Saturday, 14 January 2012

What Makes A Good Video-Game?


I have been thinking about this a lot recently after playing through last years great releases and reviewing a few of them over the past few days. I suppose, in a way, this question is a tricky one to answer as gamers have different opinions and where one person would like racing games but hate FPSs, another person will enjoy playing FPSs but hate racing games! I guess this post is mainly my own views on what makes a good video game but if you're reading this I invite you to share your views on the comments page below...

                                                         Fun Gameplay                                                              

First things first, I think the game your playing has to actually be fun to play, otherwise what's the point of playing it? For the game to be fun, it should have a diverse form of gameplay with lots of different things to do else it will just be repetitive. If the gameplay's weak then the story should be really good and engrossing. An example of this is Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain practically just makes you press buttons at the right time - yet it has one of the most gripping and engrossing stories I've ever seen in a video-game. I personally love most open-world games that allow you to stray from the missions and explore the game, doing as you please. Games that like that - which allow you to have fun outside the storyline - always seem to do well in my opinion.

                                                         Good Controls                                                              

This is really important. If a game has bad controls it makes the experience much less enjoyable and at times extremely frustrating. Controls should be easy to use and should be both fluent and ergonomic to the hand - especially in fast-paced fighting games where you have to defeat a lot of enemies quickly. An example of a game with good controls is any of the Assassin's Creed games. The game allows to go from fighting stance to free-running up walls and obstacles in literally 2 taps of a button. The free-running isn't fidgety and is really easy to pick up if you've never played the game before. Each body part is linked to a button (Triangle - Head,  Square - Weapon Hand etc.).


The main aspects of sound are voice-acting, sound effects and music. If all of these are good then the game should project a certain atmosphere: e.g. scary music and disturbing noises = scary atmosphere. Voice-acting is very important in games which have many characters each with distinguished personalities. If the voice-acting is dull and not convincing then it ruins the experience. Voice acting in most games I've played recently is very good. Particularly Batman: Arkham Asylum which I began last week.


This, I think, is the least important thing. I'm a strong believer in gameplay over graphics although I do love it when a truly extraordinary looking game arises. However, a lot of games look great overall but have some slip-ups underneath. One example of this is Killzone 2 - Buildings look great, explosions look great, enemies look great, but the flamethrower looks crap! The visuals don't always need to be amazing though - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion looked pretty poor overall but it is my favourite game of all time because the gameplay was just so good!


So that's my view on what makes a good video-game over the decade I've been playing them. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it interesting. I don't often do these kind of posts so it was nice change while I was typing it. Thanks for reading!


The Girl Gamer said...

A good video game for me is when it haves a good and fun gameplay and a good to great storyline. It's like you said with Heavy Rain, the gameplay is just pressing buttons and may be boring, but the storyline is amazing. It's why Heavy Rain is one of my favorite games just cause of the storyline. Of course there are other gamers who thinks a fun game is cause of gameplay only and they don't care about the storyline at all. I guess everyone haves their own taste. =)

- The Girl Gamer

Kelli said...

For me it definitely has to have a good story line, I'm all about a good story