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Gaming Thoughts?

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January 14, 2009 8:43:58 AM

Hey guys I was just curious if anyone else felt like I do about current PC gaming.

I have been a PC gamer since 1998 or so my first game was Diablo 1 / Diablo 2 and Delta 2/3 and LW.

Now I played these games for years before jumping to Count Strike and Far Cry and Halo.

Now these games had a lot of replay imo on single player...now jump to online and games were limitless.

Jump to 2008 and is it just me or are most the games out there now relying more on graphics then gameplay to sell a game.

Crysis...the biggest hype of "graphics" not even current systems can fully max it out....gameplay value?
Online was terrible and I dunno about you but I played through 2 times before shelving it.

Far Cry 2.....I hated the gameplay...worst game I ever bought....but the graphics were stunning.

Crysis Warhead...3 hours to beat...pretty graphics.

Cryostasis....REALLY sweet graphics...gameplay looks horrid from the demos.

Mirrors Edge....unique like portal...7-8 hour gameplay...not a lot of replay value there. (sure as hell not worth 59.99)


My only point is it just me or are more and more companies relying on graphics instead of gameplay?

I know not all of them are, companies like Valve come out with games that are both graphical and fun like Left 4 Dead or Half Life series but it just seems like PC gaming is losing the gaming aspect and is more graphics that require you to spend 1200-1300 bucks a year on a new PC to really appreciate.

This is just my thoughts...id love to know what other people think. This wasn't meant to start a flame war so if you don't have anything nice to say its best not to reply.


I personally would rather slow down on graphics and get some great gameplay games on the shelf.
A game for me is not a 8 hour experience. Its a 100 hour+ experience. Its not a good sign when id rather play Final Fantasy on my NES then go spend 60 bucks on a 8 hour game.

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January 14, 2009 9:16:21 AM

Same argument has being going for years mate....tis called Hype and good graphics have more hype around them.
Hardcore gamers value gameplay over graphics....but thats not the market anymore so companies like Ubisoft and Activision hype the crap outta some lovely looking titles and flog them to the masses. A similar question is why modern games need so many patches....same answer.

Its all about the $$$
January 14, 2009 3:31:50 PM

Nothing's change other than people's perception of what the past was like. Games ten years ago suffered from all the same issues. Lots of bugs and patches needed, graphics hyped over game play, tons of weak titles, etc, etc etc. It's just that 10 years later it's easier to remember all the good stuff and forget the bad.

You mention games like Farcry and Halo, which today may look like good PC titles from the past, but both were plagued with many issues when they came out. Farcry had lots of bugs and was criticized for having an overly predictable/cliche storyline. And Halo for PC was a joke until long after it was released and finally got fixed (I'm only going on hearsay that it was any good because I never got past the first 10 mins of the game).

And those were the GOOD games. I have tons of really crappy titles from the late 90s when I was buying multiple games on a weekly basis. I have games that I only took out of the case once. I used to ride my bike ~20miles round trip to the closest mall every Tuesday in the summer and buy a new game. Most weeks I spent less time playing the game I got than I did riding my bike to go get it.
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January 14, 2009 3:55:05 PM

I dunno I was able to install all the games I mentioned above and play through without patches and no bugs occurred...seems like a lot of games anymore need patches to actually enjoy them.

You make mention of Far Cry story line...I don't care about a story...if I did I would read a book.
I speak of GAME PLAY. The ability to play for 100+ hours and still enjoy it which more and more titles are losing.


January 14, 2009 4:55:51 PM

Twist86 said:
I dunno I was able to install all the games I mentioned above and play through without patches and no bugs occurred...seems like a lot of games anymore need patches to actually enjoy them.

You make mention of Far Cry story line...I don't care about a story...if I did I would read a book.
I speak of GAME PLAY. The ability to play for 100+ hours and still enjoy it which more and more titles are losing.


