Was 2007 the Best Year for Games so far?
Why 2007 is the best year for games Ever
Quantity 2007 simply had more games coming out than ever before.
Polish All the major game types have been extremely polished this year. Whether you like race games, shooters, action adventure, sports, or music/rhythm, all those genres have gotten much better and more polished than ever before. Two good cross platform examples are Call of Duty 4 and Guitar Hero 3: these titles really perfected favorite games from previous years.
Consoles This generation of consoles delivers what is probably the biggest leap over previous generations ever. Not only does this generation deliver a major increase in processing power, but also major improvements in online functionality, user connectivity, and variety of features. These systems launched in 2005 and 2006, but none of them really took off until 2007.
Explosion of smaller games, novelty games, and retro content This is mostly driven by the Sony and Microsoft providing well funded and marketed marketplaces for this content to thrive. Free and ad-driven Flash-based PC games have also continued to explode this year.
Why 2007 is NOT the best year for games ever
Lack of new genres and new play experiences Most genres of video games start off slowly, then go through an exciting and rapid growth spurt, and then reach a maturity where they continue to be refined and perfected. Almost every 2007 game is in a matured genre. The only real growth spurt genre of 2007 is music/rhythm games such as “Rock Band”. 2001 is the year that had the most games in such growth spurt genres: GTA 3, Jak & Daxter, Gran Turismo 3, Frequency, Devil May Cry, MGS 2. Every one of those represented a significant leap forward for their respective categories. In 2001, the concept of having a hyper realistic driving simulation was new and exciting. In 2007, Forza 2 and GT5:P are far better games, but the overall concept is mature and less interesting.
Homogenization Look at the highest rated games of 2007. They are almost entirely shooters: CoD4, UT3, Orange Box, Bioshock, Halo 3, Warhawk, GRAW 2, Kane & Lynch, The Darkness, R6:V, and Metroid. Even Uncharted, Ratchet, and Mass Effect are hybrid shooters. When you take all these titles out of the equation, there aren’t that many truly great non-shooter titles in 2007. Even gamers that like shooters would prefer to see a little more diversity.
What are your thoughts?