Are games today really that bad?

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I've been reading through lots of forum posts, and other things, and everything i read hit home one subject. nostalgia.

From one thread to another, I soon had all the materials for a shirt made of the stuff. but i was wondering. Are the new games really all that terrible?

I'm not saying ALL of them, God no, but i do believe SOME of them at least deserve a chance to prove themselves, but all we do today is look at them, sigh and turn back to things like pokemon yellow, or things along those lines. personally, i had a lot of fun with games like InFamous, Infamous 2, Halo:reach, and so on and so forth.

But i was looking for a general opinion. What do you think? Are the games of today really doomed, and developers should pack up and worship the basics? Or are there still original ideas out there, and the later games are the better. Be as controversial as you like, I'm not gonna stop you.

Each gaming generation has it's hits and misses, same as music, movies, books etc.

Now is no different.

I would actually argue that with the rise of indie developers, more gamers, more competition for sales etc, gaming is now at it's strongest.

Well the problem with games today is that they're often being developed for PC and for consoles at the same time, this is bad for quality in two ways.

1) Playing a game with a gamepad is very different from playing a game with a mouse/keyboard, developing a game to work with both control schemes often means the controls are often not as tight as they could have been, usually more for the PC side than the console side.

2) We're over a year overdue for the next generation of consoles and developers have hit a brick wall in terms of how far they can push themselves. As a result we're not seeing as much progression as we could be seeing, especially for the PC side because the average gaming PC can now blow the socks off any PS3.

In the early days, and up till about the start of the century games were (largely) "by gamers for gamers" and made by mid-sized companies, they could afford to make a great deal of different games for different audiences and experiment around with ideas and cool new stuff.

In that time period even a lot of genres were born or reinvented from the First Person Shooter (both Offline and Online), MMORPG, RealTime Strategy, Isometric RPGs, Graphical Point&Click Adventure games and more, especially through the late 80s and the 90s and there were also a bunch of creative new concepts... things like Worms, Lemmings, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital etc.

With the rise of the Mass Market (and mass market consoles), most of the big publishers (and developers that worked for them) catered to what they perceive that market to be, which means if it ain't a Shooter, Sports game or "Action" RPG it probably won't sell. In 2007 the gaming industry surpassed the profits made by the music industry, in 2009 it surpassed the profits made by the movie industry and Call of Duty holds the record for the fastest/best selling entertainment budget ever, throughout that time suits that moved in to profit from the green pastures of gaming increasingly made the decisions of what games they are going to greenlight and which are worth funding, look at Activision as a prime example for that for instance, instead of trying to put up a broad field of different and diverse games they have cancelled almost their entire lineup after merging with Blizzard and were mostly living off of Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty (two of those brands they managed to run into the ground) and are living off of World of Warcraft and whatever Blizzard does.

Publishers largely have blinders in front of their face and if it doesn't promise to be or sell like Call of Duty, FIFA (and now Skyrim) and similar they likely won't even consider it, just as big film studios won't support "Indie" films or films trying new things.

There's a new ray of hope on the horizon though, with Digital Distribution, Indie development being really successful and a lot of small companies making their money with lower budget development, pretty much starting around the time "Minecraft" became so popular. This also culminated in the Kickstarter phenomenon and we'll hopefully see some more great, diverse games for all audiences again other than Shooters, Sports games and Action RPGs.

I'm a little disappointed as of late with the direction of RPGs. The broad, open ended RPGs that were predominantly isometric (Fallout 1 & 2, Arcanum, early D&D RPGS) seem to have fallen to the wayside for a more cinematic experience. They are fun and have their own reasons for being great, but they are not the same.

Partly I would blame the huge development costs now in making games. Graphics has become all important, and this cost has probably increased astronomically compared to the old sprite based games. Voice acting is another one there too. When these costs make up for so much of your budget (that, and marketing nowadays), how much is there to spend on 'true' RPG elements like we used to have? It's better to play it safe with a proven strategy of wowing people with great graphics than to try and wow people with awesome characters and dialogue. I can't imagine how hard it would be to sell a game like Fallout 1 nowadays with its graphics.

Games are becoming more cinematic because people want to see big budget movies, just paying 60$ for them and playing them for 5 hours.

I'll just leave this right here

image

I'd have to say gaming today is stronger than ever, with beautiful art and driven stories.
Just played through the new Assassin's Creed DLC and I must say it was beautiful. No complaints.

