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Is the quality of games declining?

I recently finished Bioshock Infinite and I can honestly say it disappointed me. It just didn't feel like the game Levine was making it out to be. Sure, the story and atmosphere are amazing, but there was one very important element that left a sour taste in my mouth. What's that, you ask? The actual gameplay...

I figured I was perhaps the only one to feel like this, so I discussed it with a couple of friends on TeamSpeak. To my surprise, they actually agreed with me that Infinite's gameplay simply wasn't that good. At first I couldn't exactly figure out why, because it was years since I played the original Bioshock. There was just something about that game that felt better.

I did the most logical thing and reinstalled it to find out what that was. It took me only ten minutes before it hit me like a brick: the gameplay doesn't hold you back. Infinite limits you in every way possible. Only two weapons, two active vigors and four pieces of clothing. In the meantime, Bioshock allows tons of active weapons, multiple plasmids and a shitload of tonics.

This made Infinite feel like a major step down, in fact, dare I say it, casual. This is somewhat confirmed by Infinite's boxart, as displayed above. Irrational Games stated they went for this one to appeal to the shooter market. That's fine and dandy, but not only does it look like the game is for the average shooter player, it actually is for the average shooter player.

I can complain about the lack of diversity amongst enemies and how vigors are barely used against you, but I do not wish to bore you any further with a rant about Infinite. Instead, I wish to propose a question that popped up in my head after playing said game. Is the quality of games declining?

Now, this is not the first time I have asked myself this. Last year was the worst gaming year for me in... well, years. Diablo III wasn't exactly what I expected it to be, Borderlands 2 was plagued with issues (particularly on the PC), Mass Effect 3's ending was... "interesting", Battlefield 3's DLC couldn't keep me interested and I can think of more examples where I simply didn't enjoy the games I was looking forward to.

Now, that also begs a different question. Am I myself perhaps tired of gaming in general, making it harder to actually enjoy games? Could very well be, but I recently discovered Warframe and I can't stop playing it. Simply because it's so much fun to play. That's what I feel is lacking in games nowadays: the fun factor. You know, the reason we are playing in the first place.

After the Minecraft 1.5 update came out I was once again hooked to that game. Why? Because it's fun to play. I'm noticing more and more I am falling back on games I am having fun with and they tend to be years old. Examples are Killing Floor and Team Fortress 2.

I have seen so many games come and go in the past couple of years and I can only remember a handful that really grabbed me by the balls. So yeah, is it me being an "old" fart or are games declining in quality?

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JonahNL1278d ago

Thanks for the approval. :)

IcyEyes1277d ago

Don't let your memories overwrite the reality ...
I can assure you, this generation has an awesome overall quality... from Journey to Halo, with thousand of awesome indie games... even some amateur games are pretty nice.

If people think games show a decline in quality its just not fair for all those developers who work REALLY hard to give to all player awesome games. Most of them (developers) just LOVE to do their work because they love videogames. Look at Cerny for example. He is a man who spent all life to create videogame and when he talk about Ps4 he just spread a lot of passion.

I never understand people who love everything that belongs to the past because the older games had more "soul" or were more "funny" or "anything" was better.
I mean, my 7yo niece totally loves LBP. She completed all levels and she created some from scratch. One day she will remember LBP and her PS3 like something magic in her life, she will have awesome memories, like you guys have great memories about some old games, but the truth is LBP is one of the best platform game ever and LBP is all about modern gaming, current generation, etc ... So our present will be the past for my niece ... a very great past.

I TOTALLY respect you point of view Zidane, but for example you wrote :

"Now, this is not the first time I have asked myself this. Last year was the worst gaming year for me in... well, years. Diablo III wasn't exactly what I expected it to be, Borderlands 2 was plagued with issues (particularly on the PC), Mass Effect 3's ending was... "interesting", Battlefield 3's DLC couldn't keep me interested and I can think of more examples where I simply didn't enjoy the games I was looking forward to."

Yes, its about all about you.
I totally enjoyed all the games you described because I never expect to play the games I have in my mind. I just keep my mind clean and try to enjoy the game I have on my monitor... and that is the same approach younger people have with games ... and probably the same approach you used to have years ago. Probably few years ago you used to play games with your friends on your couch and you get more fun than talk to them with a mic. For sure have friends with you is a LOT more fun ... Lan party for example are incredible, regarding the game you play!

I discuss a lot about this topic with all my friends and colleagues... in the end its only a matter of perception because, really, developers just do all of their best to create great games and if you want we can do a recap of all the games we played in the last 2/3 years and you will find we have been flooded by amazing games.

Ps nothing personal with anyone and I want only to share a different point of view. Hope you enjoy the long message.


