I recently got a Nintendo Switch for my birthday ad with this I decided to redeem my Amazon Prime free Nintendo Online subscription. I downloaded the big file of old game and sat down to enjoy some good old nostalgia.
So I loaded up Legend of Zelda, went in got my sword. Lasted about 30 minutes before I got completely wrecked. What did I do for 30 minutes? Wandered aimlessly around the map of course. I was lost, no guide to help me get to where I was going, no quest marker, no NPC walking me there.
It then occurred to me that almost all the game I play now have all of those things. Annoying NPCs leading me on what feels like a 30 minute walk, quest marker to direct me, not to mention the general map railroad that just appears. Although Skyrim did a great thing and Open World games are still being produced many mainstream titles are very directed.
I must stop for a minute though and acknowledge the recent resurgance of side scroll shooters happening along with fighting games and some of the more Art pieces. I am not looking at Indie titles with this discussion at all. It is more about the Mainstream Triple AAA titles that are making some major mistakes.
Games used to be ruthless. People died of dysentery, it would take hours to complete a level and saves were not really an option. I remember my time getting killed over and over in Diablo 1 and 2. Back when Diablo 3 was announced I was so excited to go back to slaying demons in a new world. Sadly, the game quickly became one of my most hated Blizzard titles. If I had never played the first two then maybe Diablo 3 would not have been so bad, but I did play the first two.
The equipment, the exploration, the customization, and just the general feel of the originals versus Diablo 3 were so much more classic. Diablo 3 had models that looked like they were built by the World of Warcraft team rather then the Diablo team, everything felt cartoonish and not the same gritty darkness experienced in the first game, and to make it worse my abilities were restricted.
I lost my choice in what abilities to spread across my bar. Back in Diablo 2 we had 30 sometimes 40 different abilities in each class. Now I have 3 options for each slot? The argument supporting this game has so far been “we are trying to make it more accessable to a wider audience.” Although I get it at some level, ruining a franchise just to widen the audience is a horrible mistake.
Fans of the franchise have finally began to see it when Blizzard announced the next Diablo title was on Mobile Devices. Wake up everyone, this has been happening for awhile. This shift towards a “easier more user friendly experience” has been in the company plans for a loooong time.
From a DM perspective it would be like letting a new play Dictate what rules were in the game. Fuck any of the experienced players, we want to widen the audience. This gets worse when you take a closer look and realize it is not just Diablo being adapted this way.
Warcraft and Starcraft both got the same treatment. If you look at what made the originals such great games it was a mix of the art style AND the combat. Where they fucked up the art style of the units they also fucked up some basic strategies. Warcraft used to be alot more combat based but in the Warcraft 3 release I felt like I was just running goofy ass missions with cartoon characters.
There are some good points to make about all of these game, they are not bad games, but with such beloved titles it becomes an issue when companies change the wrong factors of the game. I understand improving the graphics but when ALL your titles look the same, it just is not a good experience.
I am sure there is a branding reason somewhere in here for their actions but honestly, it is causing some major image problems. I am not the only one that sees this, internally at Blizzard many of their developers are leaving due to decisions being made by the company.
Blizzard needs to hone their skill rather than simply cast a wider net. If you make good games, gamers will come to play. It is as simple as that. You don’t need to go and make your games all the same, and you sure as hell don’t need to simplify shit just for some extra money.