From now on, I'll sometimes do "opinion articles" which will consist on talking about a certain subject I find interesting and worthy of discussion.
For this first one I'm gonna talk about videogames and the problems they may have nowadays. Just to be clear I don't want to be that guy saying videogames were better back then, because that's not my intention in this article. I also don't want to be taken as an expert on the matter, I'm just a regular dude who happens to love playing videogames. Also, this list won't have any particular order. I could have easily exchanged the 1st with the 4th or vice versa. So, without further ado, lets get on with it.
1) How to Play ?
One of the most recurrent problems I've noticed in the past few years is "how to play ?". When you hear that expression, you would think of a tutorial, you know, when you go through a level and you have hints of how to do a certain move ? It's great, because you get to test them hands-on, and these tutorials will restart everytime if you get something wrong, so they really push you to play the right way.
Now you just have the whole layout of the controller and what actions the buttons do. Like one of the these
The problem is, once you're in-game you don't really know how to do those moves, because you didn't learned while playing and also because sometimes they put it during loading times, so you don't have enough time to assimilate every button.
For example, you start a game and look at the layout : okay, so L3 to crouch, X to jump... . You know the controls, but you don't know the mechanics.
See, when I play a game, I want to recognise that I was the one to fail, and not the game. When a tutorial is well-constructed, if ever you fail later in the game, you'll say to yourself : well shit, come on, you can do this man. When a tutorial is rushed, or in some cases nonexistent, you'll say : fuck this shit. how was I supposed to know that ?! So because of that, you'll hate the game and you'll spread the word that the game has bad controls, thus the game will sell less copies, which is really sad because maybe the game is great, but because they rushed their "how to play ?", it will lower his popularity and less people are gonna buy it.
2) Assisted gameplay
This is also something that struck my eye in recent years. Game developers nowadays seem to think that players are idiots and we won't understand what to do if we aren't assisted.
For example, in Call of Duty (or any FPS game really), you always have that little follow on top of the head of the guy you have to follow, but don't you always tell yourself : I already know that, they've been with me since the begining of the game. Or even other games, like say, Red Faction Armageddon where they even point you to the objective and you just have to follow the arrows popping in the screen. It's like stripping away the player's intelligence.
I would be okay with the game just saying you have to go to 'someplace' and then you look where that place is on the map and that's it, there's no need of signaling. I also would be fine with just little hints, like when you're really stuck and you can't find the way, the game will tell you a little hint. But seriously, some game developers think every gamer is an idiot and that their game is the first they ever play, which would be highly unlikely. Also with assisted gameplay, you arrive at the objective and you're like : okay, I'm here. Now what ? But when there's no assisted gameplay, once you arrive at the place, you have like a feeling of satisfaction, like... you came here alone, without anyone's help, know what I mean ? Another example of useless assisted gameplay is in Ratchet and Clank (2 or 3, can't remember now). You're going through a level, and then you have someone in your communicator saying Ratchet ! Look out, those laser beams could kill you instantly. Avoid them at all costs. Really ?! Is that info really useful ? The time Insomniac spent to record that sentence could've been used for something else. I mean, it's common knowledge when you're a gamer that things coming directly at you are dangerous.
When I play a game, I like to identify with the character I'm playing. I want the game to make me feel what the character is feeling. I'm not saying every game makes flat characters but a good deal of them do.
The only exceptions are The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, Tomb Raider..... in short, the exceptions are mostly story-based games. In games where multiplayer is the main focus, they tend to overlook the main character. This complaint is somewhat of a nitpick because it seems like it's slowly going away, which can only be good.
Some games lack originality and inventiveness lately. They always rehash the same stories, the same gameplay mechanics. Sadly, the only ones that are truly original (Limbo, Teraway, Rogue Legacy, Transistor...etc) are little indie games that get overshadowed by the AAA games. Then we wonder why a lot of people get into indie games and don't buy the others.
Where did games like Braid go ?
A game with reverse-time mechanics about a guy who wanted to save a princess, only to find out in the end that he was the bad guy of the story.
People want originality, but AAA developers make always the same thing, the same mistakes. Then they come up with a game that is totally gonna change our perception of gaming.... *cough* Fable *cough* Peter Molyneux, but it ends up being the same old thing.
5) Separate systems and exclusives
Now bare with me, this isn't really a problem, but it kind of is sometimes. See for example, you only have an Xbox 360, and you badly want a PS exclusive, say The Last of Us or inFamous, but you don't have enough money to afford another console. That's not really a problem for the video gaming industry, it's actually an advantage, they make more profits. But for gamers, that's a huge problem. Me for example, I only own a PS3 (yes I don't even have the fourth) and I'd like to have Crackdown, Forza or Tenchu Z (which all are Xbox exclusives) but I can't afford a new console.
Don't you always dream of a unified network between consoles (plus PC of course), and for all games (whether exclusives or not) to work in every console ? On second thought, if they ever do that, it will break the entire video game industry, so for them to have separate systems and exclusives is a necessity. But still, a unified network would be welcome, because the majority of games exist in every console, so it will enlarge the multiplayer experience.
And this is all that I could think of today. I'll maybe make an update/edit to add more problems, but most likely not.