: What Do Next Gen Games Have To Do To Wow You?

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What Do Next Gen Games Have To Do To Wow You?

The answer changes with every generation.

When I saw the Nintendo Entertainment System in action I was awestruck. The Colecovision and both Atari systems had just become relics of a bygone era the moment I laid eyes on Super Mario Bros. Gone were the giant single shades of pixels and here was this little plumber with smooth animations and multiple abilities.

When the SNES was en route all I knew was things were going to be better, and boy were they. We got much more detailed sprites with even smoother animations plus deeper gameplay. While Sega had had a decent showing with the Master System, they now carved out a market all their own with the Genesis. Gaming grew up a little (at least into preteen territory) with attitude laden characters like Sonic the Hedgehog. Things got bloody with the arcade ports of Mortal Kombat II. The success of that game alone and the need to have it made Nintendo reverse their policies on gore.

The next generation changed things up entirely, it was all about 3D polygonal rendering. Whether you were being wowed by the adventures of Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or delving into tombs with Lara Croft in Tomb Raider there was no going back to 2D sprites for the time being. It was at this stage that home systems really began to catch up to arcade machines. Dead or Alive, Virtua Fighter, Tekken, Bloody Roar, Tobal no 1, Battle Arena Toshinden; the fighters kept on coming for Playstation. Console gaming grew up again, now taking on an additional amount of grit and realism.

N64, Playstation, and Saturn looked great but everyone saw room for improvement. By the time the Playstation 2 was all set to release people were talking mostly about graphics. I even recall some claims that it might be able to deliver Pixar quality visuals. That didn't quite happen but the leap was big, it was even pretty big right at launch. Gameplay continued to advance and controlling your three dimensional character was no longer a matter of turning them like a tank and pressing up to move them forward as was often the case. Intuitive button schemes became more common and the swivel camera was entering popular use. The first person shooter also began to take on its modern form.

People were worried a bit about the generation after PS2 superiority, would it just be a graphical upgrade? In truth that's about all it amounted to at first. It really took a few years before we began to see things that I think would have been capable of really surprising folks like the original advancement into 3D did. Ultimately this last generation has been defined by the conversion to high definition graphics, the prevalence of physics, and tons of freedom. Many things got better but those three really stand out. So the question becomes what can actually wow us in another age of high definition gaming?

The frontiers seem mostly explored at least until virtual reality becomes viable. Physics can get better, artificial Intelligence can improve, graphics can still get better, I suppose gameplay can be tweaked further; what can really be done to blow us away though? Some of the critics complaints about Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall seem to circle around the notion that these games aren't next gen enough, whatever that means in a gaming climate like this.

I honestly have a hard time quantifying what would make a game appropriately shocking enough to be regarded in awe as a “true next gen experience.” You sort of know it when you see it.  What do you need to see in PS4 games to tell you the next generation has truly arrived?

11/18/2013 David D. Nelson

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Comments (37 posts)

Kryten1029a
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:11:15 PM
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Definitely looking forward to Infamous: Second Son and Watch_Dogs. Beyond that, I'll have to see. The games may not look massively better than last gen titles at present, but they'll definitely improve.

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Kryten1029a
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 11:02:08 PM

I mentioned improving graphics and I'd like to see more realistic textures, but what I really want is for developers to take some risks. Greenlight smaller games that take risks and do something different. If you approve a game for $10 million then you can be a little daring because you don't have to sell an absurd number of copies to cover your costs.

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Bio
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:12:02 PM
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I'd like to see developers take more risks with new IPs, instead of sequels until the end of time, but I doubt it will happen; we'll probably be on Assassin's Creed 12 and Call of Duty 28 by the end of this gen.

