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Forums - Gaming Discussion - What I hope to see in the Next Generation (long read)

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With the recent announcement of the PlayStation 4 and the inevitable announcement of the Next Microsoft console, the internet is ablaze with hype and hyperbole of what the next generation could mean for graphics and the portrayal of emotions in characters.

Quantic Dreams showed off a taste of things to come with its demo of an old man with wrinkles showing off his deepest emotions.

 

 

EA joined in on the emotion action by showing off how the next generation will allow Battlefield 4 to tackle emotions by having you “Press F to cut leg.

Perhaps maybe it’s the years of being a gamer finally getting to me or just my cynical nature rising to the surface, I can’t help but feel unattached to these things.

Yes, the wrinkles of the old man were worthy of a nod and the fire effect on the Battlefield demo were pretty, I cannot help but side with the internet crowd who seem unimpressed by the graphics of the next generation.

 

By my own admission, I have never been moved by pretty graphics so it’s no surprise that these new improvements seem lost on me. To me, Killzone:SF looks no different to Killzone 3 on a great day. I have always preferred my visuals to be more creative and interesting than realistic.

This got me thinking: “Exactly what is it am I hoping to get out of the next generation of consoles and PC games?”

If it isn’t “amazing graphics”, then what?

 

I remember asking the exact same question when the PS3 was announced, specifically after seeing the LOD demo. (Lots of Ducks)

 

And seeing what the PS3 was capable, its ability to utilise each duck individually and dynamically, theoretically each duck could move freely and independently of each other.

 

My mind was ablaze with the endless possibilities this could mean for stealth games or even RPGs, fast forward 5+ years and we have games like Heavy Rain (specifically the Press X to Jason scene in the game), or more recently Hitman Absolution using that feature to (in my opinion)  mixed results.

Credit where it is due, the crowds in Hitman are diverse…until you see the same character model repeating in several faces in the sea of people. Not to mention the lifelessness you get from the people as they wonder around aimlessly or just as effectively meander without actually doing anything of importance.

 

Yes, you see chefs going through their pre-scripted animations of preparing food and trying to gain the attention of the crowd. Yes you get some crowd members doing contextual actions like waving their hands wildly trying to gain the attention of the vendors, but you don’t get feeling of life and dare I say “emotion” that relates to these actions.  It feels and looks scripted.

 

Whilst Developers are eager to push “realism” with regards to visuals, in my opinion, a level of attention should also be paid to how they react to your presence in the world. I would love to walk into a crowd, speak/ interact with anyone there and have my experience be different each and every time. Failing that, I would like to walk into a crowd, inspect the faces of each and every one and not see anyone repeat. THAT to me is more realistic instead of the how many wrinkles we can cram onto an old guy’s face.

 

Another thing I hoped to see during the 360/PS3 era was wide and open spaces.

Till today, I still consider Final Fantasy X to be my favourite game of all time, simply because of the diversity of things you could do in the game, go further back in the series to the likes of Final Fantasy 7,8 or 9 and you are introduced to a wealth of mini games and activities some of them, if given enough time and attention could stand alone to become their own games.

 

Upon the arrival of the 360/PS3 era, I was convinced this freedom would only increase in the sense that you would be given a beautiful sandbox and be able to play with and explore every nook and cranny till you lose the will to live and still not be able to find every secret at the same time, rendered in beautiful visuals, far greater than anything the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox could even dream of doing, all the while not forfeiting anything in terms of presentation.

Sadly it seemed in the earlier days of the PS3/360 generation, could not reach those heady expectations.

It was either one or the other. Either you had the beautifully created world with endless possibilities but ended up having to make some compromise in terms of presentation (specifically referring to scenes that prefer to use stills of characters talking instead of fully rendered scenes) or you had a purely minimalist presentation but with a wealth of diverse content.

The reason I am reminded of this point and why I mention the Final Fantasy series is due mainly to the level of anticipation I felt for Final Fantasy 13.

In defence of the game; my expectations were ridiculously high. I put this down mainly to the lengthy wait and the spoils the previous entries in the series had given us. I naturally assumed that with the power of the PS3, the previous entries in the series, the amount of time they had to work with it- this game would be out of this world in terms of content and diversity of activities.

 

No, no it wasn't.

 

When I think of RPGs, I normally think of World Maps, HUGE stretches of land that go as far as the eyes can see without any truly frustrating limitations.

As sad as it might seem, a great deal of time was spent in Final Fantasy 8 and 9, just examining the world map and looking at the scenery and in 10 and 12 being able to pass other travellers going about on their pre-scripted activities.

Upon hearing about 13, I expected this to be taken to a whole new level!

I imagined a scenario where you would be walking in an open area outside a town or a “safe” area, with an NPC guard standing around, you would break to enter a random battle and to my surprise, the NPC would be fighting alongside as an AI combatant!

I blew my own mind when I imagined this possibility, but alas this wasn’t to be.

 

When Final Fantasy 13 eventually came out, only a portion of the game lived up to what I expected from the whole game, not just a tiny segment locked away 40 hours in.

 

Granted, a lot of non-Final Fantasy JRPGs have shown it is possible to have a large explorable world filled with content and activities. Star Ocean 4, White Knight Chronicles to name but two, I cannot help but feel the extra mile could have been taken.

