So I was having a conversation with a couple of my friends, both indie game developers, about what we thought were the best videogames ever made were. Obviously many have attempted to make this list, and like others we had our own criteria:
- The game must still be relevant in terms of gameplay.
- The game's gameplay must have few to no ways to be improved.
- Most importantly: No nostalgia! A game is not good simply because it is old.
What this boils down to is that a game's gameplay (both in terms of control and design) must be not still be imitated today but that the original game must still be 'playable' and enjoyable. The second criteria references that the gameplay of the game has not been made significantly better in further iterations or sequels. This does not refer to giving a game better a better online client or online play in general.
For example: The gameplay and controls of the Zelda series has not been radically changed since Ocarina of Time. Similarly, all Mario games echo the gameplay and controls of Mario 64. In a more modern example, the gameplay in the Halo series has remained largely the same since Halo:Combat Evolved, even with online play. These games become more important once you factor in how the gameplay in all three of them has influenced game design since their release. In some cases, it has arguably not been bettered.
But could could you make the gameplay in these games better? Is there anything broken? These games offer a fantastic depth in terms of strategy and gameplay. Most importantly, these games are still playable. You could take the skills from Halo Reach and take them back to Halo CE with little trouble, or visa versa.
Which brings me to Goldeneye. Although brilliant fun at the time and the progenitor to the current slew of FPSs, Goldeneye is unplayable now for a very simple reason: It is literally unplayable.
We all have good memories of it: Blasting away with rocket launchers and setting up proximity mines was all fun back in the 90's, but going back to it is nigh-on-impossible. Not in terms of sound or graphics, but in terms of controls. To call them shoddy is an understatement. The controls for the game were shoehorned onto a controller that was not built for moving and shooting in two different directions. This is the same reason that FPS games on the PSP for the large part simply do not work: There is not nearly enough control. For an FPS to arguably function properly you require the ability to move and shoot at the same time. The skills from one FPS can almost always be transferred from one to another, but not into GoldenEye.
I'm curious to see what the community thinks of GoldenEye. Do you think that it remains relevant or is it an artefact of the past?