If you didn’t already know, Gamerwife has a monthly blog linkup about gaming that I have been dying to get in on–but it’s always slipped my mind. Since school is out for the summer, I can finally take part in this awesomeness! Yay!
The theme for this month is “My Dream Game”. Mariko herself came up with this really exciting mobile game, which you can read about on her blog. My own dream game isn’t so well thought-out. Instead, it’s a list of aspects from other games that I think could come together to make a great gaming experience. Also included is a short list of things that my dream game would NOT have.
In my dream game, you would find:
1. Awesome Voice Acting
I used to be a really big fan of games with silent protagonists and most text-based dialogue (which is only natural, since I’m a HUGE Zelda fan). Since playing Arkham Asylum, Fable 2, and the Mass Effect series, though, I became a huge fan of gaming voice acting–when it’s done well. Great voice actors (and good dialogue!) are thus an essential part of my dream gaming experience.
2. Choice-Based Gameplay
Thanks to the present state of the video-game industry, I have to clarify this statement–I want my choices to really matter. As I said above, I liked playing Fable 2, but I felt like the end results weren’t really different. The end of Bioshock had the same problem–it really didn’t matter whether or not you harvested the Little Sisters. If you’re going to bring in morality and choices, make them matter. I know it’s more expensive, but it’s alright to shorten the length of a game when choice lead you down different paths. This brings in tons of potential gameplay hours though replay. I love being a key player in my video games, and having my decisions effect a game’s plot is probably the greatest way to do this.
3. Linear Plot Line
I know that this is something that most people won’t agree with, but I find sandbox games frustrating. I tend to get bored about halfway through, and then abandon the game for months at a time. While I like some freedom in where I go and when I do things, I think that a game has to have a certain level of linearity to its story in order for it to stay interesting. It doesn’t have to be as restricting as Ocarina of Time, but it also doesn’t have to be as freeing as an Elder Scrolls game. Maybe somewhere around Assassin’s Creed?
4. Effective Melee (or Ranged) Weapons
I like playing FPS games, but I also like being able to run in and stab the heck out of something. Gameplay in a certain game will be based on either ranged or melee weapons, and its frequently ineffective to try to use something else–even when it’s available. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to be able to move between types of weapons. Therefore, my dream game would have at least one other weapon that works well. Ideally, it would have a balance akin to Left 4 Dead 2.
And it would definitely not have:
Can we just stop? Please? Stop making me want to hate you, video game industry.
2. Customizable Characters
This is another thing that will likely be controversial, but I don’t like spending too much time customizing my characters. I like playing as someone else–whether Link, Booker DeWitt, Altair, or Lara Croft. I enjoy choosing from existing characters, or even just picking a gender (Hey, Fem!Shep). But unless the game is a full-fledged RPG, then I don’t need or want a fully customizable character. And, since I don’t really enjoy RPGs, I don’t need high levels of customization at all. Especially since, nowadays, this frequently means DLC or microtransactions. Blaurgh.
3. A Sequel
Everything seems to have a sequel these days, but there are tons of great games that did NOT require one (Arkham Asylum, for instance). Can’t we just let great games be? Remember those good times we had, video game producers? Yeah, please don’t screw around with it.
What would you like to see in your dream game? Or do you think I described a game that already exists (which is probably likely)? Let me know in the comments!