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Temjin001
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:45:45 PM

I think this is where we see a sharper divide between what sells best and what rates best.
These annualized franchises know their audience and will continue to feed them in droves. I see it much like easy Hollywood movie cash-ins: "chick-flicks," Transformers, and super hero movies and stuff. The stuff that is really expensive to make but appeals to a more passive sense.
Many people don't want deep or admiring games like art or deep psychological thrillers. they just want entertainment that satisfies their free time with excitement. nothing wrong with that either.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/18/2013 10:46:44 PM

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Temjin001
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:22:35 PM
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I'm wondering this for the PS4 and XO.
It would seem in the past, devs were always aching to get more power to enable things they wanted to do but couldn't. These days it seems to me most devs need more time to explore more of what more hardware can give them. I think this is especially so when we look at what this new hardware is giving us. We're still dealing with the same sort of controller so complicated games like Assassin's Creed will still be complicated and hard to make intuitive when a person's thumb's and trigger fingers have to dictate control over a dude with so many physical decisions. And in the last gen we received major graphical enhancements like heavy shader and normal map usage that made people look a lot more like people. Right now for the next-gen graphics feels like higher fidelity and higher volume rather than major foundational strides.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/18/2013 10:24:33 PM

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Vitron
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:33:06 PM
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They have to be JRPGs :3

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PC_Max
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 10:52:17 PM
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For me it would be Ai, how it interacts with changing environments and changes to the Ai's state (health stats and injuires). Heck if the Ai's personality can evolve based on a singles players actions and inactions throughout the game... ultimate bonus.

The other would be an organic gameplay and storyline. What I mean by that is the world changes as we play and in essence, not one can have the same experience or ending to the storyline. The storyline it pretty much created as the game progresses. As impossible this may seem... it really is not in the realms of creativity.

All of the above probably will not appear this gen and may not for another 20 years.

Yep, I want the holodeck. Still waiting.

Cheers! and Keep playing!

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NaughtyDog
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 11:34:31 PM
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I just think 2k14 plays superb, everyone moves the way the players play. I was the Rockets and my brother was the Knicks and we had a great time, especially seeing Harden and Carmillo making shots left and right the way they play. Got to give the devolopers some time to know how to work there majic, can't wait for Uncharted and Naughty Dog pushing the limits!

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kraygen
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 12:06:20 AM
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Honestly I don't even think this new gen is all that next gen. There's no new hardware, basically it's only a graphical improvement and it's not going to be a big enough leap to really wow me.

Personal opinion, but that's how I see it.

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bldudas1
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 8:31:56 AM

I feel that way, too.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 12:11:13 AM
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I wouldn't mind open world sandbox games to -actually- look as awesome as other games so people can stop using "sandbox" and "open world" as an excuse for why games are graphically sub-par.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 12:21:52 AM
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Simple- they just have to be better than what we already have.

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daus26
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 2:09:09 AM

Yep. Better visuals, better gameplay, better sounds, better multiplayer experience, better animations, etc.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 8:28:04 AM

So an SNES like changeover will do the trick for you? I kinda want more, somehow.

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Banky A
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 1:02:17 AM
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RPGs and open world games having fluid leg & body animations for going up and down stairs - based on alll dat weight, wind and momentum... etc

+ the ability to trip over and die from hitting your head because you forgot to restock on 99 HP pots and ran to the shop.

Bam! next gen lol

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Jawknee
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:04:49 AM
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I have no idea. Great graphic upgrades have become a bit of a low priority to me. I think I'm more interested in new ways to plays these days.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:06:05 AM
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Larger, more dynamic and interactive and above all *persistent* worlds. That's what will scream "next-gen" to me.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 9:55:46 AM

For one genre maybe.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:46:05 PM

No, definitely more than one genre.

Take racing games for example. A track where the tires makes permanent skid marks on the ground, where damage on the scenery are seen also when you pass it the next rounds.

Or any game that features some sort of interior it's not bolted to the ground but have adequate weight and reasistic strength and will interact also with other objects according to physics.

Or a strategy game where actions on the play field is not all temporary effects but permanently change according to actions.

