On last week's mailbox Grant Henning said he isn't to keen about the increasing prevelance of multipllayer and asked why all games suddenly need to have multiplayer.
This week Ben Walton e-mailed in to say he thinks story driven role-playing games are keeping gaming alive.
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Final Fantasy VII was, without a doubt, the most engrossing game I've ever played. Since then I have dabbled with the odd FPS and the like, but they've never stirred the same passion that RPGs have. Over recent years I've noticed that games like Oblivion, Fallout, Demon's Souls and most recently Skyrim, have been the saving grace of contemporary gaming.
For me, story is everything. It's the narrative that creates your passion for a game, and RPGs let you become the architect in a world you care for. Gaming is an art form and should be revered as great films are. It is of no surprise then, that most blockbuster games that are on their way this winter (and the not-too-distant future) have an element of RPG in them. I now read that even the most linear of franchises in PS3 history, COD, will be introducing an element of RPG in Black Ops II. RPGs will save gaming from the dull, one-dimensional bore-fest that modern gaming has become. The more input we have in their story, the more we'll care for our games.
PSM3 says: Yes, Ben, everything you say is spot-on. We've alluded to this trend before − almost every modern game has become an RPG. Why? To draw you deeper into the game, to make you care about the world and the characters within it. Games that have done it best are the likes of FIFA, PES and NBA 2K, which let you create a persistent career that can last for several seasons. In terms of game time, that means 100s of hours of gaming. COD has been doing it for years too, handing out perks and prestige medals for continual online play. And in an age of austerity, games that offer engagement and great value are always going to out-sell eight-hour experiences. We're all RPG players now.
CVG says: We don't think it's fair that all non-RPG games are being branded as dull and one-dimensional. Portal wouldn't be described as an RPG in the traditional gaming sense of the world, neither would Half-Life. Those are just two examples of games non-RPG games that are driven by a strong narrative, we're sure there's plenty more.