Looking forward to playing a new game later this year? Then you’re most likely going to be purchasing a sequel. Halo, Borderlands, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, they’re all part of the numbers gang that’s hitting our wallets this festive season. And make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with sequels, but it is kind of sad when they dominate the industry, something that Dishonoured visual design director, Viktor Antonov feels the same way about.
Talking to Eurogamer, Antonov said that he felt that there have been “too many sequels, and too many established IPs,” released and ruling the marketplace.
“A lot of them are war games, and they’re great projects and great entertainment, but there’s a lack of variety today,” Antonov said. “So, when you step out of this established genre, people cannot grasp it, or the press tries to find a match”.
There’s a place for thousands of different sub-genres and genres. Imagine the times when you were in the ’40s and there were Westerns in Hollywood cinema: there were so many of them that none will be compared with another one, because there was a genre.
We’re doing a historical piece, a retro-futuristic piece, which has pretty much nothing to do with BioShock except for the fact that it doesn’t take place in the far future, but has references to the past.
Unfortunately, BioShock and Dishonored are the only two games that go into that fiction for the past – how many years? So, lack of variety in what’s in the market leads to associations like this. There should be more historical realistic worlds out there. And too bad there are not; I was expecting there to be 20 games like this.
Antonov made it clear that he was not a “harsh critic of games”, seeing as how the technology for them had developed in leaps and bounds over the years, but that he felt that the industry should take “more artistic risks, and use the technology to a better, higher level.”
That’s what I’ve been doing and suffering by – I’ve been spending as much time creating, as convincing the people who are financing games how important it is. We were always waiting for the next generation of great worlds or great graphics. Well, great graphics came; the worlds that came with these graphics are not up to the level of the graphics.
Graphics used to be an excuse 10 years ago, that we can’t make great worlds. Right now, we have a lot of New Yorks, we have a lot of war games. Please everybody, let’s do more science-fiction and more crazy worlds out there, because now a game is trying to pack too many games – narration, music, contemplation, shooting – that they lose the experience.
Games should sort of split up and specialize and assume that there’s such a thing as genre, and they shouldn’t try to please everybody at the same time and try to make easy, diluted projects.
Let’s go for intensity and quality.
I too, miss those crazy days when games had less numbers after them, and had crazier ideas applied to them instead. Days when games such as Omikron: The Nomad Soul, Carmeggedon, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Sacrifice painted a more expressive palette of great games, visuals and ideas. It’s something that’s clearly lacking in the industry today, as storming an Afghan base, no matter how pretty it looks, elicits nothing more than a yawn from me these days.
Last Updated: July 19, 2012