Have modern games lost their essence?


Have Games Lost Their Essence?

  1. Yes.

  2. No.

    0 vote(s)
  3. To each his own.

By davislane1 · 14 replies
May 7, 2012
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  1. Okay, maybe I could have worked out a better title. But over the past several years I’ve noticed that modern games, regardless of platform or genre, seem to be much less satisfying than games from previous generations (1980-2005). Yes, some of them are very exiting for the first 2-5 hours. However, beyond this point the fun factor of many of the newer titles seem to diminish greatly. Two examples I’ve chosen are Rage and TES: Skyrim.

    Rage has to be one of the most polished games I’ve played in recent memory. For me, it’s the nearest thing to a proper shooter that I’ve played in many, many years (on a console). But once you get past the first few hours of play, the game becomes completely vapid. Skyrim is a similar story. Off the start, the game is simply amazing. In fact, it is amazing for a good 10-20 hours out of the box. However, after completing the main quest line everything in the game becomes very mundane.

    This is in sharp contrast to the plethora “classics” that still manage to retain their fun factor in spite of years or decades of aging. For instance, Contra is still fun. Golden Eye and Perfect Dark are still fun. Final Fantasy 10, EarthBound, TES: Morrowind and the early Resident Evil games are still fun, and so on. In essence, games that are all technically inferior to modern titles seem to have immense longevity while the prettier, more sophisticated titles of recent memory seem to be completely ephemeral in their entertainment potential.

    So, the question is this: Have modern games lost something that older games, and even older libraries, seem to possess? Has an emphasis on graphical immersion and the promise of complexity (multiple game paths, terrific AIs, etc.) shifted focus away from the core elements that used to make games endlessly fun? Or is it a product of years of gaming experience that inevitably leads to perpetual dissatisfaction with modern games? I’m curious to know what the consensus is on this matter. I think it’s the result of a combination of low-risk game production (copycating and/or repackaging) and years experience.
    Jfin likes this.
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I think nowadays the focus has shifted more and more towards building up a succesful franchise and maximizing profit than creating truly original games. Examples are CoD and NFS: the early games in the series were really great but now that Activision/EA have built up the brand/franchise they're just releasing rehashed sequels which they know people will buy regardless. I mean why risk putting lots of money into the R&D of a new game if you can just recycle the same game engine and release a sequel which will be assured of generating billions?

    One thing that really gets to me is DLC which should have been included in the game to begin with rather than being a true add-on. Nowadays they're deliberately leaving out stuff and forcing you to pay for it later. If FFX came out today I reckon many of the optional bosses, ultimate weapons and sidequests (which made the game so fun) would have been DLC.
    Jfin likes this.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

  4. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    I have only three games installed in my PC -- all of them are relatively old. I've got at least a dozen newer titles sitting in a shelf collecting dust. There is a bland, "fastfood" feel to many of the franchise titles today which I do not like: fun, yes, but good only for a few turns. After that, it's bad for the digestion.

    I attribute at least some measure of that to poor narrative element. Apart from decent artwork and production values, I'd say a good story makes for a good game. The most popular franchise titles were built on good stories -- at least in the beginning. I really think they start to lose that once imagination and the willingness to take risks is tamed by the determination to stick to a formula that proved successful the first time around.
    Jfin likes this.
  5. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Ok, I know I suck at singing as a whole, let alone opera. But Halo's been installed on my PC since 2004, and I have no immediate plans to uninstall it. Get 'em marines!
    Personally speaking, it's not the games to blame (Did someone say Origin? :p) Some new games are indeed drool-worthy (I'm talking about Halo 4 specifically). But some old games....they're just....legends....ones that can't be replaced. So in a sense Davis (the thread's OP) is right is a sense. Though I'd add "risk-dodging unimaginative bores" to his target list of implementations.
  6. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Gaming certainly isn't what it used to be...I mean, It's now far more expensive for one.

    I do agree, though, that games of today just don't cut it with what's gone past. Will we ever see a game that does what Metal Gear Solid did? What the first Max Payne did?

