Do video games still exist?

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Posted by Howardian (213 posts) -

I don't mean to be reactionary, I'm aware games exist, but I repeat my question, do video games still exist?

I'm not a nostalgic type of fellow, but remember the days when Uncharted 2 Assassin's Creed 2 Batman Battlefield 2 Gears of War 1 Witcher 1 both Max Payne games Crysis Far Cry CoD multiplayer Red Orchestra etc.... were all over the place? Remember when the world was buzzing with quality games on a constant basis?

Years such as 1998, 2004, 2007, 2011, where are they? Can you name a year from the past 7 years that compares to those 4 examples?

Where are the big games nowadays? RDR2..... Spiderman.... God of War.... that's it? One big nice title every 6 months?

We sit and wait for Cyberpunk and Last of Us 2 while completely bored and have nothing to play. Watch Dogs is a disappointment, Far Cry 5 is empty and meaningless, The Division is a peace of shit, many games are cheap unimaginative money-grabs, every multiplayer game is copying PUBG and failing at it, Steam is crammed with random indie side-scrolling titles that provide no enjoyment...

Where's the mutliplayer insanity we used to have? There was a time where you had 15 different multiplayer titles to choose from, from CoD-type shooters to Starcraft to WOW..... Now it's either PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnite, GTA V or Football Manager. Battlefield and CoD have completely lost their touch.

Right now, what are you playing? When was the last time a game really excited you? How often does that happen to you per year nowadays? How can you NOT be bored of DOTA, PUBG, Minecraft and CS GO by now?

I have nothing against anime, but I predict that most of the answers will be anime titles, because it seems that's the only genre pumping out games!

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#1 Edited by Rigas (857 posts) -

Sounds like need to vary the genres you play or maybe take a break for a while. You seem burned out. As they say "There isn't a better time to play Video Games."

In the last 9 months, we have had Apex Legends, Judgement, Kingdom Hearts III, MK 11, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro, Bloodstained, Outer Wilds, Fire Emblem, Baba is You, and many others.

Then with Death Stranding, Doom Eternal, Links Awakening, and Pokemon Just around the corner. 2019 isn't lacking for games or variety

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#2 Edited by liquiddragon (3553 posts) -

This sounds more like a statement than a question? Can you really only name RDR2, Spider-Man, and GoW? It's funny you lament the lack of multiplayer variety but literally named more games ppl play now than "back when it was popping." And then you end the post with "I have nothing against anime...?" haha maybe step away from gaming for awhile? I've enjoyed this gen much more than the last but just my opinion.

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#3 Posted by Sombre (510 posts) -

what

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#4 Posted by MrGreenMan (250 posts) -

Video games industry is a business most and forefront. It's a multibillion dollar business to be exact, and with so many games coming out on a weekly basis that it's impossible to keep up. For me majority of the games I play are smaller indie games that do not require a ton of time to complete, as I just do not have the time or patience to play games more than 20 hours unless its a rouge like. If were talking about AAA games then yes, things have changed a lot but that is because there is so much competition, not only with video games, but with media in general.

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#5 Posted by csl316 (15037 posts) -

Take a break.

There are more good games than ever before at a higher quality, and not just releasing during the holidays anymore. It's an embarassment of riches. Nothing to play? In the next month alone I have Control, Astral Chain, Link's Awakening, and Gears 5.

I go through the same thing every 5 years or so and just need to step away for awhile. But then I'll play a Snake Eater, an Uncharted 2, a Mass Effect 3, a Bloodborne, and I remember why video games will always be a part of my life.

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#6 Edited by chaser324 (8718 posts) -

I don't really know how to respond to this. Personally, I find that I don't have nearly enough time to play everything that I want to play.

The first thing I would say is that writing off everything that isn't a AAA blockbuster as "random indie side-scrolling titles that provide no enjoyment" is an incredibly tired take. The breadth of genres and gameplay being explored these days is incredible, but you've seemingly dismissed the idea of every playing anything that isn't a big budget FPS or character action game.