So no, they're really not bad. You just have to look at them with a different eye than you would with oldschool games.

Indecipherable:
I'm a little disappointed as of late with the direction of RPGs. The broad, open ended RPGs that were predominantly isometric (Fallout 1 & 2, Arcanum, early D&D RPGS) seem to have fallen to the wayside for a more cinematic experience. They are fun and have their own reasons for being great, but they are not the same.

Partly I would blame the huge development costs now in making games. Graphics has become all important, and this cost has probably increased astronomically compared to the old sprite based games. Voice acting is another one there too. When these costs make up for so much of your budget (that, and marketing nowadays), how much is there to spend on 'true' RPG elements like we used to have? It's better to play it safe with a proven strategy of wowing people with great graphics than to try and wow people with awesome characters and dialogue. I can't imagine how hard it would be to sell a game like Fallout 1 nowadays with its graphics.

I agree. There are some directions I wish gaming didn't take this generation, but this stands out the most for me. We've seen a resurgence of old school rpg support in the past few years especially in the indie scene(Age of Decadence, Dead State, Wasteland 2, etc.) but the genre feels like a shadow of its former glory.

Not at all, in fact for myself things have been looking up with the flourishing of 'indie' developers on the PC and now crowd-sourced development. For a while there I was starting to get worried the 'give it a try' sort of spirit was dying as far as games went. Gone it seemed were the days of developers like Looking Glass Studios, Ion Storm, Troika or Black Isle all of which were known for releasing sometimes quirky but always memorable experiences. Most developers and publishers alike just too scared of risk to try anything new...

Fortunately that proved not to be the case. True AAA games are still rarely what I'd call imaginative and tend to for the most part play things safe, but there's still plenty of innovation and cleverness out there if only you know where to look. Plus with digital distribution so widespread on the PC now, even some of the big company are giving some weirder ideas a shot.

Maybe I'm just an optimist but for PC at least things seem to be going up! I'm liking it!

Nah, games have only gotten better.

Graphics are better (duh).
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)
Level and gameplay design is better.
Interface design is miles better.

People look around and see that 90% of games are mediocre or crap and that there are Call of Duty imitations everywhere. But that's how it's always been. Twenty years ago 90% of games were mediocre or crap. The only difference was that we were knee-deep in 2D platformers instead of FPSs.

There is a divide between new AAA games and new games from smaller developers. The former show a clear lack of innovation and motivation to do their best. The big well known publishers sell through marketing, while smaller publishers try to sell on price and quality.

The last few years has been nothing but the basics in the AAA titles, showing average design and a lot of expensive polish. Thats not to say they are bad or boring to play, just that they really could have done better.

I think it's also shameful to see that full priced games are lacking in basic features and design that used to be standard. Skyrim has an appaling UI that no self-respecting developer would have released in 2000. A lot of games have menus nested several layers deep that take forever to use, and are lacking basic graphics options.

There is another side to it though. Smaller publishers do exist that both innovate and refine. Paradox' newest title Crusader Kings II is one of their strongest games ever. Witcher 2 was a great example of a cinematic action RPG that did almost everything better than the competitors. We also have games like Terraria, Minecraft and Magicka that genuinely forge new gameplay. And with the momentum on the indy scene, lately with some very interesting kickstarter projects, chances are there will be more to come.

We need to get away from the design commitee work of the board rooms, and get more games designed by actual game creators. Those hard working people that know their craft needs to get back in charge, and it seems like it is slowly happening.

Zhukov:
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

That's one game. You can't point to one single game from the late 90s and say it's proof positive that games suck nowadays.

Besides, for all I hear about how wonderful PS:T's writing was, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep me interested.

Zhukov:

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

That's one game. You can't point to one single game from the late 90s and say it's proof positive that games suck nowadays.

Besides, for all I hear about how wonderful PS:T's writing was, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep me interested.

I'm not saying they are sucking, I'm saying that I disagree that writing is getting better. It is entirely a matter of opinion for this. I would further add that the old D&D RPGs by Black Isle, as well as Fallout 1 & 2, pretty much blow away everything made in the last 5 years.

I have at least presented games (Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate, Arcanum) that I believe are superior in writing, I note you have not presented anything.

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:

Indecipherable:

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

That's one game. You can't point to one single game from the late 90s and say it's proof positive that games suck nowadays.

