Gameplay Mechanics That Time Forgot

demons souls

For every gameplay mechanic that sets a standard in the industry, there are always a few that manage to slip out of vogue no matter how interesting they are. Back in the days when gaming was just getting started, developers felt like they could take a few more risks with their designs and some really cool stuff came out of that era. There are some neat ideas being presented today, but the fresh stuff is few and far between.

IGN’s newest appendage 1up put out an article on four gameplay mechanics that should have caught on and it’s an interesting look at some big ideas that have faded away into obscurity. While Demon’s Souls (and Dark Souls) are new, things like Rainbow Six’s mission planner or Blade Runner’s randomized story elements are kind of relics now, lost to the ages.

I remember trying to figure out Rainbow Six’s planner back in the day and I recall it being beyond the scope of my young mind. My missions frequently boiled down to giving everyone a shotgun and hoping for the best, but I bet if I went back and tried that game today I would find a layer of strategy that is so painfully absent from modern shooters.

The social single-player elements of Demon’s Souls is one of the most intriguing aspects of that game to me and I would be really pleased if that caught on in other games, especially sandbox titles. How awesome would it be if you were playing Grand Theft Auto V and saw some graffiti on the ground left by another player, pointing you towards a secret area with a special vehicle? This is a masterful way of bringing players together inside their own separate worlds and I’d like other developers to take a stab at it.

Do you guys have any gameplay mechanics that you used to love that have fallen by the wayside? I seem to recall squad commands being quite the big ticket item last generation but I don’t see that too much these days. Personally, I’d love to be able to give my AI teammates commands because they can’t seem to think for themselves that well. Sound off!

Source – 1up

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

One thought on “Gameplay Mechanics That Time Forgot”

  1. Unfortunately, I’m at work and can’t get to the article, so I’m not sure what else it mentions. I would second the idea of writing messages on the ground for other players, ala Demon’s/Dark Souls, though, as well as the excellent “invasion” idea. It’s more than PvP, since the outcome has an impact on the players’ worlds.

    Furthermore, I’d like to see more JRPGs follow the non-trend started up in Final Fantasy XII. For some reason, a loud minority spoke out against the fighting system simply for going against the grain (probably the same folks that want to see games developers take more risks) of traditional turn-based, random encounter Final Fantasies. I (and most reviewers) think the system was exemplary, and the fact that this idea of fighting in the same screen as the world didn’t catch on is unfortunate, and I think has something to do with the decline of the JRPG genre. Except for Dragon Quest, no game has really been able to make the traditional fighting that much fun.

    Xenoblade Chronicles is proof that JRPGs should have embraced Final Fantasy XII’s fighting system. You fight in the real world, and could possibly run into a monster far too strong for your characters at any time. You might get attacked by a second group while already in the middle of a fight. There is no load screen to watch every time you fight. These and more help make a stagnant genre new again, and more exciting. The games might take a hundred hours to complete, but it will feel like it’s over far too soon.

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