 

Especially when Western RPGs have stepped up and showed everyone what a living world could look and feel like on modern day consoles.  Games like Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas both boast extremely fleshed out worlds that rival some of the better books and films out there in terms of a believable world.

 

However, these WRPGs aren’t without their own flaws. It is impossible to mention Fallout 3/NV without mentioning the legendarily lengthy lists of bugs and glitches that go with the game. Whilst there are many excuses/”theories” that try to counteract this, for example; creating a world as big as the ones in Fallout 3/NV, it is impossible to plan for every instance, scenario or potential outcome that could arise in a playthrough.  Not to mention that sometimes, the hardware might simply not be good enough to handle what is being asked of it. We are all aware of the whole Skyrim DLCs fiasco and how shameful that looked for everyone involved…

This does raise three points for me.

1: With new and more powerful architectures, we (in theory) should be able to see fewer games with game breaking glitches. In an ideal universe, this would not exist. As Developers will now have more room to manoeuvre in terms of coding a more cohesive and world.

2: But with everything now being a PC these days, I fear this will just lead to more “Release now, patch later” mentality. We already saw this in the current generation. With games that are clearly broken being released with the intention to release a day 0 patch not only on Home Consoles but on PCs. In an ideal universe, developers will take their time to perfect their games, fish out any problems, try their hardest to think of any potential eventuality that will/might or even improbably appear regardless of how small or big you hope your game will be.

3: If your vision is bigger than what you are able to create, maybe you should lower your expectation and work accordingly

Was that too long and you didn’t bother to read it?

In summary:

For next Gen, I don’t want my games to be photorealistic, I just want them to be technically sound.

 

  • ·         In crowds, I want my members of the crowd to be unique both in appearance and how they act. No cutting and pasting!
  • ·         My maps to be bigger, not just running down one long corridor and to be able to backtrack whenever you want.
  • ·         Worlds (mostly in RPGs) that are densely populated, not only with people but with diverse activities.
  • ·         Developers to not rush things but instead take the time make sure their items actually work before releasing them.

Hey it’s possibly asking for too much, but I can dream. What is everyone else hoping for next Gen?

 

 

 

 

 

 



PS One/2/p/3slim/Vita owner. I survived the Apocalyps3/Collaps3 and all I got was this lousy signature.


Xbox One: What are you doing Dave?

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welcome back man :D



 

All I want is to see good games, especially ones that aren't FPS, and for people who had so much trouble adapting to this generation LIKE FUCKIN SQUARE-FAILNIX to get their shit sorted out.

That's all.



badgenome said:

All I want is to see good games, especially ones that aren't FPS, and for people who had so much trouble adapting to this generation LIKE FUCKIN SQUARE-FAILNIX to get their shit sorted out.

That's all.

When I was writing this, almost everything I wrote related to them in some way, I had to dig deeper to not make this the SE show.



PS One/2/p/3slim/Vita owner. I survived the Apocalyps3/Collaps3 and all I got was this lousy signature.


Xbox One: What are you doing Dave?

I want to have decent fps in all my games, 60 fps would be the standart but i guess this will never hapen :S
I want better IA
I want that the rpg genre to be the most populars this gen, fuck first person shooters that look all the same.
I want fantastic looking games with great graphics but this is not enough, i want great artstyle.


plus all what you said in the OP and what badgenome said xD



 

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Ajescent said:

When I was writing this, almost everything I wrote related to them in some way, I had to dig deeper to not make this the SE show.

Well, I guess they are kind of the poster boy for devs (mostly Japanese ones) who just kind of lost the plot this generation. Although I'd say they were clearly in decline during the PS2 era, anyway.



Resurrection of the RPG genre as the dominant genre (both jRPG and wRPG).

Maybe in another reality.



    

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From what i've seen in watch dogs, it could capture that feeling of emotion and "life" within games, there certainly was alot of random events in that demo i saw.

But i want less patches for games, developers need to stop being so cheap and employ more game testers, i'm fed up with day 1 patches!

I want more side stories and activities in my games to make it feel worth going back to, even when the story is finished.

I want multiple endings, similiar to heavy rain, how your actions could literally change everything.

A variety of art styles in games, don't stick to the tried and tested formula. Be different.

Better lighting effects to add to the mood of games.

Random events in games eg Red dead redemption random encounters, Getting attacked by animals in Far Cry 3. So the game world isn't just an empty gap to fill in between missions.

a variety of game genres (maybe some new ones), no dominant ones



Xbox One, PS4 and Switch (+ Many Retro Consoles)

'When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the people's stick'- Mikhail Bakunin

Prediction: Switch will sell better than Wii U Lifetime Sales by Jan 1st 2018

i want a final fantasy that resemembles final fantasy 9's game play... fuck innovation



 

I too absolutely loved Final Fantasy X. What you need to do is accept that the Square Enix you loved is dead. Pick up a Wii U. Play Xenoblade (made by many former Square employees), it's the closest thing to FFX I've played. Though very different from FFX in some ways, it has much of its magic. It's better in some ways, a litte worse in others. But definitely both epic and open world/varied at the same time. Get ready for the high-def sequel, X, which will probably be even better. You will also most likely get to enjoy the next work of Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu through Mistwalker. The spirit of FFX lives on, just the artists that painted it are no longer at S.E.