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I miss being genuinely amazed by AAA games. Now I can only get that in indie games.

Gamingtodaynews1e - I miss being genuinely amazed by AAA games. Now I can only get that in indie games.
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When I think back on my favorite games of all time, I notice that its a lot more indie games nowadays and much less AAA games. I still seek the same thing. Games that have a strong personality and direction, that try new stuff and end up being amazing. Stuff like Half Life, Fallout New Vegas, Deus Ex. These franchises still exist, but something has changed.

No more can a game just be about advancing in a story and getting new weapons while fighting tougher challenges. Now you also need to waste time with more and more busy work. Telling a fun story with a sense of urgency has taken a backseat in favor of cramping in as much bullshit as possible. I want to promote discussion, but here are some of the best examples I can think of:

  • Assassins Creed. Every game has more and more busy work. I loved the first one because despite having some boring quests it still kept me going forward. In the second one they now want me to collect chests so I can buy new gear (instead of unlocking it through the story) and they want me to improve my castle. In brotherhood they want me to fix all of fucking Rome. Already there I personally got off because the bullshit took center stage, but it got worse and worse. I tried Odyssey and while I loved the story I kept getting derailed by the giant and ultimately irrelevant world they made. And I had to level up to be strong enough to advance the game. I couldn't even ignore the side stuff if I wanted to.

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  • Fallout and Elder scrolls. Morrowind, Fallout 3 and Oblivion were strong, hand crafted RPG experiences. Skyrim has 1000 caves that all look identical, and it kept trying to fool me with repeatable quests. It at least had a look of cities and towns to explore full of real quests and characters. In Fallout 4 we have 2 real cities. Everything else is settlements you yourself have to populate with generic NPCs. Gone is the wonder of Megaton or Rivet city in favor of building 100 shantytowns to populate the map. Remember Big Town? Remember Canterburry? Remember the Republic of Dave? F4 also has tons of repeatable quests that are just as horrible as those in Skyrim were.

  • Middle Earth, shadow of Mordor was a fun Assassins creed like game with some of the busywork that the newer AC games have, but was pretty enjoyable nonetheless. Shadow of War has you grind for 30-50 hours before you even unlock your own castle and can go do battles.

These are very few examples, and I don't say that there are no more AAA games that try to give you a strong narrative experience. However the AAA industry has been overtaken by indie games, somehow. These small games with small budgets can win GOTY awards over big multimillion dollar games. I want to say it started with Bastion and Braid, then exploded. FTL, Undertale, Outer Wilds, and so many more.

These games try new stuff and get rewarded for it. Meanwhile Fallout is now a live service game, Elder Scrolls is an MMO, and Assassins creed is doing the same game again just in Norway or something. Even the new Watch Dogs Legion turned out to just be a gimmick that gets old really fast. What happened?

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