Even if you are only focused on AAA though, there's still a lot of great stuff being released, and it's about to start ramping up again over the next few months.

You might also consider just walking away from games for a while if you've become so disillusioned with them. There are plenty of other ways you could spend that time, and in six months or a year, you can try coming back to games with fresh eyes.

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#7 Edited by Efesell (4632 posts) -

Can I name a recent year that rivals any of those? Yeah without even having to stop and think about it, 2017. 2017 was a damn near landmark year for games that puts any of the usually cited golden years at a run for their money.

Games are in an absolutely incredible place right now.

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#8 Posted by ShaggE (9311 posts) -

All the variety and choice you're talking about? It hasn't gone anywhere. It honestly sounds like you're just dismissing anything that doesn't have a massive budget, so of course you'll find your options limited when you do that. (and if all you're finding are side-scrollers in the indie scene, you're really not looking very hard)

Now, multiplayer games that don't chase the trends do have a hard time surviving, so I can see your point on that, but even then there are a good amount of unique MP games that are doing great.

It's like music: if all you're listening to is the radio, of course you'll think modern music is all homogenized and bland.

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#9 Posted by deckard (372 posts) -

I see what you're getting at - I'm in the same boat, man. You're looking for games that are:

- AAA budgeted and produced

- Single-Player

-Open-world

- Not procedurally-generated

- Not a Games-as-a-Service

- Little to no focus on loot boxes/microtransactions

Unfortunately these are becoming harder and harder to come by, for all the reasons that have been discussed for years (i.e. they're becoming more expensive and risky for developers as time goes by). It doesn't help that many of the devs that would typically put out these kinds of games have either pivoted or are holding their next big thing for the launch of the new console cycle. Hopefully next year we'll start seeing an uptick in announcing these kinds of games.

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#10 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

I'd have to say there are more great games than ever these days imo. I don't care much for current multiplayer/service games either but there are at least a few big "AAA" games each year that I look forward to and a sea of indie games that tend to do more interesting/risky stuff albeit on a much smaller scale.

RDR2, GoW and Spiderman were all exceptional for my tastes and I'm more that happy with my PS4 collection on the whole. A lot of my favourite games ever have come out this gen so I really can't complain even if there are definitely a lot more of the live service, loot-box ridden grind-fests than there used to be.

The only thing missing these days for me is the "B" games, publishers aren't interested in funding niche games that might "only" sell a few million copies any more so I'm missing the more quirky outings I used to get. Atm I'm playing through the Legacy of Kain series and it makes me sad that no-one will make games like that any more. Probably too expensive for indies and not profitable enough for publisher backing.

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#11 Posted by nutter (2394 posts) -

More than anything else, I blame the sea of distraction that is the Internet.

People have short attention spans, and there’s always something new for people to laugh with, at, or rage about.

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#12 Posted by devise22 (749 posts) -

@deckard: I think you make some good points in your post about how attention to those type of games has certainly wained. But at the same time, that is a pretty big and...picky checklist of must haves for a game to meet.

The same thing is happening to games that happened to movies/tv and music. Content is everywhere. You guys are lamenting for a specific time period in games, where due to both technical limitations and the industry standards set at the time, those were really the bulk of prominent games being released.

It'd be no different than someone asking why they don't make action movies like the in the 80's anymore. The actual irony of all of this too is that tons of games check several of the boxes your listing if you get out of comfortable genre/budget expectations. Again no different than how you can find 80's style action in other movies. We are just so far past the idea that ideas have to confine to a specific type or genre, across the board. Big scale games like RDR 2 can feel indy and indy games can feel like full AAA products. You get everything in between. The hope is that because so much is releasing that someone can find something.

