Monday, 2 November 2009

Video Games: Where to Next?

The “Next Generation” of consoles has brought us further than we thought in terms of what we can now create for video games. Explorations into player interactivity led by the Nintendo Wii and titles like Guitar Hero, Rockband and the recent DJ Hero. Online play has transformed the way we can interact and play games with and against each other. The main benefit is the expansion games can have through the ease of downloadable extras either being in the form of maps, costumes, bug fixes and in the case of the recent GTA, expansions of storyline that occur during the game world that feature groups seen and heard of in numerous missions throughout the main story and in some cases even tie bits up.

This is all great for the consumer, but what of the poor developers? They are forced to produce games of this great high definition quality in very tight deadlines and budget costs. This has slowed the real innovation of the games industry as where a small amount of profit for developers used to be good and creating the best looking and original title was the main goal this has almost disappeared. Publishes have become more demanding, wanting to focus more on large profits, film tie-ins and big title releases that can be roll over and over again into sequels that will usually generate what they want. This means the same sorts of games could eventually end up saturating the market, making gaming very dull.

The outlook for up and coming game developers and the like looks somewhat bleak, though there is hope. The battle between the Next Gen consoles has kept developers on their toes especially on the side of the PS3, who have stepped up their exclusive titles with games such as Infamous and Uncharted 2 with amazing graphics; the slickest movement and game play seen for a long time. Developments will keep coming from people like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as long as demanding gamers are present. Personally I would like to see a bit more customisation in games to make it feel more personal and also have an interactive story so the you can decide what should happen, which has been seen in games such as Fable1/2 and the stunning Mass Effect where your decisions from the first game will carry over into the sequel. I would like Call of Duty to either stop creating the same game with different weapons and maps and come up with something a bit more original or at least drop the price! More innovative games are a definite must to keep the progression going especially to stop the industry becoming stale and corporate and allow real creativity be rewarded.