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Uncharted 3 and a general rant about declining creativity/imagination in video games.

So just a couple of days back uncharted 3 was unleashed upon the gaming community and withing minutes it became it became one of the hottest topics to be discussed throughout the gaming industry. fans of the series were overjoyed, however i remained unfazed, it just didn't excite me in the same way that its predecessor did. WHY?

Well when uncharted 1 released a lot of people compared it to tomb raider and to a certain extent they were right. Our main character is in a jungle/island fighting bad guys, solving puzzles, performing acrobatics and looking for lost treasure. But with uncharted 2 they took the familiar concepts and really went all out with it. they added a world map instead of a single island and added several set piece moments, all tied up nicely with a decent story and great visuals. recipe for awesomness and awesome it was.

However therein lies my issue with uncharted 3. NOW WHAT?? i know for sure they are going to make us travel the world , bigger set pieces, tighter story and the typical ending. Within a REALISTIC setup the devs can only do so much. Uncharted 2 left me with a sour taste with its ending level. after the amazing journey i really felt let down by that crappy "shangri-la" level . they couldn't go crazy with the gameplay or art ideas because they won't fit into the "realistic" setup of the game.

this begs the question, why are game devs relying so much on reality nowadays? it has not only hampered the gameplay but the art as well. majority of the games have the same old shoot(with realistic weapons no less), jump up and down , climb ledges... and that's it.

why is it that only ratchet and clank and mario(nintendo seems to be the only company who still make games like this) are the only games with interesting mechanics and weapons and art style. where have all those major platformers gone? are they not fun anymore or is it because they do not fit it into the realistic mould of todays games, complete with that great "cinematic experience" and hollywood writing.

todays games have become like big hollywood blockbusters(the exact thing majority of these games seem to be copying) it is just too predictable. that sense of awe is long gone. compare that to pieces of art like Parajanov's sayat nova/colour of pomegranates( or Tarkovsky's mirror( ) the images from these movies leave me breathless. the sheer beauty engages your senses even today.

most sci-fi games still follow the cliched art style reminiscent of star wars or any other typical sci-fi setting, why not more like ratchet and clank(complete with crazy weapons, could be mature and darker if devs like it that way). most fantasy RPG have the typical LOTR setting, why not a god of war-esque ancient mythological Greece or china, Persia, Africa etc.

well this is not a very well written blog, but i hope i'm getting my points across. the more i see these hyper realistic games the more i lose interest in video games. i hope ratchet and clank and mario keep on surviving for the years to come. i guess there needs to be a fair balance between these "cinematic" epic "realism" inspired games coupled with the ones where the devs are not afraid of taking risks and just letting their creativity and imagination fly. unfortunately the latter is losing.

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TenSteps2709d ago (Edited 2709d ago )

I don't think the realism games are more. Let's take 2011 for example and let's use multiple genre's.

Now take Resistance they keep creative with the different style of chimera they show and still have interesting weapons. Motorstorm Apocalypse sets you on a city during an apocalypse while trying to imaginatively apply the chaos to make it a race-able track. inFamous 2 is creative by the enemies you face and the powers you gain, both Skyrim and Dragon Age 2 are going to tackle medieval fantasy through their imagination as similar to how Deus Ex would be tackling what the future looks like. Not to mention there are games like say the Mass Effect series which showcases it's own made up lore set in space and other games that I haven't mentioned that promote creativity be it in the way you make levels (LBP2) or how you kill your enemies (Bulletstorm). And the fact that DL'd games tend to be fun in a creative and imaginative way.

Now back to your comments on Fantasy and Sci-Fi RPG's, sure Fantasy RPG's take the basic formula of Tolkien's work but it's not as if they don't put in a lot of their own twists and turns to make it unique in their own way. Sci-Fi games examples I'd say Mass Effect and Resistance are good examples seeing as Mass Effect does have it's share of crazy weapons ranging from a Nuke Gun to Singularity field generator gun add that to the powers you get from each class and it's basically a mature dark sci-fi game with it's fair share of crazy and well Resistance are made by Insomniac and they make crazy guns.

Yes the realistic games are popular but don't assume that just because a lot of people bought Uncharted, CoD, and Battlefield that REALISM is taking over games when there are actually more games that stray away from REALITY. And don't knock off Fantasy medieval settings and Sci Fi games because even though they take basic concepts from others they add enough to it to be original.

From Mars To Sirius2708d ago

yeah seems like 2011 will be a great year(personally eagerly waiting for journey and TLG). my problem is not so much with the fact that realism is ruining games or something, it's more to do with the fact that not many game devs are stepping out of their comfort zone. once in a while just let it loose, let go of the norms and step out of that box. it would be increadible to see what sort of sci-fi/fantasy elements they can come up with. it's just that realism in a way hold s them in a box. even within sci fi and fantasy. imagine a world where the waterfall didn't flow downwards but upwards, you needed a light to create a path and just multiple crazy "out there" ideas you can come up with.

i just want devs to embrace the power of videogames.. that's it.
books let us imagine, movies let us visually and aurally connect with the worlds they display, games have the ability to place us in the creators world with varying degrees of control. just make those worlds and character memorable.

if you saw the 2 vids that i posted, you probably saw that how those 2 masters of cinema used the camera.. they look at life differently though the lens. that's the same thing i would like devs to do with videogames, every once in a while atleast.

