For every person, there exists a game that can be an extreme source of happiness, lead to hours of engrossing engagement or even show that neck beards have emotion. Could it be a multi-hour epic of exploration and fun instead of just rushing the objective? Could a video game really make someone care about it, is it more than just a bunch of pixels on the screen?
Video games have evolved from a few black and white pixels on a screen to games that require huge teams of people to program it, multiple writers to conjure up an intriguing story and sometimes even entire orchestras to create the soundtrack for it.
In no particular order, here are a few things I think that contribute to a game being truly great.
- Replayability & Variety of choices
- Good old-fashioned fun
Over the next few weeks I'll try to each of those categories more in-depth. If you can think of any other kids, feel free to let me know about them in the comments!
Does the story make you care about what happens? Are you playing until ungodly hours just to see what happens? If there is a Wiki about the games and you can cite the whole back-story of the most minor plot-line, you may love the story.
Do you actually care about what happens to the characters? Have they actually found a way into your heart? Do you sometimes play each level multiple times just to see how different characters interact?
Replayability & Variety of choices
Being able to play a game multiple times and each time have it be a completely different game allows you to have a new experience each time. Each time, a different game with different outcomes comes out of the game-play and you’ll never be bored of it.
Has the game transported you to a completely different world? Are you walking around the levels, not even paying attention to the main game simply because you are looking at every detail that the developers have put into it?
Realistic graphics like The Witcher 3 and Assassins Creed: Black Flag can really help with the immersion and makes gameplay insanely fun to look at and play with, but then games like Minecraft and many others change the paradigm and draw players in with a different style. While graphics should not be the deciding factor in games, they are still VERY important to some people in the decision making process.
Finally looking at the clock and then realizing that its 3am and then looking back at the game thinking, "Wow, have I really been playing it for this long", that's a symptom of an all around fun game. Can you play this game by yourself or with friends and have a blast playing with it, smiling the whole time? (Super Smash Brothers, I'm looking at you).