Every year, some games gain massive levels of media attention and huge plethoras of fans while others are lost in the shuffle. What are the differences between these titles? Obviously, there’s the basic issue of funding. If you have more money, then it’s likely that you can pour investments into a game as well as a marketing campaign. But there’s more to it than just crunching the numbers. Here are the key elements that will often determine whether or not a video game is a success or not.
First, it’s impossible to understate the importance of music in games. Music helps bring a world to live. Indeed, music is so important for the gaming industry that there are often concerts dedicated to playing the music of some of the most popular titles. This is similar to how you can attend a concert to listen to music from some of your favourite movies by top directors. Games even often hire complete orchestras to record the music for AAA titles. Other smaller titles will use tech like a pedal looper to create the right results on a smaller scale. Examples include Kingdom Hearts and The Legend Of Zelda. Some music from video games is so iconic that you immediately remember the game when you hear it.
Stories are powerful and the best games, as well as the most successful, have some fantastic stories. Ratchet and Clank is the tale of a wombat who makes friends with a robot and travels the universe. The gameplay is great fun but the story carries the title home and has guaranteed the longevity of this IP. GTA would never have been as popular as it is today without the stories of the main characters. Do you want proof of that? Take a look at Saints Row. Emotional Resonance
Emotional resonance in games is important as well. A wonderful recent example of this is The Last Of Us. The Last Of Us opens with a father losing his daughter and indeed his entire family as a peculiar zombie outbreak begins to take over the world. This is a shocking and powerful opening for the game and the story doesn’t let up until the final credits roll. The Last Of Us II attempted the same type of emotional resonance and in many ways succeeded. However, it isn’t quite as strong as the first title. That said, many games of the year have had similar wonderful emotional elements.
Another key element of games is gameplay that feels immersive and lets you sink into the world you’re playing. One of the most incredible recent examples of this type of experience is Spider-Man PS4. The game truly does make you feel you are Spider-Man, swinging through the streets of New York and battling with bad guys. Of course, this isn’t the only game that has tried to capture this sensation. Spider-Man 2 was an early example and for its time, was pretty darn good. But nothing compares to the latest title.
VR is a new tool in the toy box for developers who want to create immersive gaming experiences. However, currently, it’s still in its prime and there’s a lot of work before we get full games using this tech.
Of course, the gameplay doesn’t always need to be immersive. You don’t need to feel lost in a whole other world to feel as though you are playing a great game. You do – on the other hand – need to make sure that your game is a delight to play. Of course, this can depend on the target audience that you are appealing to. The audience for a mobile game is vastly different compared to someone playing a game on their brand new PS5.