IcyEyes1277d ago

I cannot reply in the other tread sorry :(

You wrote :

"And the same can be applied to the fun you have with Killzone 3. To me, it was horrendous, abysmal compared to Killzone 2. It didn't even compare. And yet you say that it's only memories that causes him to have fun. "

Killzone 3 is awesome. Killzone 2 is awesome. If you think KZ3 is horrendous compared to KZ2 probably you don't play it enough ... anyway.
You say :
"...and yet you say that it's only memories that causes him to have fun. "

Sorry but this is a pretty poor statement since I dont get fun from Kz3 only because memories. I STILL play KZ3 ... and KZ2 to be honest (I got the 1% in the first month of the release ... so I play it a LOT). So no memories involved here, just pure fun for me.
Ok, next time I will avoid other reply :)
Have a good day.

Tultras1278d ago

This generation, it wasn't really anything great to begin with.

You can argue with Halo, uncharted, killzone, everything.

I love those games, but can they come close to the games from previous generations? Never.

Just like you said, The games of the previous generations didn't have good graphics ( from today's standard ) and were limited by many ways in the gameplay, but they had a certain.... Feel to them which the games of this generation failed to produce ( for a completely unknown reason to me. )

cpayne931278d ago

For all the better graphics, physics, and smoother controls I honestly don't enjoy games from this gen any more than the previous two gens. In fact I enjoy it less. I find older games usually have a much bigger barrier of entry, but once you get used to them they offer a much more satisfying experience. I actually just bought Jet Force Gemini, Wave Race 64, Body Harvest, and Ocarina of Time used in a game shop near my college.

MonkeyNinja1278d ago

Completely agree with you. I have a 5yr old niece that plays games (got her started at 3!) And she'd rather play older games like Crash Bandicoot, Mario (SNES ones), Donkey Kong Country instead of today's games. She doesn't find most current games appealing for very long. But she also enjoys DKC Returns, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and Tomb Raider (Yes, the newer one. She's made it to ~35% on Normal difficulty, which goes along with the idea that games are getting easier).

The point is that games really were more fun. I find myself playing SNES and PSone games I've never played and having more fun with them than today's games. There are as lot of good ones, like Ni No Kuni, GoWIII, LBP1&2, but mostly today's generation of games lacks soul. I think the passion that most devs had is gone. Look at Rare. Or Squeenix. Or EA (during PS2 days. Remember EA Big?).

cpayne931278d ago

Yeah within the past couple years I got around to playing mgs1 and conker's bad fur day, and I enjoyed both of those games much more than most games that have come out this gen. Lately I've bee finding more enjoyment with older games, sometimes its hard to play with the "outdated" controls, but like I said in my other comment, after you get used to them it offers a much more satisfying experience. Heck even though the controls for older games can be harder to get used to, there's a lot more room for improvement of your skills than there is in most games today. I actually wrote a blog on all of this.

Jek_Porkins1278d ago

It's all relative honestly. I grew up with the NES, Sega Master System and those early consoles, and when I go back and play most games on them, the games are bad, they play bad and are really difficult.

That isn't to say that there weren't some quality games, but back in the 80's and 90's exclusives really mattered because third party games for the most part weren't up to par.

Now third party games are better then ever, but we have a new breed of gamer's who are never happy with anything and feel entitled to everything! I've never seen so many complaints in my life, that has been the biggest disappointment for me personally this generation, not the games, but rather the gamer's themselves, or the vocal minority.

specialagent45321278d ago

Is not being entitlement, is just today's games are heavily monetized. Buy the game, pay for dlc, pay for online passes, etc. Independent game developers are the only ones trying to bring new ips and innovative games. Is too difficult for mainstream developers to make new titles due to publishers not willing to take risks. A lot of games lack alternate endings, mini games, alternate p aths, free unlockables, secret doors passage ways, online servers for some games shutting down in a month or two (EA is known for this). You are telling us to shut up and accept with open arms this new direction of gaming hell no

Jek_Porkins1278d ago

You are making my point, entitlement. Don't like something? complain, then complain some more. You aren't forced to buy DLC or Online Passes/Season Passes. They are totally optional, as are Micro-Transactions.

Do you not understand that games are business? Try owning a business once and then get back to me, it's tough work and you need to make money back in order to stay in business.

As I said earlier, people will find something to complain about these days no matter what it is. Box art for example, I mean who gives a crap really? I don't!

Get over it, game for fun, game as a hobby, but just shut the heck up and game!

Letros1278d ago

Yes, I'm more excited for some of the Kickstarter games than the AAA releases.

specialagent45321278d ago

Can't wait to play consortium ^_^

JonahNL1278d ago

True! I am very much looking forward to Planetary Annihilation and that's just one example. I tend to lean towards indie developed titles nowadays. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is also on my wanted list.

Jyndal1278d ago

Totally. I can't wait for Crate Entertainment to launch the Grim Dawn alpha.

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