Graphics Over Gameplay: Why I Hate Current Games

Over the past ten years, the gaming industry has significantly evolved, rapidly growing to provide for the consumer market. As technology has become more advanced, the games we play have needed to progress with them. This has meant factors such as graphics and game play have changed the way they are presented.

Today, games bore me. I’ve found over the last few years that every single game seems to play exactly the same way. This has ultimately encouraged me to join the MMO world. But, that’s a different story. This story starts with a love of Harry Potter.

Starting With A Simple Order

As well as my love for technology, I have a similar affection for the Harry Potter series. Growing up around the installments have caused me to take a keen interest in the chain. Anyway, I was currently looking for a new game to play. So, I decided to purchase the first three Potter games from Amazon. These games being over ten years old now have become a relic of the past. Sufficient to say I was expecting to be thoroughly let down.

Harry Collecting A Wizard Card!

However, this didn’t seem to be the case at all. For the next few days, I couldn’t stop myself from playing. These retro-style games with basic graphics and a simple structure thrilled me more than the blockbusters of today; I couldn’t believe it. What started as a thrill to play as my favourite characters soon turned into an addicting experience. I couldn’t help but think, ‘Has the gaming industry actually changed for the better?”

Change For The Better?

It’s a fact the gaming industry has changed massively. Games such as Diablo and Call of Duty have controlled the market recently, and generated millions, perhaps billions, for their developers. Graphics today are extremely advanced, they amaze everyone and are always improving.

But, do better graphics result in better games? Graphics aren’t everyone’s top priority when looking for a new game. A lot of people, like me, value gameplay much higher. A game which is entertaining and keeps me playing for longer is at the top of my list. Nice graphics are just a nice bonus.

Gaming Consoles of the Modern Era

In my opinion, as the gaming world has become more commercialized, creators have assumed that higher quality graphics automatically lead to a better game, and thus more sales. As this notions has taken root, gameplay has suffered dramatically. This has caused developers to create games which will take a player from point to point with no added detail or story telling. This in my opinion is a massive issue: pulling in sales with incredible graphics, which takes massive time and man power to implement, but not dedicating themselves to the other aspects of a game.

Wrap Up

Buying these games has been the best choice I’ve made for a long while. Allowing me to indulge myself back into the world of old-school gaming was a great pleasure. In the future, I hope that game developers will try and revert back to the days of old. Creating a nice balance between graphics and game play would halt my negative attitude towards current developers.

In conclusion, I know everyone’s perspective will be slightly different. Whatever your view, this week try and dig out some of your old games and see how much they can actually keep you entertained.

Once you look past the initial decrease in visual fidelity, you will start to see something you don’t see in the games of the past year. A spark. A spark which will keep you captivated and exhilarated for longer!

What’s your opinion on this view? Do you agree with me? Comment below and thank you so much for reading!

  • Miles

    I couldn’t agree with you more. To me, it seems that many games are becoming simpler and more graphics oriented. One series which is one of my all time favorites is Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 even though, compared to the games now, the graphics are very basic I think the combat system and the freedom of choice was amazing. I did enjoy playing Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. But I don’t think years from now I’ll look back and say the same thing about Fallout 3 that I did about the original games. It feels like they’re trying to simplify game play to make games appeal to more people, right now I’m playing the new Diablo game and to me it seems like they’ve taken all the complexities that existed in Diablo 2 out and simplified it too much.

    • Samuel Scott

      Thanks for the really positive view! I was expecting people not to agree with my point of view :) They are true representations of where the gaming industry has gone wrong, it’s great you’ve been able to highlight them from past experience!

  • Morris

    Most of the good games these day *do* tend to be MMOs, though I have found the Mass Effect games to be quite good (except for ME3 with its abortion of an ending).

    But on the whole I agree – game play is suffering.

    • Samuel Scott

      Thanks For Reading :) In the past few years I’ve played games such as: Guild Wars, Aion And Star Wars TOR, mainly MMORPG games. Most of the games I play which resolve around this gameplay system have always pleased me. Forcing me to avoid other games; and in turn avoiding disappointment.

  • Connor Turnbull

    With the motivation to pick them up thanks to the Summer Sale, i’ve been playing through 2004’s Half-Life 2 lately and loving it. The graphics aren’t current-gen, clearly, but there’s aspects of Valve’s games that make you care less about graphics.

