Did you know that more than 12,000 games were released in 2023? In truth, the vast majority of those titles will have faded into obscurity as quickly as they arrived. And the reason for that is the standards that a modern game must meet are extremely high. Those games that were deemed merely ‘good’ in 2023 might have been revolutionary a couple of decades ago, but not today. After all, we may well be living in the golden age of gaming, a period when titles really have to cut the mustard to make it through.
While all games have their own qualities, when you take a closer look, you often find that there is a broad overlap between many of the titles that get released. They all tend to possess the same staple ingredients. So, what are they? Let’s take a look.
A Legitimate Soundtrack
Video game developers recruit some of the most talented musicians in the world to provide the score for their video games. And those soundtracks aren’t just there for decoration. They add depth to the game, allowing players to feel closer to the moment they’re virtually experiencing.
There’s a knack for creating a great video game soundtrack. It has to be engaging enough to elevate the scene, but subtle enough to prevent the player from becoming distracted. Big-budget games spend huge sums of money hiring musicians to score their titles, but even comparatively low-budget video games take the time to ensure their soundtrack and effects are on point.
Look back at the earliest video games and you’ll find plenty of competitive challenges but not so much in the way of storylines. There’s no narrative to games such as Pong, and even in scenarios where there’s technically a storyline, such as with Space Invaders, it tends to be pretty basic — and not all that evident within the gameplay, either. Fast forward to the modern world, and you’ll find engaging storylines present in games of all genres. Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last Of Us both had movie-worthy narratives. Even slot games you’ll find on online platforms follow a storyline, such as the spaceship-themed Dr Toonz, which features a UFO-riding scientist interacting with colorful extra-terrestrial characters. More than just simply being about gameplay, modern games create engaging worlds that enhance the playing experience.
Game developers try to make the gap between the real world and the virtual game world they’ve created as small as possible. It’s like watching a movie; if you could tell you were watching a movie, you wouldn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much. Video game developers ensure the graphics are of a standard that allows the player to be sucked into the game. And though that might sound easy, it’s really not.
A game could look good, sound good, and have an engaging storyline, but if the technical aspects of the game were not up to standard, then it wouldn’t be very enjoyable. It’s remarkable, given how big video game universes are, that there are so few glitches and errors. In the early days of the industry, games would routinely crash at random points, resulting in a lot of lost progress. Games today can’t get away with such a frustrating mistake, and developers go to great lengths to ensure that it doesn’t happen. And that means gaming is a much more enjoyable experience than it used to be.
The Right Level of Difficulty
Everyone wants to do well when they play a game, but they don’t want to do too well, at least not when they first start playing. As with all things, winning at a game is only satisfying if there’s a degree of difficulty and challenge. Most games come with multiple difficulty settings, too, so that gamers can enjoy the title on multiple levels. You might finally complete the game on medium difficulty, but you’ll have to take things to another level if you’re going to win on hard mode.
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