There’s a lot of stuff to love about being a gamer in 2015. Advanced graphics, state-of-the-art gameplay, integrated social interaction. But it’s not all sunshine and achievements. These are the six gaming trends that absolutely need to die. Immediately.
6. Feature Stripping
Why, oh why does it seem like the first things to go when developers are attempting to take advantage of next-gen technology are the features of a game?
My personal example of this comes from the controversial WWE 2K15, a $60 graphically superior grappler that, unfortunately, has less features than the previous six games in the series. While 2K15 does add the very-well-done MyCareer mode, the rest of the game clearly took a major hit for it. Numerous match types were removed, every single Creation mode outside of the standard Create-a-Wrestler/Entrance/Moveset was taken out and the things that were left over were stripped down.
For example, just last year in WWE 2K14, players had access to custom music for Create-An-Entrance, Create-A-Story mode, Create-A-Finisher mode and a metric ton of customizable options in the base Create-A-Superstar mode.
While 2K14 had over 70 different hairstyles to choose from, players creating a wrestler in 2K15 are left with 18. Seriously. I had more customization options in SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role in 1999! That is atrocious!
Another great example is The Sims 4. Every gamer I know got supremely hyped for the successor to the excellent Sims 3, especially after EA slowly released those teaser videos showcasing the overhauled Creation and Buy/Build modes.
Unfortunately, while The Sims 4 looks fantastic and is still a ton of fun to play with, it seems like EA sacrificed features to make it happen. Loading screens, a minimally invasive thing in The Sims 3 are rampant in The Sims 4 and the open-world feel from 3 is gone. On top of this, the features that were removed were completely unreasonable. Don’t tell me that burglars, careers and ghosts had that big an effect on your ability to overhaul the gameplay modes.
While it still stands to be seen what EA plans on bringing into The Sims 4 via expansion pack, it’s still disappointing that developers feel the need to trade franchise-defining features for graphical improvements and mechanics overhauling. With the sheer power of the PS4 and Xbox One available to work with, as well as the resiliency and creativity of the PC gaming market, there’s absolutely no excuse for this. Stop being cheap, developers. If you’re seriously going to ask for $60 for a game, you better deliver on that investment (I’m looking at you EA and Activision).