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This generation of gaming has, in my mind started to stagnate. To clarify, this generation started with the release of the Wii U in 2012 and the PS4 and Xbox One the next year. Innovation and creativity have traditionally been a huge factor in game development. Considering gaming’s roots as a nearly dead industry in the 80s, developers had no choice but to innovate in order to draw a crowd. Now that gaming has gotten to the point that it rivals even the film industry, it feels like it’s started to let some of that success go to its head. Now, there’s entirely too much focus on gaming’s past, leading to a regression in new content in favor of older games. There’s also a safety net of successful franchises that developers don’t want to stray too far from.

As for older content, each console this gen is guilty of this. Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, and even multi-platform companies have decided to repackage old games on the new systems rather than expand them or come up with something new. There have been a plethora of remakes this generation. This includes titles such as Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, The Last of Us Remastered, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Rare Replay, The Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD, etc.

The games included in these aforementioned titles are all great, but their success can be credited to the generation in which they came out. For games like Skyrim especially, there hasn’t really ever felt like a need to keep re-releasing it. There was a remaster for current gen systems, but it only brought a limited amount of mods to the table. This amount is even more limited on PS4 and there was absolutely no need for a PC version since modding the original can make better visual changes. It’s also getting a VR version soon and a Switch version with Amiibo support. Bethesda is so focused on the success of this game that they’re seemingly not expanding their horizons here. This doesn’t even begin to get at backward compatibility, which is such a resource drain for Microsoft that they struggle to put out anything new.

That isn’t to say we haven’t gotten new games. We have, but a lot of what we’ve gotten doesn’t push boundaries at all. As a result, the games we get end up feeling like overpriced DLC rather than a new installment in a franchise. These games aren’t bad, in fact, they’re far from it, but they don’t wow us like their older installments do.

A good example of this is Gears of War 4. Agreed by many on the internet to be The Force Awakens of gaming, Gears 4 plays it really safe and doesn’t change all that much. The story is good, but when you pick up the controller, it just feels like a slightly more refined Gears game rather than a new thing or a big expansion on previous conventions. It’s probably the best Gears experience out there, but it’s such a small upgrade from previous games that it hardly qualifies as something new. I get the same feeling when I play games like Uncharted 4 and Halo 5. I also got the same feeling watching the Assassin’s Creed: Origins trailer at E3 and I didn’t even pick up a controller for that one.

Even new IPs like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Bloodborne, which are both great games, struggle to innovate. Yes, the amazing aesthetic, music, and graphics in both games are innovative. However, even those games are hampered down by gameplay borrowed from other series. Bloodborne’s gameplay is just a faster, more intense version of Souls gameplay and the something similar can be said about Horizon and the new Tomb Raider games. They’re both very unique takes on pre-existing formulas, but it still feels more like a gameplay sequel rather than something new.

There are two titles that stand out for truly innovating this generation. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is probably the best game I’ve played in years. Although it’s a franchise game, it, like most Zelda’s before it, stands apart as its own thing. This game especially played with the conventions we’re used to in Zelda titles (and gaming general) and made a truly open world where most anything is possible. It combined Souls-esque combat with action RPGs in a way that makes it a unique gaming experience. Another title that looks to be doing something similar with its formula is the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey.

The second title is Overwatch. While Breath of the Wild is probably the best game I’ve played in years, Overwatch is probably the most addictive. It makes a unique hybrid between two popular genres, first-person shooters and MOBAs. Rather than changing the conventions of both genres, it combines them together to create its own genre. In doing so, it doesn’t need to challenge conventions, it forges its own. It, like Breath of the Wild, is a truly distinct gameplay experience as a result.

I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Gaming

The director of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is making a final plea to content creators regarding spoilers

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is on the horizon, with our review already available. There’s just one week left until the game’s official release on February 29th, exclusively on PS5. This highly anticipated sequel to Remake, based on one of the most beloved video game stories, is best experienced without any spoilers, according to creative director Tetsuya Nomura.

On Twitter, Nomura made a final request for players and content creators to avoid spoiling the game for others, especially on social media and video-sharing platforms, where spoilers can spread rapidly. Naturally, there’s a specific moment that everyone is eagerly anticipating to see how it will compare to the 1997 original, and it’s bound to be quite chaotic on launch day. Nevertheless, Nomura still holds onto a glimmer of hope for humanity and has made a seemingly impossible request for content creators to exercise a degree of restraint.

It’s important to remember to include spoiler warnings when sharing content related to the game’s story on social media and video-sharing sites to avoid spoiling the experience for others. I would greatly appreciate it if you could avoid using scenes from important parts of the story in your video thumbnails.

https://x.com/finalfantasyvii/status/1760605439698591859?s=20

Nomura points out that the developers intentionally did not limit the recording and sharing features of the PS5 for any aspect of the game. They believe players should have the freedom to share and discuss their favorite gameplay moments. It remains to be seen if that trust was justified.

Do you think players and content creators will follow Nomura’s request and minimize spoilers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Gaming

Xbox may want to become more acquainted with the Platinum Trophies on PS5 and PS4

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Obsidian’s first Xbox game, Pentiment, a historical adventure, is now available on the PS5 and PS4. From what we’ve seen, this port of a highly popular game seems to be solid, and we aim to provide you with a review soon. Meanwhile, one aspect caught our attention regarding the conversion that Microsoft may need to address in the future.

Pentiment’s list of Trophies perfectly mirrors its Xbox Achievements, featuring identical descriptions, titles, and icons. There is a slight variation between the two versions: PlayStation offers 42 trophies to unlock, whereas Xbox provides 41 achievements to earn. The distinction lies in the Platinum Trophy, which is awarded once you have collected all the other trinkets in the set.

Since it’s not included in the original game, the developer has not named the trophy, so it appears as ‘PlatinumTrophy’ in the list. This has already generated amusement among Trophy enthusiast communities. “They chose such a basic name for the Platinum Trophy and somehow still messed it up,” a fan expressed.

This issue is quite insignificant in the bigger picture and could likely be fixed with a quick update or patch. As Microsoft gains more experience with PlayStation development, we hope their command of the Trophy system will improve. After all, those platinums are difficult to earn and deserve a more memorable name.

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Gaming

Brock Lesnar and Vince McMahon have been excluded from the final roster of WWE 22K24

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2K Sports unveiled the complete roster for the upcoming WWE 2K24, featuring more than 204 playable superstars, including 70 Legends who are no longer part of the main rosters, along with eight managers. However, fans were quick to point out the absence of some notable names from the list: 7-time WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and former WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Lesnar was previously excluded from the Forty Years of WrestleMania edition.

Following accusations of sex trafficking against McMahon by a former WWE employee, a report from the Wall Street Journal brought the issue to light. Although Lesnar’s name was not directly mentioned in the proceedings, insiders informed the WSJ that he was the unidentified WWE champion in question. McMahon refuted the allegations but stepped down as WWE CEO the day following the federal lawsuit.

Nonetheless, Lesnar and McMahon will still be present in the game. GameSpot has reported that the Lesnar vs. Undertaker match from WrestleMania 30 may be included in Showcase mode. It is speculated that another match already confirmed for Showcase mode (Stone Cold vs. The Rock, WrestleMania 17) will probably include an appearance from McMahon as well.

WWE 2K24 will be available for purchase on March 8th for PS5 and PS4, or March 5th for those interested in the Deluxe or WrestleMania editions.

 

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