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The new generation has brought us graphics innovations, but what about gameplay innovations?

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
3rd gen, 2d sidescrollers became dominant and we saw bigger game experiences thanks to games having more powerful hardware to work with than basic atari stuff. Games like Super Mario Bros and Megaman pioneered the sidescroller genre and gave us games with actual starts and ends that weren't just arcade repetitive do it over for the high score mindless stuff.

4th gen, Games became larger story focused experiences thanks to home consoles getting more popular, RPGs becoming a bigger genre, and saves becoming more common. the existing 2d platformers that we had became even more complex, as 16 bit games of the time gave us flashier, faster, and more complex gameplay, like with Sonic the Hedgehog, Contra 4, Super Mario World and more. Games were starting to become more like art.

5th gen, I really shouldn't have to explain. 3D came up on the scene, giving us a whole new axis to work with and visuals unlike anything we'd seen before. Popular games of the time that mastered the craft of 3d gameplay included Super Mario 64, DOOM, Quake, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Metal Gear Solid. Not just that, but stories in games became even better and more focused, with writing that hadn't been seen before that gen. This gen was also the birth of the FPS genre, which would become EXTREMELY popular in the coming years.

6th gen, game physics and AI became more advanced as the newer CPUs on the 6th gen consoles gave more headroom to make better games. Ragdolls became common in games and overall consoles could produce insane simulations and visuals, leading to games like Grand Theft Auto 3, Red Faction, and half life 2 with open worlds with an attention to detail and physics like you'd never seen before

7th gen gave all 3 major consoles full online gaming, allowing for multiplayer games like Call of Duty and Halo to truly reach their stride and become extremely popular. Games became more social interactions, with games such as Gmod and Team Fortress 2 coming out in this gen and showing people how absolutely fun online gaming and social spaces can be. Not only that, but Open world games became more popular thanks to the GPUs being able to render more than ever with HD, resulting in games like Skyrim, Dragon's Dogma, GTAIV, Far Cry 2, Crysis, Minecraft, and more

With all of these past gens i can see there was a clear trend of newer hardware encouraging new gameplay innovations and creating new genres. I haven't seen that since the 8th gen consoles launched though. Even the beloved games that people treat as absolute masterpieces like Elden Ring, BOTW, and God of War are all just different takes on existing gameplay concepts.

Elden Ring is just a Soulsborne open world.

BOTW is a ubisoft open world with a focus on more physics/sandbox based gameplay.

God of War is simply dark souls but with more of a focus on combos and less on hard, difficult gameplay/bosses.

All 3 of these games could have been done on 7th gen hardware, excluding the visuals. That's the thing i'm talking about here, if a game could be made on a previous platform, not just because of graphics but because of gameplay and physics as well. I'm not just talking about better graphics from a new gen, because that's been a constant in every generation we've had since forever. You don't JUST buy new generation games to see better visuals, you should buy them to see the new gameplay possibilities created by the new hardware

San Andreas could never have been done on the PS1 not just because it was 3d, but because there was so much more going on with the NPCs, varied environments, car physics, etc it would all never work. It's too much data to be stored on a CD or processed by a PS1

Spyro could never have been done on a Sega Genesis for very, VERY obvious reasons. Same for Quake, Metal Gear Solid, Crash, etc

Minecraft would never properly run on a PS2 due to the PS2 not being able to handle the sheer scale of the worlds that Minecraft produced. Minecraft's landscapes take very complex AI to generate for the PS2, if a PS2 tried that it'd chug

But games like Ratchet Rift Apart, Returnal, Demon's Souls... There's nothing about the gameplay that makes me think "yeah, this could never have been done on an older console." or "this is so innovative, you know this would never work on a PS4"
it's the same stuff from the PS4 and even PS3 gameplay wise, but better looking, and it loads faster i guess. Even the rifts in rift apart are just secret loading zones that happen to load really fast, and gameplay wise it's not much different from Tools of Destruction, which came out in 2007.

It honestly brings up the question of what the point of newer console gens even is anymore. graphically we've reached near perfection, all we need is 4k@120fps for every game and we're there, and then where would we go after that? 8k for every game? raytracing everywhere? we've got good graphics but the thing that kept us playing were the new possibilities we had with games, the more immersive worlds, the new genres, the better stories, social interactions, etc and we're at the point where we've reached a standstill for all of that consistent innovation. We're just sitting there, trying our best to perfect 13+ year old game design while having almost nothing to show for it.

this is probably the longest post i've made, but i have to get it off my chest... besides, i've seen longer cough cough 01011001 01011001 cough cough
 
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SJRB

Gold Member
Elden Ring is just a Soulsborne open world.