    But, take the Portal franchise as an example. Better graphics can definitely compliment an awesome storyline and make for a great gaming experience.

    • Samuel Scott

      Its great that you’re looking at old games and they will definitely entertain you more than some other games of the current era!

      Have fun playing! (Thanks For Reading!)

  • Xynn

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, however I don’t think this will change soon enough. I think what’s mostly to blame is the shift in technology, right now with augmented reality and motion/touch controls on the horizon, we’re trying to integrate a more immersion based entertainment experience. it’s easier for a developer to slap on realistic graphics or an engine that can render a thousand zombies and impress people than it is to develop an engaging gameplay. Not saying that both aren’t possible, just that it’s more of a nuclear arms race situation as far as graphics are concerned. At some point in the future, I’ll be looking forward to vr/simulation gaming with more engaging gameplay as we begin to hit a peak with our graphics capabilities, and our excess processing power shifts to more powerful gaming engines with more intricate gameplay mechanics.

    On the other hand, with the advent of all this new technology, the distribution system for games is also seeing a shift. Game developers no longer need production companies to make fun, profitable games. They can easily be funded by kickstarter, qa’d by community, and distributed across the internet and steam, for example. No middleman required. Hopefully the indie market will continue being a competitive force so we can begin to see a standard of game quality.

    • Samuel Scott

      Obviously people have a much stronger view about this than I thought. You provide great reasons above which really made me think and realise how bad the situation is!

      Keep up the great comments! I love your point of view!

  • Jyo

    I couldn’t agree more. I still remember playing The Sorcerer’s Stone on my PlayStation in the past; good times. Sure my friends might laugh, but I have tried really hard to like “popular games” nowadays like those modern warfare or battlefield games etc, but they are just too dull.

    In a way, they are victims of their own success. Graphics innovation over gameplay(the most important element imo that seems to be overlooked these days).

    • Samuel Scott

      Once we’ve played Sorcerer’s Stone we never forget. Personally, I prefer the Chamber Of Secrets. But, the first is always a classic.

      Your friends may laugh, but, are they just following the trend and trying to fit in with the crowd? If I only ever play “popular games”, I will have tunnel vision – encouraging me to assume everything else is terrible.

      I love your last line – “Victims of their own Success.” It really sums up this whole article and really gets across the message I wanted to show!

  • Valdano

    I agree with you!

    I remember playing Harry Potter, too (as the huge Potterhead, of course) – with every sequel, the game became worse. Stone and the Chamber were the best games of the franchise by far.

  • Gary

    The Gaming industry is now bigger than the movie industry & like it is starting to suffer from what I’m dubbing the ‘Michael Bay effect’ – where ever more impressive visuals are seemingly used to mask the lack of story. Graphics are only one piece of the puzzle but are commonly given more attention than gameplay or story/plot. Hopefully the industry will realise this (usally through falling sales) and begin to place more emphasis on the other aspects of what makes a great game.

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  • Stu

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  • Gamer

    Well, you have said the untold truth my friend..
    Today’s games are more graphics oriented than gameplay, example of this Max Payne 3, a whopping 30GB game ended in <10hrs, and that too said one of the most difficult games this year..
    I recently googled and found some old games from past online (Contra, Mario, Snow Bros), and heck i can't get past even first stage of contra, wonder how i used to end it back then when i was 7 yrs old, made me realize that today's games are far more easier..
    I have'nt been able to finish Prince of Persia 1 & 2 till date, find that 60mins. limitation really hard to cross, but POP Triology, forgotten sands have been a piece of cake for me..
    And graphics too today i feel has been stagnant from past 2-3yrs, i mean back in 2007, when Crysis was released, that was the biggest graphics leap that i saw in gaming history, from then till today, just see some contrast and detail adjustment, tessellations, etc in today's games, i mean compare 2002 games (Vice City, Sands of Time) to 2007 Crysis, and then to 2012 Battlefield 3, the graphics vastly improved in 2002-2007 era, but in next 5 yrs, ie, 2007-2012, i don't see that much improvement, WHY??? I don't know, but it could be just me.. 😛
    BTW, my favorite was Chamber of Secrets from Harry Potter games, loved the gameplay so much that time, sad that the CD was lost back then.. :(

  • michael

    I agree.I remember playing Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the dragon on ps1.They were way better than todays games. you didn’t have to update your system every 5 minutes you just put in the disc and play the game.