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I haven’t been able to say this for a while, but I think that gaming is looking fun again.
Why did it feel dull?
We’ve had a lot of years in the past few where there has been a very limited number of good games being released. Most of the good games that have come out in recent memory are either indie games from developers who have little to no budgets, or they’ve been bad games from Ubisoft who has constantly been repeating the same formula again and again.
I honestly hadn’t thought about how different gaming looked as compared to years like 2013, where we had so many good games like Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, Super Mario 3D World, Saints Row IV, Batman Arkham Origins.
Yet no big releases managed to live up to expectations in recent times, and if one game did then the rest of them didn’t. However, that’s all seemingly changing with 2022, a year that looks by far the most promising we’ve seen from gaming in almost a decade.
Let’s talk more about why I think gaming is looking so much fun again!
Ubisoft open word games as a benchmark
Gaming, in general, had been feeling horrible in recent times due to an increase in ‘open world’ games. These games had little to no content within them, aside from a repetitive, grindy format where you had to do the same thing over and over again to level up.
This was a trend that Ubisoft had managed to find when they created Far Cry 6. That game did so well because it was the first of its kind. Then it got so famous that Ubisoft decided to make every single game they’re making; exactly like that!
There’s a certain formula they follow, for example, it will have a very large and mostly empty open-world design. There are going to be a lot of enemy outposts that you need to clear to gain loot and XP, there will also be points of interest that will help you open up maps and get the knowledge. This is a formula in every single Ubisoft game as of late, from Assassins Creed, Far Cry, Ghost Recon Wildlands and Breakpoint, to their latest games such as Immortal Fenyx Rising, Far Cry 6 and the recent announcement has also mentioned that Splinter Cell will be open world as well.
This formula was adopted by literally every other company too, we’ve seen games such as Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding do it really well, while there are games such as Just Cause, Mafia III and Crackdown 3 as well as games like Watch Dogs 2, Mass Effect Andromeda, the new Saints Row game being developed and more! It’s a formula that’s being repeated again and again to make lazy games and avoid designing actual levels, it’s genuinely sad to see.
Why it’s looking better for the future?
It seems that developers have finally understood that this formula won’t save them forever from doing actual work. This is part of the reason why the new and upcoming games are looking like they have more effort put into them overall.
There were always games that reinvented that open-world formula, such as Metro Exodus and Death Stranding for example. Yet now, we’re getting a resurgence of story-driven, level-based linear games more than ever. Games like DOOM and Wolfenstein, as well as the new Arcane game Deathloop, have solidified that you can blend semi-open world locations with a good narrative and people will play them wholeheartedly!
We have promising games in the 2022 lineup, games such as God of War Ragnarök, Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine game that they have announced recently, A Plague Tale Requiem, Little Devil Inside, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Sifu, Forspoken, Horizon Forbidden West, Hogwarts Legacy, Elden Ring, Stray, Gotham Knights, Ghostwire Tokyo, Lies of P, Starfield, Redfall, Dying Light 2 and my most anticipated game for next year; S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl.
These are all games that have a semi-open world/open-world design, yet they’re seemingly doing unique things with it to make the genre feel more varied. The same formulaic crap is completely vanishing away from this next era of gaming, and that is something that makes the future of gaming seem so much better. If these games will truly switch things up for the better, that’s still left open for debate as we haven’t really played any of them yet. However, we’re 100% sure that once they do come out, they will at least bring something drastically different to the genre with each release.
Until then, we can only hope the best for the future of gaming, and only wish that these games will truly live up to the hype that we’re placing upon them!