Or puzzle games that have marks from the last time you tried to solve that puzzle.

Or an adventure game where you actually break a pin if you step on it, where leaves are shaken off a bush in the shock wave of an explosion, or a redirection of a water stream will change the properties of the ground under that stream - a stream that follows physics, not a scripted path.

Really, the imagination is the only limit here. I essentially talk about a potential for any game that offer a three dimentional world to become a *lot* more interesting and realistic.
This is stuff that - hopefully only until now - has been unthinkable.

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/19/2013 3:53:51 PM

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___________
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:06:50 AM
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just experiences we havent seen or experienced before.
for once i want to pick up something and say ok this is why we had to wait 7 years, theres no way this could of been done with last gen systems!
and im yet to see that.
im not talking graphics theres no point hoping for that because ive been playing "next gen" games for 4+ years now on my PC!
im more interested in gameplay, stories, ideas most importantly.
for once lets play through a game and not ONE instance of it is at all gamey.
lets walk into a room and not see 100 pieces of conveniently placed cover.
lets not walk into a room and every single enemy within a 500KM radius know my exact position!
lets not have the tired old story cliches.
lets not have the tired old location cliches.
and more importantly, can we PLEASE get rid of this generations OBSESSION with stupid restrictions?
games use to be about freedom, it use to be about empowerment, now its about restrictions.
no you cant go there, no you cant do that, no you can only carry 1 main weapon and one side arm, no you cant enter vehicles unless its scripted.
everything is so controlled you dont feel like your playing a game, you feel like your acting out a play!
whole point of games is to let the player go nuts and do whatever the blazing hell they want!
not no you cant do that, no you cant go there, no you cant carry that, no you can only carry 1 main weapon.
borderlands 2 a perfect example, so so many cool awesome weapons but why all the restrictions?
such a small backpack, and all the machiene guns only have 18 bullet magazines?
WTF!?
EIGHTEEN!?
sorry, but im sick of these stupid god dam REALLY frustrating restrictions!

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Lunar_Miyuki
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:51:03 AM
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Double Disc games oh think of the possibilitys

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 3:52:45 AM
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For me... AI is a big one. No matter how well some games handle this aspect of the production, you never get the feeling that these are anything more than pre-programmed robots. They have their active and passive mentalities and that's it; there's no real dynamism to it, and worst of all is that, if one enemy knows where you are, they all do. That needs to change.

Storytelling. The Last of Us was one of few AAA games that I've played that really fed players a sense of the narrative through the environments. I do think that the prevalence of notes laying around was a little too reliant on gaming's tropes, but an evolution of that basic idea would help. I mean, I hardly think that most people would be writing notes while locked away in a room surrounded by the Infected. Reasonably certain they'd be more worried about either finding a way out, or a way to kill themselves as quickly as possible so as to not get turned.

Most of all, I just want something that really feels different. I want something like Beyond or Gone Home or Flower that offers something that no other game does. It's a cop-out of an answer, I know, but it is what matters most to me, and it is exactly what we aren't seeing yet.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 8:49:49 AM

Ah yeah - AI. Of course. That's an area with *huge* potential for improvements.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 10:08:05 AM

I'm finishing The Last of Us, the poor AI still baffles me. I want to see better AI this gen too but I bet we don't, it's an area that takes a lot of work and most people don't pay attention to it.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 5:26:20 AM
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well i think the next-gen ness will come with second son and theif and the crew and the order and watch dogs and all that gud stuff if that doesn't do it i don't know what will unless unchartered 4 or something we'll see what they ting but i'll ethier come early 2014 or late 2014

happy gaming =)

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Dante399
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 8:32:20 AM
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I believe the closer they get to simulating real life experiences the bigger the achievement is. Next-Gen to me means a big leap from the previous generation and not the change of the outer box.

