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Electronic Arts received a lot of backlash after E3 for their showing of Dead Space 3. The game had bigger bosses, more weapons, multiplayer co-op and tons of gore, so what went wrong? Well, clonism is what happened and gamers were completely fed up with every game trying to copy other blockbuster games. Mafia's lead designer also feels the same way.
In an interview with GameStar [via Beefjack] Mafia's lead designer and Mafia 2's lead writer, Daniel Vávra, made some harsh but honest comments about the current state of the AAA business of video game design, saying...
“Bigger is not always better. I hate the word ‘wow moment’ and I hate games that have wow moments every two minutes, because some smartass thinks it’s cool. Dead Space 3 looks (at least so far) like a perfect example of how to turn something interesting into something nobody will like,”
Some pro-corporate defenders have been saying that Dead Space 3 is “evolving”, even though the game isn't really evolving it's just turned into Lost Dead Gears 3. The common complaint is that Dead Space 3, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Lost Planet 3 and Gears of War: Judgment are all exceptionally similar, sporting generic third-person ultra-violence and blockbuster Hollywoodism.
Actually, both Lost Planet 3 and Dead Space 3 are almost interchangeable games, with intermittent quick-time events and a feigned sense of isolationism and horror tossed in for “variety”.
My biggest gripe with Lost Planet 3 is that they should have expanded on everything they did with Lost Planet 2, more guns, more mechs, more aliens and bigger shooting experiences. The second game was great and now the third game will be a huge step backwards, content wise. For Dead Space 3 it would have seemed like they would have wanted to increase the danger and intrigue, incorporate military forces but treat it like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. where no one is safe and the game unfolds organically.
Nevertheless, Vávra believes that there's hope, saying...
“Different people have different tastes; there is room for many genres and styles. We are not getting them right now, because publishers think that we all want Call of Duty type games. But it’s changing and when the indies from Steam, XBLA and iOS make some money and start to produce bigger games, we will see lot of fresh stuff.”
Completely agreed. I'm loving the rise of emergent games from indie devs. I'm keeping a close eye on titles like Mak, StarForge, Edge of Space, Montas, DayZ, The Intruder, Faceless and Interstellar Marines, games that aim to branch out from the hand-holding blockbuster effect and offer gamers newer, original experiences. It's also funny because all of the original games on the horizon are being made on shoestring budgets by indie devs. Figures.