The current state of gaming part 1: Complexity

Note: This is just my opinion and like everyone, it might differ to you who read this, and that’s okay, there’s a game out there for  everyone.

Everyone who enjoys video games has their opinion on the must-plays and the must-nots, just depending on the genre of gaming they enjoy; fantasy lovers are more likely to favour final fantasy VII over animal crossing, and casual Wii sports players won’t often recommend dark souls 3. 

There are of course games which somewhat bridge the gap, in my opinion ‘the sims’ does this nicely, as perhaps does GTA (albeit for the little more violence inclined).

As a person who falls predominantly into the first category of the ‘more serious’ gamer, I want to throw in my useless two cents on the state of games and the direction it’s headed.

Complexity:

A bit of a cult classic in my eyes (and the eyes of many others); Unreal Tournament 2004 demonstrated how simpler isn’t always less fun.

Granted, this game was released late 2003 where some of the machine capabilities available now weren’t available then, but just because something Can be done, doesn’t mean it should. 

 This game at it’s heart was as straight forward as it got; shoot the bad guys, win the game, in various forms, there were no fancy gadgets or shops or microtransactions or bla bla, and yet to this day the servers have people.

The counter-strike series is of course another good example of this, and it proves it works!

But take a look now at the state of the CoD franchise or battlefield. CoD 4 was a good example of what was mentioned above, it was bare bones and to me was better for it. Skip forward to infinite warfare and it’s a mess. They kept trying to improve something that didn’t need improving, just because the power was there. What we’re left with is a saturated mess of elements we don’t need but have.

But what does this mean for the future in terms of game complexity?

We keep pushing what these machines are capable of, and filling that power with sometimes something great and beneficial for gaming, like map sizes, map variety, useful tools, etc. But sometimes, it feels like things that are being added are unnecessary and convoluted.

Don’t get me wrong, some games need the Complexity, and I’m not some kind of nut who thinks it’s all gone downhill since pong, but at what point will developers say ‘right, we have all this power, but maybe this mechanic isn’t beneficial to the game’

On a positive note, look at GTA 5. It oozes complexity in what it can achieve, but never in a forced way. Sure you can shoot a cat in the face, but it’s not a mechanic inbuilt telling you to do it, and this is a virtue to me, of the sandbox game. They continue to update the game and add more and more, and yet the developers have got it right. They know what’s appreciated and what’s needed, and keep the game from feeling forced.

Again this is just a view I take, and I try to refrain from mentioning Too many titles in the process so as not to offend.

My next post will look at a new aspect of the gaming world and what impact it’s had in my view on games old and new.

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Author: kanebrady1994

22 year old aspiring game designer from the UK, currently living in New Zealand

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