BOTW is a ubisoft open world with a focus on more physics based gameplay.

God of War is simply dark souls but with more of a focus on combos and less on hard, difficult gameplay/bosses.

 

01011001

Member
this is probably the longest post i've made, but i have to get it off my chest... besides, i've seen longer cough cough 01011001 01011001 cough cough

look, it takes a lot of characters to fully describe how bad Halo Infinite is ok! I HAD NO CHOICE!

also BOTW has no Ubisoft open world elements aside from towers, which work completely differently from the ones in Ubisoft games tho and are therefore also not comparable

God of War also has nothing in common with Dark Souls, like literally ZERO in common, there is no gamedesign element these 2 games share outside of hitting enemies with sharp weapons
 
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Whitecrow

Gold Member
Its like thinking about a new color we haven't seen before.

The human factor, and the complexity we are able to handle stands in the way.

And no. Graphically we are far faaar from perfection.
 
It honestly brings up the question of what the point of newer console gens even is anymore. graphically we've reached near perfection, all we need is 4k@120fps for every game and we're there, and then where would we go after that? 8k for every game? raytracing everywhere? we've got good graphics but the thing that kept us playing were the new possibilities we had with games, the more immersive worlds, the new genres, the better stories, social interactions, etc and we're at the point where we've reached a standstill for all of that consistent innovation. We're just sitting there, trying our best to perfect 13+ year old game design while having almost nothing to show for it.
What do you think should be the next innovation in gameplay?
 

01011001

Member
Nah, BoTW clearly is inspired by the Ubisoft Open World formula.

not even remotely. there are no real missions, the structure of the game is extremely non-linear to the point where you can literally fight the final boss right after finishing the tutorial area, no icons on the map outside of locations you already found yourself or marked yourself, almost no scripted elements, and the quests you can do are highly player driven and don't follow the traditional Open World structure.

name 1 thing that BOTW has in common with something like Watch_Dogs... there's literally nothing outside of the fact that both games are open world...
or Assassin's Creed 2 (which is arguably where the formula matured), both games have some form of Towers you can climb, but these towers have not the same uses in both games. in BOTW all they do is give you an empty map piece of a region and give you a fast travel point.
in Ubi games these towers will mark missions, collectibles, points of interest and other things for you on your map.

BOTW has not 1 thing in common with any Ubisoft game that isn't Immortals: Fenyx Rising, which is a game by Ubisoft that is inspired by BOTW and it is VERY different from other Ubisoft games, which in return basically showcases how different BOTW is. Immortals does have some Ubisoft influences tho, so it's not as "pure" as BOTW
 
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I would say BoTW definitely uses Ubisoft Open World Formula as a base for the game, but the freedom is refreshing enough.
I think physics is going to be the path to gameplay innovation, which BoTW does well.
Unfortunately, I don't think the gaming community is as open to gameplay innovations as they want to admit. If any gameplay is less than perfect, then people relentlessly shit on the game. People should be open to more rough edges for the sake of experimentation (and I'm not talking about simply mashing multiple genres together).
 

01011001

Member
I would say BoTW definitely uses Ubisoft Open World Formula as a base for the game,

what is that "base" then? like... I really don't see a single element from Ubisoft games in BOTW outside of vaguely similar towers that aren't that similar tho either.

BOTW throws you into an open world with 1 actual main mission (kill Ganon) and the goal is for you to get as powerful as possible before fighting against the Ganon... but that is optional and non-linear with almost no "cinematic" stuff and/or much story without specifically searching for the story

I really don't see 1 thing Ubi games have in common with BOTW outside of being open world, any other element is different
 
There are none and haven't really been for a long time. As you say gen 7 was the last one to feel truely fresh. Gen 8 was just icing and perfecting it. Now with gen 9 it just feels stale and boring if you aren't into VR or (as I) can't really handle it.

You acutally just made me consider and check my PS5 and XSX calalogue... Pathetic... Only bought a handful of game for PS5 after 1,5 years and my XSX hasn't even been turned on since January...

I would be inclined to say that it#s due to the pandemic and all by I see no real change for me upcoming...
 

Xeaker

Member
What's the point if there is still no game like Onimusha, Soul Reaver, traditional Zelda's or just some good JRPG like FF7 or Skies of Arcadia LOL
 
Only indies are trying to innovate gameplay. Triple A is all about safe and reliable that sells or just remake old shit. Creativity is at an all time low. But can we blame them? When the average gamer, and neogaf gamer will gladly buy a 80 euro game that he/she has already played and seen the story or when they buy mtx on Diablo Immortal, or when they buy shit like the gta trilogy remaster. Why would corporations invest more time and money in creativity when idiots exist? Hell, if I were a multi million company I'd do the same prolly.
 
