Rebuttal: Is the quality of games declining?
⇌ Author's Note: Please note that this is not a personal attack of any kind. It is merely a respectful counter argument. Thank you. ⇋
It's not an uncommon opinion that the quality of video games today is declining and there have been a plethora of theories as to why and how. I've heard some people claim that developers would rather try to impress you with a cinematic blockbuster hit with little to zero replay value. Most people claim that gameplay is not given nearly as much attention as the story and others say the same but claim the graphics get all the attention. Personally, I feel that all of these are legitimate and logical factors.
In a blog recently posted by one of my peers, the decline of quality in video games is outlined through disappointment, in regards to the lack of the crucial fun factor. Some A-list titles did not live up to his expectations and that is a perfectly acceptable reason to feel that video game quality is declining...that is of course, if the reasons for the disappointment are not horrendously biased, for lack of a better term. Of course, everyone has their opinions when it comes to...well, everything; that, however should not breed the extravagant remark of video game quality declination. Note that this was a generalisation - not to be confused with being direct with another member's opinions.
It is not logical to feel like the quality of video games overall is declining because you find A-list titles (BioShock Infinite, Borderlands, Battlefield, etc.) to be a disappointment, as many of my friends themselves have done. If one wants to determine the quality of video games in general, one must look at video games as a whole and see what areas are focused on most today. Is more attention given to story over gameplay or audio over visuals? You can't just say, "I didn't like a game that thousands of others love, so the quality of video games must be declining." It's ludicrous.
I did not much care for BioShock Infinite. I wasn't disappointed by it whatsoever, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. As is the case with a lot of games that are more popular amongst the gaming community like Call of Duty and Gears of War. Gamers themselves need to find their niche - what genre appeals most to you? Discover it and build your nest. In other words, don't go for a game in a genre you don't like and be surprised when it disappoints or annoys you. I don't like fighting games, so I steer clear of Mortal Kombat, Injustice and games of that nature. I'm not going to waste money on a game I know I won't like and save myself disappointment and aggravation.
I am a fan of some racing, stealth, adventure, role-playing and the rare first and third person shooter (aside from Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row which are automatic must-haves.) I stick to games in those genres and I find it hard to be disappointed. You need to know and understand what you like, what you look for and what you'd be interested in giving a go. Understand and know yourself as a gamer.
Do I feel that the quality of video games is declining? Absolutely not. Look around you - there are plenty of games out there where it is blatantly obvious that a lot of thought and hard work went into them and it shows quite well.
• Elder Scrolls (even though the bugs on the PS3 version cause most people to ignore the overall quality of the game and hate it as a whole.)
• Grand Theft Auto
• Tomb Raider
• Heavy Rain
• L.A. Noire
• Far Cry 3
• Max Payne 3
You should also take into account upcoming games that we've seen demonstrations of that have caught the eyes of many gamers, in which the quality is undeniable: Watch Dogs, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Grand Theft Auto V and Until Dawn to name a few.
Don't lose faith in video games just because a few have disappointed you, friends. There are millions of video games out there and with anything, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. I'm constantly discovering games that I enjoy by spending time researching missed gems and browsing the shelves at GameStop. You'd be amazed, truly, at what's out there that you might've missed.
On a final note, allow me to restate my counter-claim: the overall quality of video games is not declining. There are still developers out there releasing games worth their weight in money. The problem lies in developers' lack of focus on crucial aspects. You could have the most graphically advanced game of the generation, but that doesn't excuse a 5 hour campaign with little to zero replayability, with a $60 price tag.