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Was gaming a lot more grimer, darker and adult-themed? Warning: It’s going to be a rant.

Gamingtodaynews1f - Was gaming a lot more grimer, darker and adult-themed? Warning: It's going to be a rant.

EDIT: obviously, a lot grimer*… sorry

Before saying anything, I want to clarify what this post IS NOT going to be:

  • a dissertation about old times being better;
  • a claim by which there are no dark and adult-oriented games nowadays;
  • a monologue

What I hope is going to be:

  • a summary of IF and WHAT is different in developers' minds when creating a videogame according to all of you;
  • how dark games manage to make their way into the market nowadays;
  • a debate

Now. I've personally witnessed a good portion of modern gaming, starting a bit late with the Game Boy and never losing sight of the industry again when bought a PS1. I've been playing for most of my life and this sure as hell is one of my biggest passion — so much so that there are very few popular game series that I have yet to play. And I really feel like the gaming industry shifted from a grimer and darker style of writing and visual presentation to a more classic one, derived from TV shows and mainstream medium.

This thought crossed my mind so many times in the last few years that at some point I began to write down lots and lots of notes on how gaming has been changing as a whole; it's now an habit of mine to be always playing two games at the same time: one from the past and one that is fairly recent, and I try my utmost best to choose similar genres / plots / characters. For example: if I bought Yakuza, I would also be playing Shenmue; if I bought Persona 5, I would also be playing Digital Devil Saga; if I bought Pokémon Sword, I would also be playing Pokémon Red; if I bought Red Dead Redemption 2, I would also be playing Max Payne and the list goes on and on and on. And no matter how compelling, strong, thrilling and mature they are, the way they scrutinize and review social/political/human issues, it doesn't remotely feel the same. Again: I've been playing both old and new games, I'm not a victim of nostalgia; I'm really just detecting how old games approached certain themes so much better than newer ones. The Last of Us II is a good example of extraordinary good themes turned not-so-well discussed (imho). In the old games I've been playing recently, I see so much time dedicated to let characters speak, express themselves and for stories to unfold and reveal their true meaning. Today, I see things done as soon as possible, always searching for a thrilling experience, always rushing for that critical moment, without actually building it.


Be warned: it's entirely possible that I've actually had the luck of playing the best of old games, thus if they're masterpiece, that's an honor of their own and doesn't really compare to the standards of the industry of the time. Nevertheless, I feel like this is a good moment and opportunity to ask this to all of you and to embrace your opinions. Meanwhile, I want you to look at the following links:

Metacritic's best games of 1998

Metacritic's best games of 2001

Metacritic's best games of 2005

Metacritic's best games of 2010

Metacritic's best games of 2014

Metacritic's best games of 2018

Source: Original link

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