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With all the recent talk of next gen consoles, and E3 beginning this week/right now, I thought about what I would want developers to do with next gen games to make them even better than current games. Don't get me wrong. I love lots of games from this gen and many are probably in my top 10, 50, 100 or whatever number lists. These are just some things I would want all next gen games to have as a standard to help improve them that much more.
I think it wouldn't be too much to ask for games to have some sort of tutorial or learning level at the start of the game. It would be nice for it to help explain all the different things you would be able to do with said game. Also, if you are a new person to gaming, it would help introduce you into the game. Along with that tutorial level there should be multiple options for said tutorial as well. There could be varying difficulties, such as "Plays lots of First Person Shooter games. Has played games in the past. Has never touched a controller in my life." That would be able to help you decide which one to pick. It could also be adaptive to your skill as you played through the level to help suggest which difficulty or play style you should choose.
Along with having this level, you should also be able to choose to skip said level if you want. Fallout New Vegas does a pretty good job of this at the start of the game by allowing you to do a bunch of simple quests that give a decent introduction of the gun mechanics and other things. And almost all of it is skippable at different points. Even if I am halfway through it, and I think I have an understanding of the game and controls, let me be able to be done instead of having to wait for Jones to tell me how to shoot the pistol and the rocket and the bad guy and this and this etc.
Lots of Customizable options/settings
One thing that drives me bonkers in games is when I am playing something and I go to try and turn around I find that I move at the speed of a fat turtle stuck in a pit of tar. This would be the result of having a very low sensitivity. Whenever I play a FPS game, if it has sensitivity settings, I crank that sucker up to high. Now there is another problem with that as well. Please don't just include the options "low, medium, high." Many times medium is too slow for me and high is too fast for me. Instead, have a more customizable option that goes from 1 to 10 or from 1 to 100. Let me choose exactly how fast I want to turn around.
Another thing that would be very interesting would be to let me map the controls to different buttons on the remote. My friend and I used to play Goldeneye off and on for quite a while. And one of the things my friend would do first is change the button layout so "A" would shoot and the other buttons do different things. He could jam on that dang "A" button so fast. If he played where the "Z" button would shoot, he would just suck. Everyone has different preferences on how they would like their button config or analog sticks to be. Inverted controls are a prime example.
Skippable and pauseable cut scenes
In this day and age where games can have almost 10 hours of cut scenes, developers had darn better let me choose to pause or skip them. However, please don't just skip the scene if I press any button on the remote. I have accidentally skipped far too many scenes by dropping my remote on the floor and missing something integral to the story. Let me first be able to pause it with any button, then have a question asking me if I would like to skip this scene. If I want to be able to skip said scene, I can choose yes or press the corresponding button on the remote to skip the scene. Not only does this help with the replay of the game, but it also helps if I want to go grab a sammich or need to use the bathroom after playing for multiple hours; I might even want to move my butt so it doesn't get stuck to the couch/chair/ground. Red Dead Redemption does this extremely well by allowing you to pause and then lets you choose to either keep watching or skip the scene if you want.
All difficulties unlocked and better handling of harder difficulties
I just get home from buying one of the latest games to come out. I go to start playing the game, and one of the first screens that pop up is something asking me what difficulty I want to play at. Having been playing games for more than 12+ years, I can fairly say I am pretty good at most games and I usually like a challenge when I play a game. I usually play games on hard anyway. So I go to choose the hard or insanity or whatever the hard difficulty is for said game, only to be met by a wonderful screen telling me I need to play through the game on a lower difficulty to play on hard or insanity. If I want to play on the hardest difficulty at the start, let me. It frustrates me to no end when you lock out parts of your game and tell me I need to do A, B and C to unlock those things.
That being said, I also don't want the game to become unfair or cheap at those harder difficulties. I have played through many games on the hardest difficulty, and one of the biggest annoyances I have is the only reason the game is "harder" is because my weapons do the same amount of damage as light puff of air whereas my enemies my enemies weapons have heat seeking bullets that can find your head behind that one wall behind the fridge as you hide under the table, killing you instantly. One game that I think does difficulty great is Metro 2033 (which is also a great game that I highly recommend playing if you haven't). The higher the difficulty, the more damage everyones weapons do, not just the enemies. Sure, you can die in one shot, but it doesn't feel cheap because everyone can die in one shot. Be fair; don't just make enemies bullet sponge gods.
I know this is a fairly long blog, but thanks for taking the time to read it.
Go ahead and let me know what are some things you would like to see in next gen games or if you just want to explain your disdain for everything I possibly said in the blog, let me know in the comments below. Thanks.