Gen Games

Game developers no doubt have their own plans for the future, however the views and opinions of gamers are of the utmost importance. Here is what I do not want from the next generation of video games.




Don't... 

...Focus On Motion Controls

Motion controls and functions are OK and everything but developers need to understand that a majority of gamers don't even like motion controls, let alone use them. Forcing gamers to use this type of control system is not a cool thing to do and is hopefully a line devs will refrain from crossing. 

Whether a game is based entirely on motion controls or just integrates it into the gameplay while still using a controller is, for the most part, irrelevant. The bottom line is that the use of motion controls shouldn't be forced upon gamers at every opportunity possible. Yes the Playstation Eye looks nice and no doubt the next gen Kinect will too, but if every game makes a point to include some sort of motion based functions then that is a step too far.

Moderation is key and so long as devs don't go over the top, motion controls could be a well-rounded and respected way of playing and using games. But if I have to go out of my way to use the next gen Kinect of Playstation Eye to be able to actually play the next FIFA or Battlefield then you can count me out.

...Force Social/Online Interactions

OK developers, are you listening? Well you better, because this, well, this is a biggie. Obviously the upcoming consoles themselves will feature their own, new online options. But games themselves will also be stepping it up. The problem here, though, is just how 'far up' should games 'step it' - if you get my drift?

Forcing social and online interactions is a big no-no in my book. It's nice to get away from it all with a nice delve into the world of single player games, however how 'single' will these stay? Will campaign modes be invaded in weird and not so wonderful ways by other players? Some developers have already noted how they would like to integrate single player game modes more with multiplayer, allowing other players to maybe 'share' campaigns.

Developers are always finding new ways to include online interactions, and it can get very frustrating. MMO's and games like Call of Duty and Battlefield have put great pressure on single player orientated games over the last couple of years, and with free to play MMO's becoming more prevalent it is clear that many developers feel this may be the way to go with video games altogether. 

But it isn't; isn't the right way to go that is. Games need to have single player modes because not only is online not for everyone, but it is also borderline insane to assume that people just want to play with other people constantly without a break. A clear line needs to be kept between what is a gamers own private, personal, playing space and what is the online, social part. The moment you force the two together, then there is no in-between and no body is a winner. Please stop trying to be clever and 'improve' things, and just let us have our single player campaign and career modes without any other people invading our space! If I want to play online, I will do so in my own time.

...Forget Innovation 

Great, brand new, squeaky-clean graphics is OK and everything but developers can't forget innovation. It's always good for video games to bring new things to the table; but this is something people expect when a new generation hits. 

Yes, it won't be easy. But making sure to include brand new ideas and features is vital. Sure, games will look better with their improved graphics, but how will they play? What brand new things will they add and allow you to explore? 

Developers need to make sure they stick with it and really make people feel like they are playing in the new generation. Forget the updated graphics, we want new gameplay options, new multiplayer features, new co-op things and this and that and that and this. Yes, it may sound demanding, but it was the same at the beginning of this gen. People wanted and expected brand new things aside from just the cosmetics, and, luckily, we got it. If devs can keep the momentum going and give us some really 'Wow' worthy things, then the bullseye has been hit. 

After all, remember when Gears of War reinvented the cover system? When Uncharted made platforming cool again? When Bioshock showed us what atmosphere can do? Sure, these things aren't necessarily 'gen' or 'technology' dependent, but people want and expect new things when a new generation arrives. That is just the fact of the matter. 

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