Burning Question: What makes a video game great?
A lot of people might consider 2016 to be a bit of let down, but that is definitely not the case when it comes to that number of excellent video games that released this year. Hell, just scrolling down the list on our poll this week will make a wireless mouse’s battery shudder.
Recently I noticed that some games should be fun, but ultimately ended up falling short. it came to my attention that there is a certain trend to the games that I don’t enjoy as much. Even when the mechanics and the gameplay is solid and enjoyable enough, it’s certain decisions by the developers or publishers that ruin it a bit.
A good example of this is Steep, which was released earlier this month. It’s a game I was kind of looking forward to, and when I started playing it was enjoyable initially. After a couple of hours, and even thinking about it some days afterwards, it just wasn’t any fun, and I think I know why.
You see, the game plumps you down on the side of a mountain and tells you to go and have fun. If you can see an event, you can do it. The world is your oyster! But the issue is, there is no sense of reward, or sense of accomplishment in the game. Once you’re done with the tutorial, you basically level up and get some cosmetic rewards.
Another game that I should have enjoyed, but didn’t was Project CARS, which released last year. With that game, you can jump into a the fastest Le Mans Prototype car and go do a 24-hour race around circuit De La Sarthe. There’s no starting at the bottom and working your way to greatness. Games like that, while initially great, ultimately falls short due to the lack of purpose.
So what makes a game great? For me, it’s the drive to get to a goal. It doesn’t have to have a great narrative, but if it does, it’s in your interest to see what’s going to happen. If it’s a racing game your goal is to become the best racer. It’s something I only recently noticed. It’s the reason The Witcher III is one of the best games out there, there is a goal to everything you do, whether its looking for Ciri, or doing a side quest. I can’t stop playing Destiny, because there’s always more loot for me to collect and ways to become stronger and better . For something like Skyrim, it’s to explore the world and do all these weird extra stuff.
But what are your thoughts on this? Everyone has their own reasons. What makes a video game great for you?