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I run story missions on mute with a podcast playing to keep me occupied.
I can totally see me doing that with GTA V, the whole notion of playing feels incredibly passive. With all the cutscenes and the many situations where you are triggering them manually instead of really doing anything, it sometimes feels like an interactive film of some sorts. Games have gotten incredibly easy and like you’ve said, you don’t have to look at any special games back then to see it. Pretty much every game on NES or SNES was extreme in difficulty compared to today’s standards. Since Super Mario World is so well known, if someone reading this has played it and can’t remember, seriously go back to it and try to play some of those later levels, because they are tough. I can’t help but think of a friend of mine who had a Playstation 2 and I hung out with. He used to sit there, checking his phone in between, pressing pause every 5 minutes because of something, maybe being on the phone while playing, today’s games are suited for him, not the hardcore gamer of the past. I was used to eliminating every possible distraction before-hand, sitting at a desk instead of on a couch, putting on headphones and really focusing on the game instead of having a television running in the background or phoning with some girlfriend.
I forgot how unforgiving those games were.
Exactly, screw up and you are screwed. Nowadays it’s screw up and we’ll cover you. A prime example of a non forgiving game is System Shock 2 - when you run out of ammo at the wrong time you are screwed, or if you can’t heal up, you are screwed. As a thought experiment I always try to imagine games like that being released today (of course updated in terms of graphics et cetera), I think people would actually criticize the difficulty harshly. “Grinding” a level has become a thing of the past, especially for FPSs (I know there are Indie titles celebrated especially for their difficulty, though they are not really difficult, just standing out among all those easy titles). Maybe I am just the obsessive type who loves grinding levels, maybe…
I’m also someone who was “out” of playing games for quite a while, but I’m now back in. I actually think the state of games is better than it’s ever been. Yes, there are some annoying things like forcing an online connection in single-player games (I’m looking at you, Hitman). And I also don’t think GTA 5 is good (weak gameplay, weak story, repetitive mission design). But overall, games are more diverse, more interesting, and more fun than ever.
Just in the past year I’ve had a great time with Overwatch, The Witcher 3, Doom, The Witness, Undertale, Hitman, and Dark Souls 3. Those are all games that provide a challenge and/or difficulty settings, fantastic gameplay, and create interesting/new worlds and situations. I won’t say there’s nothing to be cynical about, but it’s definitely a great time to be playing games.
I will readily admit that I can be harsh in my criticism and small things can spoil the whole for me. Let’s take for example Doom, while I heard good things about it, here are the things I personally find (and this is of course just an opinion) distasteful:
-) You have checkpoints
-) An upgrades system
-) Unavoidable framerate drops here and there
-) Glory Kills / Death Animations
-) Eye Candy, eye candy, and… eye candy.
-) Buying a physical copy forces you to download ~40gb or so.
Let me address those for a minute: Checkpoints in Doom are just a sin for me; upgradable weapons extremely stupid and a sign that those stupid rpg elements have infiltrated even the most inappropriate of titles now. The original Doom ran on (for today’s standards) shitty hardware while being revolutionary in every way, 20 years later and a successor can’t run without drops on good hardware and recommended settings? Glory Kills are a prime example of the “cinematic aspects” of today’s games I hate so profoundly. And while some might disagree, the graphics and effects are just distasteful, downright distracting. It’s a particles-pixels-slash-hell. And regarding physical copies, well, people buy them so they don’t have to download stuff for days before they start playing…
Just answer this: What was greatly improved about the Gameplay of computer games in the last 10 years?
Doom was revolutionary, Quake was in some ways, Half Life, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Half Life 2, and since then… maybe I am just missing some knowledge here? Racing games? Did the last 10 Need for Speed titles do something special? Anything added in terms of gameplay? RPGs? Besides going Multiplayer of course (though I think that’s mostly due to people having good internet connections these days), oh, World of Warcraft was 2004, so what has happened since then? Any other category that has been improved? Shoot em Ups? Side-Scrollers? Is “Open World” to be the big thing, since every game now has it?
I admit that at some point every industry kind of matures, and after many things have been explored there is less space for revolutions (VR might be the big next thing maybe), but I am not really sad about development in gameplay and new game mechanics having stagnated, the sad thing is it has taken an extreme turn for the worse in my humble opinion. And like I’ve sad, I think it has to do with the changing target audience, and games now being dominant in living rooms and on smartphones instead of real PCs.
I am in my 20s and know what a senior feels like … “I don’t understand this generation anymore”