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The most overused themes in video games right now are... [roundtable]
Alright, I've been thinking. I loved the Resident Evil games. But man, zombies seem like the new "modern warfare" trend right now. Or in some cases, both are combined. Actually, that is a pretty cool mode, but it's not exactly disproving my point. Zombies are everywhere, and it is starting to get, dare I say it, a bit overdone.

I also feel like Greek mythology is being used too often. And no one seems to know how to do it without ripping off God of War, which wasn't even a very original game to begin with. Also, using Norse mythology instead doesn't count as being original.

I could talk Space Marines and World War 2, but those almost seem old hat now. Especially World War 2, is anyone still making those games?

Did I miss anything? What do you guys think? Which themes are a bit overdone in the current industry landscape? Keep in mind, we're talking themes here, not gameplay genres or styles.

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Posted: 01/17/11, 23:21:12  - Edited by 
 on: 01/17/11, 23:59:51
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And yet I am still waiting to see these huge amount of games where these choices were clearly made for technical reasons.

Crackdown 2 had a bunch of Zombies and was a Post Apocolyptic version of the first city. However, here it was done to disguise the lack of new content not because they needed to make it linear. The zombies were definitely mindless though and they fit a good amount of them on screen. That's a possible tech reason to make them zombies. Even still though, Crackdown had a large amount of human enemies on screen at one time.
Posted: 01/19/11, 23:18:21

Technical and budgetary. You dropped the budget question along the way, not sure why. You're really hung up on the fac that someone dared claim the 306 can't reproduce reality.
Posted: 01/19/11, 23:22:04
New Forms said:

Huh. Never thought of it like that. You could be on to something.

That's why I've always had a problem with the GTA games. Esp. with IV, they drop you into these gorgeous worlds, but then only give you access to 1% of the structures. It's totally immersion-breaking. I'd add that putting someone in a fictional NYC and then dropping the street population and car density down to 5% of what it is actually like also pulls me out of the game.

That's why I prefer open-world games that are not urban based. Landscapes as found in Red Dead Redemption, Just Cause 2, Far Cry 2, are far more authentic because the structural masses (houses/buildings) and populations are scaled back much further while remaining true to that type of environment. It allows the player to enter virtually every building they come across and makes the world feel far more authentic. They don't have to corral the player down a corridor either. You can still go anywhere you want, whenever you want, yet it still feels real.
Have you played Heavy Rain. Now that I think about it, that game gives you an amazing sense of choice of where to go, what to do, but confines you in clever ways without you really noticing. And that is set in a modern urban setting.

Little things like when I'm in my home, I can go to any room and do things I would expect to do in those rooms. If I go to the front door and open it though, it triggers a cut scene where my character will open the door, watch the neighbours for a minute, appreciate the sunny day and then return inside. It has restricted my access to the outside world at this time, but it all flows nicely without breaking the immersion and doesn't require any rubble blocking my path.

In other areas, my leaving the area, walking out the door, etc. is my way of ending the scene and jumping to the next character's scene. It is a natural transition that restricts movement without feeling artificial.

I hadn't really thought about it before, but I guess that's about the highest praise I could give Quantic Dreams for their work in this regard.

This video has some excellent examples of both these natural barriers as well as examples of areas crowded with humans where you would expect it to be so:

* I'm looking for "Jason" and I go into the comic store. A quick cut scene takes control away from me as a I see my character look around, not see Jason anywhere and then throw me back out into the mall.

* The mall has lots of people milling around, especially after going downstairs.

* The back yards have fences and shrubs that you would expect to see in any normal backyard.

* The disco scene is crowded with people dancing. When you approach the door it cues the end of the scene in a cinematic camera sweep annnnd "cut".
Posted: 01/19/11, 23:36:12  - Edited by 
 on: 01/19/11, 23:51:32

No, I can't get over the fact that someone made a broad sweeping generalization without providing any kind of example especially when confronted with examples that fly in the face of the statement.

I'm not sure why budget would be a factor when invisible walls are cheaper to implement rather than meticulously making your environment look destroyed to accommodate gameplay. Could be for Zombies I guess, allowing them to be less intelligent thus the AI would be more managable.
Posted: 01/19/11, 23:37:01

There is nothing realistic or immersive about invisible walls.

Please look at the argument as a whole. Picking at parts of it will get you nowhere.
Posted: 01/19/11, 23:54:28  - Edited by 
 on: 01/19/11, 23:59:22
Y'know the trends that always make me roll my eyes a little. The fact that some bad guy has their secret lair in a place where you have to undergo incredible trial, traps and jumps to get there. Do they really go through this every time they go out for a coffee? Especially when said bad guy is an out of shape slob.

Similarly games where there are series of ledges and handholds that just so happen to get you where you want to go and none that lead to dead ends.

I love playing these types of games, but my wife always has to drop the comment when she sees these things.
Posted: 01/20/11, 00:19:07
Simbabbad said:
There is even a room with lava in the castle, which doesn't make sense realistically, but it was excellent fun.
What are you talking about? My castle has a lava room... doesn't yours?
Posted: 01/20/11, 00:26:08

You can get 22 playing football at once. Is that enough?

If so, NCAA Football 2005 is pretty good in that regard.

NASCAR 2011: The Game (March '11) is supposed to have ridiculously good AI for 43 drivers.

Buttt you guys are all HUGE sports fans, so I'm sure we'll talk about these again..
Posted: 01/20/11, 01:29:05
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