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Less is better?

A recent trend in games I've really been not a fan of is "stream lining" the experience. This seems to be the phrase developers drop in interviews when they remove features fans loved in their last iteration of a franchise.

A perfect example is Mass Effect 2 removing a LARGE amount of the customization options with weapons and armor that ME1 had. Why? If Bioware really wanted to streamline the experience they could have by refining armor types, having more effective ammo types for weapons, but instead they full on ditched those elements.

Coming out soon is Marvel vs Capcom 3. Another fighting game from Capcom, and you would think would be a game that has more features from past fighters. However, Capcom fully removed features like replays and spectators in lobbies which were found in Super Street Fighter 4 that came out just last year.

It seems developers are cutting corners to get games out sooner, but at what cost? Sure you'll get to play Mass Effect 3 this year, and Mass Effect 2 was last year, but wouldn't you rather take an extra as a player if you know the game will be more packed with content and well polished? It seems developers are so busy trying to keep interest in their series by constantly pumping out sequels ASAP they let quality become a second thought. Another example would be Call of Duty Black Ops and its online component especially on Playstation 3. Modern Warfare 2 and World at War before it had similar issues, but shouldn't a developer be looking out to FIX these things and make them better?

Developers shouldn't be scared to take extra time to make their games. Interest for game series that are good or great never die, and when that eventual sequel comes out if it IS an amazing game then gamers will support it. Would it have been great to get Starcraft 2 5 years ago? Sure, but not if it means the experience would be half as good as it is now with all the amazing features. I'm not saying developers can't make a bang up sequel within a year or two that steps it up in every way from the first, but lately it seems too many developers don't live up to that. We only had to wait 2 years for Dead Space 2 and it delivered.

What do you think? Do you see this trend being harmful to games you love? Do you think the cutting of features or not focusing to fix issues/make them worse is passable if you get the next iteration sooner?

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Nate-Dog2692d ago

I don't particularly think the streamlining of games is too much of a worry myself (at least in my experience of it), but I agree about devs rushing out games now and leaving them a little bare in parts. Lots of games nowadays seem to be sold to the player unfinished, and devs say "ah well don't worry we'll patch that problem we never bothered to fix so we could get the game out on time, and we'll also add in that feature that was supposed to be there from the start", and so on and so on. Problem with that is that firstly, we shouldn't have to pay full price for a game that isn't finished. If you can't finish it fully on time, then either wait and delay it so we get what we pay for, or else drop the price. Secondly, not all players have internet access and can deal with taking the option of the late-additions in patches or updates.

I don't think ME2 was that streamlined, they took out a fair bit (I loved armour and weapon customisation too) but they also added in a fair bit too to try and make up for it. Hopefully ME3 isn't going to be rushed out though and will also lose more features from ME2. I've only played ME and ME2 for the first time in the past 2 months but I'm very much looking forward to ME3 and I hope Bioware don't just rush it out like you say for the sake of getting out annual releases and having a title on the shelves.

RayRay362691d ago

As for rushing the games out, developers DO have harsh deadlines. I mean, IW almost didn't make the deadline and that was just a copy and paste of MW 1. The publishers are expecting too much from todays devs. But theres plenty of devs rushing games out just to get it done and get paid. My problem is the whole DLC deal. They bump these games up to $60 from $50, and then make the games less complete than before. So you end up payin $70-75 just to get a somewhat complete game. This is why I tend to stick to AAA exclusives. I just got ME2 yesterday and I was amazed at how they combined a shooter & RPG. Shooters are my favorite and I absolutely hate RPGs, but I love Mass Effect and it's without a doubt a complete game.