I like FarCry as well. I'm only pointing out that when it came out a lot of people bitched about it, but now it's remembered as a groundbreaking title. And there are still plenty of games like that today, maybe just not Farcry 2 or Crysis.
January 14, 2009 5:21:43 PM

Seems like gameplay time has dropped. Maybe thats due to the types of games though. Most games now seem to only last a few hours before your finished single player.
As for the cost of PC's don't think your prices are right, can get a mid range Pc that can run most games decent at 1028X768 etc. You only need to spend a lot on a PC if you want to max the latest games at highest res.
January 14, 2009 5:33:00 PM

Single player game play time has dropped for many games with extensive multiplayer, but that only makes sense. You can't expect a developer to make a game with hundreds of hours of gameplay AND a thorough multiplayer component which will last hundreds of hours more.
January 14, 2009 8:09:33 PM

Simply put, games have been selling on graphics for years and years. One would be mistaken to think that this wasn't the case a long time ago, even in the 1980s. Even then, they didn't plaster the cover with advertisements like "deep and engaging storyline," "innovative gameplay" or "in-depth role-playing environments." No, they boasted "high-resolution graphics" and "high-fidelity audio," along with perhaps, during those days, the file size of the game. Don't believe me? Take a look at the vintage 1987 boxart for the perpetual classic Mega Man. (which was inspiration for the "boxart" for Mega Man 9, which boasted "ultrasound graphics synthesis" and an "8-bit fidelity engine.") Similarly, I remember an advertising line in the playable demo for the original 2D Duke Nukem boasting that it featured over 1 MB of graphics. (in spite being a 4-bit EGA title)

Simply put, developers have ALWAYS tried to take advantage of what hardware was available, and each advance has had an effect, even if one wasn't around to really see it. And it's always been a selling point; a lot of people might be too young to remember the beginnings of the console wars, but this happened 20 years ago, too, when Sega debuted their Genesis, (Mega Drive for those outside of America) with the famous slogan "Sega does what Nintendon't," boasting about the Genesis' 16-bit processing capabilities and how its hardware allowed for vastly improved graphics over Nintendo's aging NES. This continued as each company leap-frogged each other, with Nintendo doing the boasting when they brought out their Super NES, and then later as 3D gaming started to be the novelty to boast about, until it eventually became mainstream. Then it was various elements of 3D that were boasted about; first polygons-per-second, and then later all about high-definition resolutions.

And this has been the case on PCs as well; FPSes and RPGs have more or less always had a portion that brought the bleeding edge of technology, from Ultima Underworld bringing the first fully texture-mapped 3D home game, to Doom making smooth-scrolling 3D shooters a reality, to Descent and later Quake II improving upon texturing and lighting, and later Quake III and finally Morrowind providing detailed pixel shaders for advanced effects. That's right, even though Morrowind is now lauded for its storyline and atmosphere instead of its graphics, back when it came out, its main selling point, by a large margin, was, in fact, the graphics.

Similarly, games may have been getting gradually easier (as makers include changes like quicksaves and such and try to broaden their target audience so that more people can play) games have NOT been getting any shorter; again, you can look at the bulk of action-packed titles from the 80s and 90s, and realize that games then, too, could be finished in a few hours. Really, if anything, games have been getting a tad LONGER, due to replay value added through things like achievements and the like, as developers get more creative over similar ideas that pervaded the games back then, like suitless Samus from Metroid or the "second quest" of The Legend of Zelda. Speedruns have likewise shown that even games you think of as big can be finished quickly; Half-Life could be finished in under an hour; Morrowind in less than 8 minutes.

Really, it's just a common mistake to make; many people see today's graphics, and forget, when looking at older games, that when they were in the spotlight, they glittered every bit as much as Crysis does today. Similarly, in a few years, most people won't actively think of Crysis as a good-looking game any more, when more advanced technology renders it obsolete. It's the way gaming's been going for well over 20 years, and will remain the case for decades to come. And people will always think that it's a trend to favor graphics over gameplay and story more and more, when they're just missing the picture, that the graphics fade in impressiveness, while the gameplay and story endure, making them seem more significant in older titles.
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