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TA Top Five: Gaming Mechanics Of This Gen

  • Posted on 24 February 14 at 14:26Permalink
    This is largely a short list of things that ruined the gaming experience. Drop in coop is convenient and choice persistence is a nice thought that may actually influence a game's outcome one day, but everything else encompasses a number of reasons why I didn't enjoy nearly everything I've played on my 360.
    Supporter of unpopular opinions.
  • Removed Gamer

    Removed Gamer

    Posted on 24 February 14 at 14:26, Edited on 24 February 14 at 14:29 by Permalink
    S P 4 C E Y said:
    Lefty24 said:
    2. Multiplayer Perks, Killstreaks, Leveling, and Rewards
    I fail to see how these are good mechanics.

    - Leveling usually entails massive grinds in the 50+ hour range. Who wants that when there are plenty of other games to experience. If the game is good, people will keep playing it. Leveling is lazy development and shows lack of ingenuity, just like pointless collectibles.
    - Killstreaks. Encourages camping and spawn camping, teammates blocking doors and narrow pathways preventing tactical teamwork, etc. Again, how is that good for games?
    - Multiplayer perks. Great, so someone can pick heartbeat sensors or invisibility. To what end? More camping.

    What happened to multiplayer gaming where success was measured in skill, reflexes, teamwork, and tactics; not sitting in a spot waiting for someone to pass in front of the crosshairs to add a tally to the killstreak reward. Levels in games mean nothing any more. Either you boost your levels or resort to killstreak tactics to level up.

    These are your best mechanics? No, these are the poisons of multiplayer gaming.
    Once upon a time (Halo 2, Halo 3) we had competitive MP where ranking was awarded for skill. Now we have experience and prestige systems that simply awards game time and experience.

    It's killed the competitive element of MP for me.
    I completely agree. I've been saying this for some time now. As someone that came from the SOCOM franchise on PS2, I've found some of the new MP games too hard to get into for a lot of the reasons listed above. Hell, you didn't even respawn in SOCOM unless you played in those lobbies. SOCOM had a level of intensity, strategy, and use of teamwork that I have yet to experience in this gen's games (Left 4 Dead being pretty close).
    What I've come to realize is that any unlockables (or achievements), especially those that require players to do certain things in matches no matter how insignificant they are (such as a new banner or dog tag), alters the way the game is played for everyone involved. They have completely ruined the quality of MP games. You no longer have players playing as a team to win the match. You typically have two or three doing what they can, then the rest of the team doing whatever it takes to unlock some random, bullshit emblem or achievement (and I'm just as guilty on the achievements). Call of Duty got it right by not putting achievements in the MP, but then they added a billion unlockables, which completely negated that.
    How fun is it to be close to winning a match and seeing your teammate driving around in a forklift trying to run over players instead of just killing them normally to preserve the win?
    Killstreaks were fun for a minute, until I realized that players are essentially getting rewarded for doing virtually nothing. Get three kills in a row, set off some KS to put you to five kills, set off another one, now you're at seven or more, set off another one and WHOA! you're 15-0 for getting a couple kills and probably camping for that third one. Awesome! Can I get more of THAT?laugh Modern Warfare 2 was pretty much the killer for me with MP games. I loved Battlefield 3, but once again, there's just too many people doing their own shit to unlock who-knows-what to keep me going with it.

    As for the article, I enjoyed it and appreciate the time that goes into doing these. We're not all going to agree on everything, but it's still a good read and list overall.:)
  • Removed Gamer

    Removed Gamer

    Posted on 24 February 14 at 18:03Permalink
    Best game mechanic ever is PORTALS (or, if you want, "physics")

    It should've been number one (or number two if you insist on the meta achievements entry), but it didn't even get an honorable mention...
    I believe in a better world, where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
  • JMJimmyJMJimmy455,780
    Posted on 24 February 14 at 18:35Permalink
    Shadow 00 Fox said:
    Good read..even better comments section. I nominate Jimmy to put together HIS list of the top 5 gaming mechanics, so that we can debate that list too. Thanks to the original author for putting this together so it could even be discussed! Live a little, learn a little... discuss a little, just don't fight. toast
    5 Animus - Assassin's Creed series. This simple game mechanic allowed the developer to maintain the suspension of disbelief while providing the menus, hud, and storytelling mechanism required to make the game playable. Other versions of this mechanic are usually done with some sort of suit or accessory (Halo/Bulletstorm) but the Animus took it to another level by transporting the gamer through multiple times and stories in a believable way.

