Video Games, Where’s the Story?
I have grown up playing videogames but have they grown up with me? Being almost 30 years old I have saved the world as a Space marine many times and I have lost count how many times I have saved the princess. The feeling I am getting right now is that the studios making these games need to try something new, something different, something that has feeling and emotion.
The endless amount of sequels is just astounding, no-one seems to want to try anything new in the console space apart from the very few. THQ gave us Homefront which failed miserably and Bethesda has given us Dishonored. These are both examples of new IP’s but they put you through the same formula of killing people to advance through the story or save the world.
What I would like to see is more content like the amazing creations by Quantic Dream, Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain. Some would argue that these are nothing more than interactive movies but they are so much more than that, they are games pushing the art of story telling to a new level that many developers are scared to try. I want to start seeing deep and emotional stories; I got my first glimpse at what this great medium could do when I played Final Fantasy 7 back in 1997 which did a great job of involving the player in the plot and generating real emotions.
I agree that there is a place for shooting dudes in face in the likes of Call of Duty and Halo for the younger audience but it just feels like the innovation and trying something different is lacking. I can’t blame developers and publishers for this because after all this is a business and people in general flock to what is familiar and sequels to well established games sell very well.
The creativity and innovation seems to be coming from smaller developers publishing indie titles on the likes of Steam, but why should it only be these small developers trying something new? The whole industry is going through a huge transition at the moment just like the movie industry did when it was still young. The gamers who grew up gaming are now in their 30’s 40’s and 50’s and are yearning for some mature content that doesn’t involve mindless killing or saving the planet, we want something fresh that we can relate to.
Some would argue that if you want a story then you should go read a book or watch a film but games can have great stories too. The only saving grace this year is the up and coming Beyond 2 Souls (Another Quantic Dream title) a PS3 exclusive which features an in depth and emotional story.
The next generation is looking very interesting and I can only hope and dream that these big developers give us mature gamers the new and original titles we so crave with deep and emotional stories that make us laugh and cry.