Originally Posted Sept 18, 2015
Most games fall into some category of genre. Shooters, puzzles, action, horror…they give us a simple classification as to what kind of game we are about to sit down to. Many games even fuse genres, such as puzzle-platformer or action-adventure, becoming genres of their own. Lately however, there seems to be a complacent acceptance that some games simply don’t or shouldn’t cross. The match-3 style game Huniepop makes use of the puzzle to assist in it’s anime style dating simulator. Destiny mixes the game play of an FPS with the story and boss mechanics of an MMO. Even back with games like Warcraft 3, where an RTS met an RPG, we saw crossing of games that typically didn’t occur. Yet it has come to my attention that some people don’t recognize the importance this has on the state of game development, so today i’d like to go over some points I consider important to gaming as we progress.
I’d like to say straight off that I have no problem with games that fit snugly into their genre. An FPS that has a weak story but is held up by a strong multiplayer and varied weapons is the norm, and it is a formula that has proven to work extremely well, given the large e-sport scene behind games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive. You don’t NEED a story to explain why i’m here trying to match three colored bubbles. Now, clearly this doesn’t always work perfectly. Adding FPS elements to survival horror games a la Resident Evil has shown to illicit negative responses from players, with the upcoming Resident Evil game, Umbrella Corp, essentially being CS:GO with a few zombies in the mix. In that example, we lose the core of the game, a survival based horror, and in adding fast past gun based game play, we instead lose the thrill of being surrounded by monsters that could slay us in an instant.
Where I see issue with this is when people see a system that works, and are unable to see how it could work better. I recently had a friend look at Destiny whilst another friend was playing, and he commented why a gun game needs mechanics, it’s a gun game! It’s what got me thinking that games these days are normalizing, meaning they are becoming too set in their own trends. Puzzles are just puzzles, gun games are just gun games, horror is only blood and jump scares. It’s almost like we have slowly bred a weak gene pool of games that lack any diversity within themselves. Games adhere so strongly to what they SHOULD be, that they lose any sense of vision for what they COULD be. As gamers, as the driving force behind our own medium of entertainment, it is our job to encourage developers and publishers to gaze beyond the norm, to know that we no longer want just the same game with a different skin every year. Let them know we love the games we already play, now give us something we’ve never experienced!
Stay Kultured, everyone!