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pramod

Member
Only indies are trying to innovate gameplay. Triple A is all about safe and reliable that sells or just remake old shit. Creativity is at an all time low. But can we blame them? When the average gamer, and neogaf gamer will gladly buy a 80 euro game that he/she has already played and seen the story or when they buy mtx on Diablo Immortal, or when they buy shit like the gta trilogy remaster. Why would corporations invest more time and money in creativity when idiots exist? Hell, if I were a multi million company I'd do the same prolly.
Yeah same here I've been finding all the innovation happening on the indie side. There are some truly imaginative games there that have not be done before. Vampire Survivors is one example.
 

Kupfer

Member
"HDR", "ray tracing", "4K" sells better than "immersive artificial intelligence" or "lifelike physics simulation".

In terms of gameplay, we are stuck in the PS360 era. Back then, for example, we had GTAIV, a game that is thoroughly more physics-based and more realtime calculated than the majority of today's games - I remember the damage model, the euphoria engine-typical ragdolls, the driving behavior of the cars, which felt really heavy and as if you were moving real masses, everything had an impact you could feel and comprehend.

AC2, Far Cry 3, Watch_Dogs, now just more of the same from back then in fancier. AAA games don't flash me anymore, I feel like I've seen it all too many times.

Only rarely does a game "grab" me and I can't stop playing - and when it does, it's not because it's the most visually impressive game, but because it's fun at its core, because the developer has thought about the gameplay and the technology around it is there to convey named fun gameplay. If it's still pretty, all the better.
 

timmyp53

Member
Not until we have combo of crazy quantum computing and ai assisted art asset creation. When it shifts to a state in game development where it is possible to create assets in extreme detail and for almost no money, resources, and without huge workforce.
When that time comes then there will be no option but to innovate and cross into more interesting fields of gameplay and means of playing.
 
True innovation is really difficult and it will rarely show up in the big AAA experiences, your best bet is in the indie space where devs have smaller budgets and can take more risks.
 
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STARSBarry

Gold Member
what is that "base" then? like... I really don't see a single element from Ubisoft games in BOTW outside of vaguely similar towers that aren't that similar tho either.

BOTW throws you into an open world with 1 actual main mission (kill Ganon) and the goal is for you to get as powerful as possible before fighting against the Ganon... but that is optional and non-linear with almost no "cinematic" stuff and/or much story without specifically searching for the story

I really don't see 1 thing Ubi games have in common with BOTW outside of being open world, any other element is different

I think your purposefully glossing over the the repetitive shrines, which while all sharing the same icon essentially mix 3 diffrent type of activity from assassins creed, the only diffrence is they don't have unique map icons and a generic blue glowing entrance, also Korok seeds? They are literally just feathers...

Big open world game with towers that unlock map chunks and repetitive side activities, no I can't see how anyone could see anything past surface level similarities.
 
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Barrico82

Member
I am in for more streamlined experience than just innovation, Returnal to me is a true next gen experience i have never experience in a long time, the full dedication to gaming, no load time no waiting just pure gaming with instant fast travel is a next gen gaming, combined with the bullet hell that you see in screen where i dont recall seeing the same before, is also a next gen all of this is instantaneous.

I think moving forward the buzz word will be streamlined more than anything else, the strange thing to me is that From software began this before studios like Guerella, Elden Ring is far more streamlined than HFW.
 

01011001

Member
I think your purposefully glossing over the the repetitive shrines, which while all sharing the same icon essentially mix 3 diffrent type of activity from assassins creed, the only diffrence is they don't have umique map icons and a generic blue glowing entrance, also Korok seeds? They are literally just feathers...

Big open world game with towers that unlock map chunks and repetitive side activities, no I can't see how anyone could see anything past surface level similarities.

collectibles are nothing Ubisoft invented, nor are they even remotely used or hidden like feathers in AC.

Korok seeds are often hidden and unlocked through small puzzles in the environment... feathers just are present in the map of AC

GTA had collectibles in an open world long before AC



Towers in BOTW only give you a colored map instead of a blank slate.
they are also used to easily look around the map to find secrets or new shrines etc.
they also give you a quick way to get around by gliding from the top of them

Towers in Ubisoft games mark EVERYTHING for you on the map and are gameplaywise completely useless. you go up, activate them and then run to the next icon it marked for you on the map
 

SmokedMeat

Gamer™
You’re really padding your examples by repeating innovations, or naming things that aren’t gameplay innovations; so you have something to mention each generation.