Besides, for all I hear about how wonderful PS:T's writing was, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep me interested.

I'm not saying they are sucking, I'm saying that I disagree that writing is getting better. It is entirely a matter of opinion for this. I would further add that the old D&D RPGs by Black Isle, as well as Fallout 1 & 2, pretty much blow away everything made in the last 5 years.

I have at least presented games (Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate, Arcanum) that I believe are superior in writing, I note you have not presented anything.

I'll chime with Mass Effect 1, the two Witcher games, The Old Republic, the HL2 games possibly.

Writing is hard to pin down though - I really liked the writing for Alpha Protocol, but that was more a good use of cliches I guess than anything else.

distortedreality:

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:

That's one game. You can't point to one single game from the late 90s and say it's proof positive that games suck nowadays.

Besides, for all I hear about how wonderful PS:T's writing was, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep me interested.

I'm not saying they are sucking, I'm saying that I disagree that writing is getting better. It is entirely a matter of opinion for this. I would further add that the old D&D RPGs by Black Isle, as well as Fallout 1 & 2, pretty much blow away everything made in the last 5 years.

I have at least presented games (Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate, Arcanum) that I believe are superior in writing, I note you have not presented anything.

I'll chime with Mass Effect 1, the two Witcher games, The Old Republic, the HL2 games possibly.

Writing is hard to pin down though - I really liked the writing for Alpha Protocol, but that was more a good use of cliches I guess than anything else.

I never played the Witcher games (well, I played the first for an hour but it didn't grab me).

The Old Republic is hard to pin down as to which one you mean.

KOTOR1 - the story is ultra-generic except for the one twist. HK-47 was very well done. But the story was basically about as deep as a child's cartoon.

KOTOR2 - fantastic story. Funnily enough, written by a lot of the people from the studios I mentioned earlier. This game is a contender to those I mentioned, but it's not a new game.

TOR - BLhehhhhh. Seriously awful writing. I'd blame the genre for it, trying to put a story into an MMO just didn't work. I felt massively let down. Companions were trite and contributed next to nothing.

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:

Indecipherable:

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

That's one game. You can't point to one single game from the late 90s and say it's proof positive that games suck nowadays.

Besides, for all I hear about how wonderful PS:T's writing was, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep me interested.

I'm not saying they are sucking, I'm saying that I disagree that writing is getting better. It is entirely a matter of opinion for this. I would further add that the old D&D RPGs by Black Isle, as well as Fallout 1 & 2, pretty much blow away everything made in the last 5 years.

I have at least presented games (Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate, Arcanum) that I believe are superior in writing, I note you have not presented anything.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Fallout 1 had good writing? Fallout 1 blows everything made in the last five years out of the water? Yeah... wow. Gotta say, I'm having trouble taking that statement seriously.

(I'm picking on that example because it's the one I most clearly remember. The rest are a highly forgettable blur.)

And if you want counter-examples, then here they are: Bioshock, Portal 1&2, Mass Effect 1,2 & 3, Half Life 2 Ep 2, Red Dead Redemption and Bastion.

No, on the whole, the average game has increased in quality over the years.

People tend to wear giant nostalgia goggles and only remember the best games of the past. Most of the times, those games are also the first within their genre they played, worming their way into their subconscious as the default example on how to do it right. Not that those games weren't great and some of them still are, but many don't don't do all that well anymore when held up to modern standards. The exceptions are of course the real classics.

I remember a time when nostalgia was better. Funny thing.

Dexter111:
which means if it ain't a Shooter, Sports game or "Action" RPG it probably won't sell.

It wont sell by todays standards, you mean.

Of course FIFA is going to sell twice the copies The Witcher 2 will, but hey, thats the way it goes. And guess what? CDProjekt are aware of that and keep making RPGs.

Which kind of leads into the OT again. Personally I dont think theres ever been a better time to be a gamer. The recent flood of generic military shooters does not hinder your enjoyment of old isometric RPGs, and whats more, a few studios are still bringing them out today. These titles are often better than what we had 8 years ago. Hardcore games are still out there, just as many, and they arent going anywhere, you just have to look a little harder because they are buried under titles like Homefront and MOH.