    4 Active Reload - Gears of War. Talked about this a lot previously but there's no denying the simple genius at play here. It first appeared in Killer7 for the Playstation 2 but Gears refined it to provide a more engaging experience and it had a true impact on gameplay. Hit the sweet spot and you could save yourself in tight situations - miss it and die while you try to unjam. The greatest aspect of this is that you feel like you're still an active part of the game during reload animations.

    3 Voice/Movement control (Kinect) - love it or hate it, personally I'm the latter, voice and motion controlled mechanics really flourished in this generation and were refined to the point where these game mechanics became viable tools in a developers belt. Endwar and Mass Effect's voice commands aren't perfect but they add a level of depth and tactical strategy that simply was not possible in earlier generations. The myriad of Kinect based games built around body movements was truly revolutionary and will continue to be refined, even if the popularity has dwindled and novelty has warn off.

    2 Portals Portal/Portal 2 - Simple yet mind twisting. By no means the first time this type of mechanic has appeared, they've existed in various forms since the early days of gaming. The ability to place them as a mechanism for moving around a level was what truly refined them into a game mechanic that will stand the test of time.

    1 Physics (PhysX/Havok Physics/etc) - Impacting almost every aspect of gaming mechanics from particle effects, bullet drop, changes in gravitational constants, ragdolls, environmental damage, and so much more. In addition to impacting so many game mechanics it has allowed the creation of numerous others. It really came into it's own in this generation and will be the backbone of game mechanics for decades to come.

    Mafia 2 with/without physx: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/75/Ma....jpg
    Life, it's funny that way.
  • Tasty PastryTasty Pastry338,038
    Posted on 24 February 14 at 19:24, Edited on 24 February 14 at 19:24 by Tasty PastryPermalink
    I was entertained by the original list and definitely can't disagree on #1. I know they must be tough to write.

    toast
  • Posted on 24 February 14 at 21:14Permalink
    I love co-op. toast
    No matter what you do, people will always hate. The good thing about it is that they will get over it and move on.
  • ElyohElyoh815,884
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 04:22Permalink
    S P 4 C E Y said:
    BSquad56 said:
    Preach it brother! What happened to Health Packs too!? The worst mechanic this gen adopted was Regenerating Health!
    I thoroughly disagree with this statement. What Halo created with regenerating health was magnificent - it drove games away from "where do i get my next health pack from?" to a state where you could attack, recover, attack, recover...

    It allows the gamer to better experience the game without worrying about a game mechanic which could really screw you. Anyone genuinely think Call of Duty Classic's health pack system is better than the later games?!
    Halo never had regenerating health. You had a shield yes, but you also had a health bar which required health packs to recover. This had been used before and (At least personally) isn't a bad thing.

    Regenerating health is a completely different mess. Every game now has the exact same health system as Call of Duty 2, and it really does take out a skill level. Making games easier means they are more accessible to a larger audience thus more games sold and more money. Business is business, but it does suck when it so adversely affects those of us who were happy with the previous model.
    No God, know fear. Know God, no fear.
  • Posted on 25 February 14 at 08:03Permalink
    Aj6627 said:
    I disagree with DLC being included. On the 360 it was more a means making money in the grand scheme of things than it was for just adding content.

    It was more a tool for adding content(as opposed to adding for purposes of monetary gain) on the original Xbox.