    Probably not. And yeah, that's sad.
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

  8. AqworldThunder

    AqworldThunder TS Rookie

  9. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    I personally see nothing wrong or bad with the Call of Duty game franchise! I happen to love Call of Duty games! I don't see anywhere that is has anything close to "no real gameplay"! Personally, Call of Duty 4 "Modern Warfare" is my favorite game of all time! And if curious, which your probably not, I just got my second copy of the game about 2 weeks back, I had my first copy back in 2008, where and when it mysteriously vanished. But oh well, just made level 35, about 60% of the challenges are out of the way, I figure in about another 2 to 3 weeks I should hit level 55 and maybe have like 80% to 90% of the challenges out of the way. All being done without cheats, hacks or lame downloadable level boosters!
  10. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    For some, the essence of gaming has to do with pure entertainment. Some people like a lot of cutscenes.

    As long as the game is well balanced with gameplay and cutscenes, don't bother complaining. It's awesome!
    Trusya and Platinerd_XL like this.
  11. LambofGod

    LambofGod TS Rookie Posts: 35

    I for one will emphasize what was said. RECYCLING is the biggest factor to blame. The biggest losers in the gaming industry are the biggest winners there are so many developers who started with a great original title and re-release x10 ...the "SAME GAME" ...but wait... with a twist... new guns...new story...same game. They just stop building on gameplay.

    So where has gameplay failed ?. I will tell you that what I continue to mention is mostly opinion.


    More games are being made into shiny toys with all these knobs and buttons...that do nothing.
    personaly if I see it I want to go there,I want to climb it,start it,get in it,and better yet BLOW IT UP!.


    "oh-ho" Let me say that this one aggravates me the most. A lot of games are being designed for a great time...the first time around, after that you got a nice 60$ box. Many are using a great online to keep you immersed ,and that's great,but the single player is ______ ?

    One thing I have thought that would permanently FIX this issue ... Mission Editor .

    let me create the rules,let me place Ai/NPC's where I want them,give me the tools to build a new terrain...you get the idea.
    Jfin likes this.
  12. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    For me, it seems fair. I never get to experience games from the late 20th century (Warcraft, Fallout, Duke Nukem), or rather reminisce how compelling those games were at the time. My experience has been in the modern times, where fanboys can't wait to get their hands on their copies and compete with the same apex predators. I was the one that got in to these horde of starving gamers.

    The reason that modern games may have lost their essence was because some have made it influential with other medium. That said, it diminishes those ancient games that have already made it's own title into something that is quite jaded. But I don't blame them, I think that's what meant for modern games.

    There's no stopping the power of evolution now that the game industries are now building their own concept of "modern" nostalgia.
  13. Trusya

    Trusya TS Rookie

    'For some, the essence of gaming has to do with pure entertainment. Some people like a lot of cutscenes.'

    Absolutely. As for me, I'm not a very experienced gamer. I didn't play computer back when I was a child, I read books instead. And now I like the games where I don't have the stress to lose my progress/lives/game money/etc and I love the feeling of 'being inside of the game', you know.. It's just the way I love to entertain myself. If I want to have some stress in my spare time, I go and learn ancient Greek or go snowboarding. Dunno... Everybody as he likes.
    DragonMaster Jay likes this.
  14. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    Oh yeah, snowboarding rocks!
  15. Jfin

    Jfin TS Rookie

    Gaming seems to have gone down the same route as Hollywood - Remake of old movies or Market a blockbuster (but fill it with shi#e) and the Music industry (Pop Charts) unless you give what the kids want (Justin Bieber) you might aswell not bother (just look at Xfactors Rylan or Chris). which may be the way gaming is going. I too loved to Play Max payne, Age of empires and the orginal COD but now I REALLY have to concentrate with anything new and nearly lose consciesness within an hour of installing. I used to be a big fan of the movies but find it really depressing trying to find something cutting edge or a storyline not already done.

    Last year I pieced together a 2GB 6950 and an overclocked 6 core processor with 3 22" Led screens - Longing for the excitment of cutting edge gaming but just went through title after title really trying to get into it but always failing to grab me.

    Maybe im longing for something more advanced? We need a revolution or a genius to take gaming to the next level - Its all a little unimpressive for me right now.........or maybe thats life? or growing up, either way it sucks!

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