I mean, look at a few recent games. Assassin of Kings, Demon and Dark Souls, Bastion, Red Dead, Skyrim (admittedly that was "dumbed down" a little), the Baldurs Gate remakes, and a full host of indie titles I cant even remember the names of coming out soon that are more akin to the first Wizardry game than anything else.

So looking at those titles, I dont think todays games are by any means bad. I get the best of both; hardcore titles and, should I ever feel the desire to play a more casual title, I can.

Zhukov:
Twenty years ago 90% of games were mediocre or crap. The only difference was that we were knee-deep in 2D platformers instead of FPSs.

And naturally, no one remembers those 5 billion 2D platformers, just like no one will remember Homefront in 10 years time. Then these forums, should they still exist, will be full of people talking about how gaming now was full of quality titles and only quality titles.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Dexter111:
which means if it ain't a Shooter, Sports game or "Action" RPG it probably won't sell.

It wont sell by todays standards, you mean.

Of course I meant by todays standards, what else? Titles like Terraria and Super Meat Boy even manage to sell a million and I think Bastion about 500.000, but just like movie studios want the "new Avatar" and are literally both crunching out new "Exciting 3D titles" and busy remaking every single old title to be shown in "Amazing 3D!" and get even more money, game publishers are looking for the next Call of Duty, or if they're not aiming for that at least the next Gears of War or Skyrim while not Greenlighting any project without Resemblance to any of those (even Remaking the likes of Syndicate or X-COM into Shooters) and it's all just pathetically sad to behold.

Which kind of leads into the OT again. Personally I dont think theres ever been a better time to be a gamer. The recent flood of generic military shooters does not hinder your enjoyment of old isometric RPGs, and whats more, a few studios are still bringing them out today. These titles are often better than what we had 8 years ago. Hardcore games are still out there, just as many, and they arent going anywhere, you just have to look a little harder because they are buried under titles like Homefront and MOH.

I mean, look at a few recent games. Assassin of Kings, Demon and Dark Souls, Bastion, Red Dead, Skyrim (admittedly that was "dumbed down" a little), the Baldurs Gate remakes, and a full host of indie titles I cant even remember the names of coming out soon that are more akin to the first Wizardry game than anything else.

Uhm, you're talking about "old isometric RPGs" (e.g. Ultima, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Fallout, Arcanum etc., which are amongst the best titles ever released) and are comparing them to a bunch of Action-RPGs you are saying are "better than what there was 8 years ago" (well 8 years ago maybe, because that was the start of the decline where everything had to go 3D, but certainly not 10+) and you're actually being serious? Wow... and yeah I admitted in my post that there's a little upturn through Kickstarter and similar. The Baldur's Gate "Remakes" (they call them Enhanced actually) are neither new games, nor do we know if they will surpass the old showing just yet.
I mean, I loved Witcher 2 and I'm looking forward to Dark Souls but they don't have anything on those games and they ARE Action-RPGs...

I can't even take the other guy serious trying to compare the writing of Bioshock, Mass Effect and Half Life: Episode 2, basically a bunch of shooters where you shoot stuff and watch some Cutscenes to the likes of Planescape or Fallout 1 and I'm just hoping he never played them before :P

I feel like the love has gone out of them. Developers used to work on a game, and put creativeness, hard work, and affection into their games. Now it's all a quick cash in. Naughty Dog is one of the only developers that I can feel still cares about their games. Even Insomniac has drifted.

Well, todays mediocre games are bad if you take the best of the best from the 90s. Not so much the good stuff from todays scene.

EHKOS:
I feel like the love has gone out of them. Developers used to work on a game, and put creativeness, hard work, and affection into their games. Now it's all a quick cash in. Naughty Dog is one of the only developers that I can feel still cares about their games. Even Insomniac has drifted.

Are you serious? Even the most generic CoD spinoff takes probably more effort from the team it makes it as any old game.

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

im sure you could have picked a better example then torment, yeah it has good writing, but its choice of delivery is dire, its basically just walls of text, albeit very graphic and usually fairly interesting text but still basically like reading a novel, at least now a days game try to do a little more then just drop a crap-ton of information on you at any one time

Games have lost some of their creative freedom.

Their still good, and in some ways better (controls), but you can't help but feel like they're being constricted by their monstrous budgets.

ofcourse they aren't. try playing an old shooter or rts and you will notice... hell no....

old games, for the most part, were ugly and had clunky controls.

take the original deus ex. for all it's merits, that game was UGLY. it really hurts the eyes. Nobody truly wants to go back in time, anyone saying with a straight face that the original doom is a better shooter then the current generation is talking out of his ass.

