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Why do games (still) have levels?

Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play.

Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Halo 3, Portal, Team Fortress 2), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Nethack, Angband)?

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PS3 Limps on and on3352d ago (Edited 3352d ago )

As games get more real, it's expected that while it has different areas, it's still all connected. Even if you can't go back or it's not free roaming, there's a movie scene that shows how you got there.

Level like Super Mario Bros, were you pass a world and go to a new world just for the sake of new level, is not seen anymore. That was never really common, even in the old days. Games like Zelda didn't have levels like that.

As long as theres games, not all games will be sandbox free roaming games. So there will be levels in some form. Just things that divide sections of the game.

This is an interesting topic, you can go on for days. But next time you play a game check to see how far back you can backtrack. Even open games still have different areas and the game progresses usually with storyline cutscenes.

skillshot3351d ago

I agree with you.

I'm really confused by this. Are they saying breaking a game down into sections is a bad thing? Levels aren't on the same line as loading times, game crashes, fuzzy textures, etc. Levels are a way of delivering a narrative. There is nothing wrong with dividing a game into sections, if that is what would best suit it.

... A Team Fortress 2 (as mentioned in the article) without levels would be pretty crazy. Are we to assume the 2fort just happens to be next to the train station in Well? Is there an easy passage? Or would it mean if we feel like playing in that part of the game it requires a long walk, or alternatively a bus journey followed by a train journey?

SmokeyMcBear3352d ago

something i think uncharted does beautifully, like a chapter in a book or movie

Bubble Buddy3352d ago

You know what should be last gen?> LOADING TIMES. That should be last gen...

SmokeyMcBear3352d ago

yes.. loading times should be a thing of the past, I hope they can make Resitance 2 without loading, that would be great.

Ignorant Fanboy3352d ago

while you are choosing your car, or choosing your weapons? If there were something to do while it loads, it wouldnt be as bad.

Shaka2K63352d ago

I agree expect many other games in the future to copy this formula.

' ' You know what should be last gen?> LOADING TIMES. That should be last gen... ' '

x360 loading times are terrible even worst the 1st gen. PSP games.
all thanks to dvd.

ActionBastard3352d ago

If they disguise the levels like they did with Uncharted, there's hope. But really, it is kinda like asking, "Why do books (still) have pages"?

navysealrb3352d ago

It would of made more sense if you said "why do books have Chapters" then pages.

ActionBastard3352d ago

Remove the chapter designations out of a book and you still have a book. Remove the levels from a game and you have no game.

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