    I'm pretty sure that more DLC was free than paid on the original Xbox.
    There is nothing wrong with paid DLC, theoretically... the problem is what is actually made is too short, overpriced even compared to the day 1 retail disk price, already on the disk (so why is it DLC again ?), day 1 DLC (so why is it DLC again ? ), never discounted as much as the main game, and sometimes not at all.
    Your financial solution
  • Aj6627Aj6627171,704
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 09:36Permalink
    triplewitching said:
    Aj6627 said:
    I disagree with DLC being included. On the 360 it was more a means making money in the grand scheme of things than it was for just adding content.

    It was more a tool for adding content(as opposed to adding for purposes of monetary gain) on the original Xbox.

    I'm pretty sure that more DLC was free than paid on the original Xbox.
    There is nothing wrong with paid DLC, theoretically... the problem is what is actually made is too short, overpriced even compared to the day 1 retail disk price, already on the disk (so why is it DLC again ?), day 1 DLC (so why is it DLC again ? ), never discounted as much as the main game, and sometimes not at all.
    Exactly! Even the paid DLC on the original Xbox was worthwhile, made after the game released as a good addon. (see: Halo 2, SC PT, Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow)

    On the 360 it's become more of a money making exercise than a method to add good content.
  • ChardPTChardPT215,713
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 11:55Permalink
    "...collecting hundreds of flags and orbs..."

    + the shout out to Crackdown. Probably the best screw around game of all time.
  • matdanmatdan749,906
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 17:02Permalink
    Hated most of those gaming mechanics mentioned on the list especially mention GOW and cover shooters in the same sentence. Won't disagree with numero uno though.

    Here are some that actually stick in my mind more game specific then not:

    Day/Night Cycle - Allows gameplay to occur at your preferred time.

    Light as a weapon - A curious thing learned from Alan Wake is the use of light as a weapon and a tool to stave off darkness. As much a gameplay mechanic as a weapon it was the very necessity that Alan relied on to get him through those long nights.

    Destruction - Whether it is leveling the surface of Mars by destroying all structures or simply driving a tank through a building. Destruction has seen a massive step up in gaming since the days of Red Faction tunneling; the visceral effects of a collapsing building or the shrapnel from a disintegrating smoke-stack are easily some of the more memorable moments of last-gen.

    Shifting - Ubisoft are no doubt leading gameplay mechanics while EA and Activision lag behind; again they came up with a unique mechanic. In Driver San Francisco you get to drive around in some warped mind-f*** of SF that allows you to jump out of your car and occupy another one. This is often used to create head on collisions and to halt fellow racers for much hilarity.

    Grappling hook - Eidos deserve some cred for one of the most memorable mechanics while simple in invention it provides multiple ways to traverse the map and trip up Panau's finest. A simple grappling hook can be used as a tow rope, to quickly move/parachute across the map, to climb mountains, to pin soldiers up, to knock soldiers over and even drag them behind your vehicle.

    Blood effects/gore - No matter which way you spin it Fallout 3, Brother's in Arms HH, W@W, Dead Rising etc. The gore effects have allowed for more effective and powerful gameplay also zombie carnage.
  • EX slay3rEX slay3r237,741
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 19:32Permalink
    I pretty much agree on this Top Five. Except the #2 on Call of Duty series.
    We at war with the army of haters and when we kill em we just smoke em like papers.
  • DelithDelith314,781
    Posted on 25 February 14 at 20:38Permalink
    I am amused at how many people need to prove this list wrong by saying that some of these have been around longer than this generation. As far as I can see, this isn't a list about firsts and was never intended to be.

    I guess some people are just born to bitch.
    Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.
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    Removed Gamer

    Posted on 25 February 14 at 21:12Permalink
    Word!
  • DullestIIDullestII247,145
    Posted on 26 February 14 at 01:06Permalink
    Lefty24 said:
    2. Multiplayer Perks, Killstreaks, Leveling, and Rewards
    I fail to see how these are good mechanics.

