By Jake Doolin
This weekend I’ve been playing a lot of Watch_Dogs, the open world game from Ubisoft that suppose to be this glimpse at our current generation of consoles true possibilities. Yet the more I played it the less I saw it as the future, but a mark of gaming’s past. And that’s been true of many of this newest cycle of games, from Infamous: Second Son, to Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Dead Rising 3 each is advertised as ‘next gen’ but feel like lesser versions go what’s come before them.
And looking at this year’s E3, it seems that developers are keen on keeping it this way. Sony and Microsofts conferences were showcases for the next round of brown haired, white men heroes that shoot guns at anyone not resembling them. Even the bigger games like Uncharted 4, The Order: 1886, and The Division bored with their sameness, how many more third person shooters do we need?
This is where Nintendo comes in, the big N and the Wii U have been quietly pulling ahead in the current console war by creating games that embrace change. In my Mario Kart 8 review I said that Nintendo had created the first real ‘next gen’ game, and after weeks of playing it that still holds true. Instead of relying on the model of previous games, Mario Kart 8 built off those past successes and created something that could only truly come out a current gen console.
Nintendo’s E3 event also pointed the next few years being full of games like this, built off the backs of the past yet expansive enough to be unique to the Wii U. Even those most of the games announced by Nintendo are older franchises, Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Smash Bros, they come with enough changes and features that offer more then the sequels created for Sony and Microsoft consoles.
All this leads to the question that Sony and Microsoft should be asking themselves now, and that is just what makes their games unique to their consoles. Will Halo 5 or Uncharted 4 feel different from their previous games or will the updated visuals be the only real new quality? If they want to catch up to Nintendo, both companies will have to start thinking of the future instead of sticking to the past.