DeadYorick:
Games are becoming more cinematic because people want to see big budget movies, just paying 60$ for them and playing them for 5 hours.

I'll just leave this right here

image

That is a fucking amazing picture! hahaha!

P.S, Yorick rules :3

OT: Well companies nowadays stick less effort into their games if they know it will sell just as well anyway, it's all about the money! :(

Dexter111:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Dexter111:
which means if it ain't a Shooter, Sports game or "Action" RPG it probably won't sell.

It wont sell by todays standards, you mean.

Of course I meant by todays standards, what else? Titles like Terraria and Super Meat Boy even manage to sell a million and I think Bastion about 500.000, but just like movie studios want the "new Avatar" and are literally both crunching out new "Exciting 3D titles" and busy remaking every single old title to be shown in "Amazing 3D!" and get even more money, game publishers are looking for the next Call of Duty, or if they're not aiming for that at least the next Gears of War or Skyrim and it's all just pathetically sad to behold.

Which kind of leads into the OT again. Personally I dont think theres ever been a better time to be a gamer. The recent flood of generic military shooters does not hinder your enjoyment of old isometric RPGs, and whats more, a few studios are still bringing them out today. These titles are often better than what we had 8 years ago. Hardcore games are still out there, just as many, and they arent going anywhere, you just have to look a little harder because they are buried under titles like Homefront and MOH.

I mean, look at a few recent games. Assassin of Kings, Demon and Dark Souls, Bastion, Red Dead, Skyrim (admittedly that was "dumbed down" a little), the Baldurs Gate remakes, and a full host of indie titles I cant even remember the names of coming out soon that are more akin to the first Wizardry game than anything else.

Uhm, you're talking about "old isometric RPGs" (e.g. Ultima, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Fallout, Arcanum etc., which are amongst the best titles ever released) and are comparing them to a bunch of Action-RPGs you are saying are "better than what there was 8 years ago" and you're actually being serious? Wow... and yeah I admitted in my post that there's a little upturn through Kickstarter and similar. The Baldur's Gate "Remakes" (they call them Enhanced actually) are neither new games, nor do we know if they will surpass the old showing just yet.
I mean, I loved Witcher 2 and I'm looking forward to Dark Souls but they don't have anything on those games and they ARE Action-RPGs...

I can't even take the other guy serious trying to compare the writing of Bioshock, Mass Effect and Half Life: Episode 2, basically a bunch of shooters where you shoot stuff and watch some Cutscenes to the likes of Planescape or Fallout 1 and I'm just hoping he never played them before :P

Wow. This was an intelligent discussion about whether new games are better than older ones, and along comes captain internet with 'herp derp you disagree with me so you must be stupid and wrong.'He prefers action rpgs, you prefer older rpgs. Neither of you is right or wrong.

OT I think games today are no better or worse, just diiferent, although my experience of older games is a bit limited in fairness. All of my favourite games have come out within the last 5 years (except Oblivion), but like i said, my experience of games is mainly recent ones.

Dexter111:
I can't even take the other guy serious trying to compare the writing of Bioshock, Mass Effect and Half Life: Episode 2, basically a bunch of shooters where you shoot stuff and watch some Cutscenes to the likes of Planescape or Fallout 1 and I'm just hoping he never played them before :P

That would be me, and yes, apart from Arcanum, I have played those old games you're referring to.

Can't say I particularly like your implication that I cannot possibly have formed my opinion after having played them. 'Cause anyone who disagrees with you is clearly operating on incomplete information. Oh, the arrogance.

Also, "bunch of shooters where you shoot some stuff and watch some cutscenes"? Right. Unlike those "RPGs where you stab some stuff and read some dialogue". Deep. :P

...

Also, Planescape Torment has more cutscenes than Bioshock and HL2 Ep2 put together. Just thought I'd mention that.

Dexter111:

I can't even take the other guy serious trying to compare the writing of Bioshock, Mass Effect and Half Life: Episode 2, basically a bunch of shooters where you shoot stuff and watch some Cutscenes to the likes of Planescape or Fallout 1 and I'm just hoping he never played them before :P

Ah, an elitist who thinks than FPS can't have good writing. Get your head out of your ass please.

