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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Recent Decline of Quality

I don't think there's any easy way to go about this so I'll just put it bluntly: game quality is in a decline. Now there are some exceptions to this but the general consensus is that games aren't exactly getting better. Some people will hate me for saying this and be in an uproar and others will recognize what I'm saying. When I say game quality is in a decline, I mean this in a broader term like if you saw the quality of games throughout our entire history from beginning to end via a graph or something. I recently purchased Dishonored because of the raving reviews and I must say they were right. The game is very good, the narrative mature and engaging, and the mechanics blend almost seamlessly throughout the entire campaign. Why did I mention this game? Well you see, for that one game there have been ten others within the same year that have either failed miserably or hid from the public's eye. One game that came out recently, right around the same time, was Fable: The Journey. I groan every time I hear of a new 'Kinect Exclusive' game because I think Kinect is a gimmick. Now, I think of it as a gimmick in the same way as I think of 3D movies: something to distract you from something that is lack luster or terrible that is dressed up in a way you have to say something nice about it. If you've played the first Fable game, you were rightly disappointed. I've already talked about Molyneux's constant overplaying of his games so I won't talk about that further. It is a well regarded fact that the Fable games have gotten worse each game and this game only further proves it.

Let me put this in perspective. Hitman, a game with a massive following and considered to be one of the best games ever, gets a new game that the developers took years to perfect and each game is just as or more awesome than the last. Dishonored, a game no one heard of, got little press, was a stand along title that did something unique with it's story and gameplay mechanics. Assassin's Creed III which was actually built from the ground up after the mixed reviews of Ubisoft's last Assassin's Creed, decided to revolutionize what was done with the gameplay, story and everything else. Now for the bad: Fable The Journey is a lack luster on rails shooter for the Kinect which received no decent reviews to my knowledge. Resident Evil 6 did not live up to it's predecessors despite doing something different (ie. four different gameplays. Not bad but still not in same direction). Inversion was a lack luster shooter built around a unique principle but did nothing to further facilitate the quality of the game. Any sports game (seriously it's just the same game with a few different changes. Why make progress when you can repackage the same game?)

Maybe it's because we've done just about everything or that this industry is still putting profit over innovation. What I am excited for are the really good games that are coming out and I'll forego the ones that did nothing to improve. You want to know what improving is? Borderlands 2 came out not too long ago. What it added from the original story (if you can call it that) was an in depth story with a villain who seems at first to be a joke typecast guy but then turns into a multidimensional character. Add in a whole lot more guns, cooler skills, more awesome settings, better enemies (when they don't bug on the occasional time after time), better characters and more personality. You don't have to make an entirely new game, simply making something better or more finely tuned is great in itself.

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