Obviously I'm not saying you guys can't use those specific checkboxes, you do you. But I've found getting out of your comfort zone and trying to engage in things across the board has dug up tons of genres or ideas from genres I thought long dead/really liked.

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#13 Posted by Howardian (213 posts) -

@rigas said:

Apex Legends, Judgement, Kingdom Hearts III, MK 11, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro, Bloodstained, Outer Wilds, Fire Emblem, Baba is You, and many others.

Then with Death Stranding, Doom Eternal, Links Awakening, and Pokemon Just around the corner.

Damn, I'm getting the feeling you get when a friend you've been buddies with for so long, becomes distant and strange to you.

Barely 3 of those titles interest me

I guess video games still do exist. Thanks for answering.

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#14 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

@someoneproud said:

The only thing missing these days for me is the "B" games, publishers aren't interested in funding niche games that might "only" sell a few million copies any more so I'm missing the more quirky outings I used to get.

I'd keep my eyes peeled for all the stuff THQ Nordic is doing. They don't seem to have any big games, but a ton of games that hover around that B tier. Games like Rune II, Darksiders Genesis, Elex, Spellforce, Destroy All Humans, Comanche , Biomutant, Timesplitters.

Outside of THQ, i'd look at games like A Plague Tale, The Quiet Man, Left Alive, Lost Sphear, Wolfenstein Youngblood, World War Z, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, Generation Zero, Vampyr, The Surge, Team Sonic Racing, Disintegration.

While i don't agree with OP, i do understand where he's coming from. There was a time where big devs like Ubisoft & EA always had a few games out there that were huge highlights for me. As they have moved away from those kind of blockbuster singleplayer games in favor of multiplayer service games, i find myself having to look at the indie scene & old games for 80% of my enjoyment. And while there are amazing games at amazing prices, there are definitly times where it feels like it's a step down in production values or scope from those AAA games i was playing 8 years ago. Bless the japanese scene though, they have really stepped it up to the point where it's far far more likely i'll be buying AAA games from the east than the west.

That said, Witcher & Red Orchestra were not especially AAA games. COD, Uncharted, Gears, Battlefield & Uncharted are current franchises that still more or less aim to give you the same experience as they did back in the day. So i'm not sure where OP is going with that.

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#15 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3913 posts) -

@efesell: Remember when people (I include myself) thought 2017 might have been slow and then it just wasn't at all?

@someoneproud - have a look at stuff from studios like Spiders and Deck13. Paradox, THQ and Focus Home Interactive for publishers, they're all looking at that market of "hey if we sell a million that's great".

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#16 Posted by Rejizzle (1147 posts) -

This is just so far removed from where I'm at. Maybe it's different interests or different time-management, but I'm at the point where I breathe a sigh of relief when a game is pushed back to 2020 because I just don't have the time to play all these great games! Fire Emblem is super long, and I've barely touched the Civ 6 expansion that came out earlier this year.

Also, I'd put 2017 right up there with '98. '17 gots them Horizon: Zero Dawns, them Resident Evil 7s, the best Zelda game since Link to the Past, the birth of mainstream Battle Royal games, plus them great anime games like Persona 5 and Nier Automata. If you weren't blown away by 2017 then... hate to say it but maybe you're just over gaming.

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#17 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2119 posts) -

You are tripping mate

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#18 Posted by Casepb (775 posts) -

I will agree that 2019 has been a bit slow, but Astral Chain is something I've been looking forward to since its first trailer and I'm pretty hyped for it. Doom Eternal is another really big game this year.

I suppose your talking about this whole generation though. I think less AAA games are being made because of the amount of time it takes now. There's still a lot of games that were amazing this gen though. You mentioned Uncharted 2, but not 4 or Lost Legacy. Also AC Odyssey was very good. Are you really not interested in Control, or The Outer Worlds?

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#19 Edited by TobbRobb (6591 posts) -

I think this generation has had some of the all time greatest years. 2015, 2016 and 2017 all come to mind.

