Are modern video games getting stale too quickly?
With the last few AAA releases occurring these last few months, I am finding myself extremely underwhelmed by the new titles being published. Perhaps I’m the minority, but let me walk you through my thoughts on why I believe we may have hit a wall and why things have become stale and repetitive.
Firstly, let’s focus on PC Gaming, I have this year only purchased two titles that were not expansions, Batman – Arkham Knight and Wolfenstein: The New Order (yes a game from 2014, which I enjoyed). As I’m sure anyone who purchase Arkham Knight knows, the PC release was a shambles, I fortunately didn’t suffer or care much for the texture complaints (I mean seriously, if you’re going to piss and moan about a console having minutely better looking textures, you need to readdress your priorities), however I did cop the extremely poor FPS drops when running at moderate settings on a GTX680. Don’t get me wrong, the game was playable, but with the amount of negativity surrounding the game and the inconvenient nature of the frame drops, I decided to pack it in and wait for the patch in September, but even still it completely put me off the game and I haven’t touched it since. Anyone who also played Arkham City on PC will be aware of the DirectX 11 issues that plagued the PC version for months, once again completely put me off the game.
So there’s one of the main issues, hardware/software problems putting a player completely off a game.
With that said not all PC titles have had bad releases, the games themselves have just been…underwhelming. I played the Star Wars: Battlefront BETA and couldn’t help but think it was Battlefield with Star Wars skins, any manner of hype surrounding the franchise aspects of the game for me were quickly diminished after a few hours of playing. It’s not a bad game, but it just got stale, really fast. Which reminds me of Titanfall, it was kinda cool, kinda new, but once again, stale, fast.
I will admit (and you can hate me for it) I haven’t completed the Legacy of the Void campaign just yet, I did complete the prologue, but not before I rushed to finish the Heart of the Swarm campaign (I hear pitchforks clattering *eep*) before LotV was released so I can’t comment just yet, but then again, I never find Blizzard games underwhelming, maybe repetitive (Diablo 3 comes to mind).
This moves me to Console gaming, now I’m a big Nintendo and Legend of Zelda fan and always have been, but I have not touched my Wii U for close to 6 months, Splatoon looked cool, but it was just another multiplayer shoot fest, which once again I grew tired of after the short 2 hour window I had to play the BETA. The only real upcoming titles I am looking forward to on the Wii U is the Twilight Princess HD release and the unnamed Zelda title which is due next year (however I fear this will be a Twilight Princess scenario again with it being released on both Wii U and the NX). This isn’t inherently a problem with consoles as a whole, but probably more specific with Nintendo and their lack of titles.
Halo 5, I bought an Xbox One specifically to continue playing the franchise, I came to the party late in regards to Halo starting with Halo 3 and playing through the titles that followed. I’m not sure if it’s specifically Microsoft’s doing, but the story was a key reason I loved the franchise and it honestly didn’t resonate with me in 4 and 5. Halo 5 especially was extremely underwhelming story wise and was far too short, with the voice in the back of my head saying “they’re going to be releasing story DLC to make more money”. The multiplayer was enjoyable, but I guess just like every multiplayer game it can get stale very quickly, Warzone for me was a cluttered mess that was 90% of the time a one sided massacre, I stopped playing after two weeks.
I did pickup Fallout 4 for Xbox One and did enjoy the start of it, having been a Fallout virgin and this being my first foray into the franchise, I’m not a huge RPG fan but I believe this may be one of the stand out titles released this year. It’s not a game that seems overly repetitive, but alas I need to plonk some more hours into it before I make any kind of judgement call.
Why the whinge?
So what exactly am I complaining about? There have been some great titles released this year, but for me personally, none of them have kept me wanting to keep playing. This past year I’ve plonked more time into CS:GO, Hearthstone and funnily enough I just started my Warcraft subscription back up after a 6 month hiatus. I mean, these are “old” games, CS GO was released in 2012, however I feel the eSports scene generating regained interest in the franchise was part of my commitment to get back to playing it, but having played since 1.3 and actually enjoying drunk random evenings hassling casuals is always enjoyable. Granted Hearthstone is not old, but damn it, it is flexible. Sure you can run the cookie cutter decks that rank up quickly, but there’s enough flexibility there to really have a play around with deck combinations and experiment (being a Warcraft nut helps the cause).
Finally, World of Warcraft – I can hear the cries of ex-players saying “Why!? Why do this to yourself?!”. It’s an eleven year old game and it’s still got five million active members, seriously 5 million people are still playing an eleven year old title. A lot of people give WoW flack for dropping subscription numbers, but it is still ranked the third most played game in the world (CS:GO and LoL taking up second and first respectively), after renewing my subscription just the other week, I was pondering as to why I kept returning to this game.
Graphically it is extremely dated compared to what we have available now, and Warlords of Draenor is quite possibly (in my opinion) the worst expansion release next to Cataclysm in terms of abysmal content, and a completely underwhelming experience from a story line perspective. But hang on, why on earth have I resubscribed to a dated game that I believe is running one of the worst expansions in it’s history?
After thinking about it this last week or so, it’s pretty simple really; it’s fun. I mean if you look past the dated graphics and the current expansions failures, the game is still inherently enjoyable to play.
Want to raid after a 6 months hiatus? No problem, queue for LFR and get straight back into it to explore everything you missed! Want to work on your achievements? Go for it, there’s no rush or pressure to get them completed. The new expansion has been announced? Great time to level up those alt characters or even start a new one.
I mean, WoW has it all and is extremely flexible in what you can do, and when you want to do it… Well that’s how I feel about it anyway.
That said, my point is, I am finding more enjoyment from playing an 11 year old title, than I have with the last few releases of this year and last. Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor, or maybe it’s just a great title that keeps on giving.
What do you think? Do you find yourself going back to older titles more frequently? Do you find the newest releases get boring extremely quickly? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.