'We need fun games, not pieces of interactive art'

Mailbox: Is attention to detail always a good thing?

In our last Mailbox, Adam Cafolla put forward the notion that games are no longer providing the challenge they once did.

This time Samuel Matley suggests that it's often not difficulty new titles are missing but fun. He gives his thoughts on the balance between graphics and gameplay, and how too much attention to detail is sometimes missing the point.

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Recent releases like Gran Turismo 5, to point out the most obvious, have got me wondering whether games are now geared towards simulation and figures more than fun and enjoyment.

For example, did the developers of Gran Turismo 5 or Killzone 3 ever step back from measuring the distance between each stitch on a Lotus dashboard or the shadow length of each individual rain drop on Helghan to look at the bigger picture of 'is it actually fun to play'?

Don't get me wrong: I do think that the attention to detail many developers take should be applauded. However I don't think this should come at the expense of other more critical parts of the final game... like gameplay, for example.

Games like Bulletstorm have managed to find a balance by delivering great visuals and attention to detail, while still focusing on the core gameplay to deliver a highly enjoyable adventure. So, to conclude,
I think developers sometimes need to step back to make sure that we aren't just buying a piece of interactive art that's no fun to actually play!

PSM3 says:Fair point, although GT5 is perhaps a bad example - despite its huge mainstream appeal it's always been a hardcore, no-nonsense simulator. It's an oddity, really.

Killzone, meanwhile, has always been a graphical showcase for Sony consoles - and has always been an old-fashioned, extremely linear corridor shooter underneath. Don't believe the hype, is what we're saying here (read our reviews instead).

That said, Bulletstorm is a very different game to either GT5 or K3, not least in that it doesn't take itself incredibly seriously. Perhaps just avoid the humourless games in future?

CVG saysWe have to agree, it's all about collaborating your choosing cortex. There are plenty of gamers that go crazy for the condensation physics on a car's windscreen but if that's not your bag then there's plenty more to go at.

Names like Just Cause, Motorstorm and, as Samuel points out Bulletstorm are clearly based on a core principle of over-the-top, action-packed fun.

We absolutely agree Mr. Matley, realism seems to be on the up in video game design and a balance is needed. We still think there's plenty out there to provide nothing but simple, unashamed fun when it's needed.