I think the last time i saw an actual evolution in gaming in the 5 decades that I have been gaming was with PUBG. The realization of that evolution was the door mechanic. Opening and closing doors. Car doors and building doors. You could save yourself from a fight with an adept shutting of a door. This brings me to Last of Us 2. Where you can open drawers, but not shut them. You can can never open a car door unless it's part of some impending cutscene. Remember when the Division demo E3 had the simple act of shutting a door blowing people's minds. Well that was honestly the hallmark of this generation. When games dont have it or only some things are interactable it's very disappointing. When are games going to stop:
- Sign posting
- Quicktime eventing me
- Narrow script and dialoguing me
- Games like GTAV online thrive because of role playing. Last of Us 2 will be the same game 10 years from now. Patch in new dialogue trees? Is the only way i can get subtlety in writing is through changing the language track?
I exit gaming every couple of years when i realize the futility and sameness of it all and through retro collections and mini-consoles I can capture what i missed. Some landmarks for games that brought me back were Tony Hawk, gamecube era Animal Crossing, Resistance, Modern Warfare, Tomb Raider (2013), and PUBG. I don't see that next game on the horizon on consoles anyway (consoles are as easy to operate as your car, with just the turn of a key, so PC games are irrelevant to me).
The PS5 June event looked like business as usual. I do a very good job of seeing, even in a trailer, what a game is doing new. Cyberpunk might have been amazing, if in 3rd person.
I knew what PUBG had from just watching a stream. Tony Hawk gave me music that i had in my collection in a game. Animal Crossing helped me reexamine what i'm doing to foster relationships in my real life. Resistance taught me never to pay for online gaming (until game with gold became a thing). Modern Warfare offered game commentary for what i was doing with progress bars and numbers going up (Im not an RPG guy so that was new to me). Tomb Raider showed me the awesomeness of cutscenes but by the end of the game i had seen enough for all games so i skipped the 3rd person assault that is playstation gaming.
PUBG showed me the infiniteness of combat encounters and the foolishness of salivating, over the course of a year, for at most 20 different maps released in 4-pack chunks with announcement, console-exclusive, and remastered trailers. PUBG has left me wanting a single player story with one map (i thought that was what Last of Us 2 was going to do in the downtown area but i guess they copy pasta'd their original ps2 vision for the rest of the game). I want missions that dynamically change with my actions the final boss doesnt have to be Manuel Noreaga every time. It should dynamically change with my actions like Shadow of Mordor. Dialogue trees should be infinite. Staff writers should be writing current and salient copy in the same way that South Park writers do. It is absolutely absurd that i am halfway done with the Last of Us 2 and their is not one nod to COVID-19. These games are not written in vacuums. If between March 15th and the day the game went gold they couldn't find a way to rewrite a mission or even tailor a collectible to the world that we live in, then what am i even gaming for. I should quit gaming and let these people get back to writing insurance claims adjustment software. I am not here for some self-important writer's opus that they wrote on a napkin while they were sitting out gym class. I'm sick of games existing in a vacuum.