TenSteps2708d ago

I see your point trust me and I wholeheartedly agree that I want devs to push their imagination and share it with the world but the sad thing is things cost too much that it tends to be hard for companies to want to go outside their comfort zones.

You can see this through the difference between the mainstream game makers and those indie ones. Indie ones tend to be more creative and more imaginative because they are basically gamers trying to share their ideas but the big companies are well companies who are in it for profit. This is something that sadly we won't be able to change since this is basically the norm when it comes to entertainment and if it hasn't died out in movies and music I don't think it will die out for videogames.

In the end we just have to appreciate what we got enjoy the Folklore's, Limbo's and the Flower's and just hope for the best.

Nate-Dog2708d ago

I'm not a big UC fan (not really a UC fan at all tbh) but I just want to comment on your mention of the R&C series and Mario games.

I'm a big fan of R&C personally but it's more than clear even to me that the past few games have been mediocre at best compared to the first 2/3 (depends on your own tastes really whether you include 3 in with 1+2). But I like and respect Insomniac Games and their announcement of All For One (All "Four" One?) shows that they are trying to mix it up a bit because they know it's gotten stale. Realistically, R&C needs to finish soon. They know they can make money from it and that they will continue to do so but the quality of the games is/are diminishing and none of them match up to the fun and liveliness of the first couple of games.

As for Nintendo, I'm not a big Nintendo-game player but from what I can tell from some other people who have stuck with Nintendo (or who know them better than me), what Nintendo seem to do really is just stick with what works. Look how many Mario, Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and remakes can be found with Nintendo. I personally don't have the right to criticise them but that's all from what I can see (from game reveals and articles here and whatnot) that Nintendo seem to have: sequels and remakes. There are other Final Fantasy spin-offs, there is the MGS3 remake on DS, but rarely are there any new IPs or new series appearing on the company's consoles. But it's because they know that people like what they know, and once they stick to what's good in the games and keep improving it they'll get sales. Problem is though that they are going to come to a point in a few year's time where they'll realise that they won't have any new IPs, or any work from many third-party devs to show off. And for only so long can you depend on a certain name to get the sales and recognition that you need.

(Sorry about that last part if it sounds a bit mixed up, rambled on a bit but it's my own probably partially-biased opinion.)

From Mars To Sirius2708d ago

i agree.. however i used ratchet(i think ratchet has been playing it extremely safe lately but the art design is really great to look at) and mario as an example because they seem to be the only exceptions these days.

like i said i'd like to see more games that take risks, be different. use interesting gameplay mechanics, zany art style. but sadly the tried and tested seems to work all to well for the people and devs alike. but like ten steps mentioned next year looks like it should have some really nice and interesting games.

Nate-Dog2708d ago

Yeah you're right. This year has been good for all consoles I think, but it's been a year of sequels (for the most part). Next year while there are still sequels, there are gonna be some different and unique games, things like LA. Noire, The Last Guardian, Twisted Metal, (etc etc). Gonna be a lot of fun but my wallet will probably not be able to take it. <_<

Joule2708d ago

Insert large paragraph below.

Heavy_Rain2708d ago (Edited 2708d ago )

Okay heres the thing right- There are also a lot of ppl who feel they have had enough of games like Mario being milked and are thus contributing to the downfall of creativity. Personally I think there are 2 groups of gamers
1) Those that are old school and just want solid gameplay and nothing else. The guys who love their mario's , bayonetta's and contra's and believe thats their sole criteria for judging which game is creative and which game is not.

2) Gamers including myself who love gaming not just because they put a set of challenges in front of you but also make it immersive when you are overcoming them. The group who always looked at movies like Matrix and said "Ah man wish I could do those slo mo bullet time acrobatics" and games gave them a medium to play out these things. I remember how jaw dropped I was when Max Payne first came out .I was so excited. For them the sense of immersion and that you are playing a part of a realistic story is whats important. Again I think the eg of KZ2. KZ2 for the most part was just a linear and generic shooter. but what set it apart and made it IMO more immersive then the competition for kz2 fans was the feeling of war. The dust , the smoke , The lighting, the guns , everything contributed to a sense of immersion which I have never felt in any war game.

So bottom line - I dont think any of the groups are wrong. It depends on the type of gamer that you are. Linearity and epic set pieces are not a bad thing and thats what I liked about UC2. The game was linear yet had pitch perfect pacing ( nothing speaks about perfect pacing more then the 16th chapter). ND were true masters at work. I could see that they had complete command over the medium. For every linear game with big set pieces you are also getting games like RDR. There are experiences a linear game can bring which just cannot be brought about in an open world game and vice versa. So no the gaming industry is not getting stagnant. There are a lot of choices now and you can take what fits you based on the type of gamer that you are.

blackburn52708d ago

Well I like innovation and imagination in games too but you can't do that with every single game. No company can just sit down and think of original concepts or non sequels every single year. In my opinion I don't mind if a game isn't completely original, if the story is deep and the personalities are strong. This is what has saved games like Rand C from going stale, the great cast of characters and new alien worlds to explore. COD has none of this though. It is the same soulless character,shooting everything that moves, in the middle of another conspiracy or reinacting some battle fought long ago that most people no longer care about like all realistic war shooters.In short I don't mind a game being cliche or even copying another character or scenerio as long as it is done well. You shouldn't concern yourself. There are still lots of IPs out there with original ideas.

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