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gaming This might be the most dynamic era of gaming yet


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The seventh generation of gaming was very... Divisive among gamers. There were some amazing games last generation, plenty. But it didn't come without some problems. Game budgets exploded with the rise of HD development, so much so, that many developers went under because what was considered successful in generations past, wasn't enough to make back a budget today. New features like Downloadable Content and Software Updates were abused by publishers, looking to squeeze every cent out of their games as much as possible or cut corners to rush a product to market. But most notably, full retail games became more and more homogenized. There were still amazing experiences, BioShock, Dead Space, Bayonetta, Uncharted, InFamous, Last of Us, etc. But the aforementioned increasingly high game budgets ment that many games you see for the major consoles adopted similar tropes and aesthetics, even franchises we grew up with. This led to at best, limited game variety, and at worst some great franchises completely destroyed by being jammed into a box. Either way, whether you liked 7th gen or not, looking back, several of the foundations it established would eventually become blueprints for the current generation.


Personally, I think this generation in terms of games being made, has been the most refined and dynamic one yet. And that all starts with digital distribution. Digital distribution is not a new concept, it got it's start on consoles only last generation. At the time though, the format was seen as more of a novelty than a true revolution. Now, Platforms like Steam just keep growing in popularity, nearly every game on any major platform has a digital download option on their respective storefronts, and the two biggest mobile platforms for games (iOS and Android) don't even have physical Media at all. The rise in mainstream popularity of digital distribution also led to the current indie game boom. Indie games got their start last generation, but the none of the big 3 really knew how to create an environment that would reward them sufficiently, which led to most of them being PC only. Now? You'd be hard-pressed to find a major indie game on Steam that doesn't have a PS4, Xbox One, or even a Wii U release.


The rise of indie games, and mobile games gave developers more ways to get games out there, and the increasingly open nature of these platforms also allows game development to be more accessible. The popularity of indie games also seems to have an effect on playing habits of gamers. Minecraft, Rocket League, Shovel Knight, and Undertale have all become some of the biggest games this generation, possibly more than many of the homogenized AAA games of the past. Speaking of AAA games, the indie popularity has also seemed to affected them too. We're seeing a slow increase in AAA games that are more colorful and less trope ridden than the 7th generation, examples include Horizon: Zero Dawn, and The Witcher III. The 2 biggest console shooters right now, have nothing to do with Space Marines or generic military stories. Instead, one is a kid-friendly game about humanoid squids shooting ink, and the other is a Pixar-esque super-hero game with not only an eccentric cast, but also managed to win Game of the Year this year.


So while there are still quite a few problems with gaming, I think this is the most mature and refined the medium has been in years.

  • Brohoof 1
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I absolutely agree. This generation has its problems for sure. Season passes, horrendous business tactics by companies like Activision and Konami, and in some games a terrible lack of testing, but this gen is my favorite in gaming. We now have a generation in gaming where not only do we have an extreme huge amount of games to choose from, but we even have tons of choices that aren't even gaming related. the PS4 and Xbox One are both extreme media powerhouses which goes incredibly well with the overall package. Add that in with the fantastic social features for finding people with similar interests and the sales that we get every week on these different platforms, the end result is a gaming gen I am very happy with overall. As if that wasn't enough, this is all cheaper than most gaming systems of the past. Right now you can get an Xbox One S or a PS4 for $300. In contrast, the near featureless 3DO launched at $700 in the early 90's! Nowadays that would be over $1,000.


Like I said, gaming does have its rough edges for sure, thanks to some greedy companies being greedy and all, but I still think we are quite lucky to have what we have.

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I agree in many ways but mainly I just think the games coming out recently have had a much-needed injection of soul in them. Last gen, and somewhat in the one before that, games wanted so badly to implement features into their games that they were willing to sacrifice playability and coherence to have it.


More or less developers thought they were clever but lacked the foresight and/Or resources to pull it all together.


As a recent example you can take a look at Final Fantasy 15 compared to Final Fantasy 13. While FF15 has it's own share of problems it's very distinctly playable and accessible while still delivering on most of the promised quality where FF13 tried too hard to appeal to newcomers by making the game more linear. This ended poorly when it was blasted critically for those very features because it took away a lot of expected control from the player.


The game also had the issue where it looked much cooler at first glance than it actually turned out to be. When I saw gameplay in a video I thought I was in for a wild ride of action against large creatures where I controlled the characters' movements to avoid damage. This was far from the reality when you only had control over the attacks used while the battle system still ran on a relatively active basis, which included the need for spacial awareness which you had no control over.


This is generally how all of gaming has been affected and changed over the last five years or so. Developers are finally getting their heads out of their assets and making games easy to love again.

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  • 6 years later...

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