However I can sort of relate to how you feel, because I felt sort of the same in the 2007-2011 360 era stuff. That gen just did nothing for me.

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#20 Posted by Arcitee (61 posts) -

It really depends on what you are into I guess.

For me with Trails of Cold Steele 1-3, Fire Emblem, Bloodstained, Collection of Mana and Links Awakening Remastered 2019 is one of the best years of gaming in the last decade.

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#21 Posted by frytup (1364 posts) -

Yes they do.

Next question.

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#22 Edited by MrGreenMan (250 posts) -

just like everything, there are trends at whats popular that get made, and games are no exception to that. Remember back in the early to mid 2000's when every other game was war based and was completely flooding the market, but after a while those games just disappeared.

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#23 Posted by pollard5 (3 posts) -

Yes, they do exist.

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#24 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2567 posts) -

I have constantly got a backlog of some 200 video games for a reason and it isn't because I'm necessarily slow at playing video games. Sounds like you're burnt out on the hobby more than anything

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#25 Edited by warcat777 (63 posts) -
No Caption Provided

"Big" games? "Nothing to play?"

Uh... sure, I hate it when that happens

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#26 Posted by glots (4414 posts) -

Might want to do something else than play video games for a while, as some have suggested. Or try other genres.

I looked at all the upcoming (known) releases for the remaining months of this year and listed 13+ games I’m more or less interested in. Out of all those, Doom Eternal is basically the only pure shooter with a linear narrative, which is a genre I’ve always enjoyed and have definitely seen getting more thin over the years. But hey, at least Doom is coming and it will hopefully be amazing *and* then there’s also all those other games.

So maybe they don’t exist for you?

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#27 Posted by Sahalarious (802 posts) -

I think games have started to blend together a bit, compared to the distinctiveness of Max Payne, AC2, and Witcher 1, but honestly things are still very good. RDR2, God of War, Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros, MK11, Fire Emblem, Control (only a few hours in but reaaaaaly loving it), Bloodatained, Mario Maker 2, etc..

A difference is games being supported for longer, we don't have a Seige 2 but I still play often. Same goes for battlefield and overwatch. We're good

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#28 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

@jesus_phish: @onemanarmyy:

I hadn't really considered that lot to be fair, you guys are completely right and I stand corrected. Not much of it is to my taste (loved A Plague Tale) but it's hard to argue "B" games aren't still around.

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#29 Posted by OurSin_360 (6226 posts) -

Well I am going to use this thread as an excuse to talk about how video games have been trending downward for the past 10 years or so, according to google trends. I was honestly surprised, but it might mean something else like people are searching more for specific games but it still seems a bit crazy to me.

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#30 Edited by ryudo (182 posts) -

2017

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#31 Edited by Rahf (544 posts) -

@howardian: this sounds like a deeper issue than games being bad. You are really not seeing the forest for all the trees and I disagree with your initial take, since we've gotten some stellar titles in recent years.

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#32 Posted by BoOzak (2681 posts) -

I loved 2017 but that doesnt surpass 04 for me. That could just be nostalgia though.

I think it's easy to focus on the bad trends in games and think that everything used to be better but there are still games that arent shameless cash grabs and are fun as hell.

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#34 Edited by liquiddragon (3553 posts) -

Seems like a lot of ppl think this is an off year but I just can't wrap my head around that sentiment.

