Thursday, July 25, 2024

Innovation and Bringing Something New to Gaming.

October 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Gaming, News

( I’ve read plenty of reviews on games as a gamer and written a bunch of reviews myself. One thing I’m usually keen about is mentioning whether a game adds anything new to gaming or a genre.

I’ve found that games don’t always have to add anything, innovative, or change the game. It’s great when a developer does something new and it works but there are some cases in gaming where you shouldn’t fix it if it isn’t broken.

Licensed Games and Innovation

I’m on the fence with this one because for the most part, I really don’t expect a licensed game to do anything innovative.

If Warner Bros. Interactive had the license to a property—which it does…to several—and announces “We’re doing a Batman game,” I’m not expecting innovation. A dope story? Definitely but not something that other games in that genre are going to emulate.

Of course, Warner Bros. Interactive did give gamers a dope mechanic in the Nemesis system from the Middle-earth games. Honestly, I would’ve loved to have seen that mechanic in Sony’s Spider-Man titles.

In this case, if innovation happens and it’s something significant, it’s a big surprise. Hell, when Shadow of Mordor was announced, the thing that stood out the most was the Nemesis system.

Beyond that, we’d been playing Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed for years. Open-world action wasn’t so much surprising or welcome but expected. The mechanic warranted an open-world setting just like skill trees.


Game Innovation in New Original Properties

Now this is a whole different kettle of fish. If it’s a new property, you kind of expect something new or something. Otherwise, that story has to be one of the best of the generation or it’s just another garden variety game.

At the minimum, it should have something that allows for the developer to build onto if there is a sequel or spin-off. Then again, I personally give a pass if the developer throws the kitchen sink into a game mechanics-wise and the game is fun.

Sometimes it can make a game too busy but having a lot to do and characters to build gives the game potential replay value.

Freshening Up Established Franchises

Think of it as how Bethesda constantly changed the character building and perks throughout the Fallout and Elder Scroll games. Or when Ubisoft added equipment and skills to Assassin’s Creed across multiple sequels.

There was a time when games didn’t need to rework or improve games in a franchise for a while. The main improvement was in the form of graphics. When a new console drops or towards the end of a console’s run is when a franchise tends to get hit with a little Febreeze.

Using Fallout as an example, the jump from the isometric/top-down view of Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics to the 3D approach from Fallout 3 to present were expected chances.

The character building with stats and perks pretty much remained the same only with a UI change in the Pip-Boy. Fallout: New Vegas added a faction warfare element to the plot and to the gameplay.

Bethesda further refreshed the franchise with Fallout 4. We got a different approach to the Pip-Boy and how stats and character building was done. The developer also gave players more to do by adding base-building and defense, a mechanic that had been in gaming for years but absolutely worked for the franchise.

How can we forget about crafting in FO4? There was a super tepid version of crafting in New Vegas but the mechanic got a massive upgrade to industry standard with this title.

Innovation Is Definitely Necessary

This goes without saying but innovating different genres in gaming is essential. That can come in many forms and doesn’t necessarily have to be genre-defining or anything. It can just innovate a franchise.

That’s important to note because when a review says “doesn’t do anything new” it’s actually more of a judgment on either a franchise or that title in a developer’s catalog.

However, there are some established titles that should present something new given their status in their respective genres and in some cases genres as a whole. It’s a weird area because some franchises changed the game a long time ago and present something new for the industry here and there while others also innovated the game years prior and are now stagnant.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!