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coldbore
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 8:46:33 AM
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a few things i would like to note. whenever there has been a next generation of systems come out, the very first thing i think anyone notices is the graphics. there has always been a drastic leap in graphics between systems. even from the nes to the snes was a major leap in graphics, i remember thinking that the genesis was absolutely incredible due to its graphics. now, we all know graphics doesnt determine whether a game is good or not, but it does influence us on our first impressions, and it seems that this new generation was the first time we didnt have that drastic leap in graphics like we always had. another note i would like to comment on, why are we still using disks? these blue ray disks arent cheap, and you can contain considerable larger amounts of data in an sd card than what a blue ray disk can contain. i know they're trying to push everything digital, but im surprised that we are still using disks. also, i feel everything that comes out appears to be very repetitive, it's always the same games that come out, call of duty, battlefield, etc., how about something new, look at for example bioshock, it was something very different when it initially came out and that drew everyones attention. i know it's very hard for new ideas to come out because it appears that everything has already been done, but i think that is what this generation needs most.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 10:11:54 AM

I think we are still using discs because a large amount of the gaming populace doesn't have reliable high speed internet, plus hard drives are tiny compared to what they need to be to house a medium sized library of games. At 40gigs each and only 500gigs hard drive that's 12 games you can have at once.

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xenris
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 10:44:55 AM
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Simple. Devs all of them must have crazy ideas for games they want to make. They should just go for it. Try new things, who knows it might be the next minecraft.

Other than that something to me that still hasn't been seen is seamless ground to space gameplay in an air combat game.

For example, in the next Star Wars battlefront game if they want to make something next gen, they need to make it so you can be fighting on a planet, and then get into an x wing and seamlessly fly into space to maybe attack a shield generator or something like that. Then you could dock in the space generator thing and fight on foot in there.

Things like that are next gen to me, and I hope that it happens because really now there is no excuse.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 12:03:49 PM
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Great thoughts everyone. A couple for me now that I've had time to think about it is something like Heavy Rain where even more actions matter in more nuanced ways for the ending. And also some ability to have both freedom and a strong story together in one package without the big drawbacks we've seen this gen.

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Sir Dan
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 1:51:45 PM
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Load times. How frustrating to play Skyrim for instance and every time I walk through a door I could read a good book before I get to play again.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 4:12:36 PM

That will be easily resolved now that all games go onto your hard drive.

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Weaverpsu
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 4:16:45 PM
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I'd like to see better A.I. when it comes to games like Gran Turismo and sports games. Special teams and suction blocking in Madden has been a big turn off for me and I've gone the last 3 years without purchasing a football game after going about 20 yrs in a row previously. Give me a great football game, and I am on board!

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Lunar_Miyuki
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 @ 1:58:27 AM
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double disc games for PS4 would give Devs no excuse to lock content such as endings like Cough FF13-2 cough did also double disc games would actually let Devs have a better story and not pull crappy endings like WKC2 did where you kill off all the main bad guys at once

it would actually give developers the space to make mini games like FF7 did with its 3 discs back on PS1 Legend of the dragoon was a 4 disc game

though nowadays devs would rather make a game and then add DLC instead of actually making a second disc to fit everything they want on the game

i am 100% serious when i say a double disc PS4 game would Wow me

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VictorDeLeon
Thursday, November 21, 2013 @ 2:32:08 AM
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the thing that would add lots of immersion would be to open EVERY door you can see

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riptide8
Thursday, November 21, 2013 @ 1:20:00 PM
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Yep its all about the eye candy and network reliability. A captivating story helps. I just don't have time for indie and anything less than real AAA.

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slow and smart
Thursday, November 21, 2013 @ 2:13:53 PM
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make games that gives YOU the choice:action or stealth or a mix of those,make a COD with these options as you progress in the game,graphically COD is wow,but the gameplay of waves and waves of enemy's is not for me.Make games as deus ex dir.cut:you can choose how to play,and then with next gen graphics that is what i want.AND it brings money money money to the Industrial gamesmarket:you get different types of players for the same game

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