  1. REmake2
  2. Sekiro
  3. FF14: Shadowbringers
  4. F1 2019
  5. DMC5
  6. Slay the Spire
  7. Fire Emblem - 3H
  8. Apex
  9. Mario Maker 2
  10. Baba is You
  11. Sunless Skies
  12. DQ Builders 2
  13. MK11
  14. Cadence of Hyrule
  15. Control
  16. Total War: 3K
  17. Outer Wilds
  18. Dirt Rally 2.0
  19. Bloodstained
  20. Wargroove
  21. Ape Out
  22. CTR
  23. KH3
  24. Tetris 99
  25. A Plague Tale
  26. The Division 2
  27. Judgment
  28. Age of Wonders
  29. Ace Combat 7

Still to Come

  1. Astral Chain
  2. Daemon X Machina
  3. Link's Awakening
  4. MHW: Iceborne
  5. Gears 5
  6. Borderlands 3
  7. Code Vein
  8. Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  9. Indivisible
  10. Doraemon - Story of Seasons
  11. GRID
  12. TLoH: Trails of Cold Steel III
  13. COD: MW
  14. The Outer Worlds
  15. Luigi's Manion 3
  16. Death Stranding
  17. NFS Heat
  18. Pokemon Sword & Shield
  19. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  20. Shenmue 3
  21. Doom Eternal
  22. LiS2: Ep5
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#35 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

@liquiddragon:

I agree with you but OP seems to be very focused on western action games. That would narrow your list down to Apex Legends, Control & Division 2 & perhaps MKII with Gears 5, Borderlands 3, Ghost Recon, COD & Doom Eternal to come. I guess you could add Metro Exodus & Wolfenstein Youngblood to the list for such a player.

At some point, if you want to play games throughout the year you need to give new experiences a chance. To me, a japanese action game is often more fun than a western one, but i've definitly seen people ignore pretty much anything that's not AAA & western made.

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#36 Edited by liquiddragon (3553 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: I was speaking more generally. OP seems a bit jaded atm and probably needs a break. But I've probably heard every GB staff member call this year an off year more than once and I've seen the sentiment reciprocated just as often, if not more, by many users. Indie games aren't some new thing anymore and Japanese games have been part of the equation for vast majority of our gaming history. They're not some niche things that are acquired tastes. Indie games have played a major factor for a better part of a decade. And why are we pretending like Japanese games are some weird confusing foreign products?

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#37 Posted by electricbarrier (37 posts) -

Why does everything need to be big and high budget and western made? I think you need to learn to try new things and play more lower budget stuff. Even discounting "anime games" there are so many games coming out that I want to play these days I don't have the time or money to play them all.

Example: I'm not gonna be able to get Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I wasn't able to get Control, or the Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, or Sekiro. I don't think I'll be able to get Shenmue 3 either, but that's arguably an anime game and I haven't gotten around to playing or watching a let's play of 2 yet anyway. I've played at least 1 new game a month this year.

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#38 Posted by m3ds334 (64 posts) -

This might be a weird response, but I recently tried magic mushrooms for my 30th birthday and found it encouraged me to play games in a way that I haven’t in maybe 20 years. It forced me to reevaluate what I was paying attention too in all my life, and seeing how games are big part of my life, that was included as well. After taking them I realized that I approached most games like a chore list and wasn’t “playing” them. Now I take time to mess around in games, I poke and prod them. Anyways, that’s just my crazy hippy thoughts.

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#39 Posted by Howardian (213 posts) -

@m3ds334 said:

After taking them I realized that I approached most games like a chore list and wasn’t “playing” them. Now I take time to mess around in games, I poke and prod them.

That's exactlywhy I feel like games "don't exist" anymore - it's because, like you, I stopped the whole "backlog" chore approach somewhere around 2012, and started playing games that I enjoy only. The purpose of entertainment is entertainment, not catching up with internet strangers or trying to experience everything out there. I wouldn't put myself through a music album or TV series that fails to stimulate and amuse me, so why should games be different?

Suddenly my video game time dropped drastically. Games that actually respect my time and investment, and reward me with polished gameplay, actual creative effort from the developer, and a story that is well-paced, seem far and few in between.

I envy 25+ year olds who manage to maintain their teenage level of enthusiasm for this medium, because at 28 years I'm disappointed with the majority of the titles I try, and it's not about being jaded, I spend weeks on end not playing anything sometimes, but the medium continues to fail my standards, bar one good game here or there.