And yeah, especially those HL games are soo well known for their narrative through cutscenes...

Dexter111:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Dexter111:
which means if it ain't a Shooter, Sports game or "Action" RPG it probably won't sell.

It wont sell by todays standards, you mean.

Of course I meant by todays standards, what else? Titles like Terraria and Super Meat Boy even manage to sell a million and I think Bastion about 500.000, but just like movie studios want the "new Avatar" and are literally both crunching out new "Exciting 3D titles" and busy remaking every single old title to be shown in "Amazing 3D!" and get even more money, game publishers are looking for the next Call of Duty, or if they're not aiming for that at least the next Gears of War or Skyrim while not Greenlighting any project without Resemblance to any of those (even Remaking the likes of Syndicate or X-COM into Shooters) and it's all just pathetically sad to behold.

Which kind of leads into the OT again. Personally I dont think theres ever been a better time to be a gamer. The recent flood of generic military shooters does not hinder your enjoyment of old isometric RPGs, and whats more, a few studios are still bringing them out today. These titles are often better than what we had 8 years ago. Hardcore games are still out there, just as many, and they arent going anywhere, you just have to look a little harder because they are buried under titles like Homefront and MOH.

I mean, look at a few recent games. Assassin of Kings, Demon and Dark Souls, Bastion, Red Dead, Skyrim (admittedly that was "dumbed down" a little), the Baldurs Gate remakes, and a full host of indie titles I cant even remember the names of coming out soon that are more akin to the first Wizardry game than anything else.

Uhm, you're talking about "old isometric RPGs" (e.g. Ultima, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Fallout, Arcanum etc., which are amongst the best titles ever released) and are comparing them to a bunch of Action-RPGs you are saying are "better than what there was 8 years ago" (well 8 years ago maybe, because that was the start of the decline where everything had to go 3D, but certainly not 10+) and you're actually being serious? Wow... and yeah I admitted in my post that there's a little upturn through Kickstarter and similar. The Baldur's Gate "Remakes" (they call them Enhanced actually) are neither new games, nor do we know if they will surpass the old showing just yet.
I mean, I loved Witcher 2 and I'm looking forward to Dark Souls but they don't have anything on those games and they ARE Action-RPGs...

I can't even take the other guy serious trying to compare the writing of Bioshock, Mass Effect and Half Life: Episode 2, basically a bunch of shooters where you shoot stuff and watch some Cutscenes to the likes of Planescape or Fallout 1 and I'm just hoping he never played them before :P

To be honest, I lost a chunk of my interest in isometric RPGs a while ago, but they are out there. I can think of 3 indie titles coming out in the next year or so that should be right for you, but I cant remember any of the names. One of them is literally Wizardry with better graphics and a different story. (Although thats not exactly isometric.)

And for what its worth, yes, I do prefer todays action RPGs to most isometric titles. By that I mean games like AOK or Dark Souls, not "RPGs" like Mass Effect that call themselves that because you can mod your weapons in a minor way.

Is that a problem? Its just my personal taste. And you preferring isometric RPGs is also only your personal taste, so please stop

and are comparing them to a bunch of Action-RPGs you are saying are "better than what there was 8 years ago" (well 8 years ago maybe, because that was the start of the decline where everything had to go 3D, but certainly not 10+) and you're actually being serious?

this kind of stuff. Take Planescape Torment out of the equation and this just comes down to opinion.

ramboondiea:

Indecipherable:

Zhukov:
Writing is getting better, gradually. (Very gradually.)

I'd disagree here, again on the quality of writing of the isometric RPGs. Stuff like Planescape Torment just absolutely rapes the face out of everything written in the last five years. Metaphorically, that is.

im sure you could have picked a better example then torment, yeah it has good writing, but its choice of delivery is dire, its basically just walls of text, albeit very graphic and usually fairly interesting text but still basically like reading a novel, at least now a days game try to do a little more then just drop a crap-ton of information on you at any one time

I think the main problem with Planescape: Torment's writing is that it's in these tiny text boxes that were never meant for the purpose that game uses them for - i.e., a problem with the delivery mechanism, not the writing itself. The actual writing is, IMO, easily the best I've seen in an RPG (and I know that isn't nostaliga talking, because I played it pretty recently).

However, I think that as time goes on we're seeing more games that actually have good writing, as opposed to good (for a game) writing. There always were examples of good writing in games - Tim Schafer's stuff and some iFiction come to mind - but it does legitimately seem to be getting more and more common.

