Sunday, 29 March 2009

Simple gaming

Next-gen gaming brings us the wonders of high-definition visuals & huge game worlds in which to play, but why do developers feel they now have to make games so complicated?

Back in the day where control pads had 2 or 3 buttons and a directional pad there wasn't a lot to learn and remember to be able to play a game. Stick a game into your Xbox 360 now and be prepared for a horrendously complex 'Controls' screen to pop up while the game loads. A function for every one of the multitude of buttons on the pad. Good luck remembering them all.

The introduction of 3D visuals suddenly opened up new possibilities of gameplay - no longer was it a case of scrolling from left to right. But with this brought the end of the side-scrolling beat 'em up, the scrolling shooter and the simple platform games. In developing modern sequels on new platforms, developers felt the need to produce them in 3D. Great, but for every Mario 64 there are a hundred Sonic Adventures.

Picking up a copy of Ultimate Sega Megadrive Collection recently on the Xbox 360, it brings me back to a time when there were no lengthy introductions or training levels - just simple games that could be played through and enjoyed time and time again.

Are games just too clever for their own good nowadays?

1 comment:

  1. good post - more complex doesnt always equal better...i think part of the problem is that the percieved way to progress a game series is to add more - more moves, bigger maps, more players, options, choice...and you end up with the core stuff being diluted...take Street Figher - SF4 is a refereshing change as it cuts out most of the waffle that weighed down the last few installments and focussed on the excellent core stuff.

    That said, you can still have depth without being over-complex. - like ridge racer (while we're going all retro) really simple inputs, but by combining them you get the depth of control that enables people to improve and feel rewarded... :)