I tried Control for 45 minutes, Max Payne and Alan Wake are favorite of mine, but holy crap this game is a gruelling bore.

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#40 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -

@howardian: You say it's not about being jaded but everything you have said is screaming that as loudly as possible.

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#41 Posted by Shindig (4984 posts) -

Erm... 2015 and 2016 were fantastic years. The only off year I can think of in the last decade was the very, very slow 2014. Since 2015, there's been a steady quality.

Things have changed at the top. Rockstar will give you one or two games a generation, EA are so risk averse, Ubisoft have had their big wobbles and Bethesda have reinvented some ID classics whilst remaining staunchly erm... Bethesda when it comes to their original properties. At the same time, battle royales have taken off, From have ascended into a very specific and competent software house. And the indies are always getting better.

What's changed for me is how I've perceived hype. Getting up early (or staying late) to grab GTA IV and MGS4 is the last time I felt desperate to play something. If you're looking for that feeling, you won't get it back.

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#42 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (782 posts) -

I don't really believe in a golden age for games or art in general. We definitely have landmark years where games either successfully attempted something that had never been done before or significantly advanced a particular aspect of gaming. It's unrealistic, however, to expect that to continue to happen with any sort of regularity as the medium has developed so quickly in the last 30 years. That rapid development hasn't happened in any other art form that I can think of.

Think of how spread out those landmark years are in areas like music, literature, or film. In some cases we're looking at decades or centuries even. Music in the western traditions developed very slowly over hundreds of years, and within the realm of popular music (as in rock, pop, hip-hop, electronic, etc) has covered an incredible amount of ground in the last 50-100 years to the point where actual innovation is getting increasingly rare. In the big scheme of humanity's creative output, 1998, 2004, 2007, and 2011 weren't that long ago.

That's probably not what the OP was really getting at, but the rate at which modern culture chews through art and entertainment and then laments about there being nothing new is just baffling to me.

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#43 Edited by tds418 (523 posts) -

I think the "multiplayer insanity" the OP refers to has only increased since the 360 era, honestly. Don't get me wrong, playing Halo 3 obsessively at launch was a formative video game experience for me, but multiplayer games have exploded since CoD4/Halo 3/the original Gears. The popularity of battle royale only shows that. I prefer the arena/deathmatch style of those older games (which is why I'll take Destiny PvP over battle royale any day), but there's no denying that multiplayer games are generally the biggest games around at the moment.

Anyway, I loved the 360 era but I'm still playing and enjoying video games as much as I ever have. I generally play one or two games obsessively and dabble in other stuff on the side and that's been working out great for me the last few years. Right now that game I'm into obsessively is the aforementioned Destiny, which I love warts and all, but just this year alone I've very much enjoyed Super Mario Maker 2 and I'm looking forward to playing through Gears 5 and Control. I also will be checking out Life is Strange 2 at some point (I love the original and before the storm). And that's just naming stuff off the top of my head.

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#44 Edited by North6 (1195 posts) -

2017 (horizon, zelda, persona, etc) was real good, as was 2015 (mgs v)

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#45 Posted by Howardian (213 posts) -

@shindig said:

Getting up early (or staying late) to grab GTA IV and MGS4 is the last time I felt desperate to play something. If you're looking for that feeling, you won't get it back.

That's a low blow

It is what it is, I guess.

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#46 Edited by Shindig (4984 posts) -

Age gets to us all, man. Some of that anticipation gets replaced by mild surprise though. Like Doom 2016, the slow burn of finally getting into the Souls series and something mad like Fez.

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#47 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -

Bah, tell your age to go sit in the corner. I still get hyped up by release timers.

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#48 Edited by haneybd87 (430 posts) -

Is OP for real? The past couple of years have been a cavalcade of awesome games I’ve either played or really want to play. I feel pretty overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all because there’s so many great games to play. As Vinny always says, there’s never been a better time to play video games.