They're more linear and less complex than they used to be. I know you can always cite an example from any side of the spectrum from any generation, but the way I approach this, is that when I go looking for games at the games store, I seldom find anything satisfactory anymore. Their content is just not worth the asking price anymore, and that's not even taking into account some of the ridiculous lengths some companies go DLC-wise.

This is doubly true for RPG's. Hell, they're almost extinct. What we call RPG's nowadays is but a shadow of what the genre used to be. Some of the more recent games might still be enjoyable, but they're a far cry from the old ones. I regularly browse the shelves for an unexpected nice RPG and always come up empty-handed. I've played them all. Every single one. Barely anything new comes out that's any good.

Popular RTS franchises, too, became less complex overtime. Look at what happened to the Command & Conquer series, and those games were already fairly simple to begin with, and then you still get rid of base-building?

I tried to like Batman: Arkham Asylum, I LOVED its atmosphere, but I simply couldn't cope with all the hand-holding. These games present me with violence, sexual undertones, and often mature themes, and then go and treat me like a dumb kid by telling me when to duck to avoid getting shot in the face and attaching a punch+flying kick+making enemy balls explode combo to the Y button.

The above posted pic is highly accurate. I remember playing Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, and getting lost more than once.

It's all subjective and a matter of taste, and I don't mean to demean the fun you guys have with your new games, but for me personally, the state of things is really bad. I still play the old classics, and still enjoy them a lot, but when I try a new one, it more often than not will bore me. And I repeat, there are exceptions, and the market has always been mostly shit. It's just that exceptional quality has become even rarer, for those who don't give a crap about graphics.

Give me substance over style any day.

I was going to write my thoughts, but I don't have to. Basically this:

Skoldpadda:
They're more linear and less complex than they used to be. I know you can always cite an example from any side of the spectrum from any generation, but the way I approach this, is that when I go looking for games at the games store, I seldom find anything satisfactory anymore. Their content is just not worth the asking price anymore, and that's not even taking into account some of the ridiculous lengths some companies go DLC-wise.

This is doubly true for RPG's. Hell, they're almost extinct. What we call RPG's nowadays is but a shadow of what the genre used to be. Some of the more recent games might still be enjoyable, but they're a far cry from the old ones. I regularly browse the shelves for an unexpected nice RPG and always come up empty-handed. I've played them all. Every single one. Barely anything new comes out that's any good.

Popular RTS franchises, too, became less complex overtime. Look at what happened to the Command & Conquer series, and those games were already fairly simple to begin with, and then you still get rid of base-building?

I tried to like Batman: Arkham Asylum, I LOVED its atmosphere, but I simply couldn't cope with all the hand-holding. These games present me with violence, sexual undertones, and often mature themes, and then go and treat me like a dumb kid by telling me when to duck to avoid getting shot in the face and attaching a punch+flying kick+making enemy balls explode combo to the Y button.

The above posted pic is highly accurate. I remember playing Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, and getting lost more than once.

It's all subjective and a matter of taste, and I don't mean to demean the fun you guys have with your new games, but for me personally, the state of things is really bad. I still play the old classics, and still enjoy them a lot, but when I try a new one, it more often than not will bore me. And I repeat, there are exceptions, and the market has always been mostly shit. It's just that exceptional quality has become even rarer, for those who don't give a crap about graphics.

Give me substance over style any day.

Only in the mishandled support-wise area. As in, lack of dedicated servers and proper support for platforms. The games themselves are generally fine.

Bad? Only by 1 criterium that has been missing from this discussion sofar: challenge.

Games are getting easier on average. The action in games nowadays requires less precision, reflexes and muscle memory and the tactics and strategies for games that still feature them, have become shallower and dumber.

On the action side challenges like Dark Souls and Super Meatboy have become the exception now. Compare to Nintendo hard 2 decades ago.

For lack of depth I offer Civ5, Galciv2 and Simcity societies and compare to Civ4 BTS, Master of Orion 2 and Simcity 4.

I'm ambivalent about the action. I prefer the Meatboy approach to the clumsy and unfair Nintento hard of old, but I don't want my games to become Kirby epic yarn either and that's the direction we're all heading.

The decline of strategy is the worst one for me. Playing a turn-based strategy game without depth is just going through the motions.

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