Having played video games since the early 1980s, I believe the golden era was the late 1990s. Classics such as Doom, Quake, Diablo, Command and Conquer, Warcraft II, Half-Life,,, set the bar for modern games.
There was once a time when gamers were thrown into the action with little or no introduction. Quake, Doom, Command and Conquer, Diablo,,, all threw the player into action almost as soon as the game started. Half-Life had a great introduction and cut scenes that helped build the story plot.
Last night I was on youtube watching some random videos when “if doom had been made today part 1”, and “if doom had been made today part 2” showed up in the suggested video list. I watched those videos, but found the second one boring and ended up skipping through half of it.
Then I ran across the dumbing down of the elder scrolls video. Having played a little Daggerfall, Morrowwind, Oblivion and Skyrim I decided to watch the video all the way through.
After watching those three videos I started thinking about what turned me off Oblivion, and some of the newer games in general.
When I first started playing Oblivion I loved it. I absolutely loved exploring the caves, doing the various quest, exploring the countryside,,,.
Then I got bit by a vampire. I did not want to be a vampire so I started looking for a cure. While looking for a cure I was set off on some quest to find needed items to make the cure.
Being sidetracked looking for a cure to being a vampire ruined the game.
I was having a good time doing what “I” wanted to do. Then the whole game got side tracked with what the developers thought I should be doing.
Skyrim seems to be lacking something. At first I could not put my finger on it, but after playing for several hours the problem became clear. Skyrim is a shallow game. The AI is shoddy, the NPCs are bland and the skill trees are almost nonexistent.
When Borderlands 2 was announced I was hoping #2 would fix a lot of the shortfalls of the original. Even though some of the stuff was fixed from the original, a whole new set of problems was introduced. Not only does Borderlands 2 hold your hand, it plays like the game was built by a bunch of console kiddies.
The lack of hand holding might be why I like the Left 4 Dead series so much. But after 4 years and over 2,000 playing hours the Left 4 Dead series is getting a little old.
Changing of the times
Maybe my old school gaming style is being phased out? Instead of hardcore gamers making up the majority of gamers, are casual gamers now the majority?
I think the shift in game design in a reflection of our society, and our changing mindset.
There used to be a time when kids played in the muddy ditches, got cuts, got sick from childhood diseases. But now, parents are taught to clear everything with bleach to kill dangerous germs.
Just as parents clear everything to prevent their children from getting sick, so are developers sterilizing games. Rather than requiring players to think about where to put skill points, developers added automatic leveling. Rather than making players think about how to play the game, developers hold the hands of the players and help them along.
When I was a kid we fell off our bikes, skinned our knee or elbow, cried, then got back on the bike.
It seems that the game developers of today have taken the risk of falling out of the game. Now long can you kill a critical character that is needed to complete a quest. No longer do characters react to your reputation. Steal something from a merchant and it mostly goes unnoticed.
Maybe I need to stop buying new games
With the way newer video games are being developed, maybe I need to buy games that were developed in the late 1990s.
Take Brink, Homefront, Duke Nukem Forever and Rage for example, all of them failed to live up to the hype. Brink did not even work with certain popular videos upon release, which drew criticisms that the game had not been properly play-tested.
Why should I support a company that treats its customers as if they were beta-testers?
Left 4 Dead 2 did not work on computers that used a FAT32 file system. It took Valve software 2 weeks to release a patch that fixed the FAT32 file system problem with Left 4 Dead 2. Customers such as myself who had pre-ordered got to read all of the reviews while Valve tried to figure out why L4D2 was crashing to the desktop.
The wrong version of Dead Island was released on Steam. Then there were the various bugs that were patched.
Between the dumbing down and the bugs, I dont know if video games are even worth it anymore.
Always on DRM and pay to play
Always on – One of the main reasons why I did not buy Diablo III is because it required an always on internet connection.
A few weeks ago my internet went down. I fired Steam up in offline mode and decided to play some Dead Island. What did I get? The game told me to connect to the internet. Lets see, Steam manages my game list, but I still have to be connected to the internet to play?
If I would had know Dead Island required an internet connection to play I would have never bought it.
Pay to play – Whatever happened to buying a game and getting to play it for as long as you want?
My step-son plays these massive multiplayer online role playing games. First he has to buy the game, then he has to pay a monthly fee to play the game. Screw that.
I bought Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, and have been playing them free for several years.
There are too many free games multiplayer games out there to be paying a monthly fee. Pay to play is just a way to squeeze a few more dollars out of consumers.
Thank goodness for the Steam sales when I can buy games on deep discounts. If I had to pay full price like what console players do, I would probably stop playing video games.