    - Leveling usually entails massive grinds in the 50+ hour range. Who wants that when there are plenty of other games to experience. If the game is good, people will keep playing it. Leveling is lazy development and shows lack of ingenuity, just like pointless collectibles.
    - Killstreaks. Encourages camping and spawn camping, teammates blocking doors and narrow pathways preventing tactical teamwork, etc. Again, how is that good for games?
    - Multiplayer perks. Great, so someone can pick heartbeat sensors or invisibility. To what end? More camping.

    What happened to multiplayer gaming where success was measured in skill, reflexes, teamwork, and tactics; not sitting in a spot waiting for someone to pass in front of the crosshairs to add a tally to the killstreak reward. Levels in games mean nothing any more. Either you boost your levels or resort to killstreak tactics to level up.

    These are your best mechanics? No, these are the poisons of multiplayer gaming.
    You, my friend, have just accurately described everything Valve multiplayer games stand against :D Classic multiplayer experience
    Barock says he's gonna take this country, turn it sideways, and stick it up your lilly ass >:O
  • NawtyCawtyNawtyCawty558,910
    Posted on 26 February 14 at 13:51, Edited on 26 February 14 at 13:53 by NawtyCawtyPermalink
    The cover system and the controls in Gears must be the worst control system ever. And they still havn't changed it, it still sucks. Not to mention the terrible AI.

    As for Achievements, they have poisoned gaming forever. I still chase them madly like everyone else, but it has turned a lot of games into a dull tedious grind instead of an enjoyable experience.

    As for DLC, it isn't a means to extend a game or any of that bullshit, it's just a mechanic to take your money, nothing more laugh
  • DelithDelith314,781
    Posted on 26 February 14 at 14:22Permalink
    NawtyCawty said:
    As for DLC, it isn't a means to extend a game or any of that bullshit, it's just a mechanic to take your money, nothing more laugh
    I completely agree. It's a way to charge more than $60 for a game. If all DLC was bundled with the original purchase, some games would be over $100. And I guarantee if games were $100 a pop, no one would buy them. So DLC is just a way around that imaginary $60 limit.

    But I would rather have DLC then have everything bundled and have to pay more for stuff I don't even want.
    Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.
  • Posted on 26 February 14 at 16:50Permalink
    I can't say how much I can't stand number 2! They've ruined some games for me. I don't mind the idea of them, just not multiplayer specific, there's next to no cross over from single to multiplayer in so many games, it's like there's 2 separate games. I just don't see why you can't be rewarded in multiplayer for what you achieved in single player?
    Disclaimer: copious amounts of sarcasm may be included in the above post.
  • Posted on 26 February 14 at 20:39Permalink
    NawtyCawty said:
    The cover system and the controls in Gears must be the worst control system ever. And they still havn't changed it, it still sucks. Not to mention the terrible AI.

    As for Achievements, they have poisoned gaming forever. I still chase them madly like everyone else, but it has turned a lot of games into a dull tedious grind instead of an enjoyable experience.

    As for DLC, it isn't a means to extend a game or any of that bullshit, it's just a mechanic to take your money, nothing more laugh
    ^^This! Especially THIS!
    Don't open your eyes you won't like what you see! The blind have been blessed with security!
  • Removed Gamer

    Removed Gamer

    Posted on 27 February 14 at 16:46, Edited on 27 February 14 at 16:51 by Permalink
    Halo 3: ODST & the Firefight Mode were in development LONG before Gears of War 2 was. Bungie began working on ODST at the same time they started working on Halo 3. So to give EPIC all the credit for wave-based co-op modes isn't right. Bungie doesn't deserve credit either, as Rainbow 6 Vegas (2006) had Terrorist Hunt, and many games from the previous generation also had those modes.

    Also CoD wasn't even CLOSE to being the first shooter series to introduce a ranking/progression system & unlockable content. Just about every multiplayer shooter on PC had some sort of ranking system starting in the late 90s, although they were actually based on skill & not just gaining XP.
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