The only true new gameplay experiences exist in VR these days. Those are the games where you can physically interact with the environment in ways never before seen. Aim a gun like you would in the real world instead of maneuvering a dot on an enemy, physically reloading weapons, etc.
 

mansoor1980

Gold Member
the ps5 SSD will allow for far superior streaming of game worlds leading to open worlds with endless possibilities , unlike the previous gens where elevators and narrow corridors were used to hide loading times and limit gameplay


 

Gaelyon

Member
The only real advancements in gameplay came from the implementation of 3D, Online, Physics (gravity/light) and now VR though still in progress. Those technicals advances opened new gameplay possibilities.
There won't be any other advance without breaking new tech.
As for the varied genre of video games such as RTS, FPS, RPG, city builder, 4X, Sport sims, roguelike and so on they all already exist, it's very hard to found a new successful genre. Dark soul created some kind of new type though it's more a subtype of action RPG.
 

Mowcno

Member
Whenever I see someone say graphics can't get much better or as in the OP "graphically we've reached near perfection", I think how short-sighted that is. Graphics still have a long way to go.
 
Gameplay innovations were hand in hand with graphical innovations though.
Gaming design changed quite a lot until the PS3 era.

I feel like only once this gen is at tits peak we'll see any of that.
We barely left the crossgen period.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
So far this gen seems to be about enhancing the experience with thinks like more geometry, better visuals, daul sense, faster load times, 3d audio. These things do make a richer and more enjoyable gameplay experience, but I dont think we will see the actual gameplay content and scenarios change much until later in the gen and even then it will be more subtle.

I think gameplay is more limited by time and budget then hardware.This gen will just make things easier which will result in richer experiences.
An example of this is: I've currently playing TLOU2 im in some little town deep on wlf territory and I noticed theres artificial barriers of trees and bushes and I thought "Ellie could chop her way through those bushes" so maybe its a limitation of the PS4? but TLOU2 has larger areas and there are open world games on the PS4, so it's probably down to ND not have enough time to make larger areas or more convincing artificial barriers.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
This console generation is the biggest cash grab in gaming . Still not a single game with the physics and gameplay physics of breath of the wild, a game developed for the Wii U, a console with a 3-core apu older than some NeoGAF users. But here, have some raytracing.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
This is what people mean by diminishing returns. The more powerful hardware becomes, the harder it becomes to find things that can be done now that couldn't before.
In fact, we've reached a point where the hardware is less of a limiting factor than software advances and talent.
 
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Valt7786

Member
Devs need to stop focusing on shit like raytracing or 4k. Give us 1440p for sure, but also give us more physics based playgrounds. If I'm driving round GTA 6 in a garbage truck and I hit a house, I wanna go THROUGH that house, not bounce off of it. I shoot a wooden fence, I want to shoot through that fence. I throw a fireball at a tree in Elden Ring 2, I want that tree to catch fire, crumble and spread that fire around etc.
 

Drew1440

Member
San Andreas could never have been done on the PS1 not just because it was 3d, but because there was so much more going on with the NPCs, varied environments, car physics, etc it would all never work. It's too much data to be stored on a CD or processed by a PS1
Driver on the PS1 did a good enough job, and Driver 2 allowed for you to exit the car. Only thing that would be an issue would be the in game radio, unless Midi was streamed instead.
 

nkarafo

Member
What are the graphical innovations you speak of?

Current games are like last gen games in higher resolution/frame rate. Most of the times you can't even tell if a game is on a last gen or current gen console.

This was an issue with the last 3 gens anyway. The gap between 7th, 8th and 9th feels smaller than the previous massive jumps.
 
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supernova8

Member
I think this is a good piece on how BOTW perfected what Ubisoft was arguably trying to do and yet somehow over-engineered (and therefore ruined) with the open world tower concept.
 
This is what people mean by diminishing returns. The more powerful hardware becomes, the harder it becomes to find things that can be done now that couldn't before.
In fact, we've reached a point where the hardware is less of a limiting factor than software advances and talent.

Correct
 
Devs need to stop focusing on shit like raytracing or 4k. Give us 1440p for sure, but also give us more physics based playgrounds. If I'm driving round GTA 6 in a garbage truck and I hit a house, I wanna go THROUGH that house, not bounce off of it. I shoot a wooden fence, I want to shoot through that fence. I throw a fireball at a tree in Elden Ring 2, I want that tree to catch fire, crumble and spread that fire around etc.

Crysis and Red Faction Guerilla, two games from over 15+ years ago have more advanced physics than games made today.
 
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