I’ve been playing quite a few games recently and have begun to notice a pattern. Developers have begun to focus on making games flashy. They have become obsessed with the special effects. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it has hindered the focus on storyline depth. Now, instead of feeling like you’re a part of the story, you feel as if you are just playing out your role in order to beat the game. Now while there are a few exceptions, this has become the status quo for video games.
To help you understand my point of view, please allow me to give you an analogy. Hollywood is an always evolving entertainment monster. In its early stages, they had to focus on good stories, good acting, and good camera work. Then they hit the 70s and 80s where people had begun to toy around with special effects more and more. The majority of the movies and shows made at that time were very cheesy and poorly made. There were very few exceptions that stood the test of time. Some of these, like Star Wars and Star Trek will forever be remembered as classics, but the thousands of others will simply fade away. Now, Hollywood has finally started to transition out of this slump and has begun applying better special effects to movies and shows that have good story and camera work. They have finally begun to see the harmony of the elements.
In my opinion, video games have hit this same slump. We have discovered how to generate special effects and gorgeous graphics and yet, in many games, we lack the stories that capture imaginations and thrust us into a believeable world full of magic and wonder. Instead, we have resigned ourselves to creating games that are full of explosions, gun shots, fireballs, etc. As with movies, there are exceptions to the rule, but the majority are still distracted with the special effects and have forgotten that the best games have depth.
Now, I am not saying video games are ruined. I simply asked that to make you think a little bit. It is a very quickly evolving industry and while movies and shows spent decades in their slump, I feel that video games will blow right past them and get back up on its feet in a few years. Until then, we have to sift through all the garbage to find the few gems out there.