Content of the article: "How Many Open-World RPG-Lites Do We Need?"
Is anyone noticing that almost every non-sports game with a decent budget nowadays is an open-world rpg-lite with extremely similar mechanics? Gonna list some of these the top of my head here:
Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Grand Theft Auto Series, God of War, Red Dead Redemption 1/2, Division 1/2, Arkham Series, Spiderman, Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout Series, Elder Scrolls Series, Outer Worlds, Nier Automata, Final Fantasy 15, Death Stranding, Assassin's Creed Origins / Odyssey / Valhalla, Far Cry Series, Watch Dogs Series, Ghost Recon Wildlands / Breakpoint, Metal Gear Solid 5, Shadow of Mordor 1/2.
Of course there are a couple each year that don't follow this formula but as a lifelong gamer, I find it extremely surfeiting to either have to go indie and play some really unpolished gems or suffer the open-worlds to have some nice graphics and quality control. I have played a good number of the above titles and let's be honest, they are just reskins of each other with either a melee or reticle focus.
The best game I played released this year is actually Monster Train, and I often wonder what can happen if a concept like that had a AAA budget and a big team behind it. I recently also emulated Demon's Souls on RPCS3 and for a game more than a decade old, it plays a lot better than these open-world titles that have much higher production values. The days of companies winging it and throwing concepts out there during the PS1/2 days seem to long be over and it makes me sad. I miss having titles like Zack & Wiki, Dark Cloud 2, Einhander, Power Stone, Monkey Island, Shiren, Armored Core, Warcraft, Old MGS, Wild Arms, Guardian Heroes, Pizza Tycoon, XMen VS Street Fighter, Beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution, Sim City, and so on.
Maybe it's just an old man ranting, but the lack of creativity in modern gaming is discouraging. For those that want to tell me to just play indie titles for fresh ideas, I do. Most of them always end up being buggy, unpolished or just plain unfinished and it's tiring to sift through a tonne of them a year just for the small probability to be pleasantly surprised.
TL:DR – Really hope big companies put resources into fresh gaming ideas instead of rehashing the same tired open-world shtick.
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