The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
2013 on it’s way out the door, there’s promises of many new games on the
horizon to accompany a new console generation with unprecedented power. Many of
these games promise worlds above and beyond what we’ve seen using the
exponentially greater memory of the Xbox One and Playstation 4. Many of them
will likely deliver nothing greater than slightly prettier versions of their predecessors.
problem the industry continually faces, a problem that’s best summed up in one word as
"hype." No one wants to take their new hundred million dollar product and pitch
it to gamers as “like the old entries in this series, but with some incremental
changes.” For obvious reasons. Development costs soar as audiences waver,
making virtually any game outside of Call of Duty or a safe sports title a
market uncertainty. But at the same time, as developers try to fire up gamers
and draw in new customers, there’s something of a lie to a lot of what’s said
in the AAA games sphere.
"Tom Culancy can feel the impending changes to the industry! Can you?!"
further than Chris Hecker’s brilliant “rant” at GDC. He uses the
hyperbole of developers against them, pointing out that what they’re saying and
what they’re showing are two different things. A dev took the stage at Sony’s
PS4 reveal to talk a couple minutes of
truly chilling concepts about surveillance and freedom, only to use it as a
launch point for Infamous: Second Son, which has yet to show it will engage
with these ideas as anything more than plot threads. Industry personnel take to
Jimmy Fallon’s talk show and tell him about the “supercharged” Playstation 4
and falter when he asks if this could be used to make bigger worlds. My
favorite example is Bungie’s Destiny. By all Bungie accounts, it’s something we’ve
never seen before. By the gameplay displayed thus far, it’s another game spent
behind a gun.
The future of gaming? Or enough lens flare to pull JJ Abrams into directing the movie adaptation?
doubt that these games and the new consoles they call home will deliver excellent
experiences. I do doubt, however, that
they’ll change the way we play games. These will be fantastic games that give
their players hours upon hours of fun in tightly composed gameplay
environments. But what will change aside from some lighting, maybe some polygon
counts? What will all this new power go to do? How will the dog in Call of
Duty: Ghosts really change the series? What promises does a “supercharged”
Playstation 4 hold?
I'm sorry if this image made you cry. Blame Infinity Ward for braving new emotional territory.
we play games isn’t contingent on the power under the hood. It’s about
innovation, emotion, and player experience. A single room in a game even on the level of Colonial Marines has
more polygons than all of Ocarina of Time, but that doesn’t matter when it comes
down to which game made for a better experience. And that’s what we need going forward. Not promises more empty than
full about stronger consoles giving us more detailed worlds, not footage of
taking some stairs with a rifle jutting out into the screen, not motion
captured dogs; true innovation.
new generation heralds another stretch of years that will give up more games
than any of us could possibly imagine, and I’m sure many of them will be
wonderfully unique. In the meantime, though, I wish developers would be a little
more up front about what they’re bringing to the future and leave the
revolution, the game changers, the hype to games that really will change