I’ve played a lot of games in my life, both on PC and consoles. Games like The Bard’s Tale (1985/PC), Space Quest 1/2/3, King Quest, Wonder Boy (1986/Commodore 64) and many other games, those I cherish in my heart, and I will always remember how I enjoyed those game so much.
Time has past and I am no longer playing on my Commodore 64, Atari or Sega. Today we play on PC and next-gen consoles. The game industry has changed a lot and I always feel nostalgia to those game and the times. Don’t get me wrong, even at those times I was excited about how games look on my new EGA display and was blown away when VGA games first has been introduced.
I wish there was a game like Wonder Boy on the PS4. I enjoyed it so much, entering the stores to buy new potions and upgrade my armor and sword. I like the music, sound effects and boss fights. The game was simple but so much fun. It has a touch of RGP elements with an entertaining gameplay and progression system. I was a kid then, but I played again on a PC and still enjoyed it a lot.
Here’s an Art work by Guile93 from Deviant Art that shows how a remastered version of it might look.
I have goosebumps when I see that image on the left. It just made my wonder how amazing it would be if we would play it on next-gen Consoles. It will probably look even better than that image, but I will be satisfied with it as is. Wonder Boy was released on 1986 by Sega and developed by Escape. LAter on the game was ported to other systems including Master System, Game Gear, Atari ST and others. I played it on Commodore 64.
In those days there weren’t any multiplayer games and PC gaming was in its early days. Back then I also didn’t have a lot of time playing, and my mother didn’t allow me to play a lot. Even though, those memories stayed with me and we’ll continue to stay with me all my life.
As an adult, I have more time to play and my game choices has changed. Although I will take a game like Wonder Boy or any favorite game re-make every day, I am more into games that have high replayability. I buy my own games, and I enjoy playing games which I can play for a long time, preferably with friends. Back then I mostly played arcade games and quests, but these days I mostly play first-person shooters and MMORPG.
The reason I’ve chosen FPS and MMO RPG games is that FPS have high replayability and MMOs can be played for a long time and has an amazing leveling system. MMOs are like my alternate reality and FPS games that you can play whenever you want, get in, shoot guys and continue whatever you are doing after that. Games that are driven by ego are in my opinion the most satisfying ones, but I also like games that make you think. I love games that are hard but not too hard and preferably competitive and cooperative games.
Replability is the highest priority, and I think many of the game for consoles these days doesn’t offer that. I don’t want to have high replability in the form of PlayStation trophies nor I want it in the form of difficulty levels. The game has to be enjoyable to play even if you play one level like thousand of time. Let me give you an example. I was playing Battlefield 3 like 1400 hours, almost two months in-game time! 90% of the time I was playing metro. Yep, sounds weird, but this map was so enjoyable and I just couldn’t stop playing it nor I wanted to.
Metro, can’t be more fun that this – I miss it so much!
Look how the map forces the gamers to play in a group. You can also enjoy this map on next-gen console in Battlefield 4 Second Assault expansion. There is a good reason why EA has decided to bring Metro back in Battlefield 4, and the reason is obviously that many people enjoyed playing it. If they haven’t remake it into BF4, many people would probably still be playing BF3 and not buy BF4 — many people are still playing this on BF3.
I think it’s because that map forces group play and it was very satisfying to be able to reach pass the enemy lines. Once you were able to do so, you could put a beacon and let your squad spawn behind the enemy team, while they are focusing in holding the front line. This allowed us to push the enemy backwards towards their base and have fun just ‘raping’ the base.
What I’m trying to say is that if the game is designed well, you will enjoy playing it over and over again. Many of the games today don’t have that design and lack of good replability value, the thing that causes you to enjoy the game all over again. You buy a game, finish it in a few days and move on to the next game.
And again, don’t get me wrong, some games are very fun to play, even short single player games like Bloodborne. The thing is that most people won’t play those game after they finish it. They might give it a second or third run until a new game gets out, but that’s about it. There are some games that has low replability but are memorable. I think it’s very important for the same I love Wonder Boy and want to play a re-make version of it on next-gen consoles. If I play a game that I’ll probably finish in a few days or even hours, it has to be really fun and memorable, but those are really rare.
Currently I’m playing Battlefield Hardline and Mortal Kombat X. I found Hardline to be boring, but I do enjoy getting into a deadthmatch fight every now and then, and Mortal Kombat X does take skill so it’s very challenging for me so I come back for more.
So what makes a game have high replay value?
- It’s dynamic – play differently every time
- Challenging – keeps you come back to try to overcome an obstacle in the game that prevent you from progressing
- Progression – an extension of the previous one
- Customization and upgrade options
- Play with friend – coop or competitive gameplay where ego is involved when you really want to win over a tough opponent (Smart AI is also a viable option) and meet your friends in-game
- Engaging – enforce you to always try to get better
- Hard – but should made in the right way, no stupid re-spawning when you spawn a mile away and need to do the same stuff all over again. Should be made right.
- Visually appealing to your taste
- Humor – always help
- Good story – can help you feel a part of the world you play in
- Content – and a lot of it. If the world offer dynamic content (not just DLCs), people will log into the game again in order to see what’s new and there is always something interesting waiting for you in the corner
These are a few things that when implemented right, can allow you to enjoy a game and keep coming back for more. Done wrong, and you will quickly start getting bored with it.
When looking at the upcoming games in 2015, I was searching for a multiplayer game with high replay value. Among the games that I put on my wish list are: Final Fantasy XV, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront (EA, please do NOT disappoint me with this one).
A game doesn’t have to have all of what I’ve mentioned above, but the more the merrier. There are some amazing PC games that I predict their success based on those key elements like No Man’s Sky with its procedurraly generated open universe and Star Citizen and you shouldn’t miss either of these games, even if you are a true console fan.
Star Citizen is an excellent example. Its success (it such would come, and I believe it will be a successful game), would be because of the high involvement of players in the development of the game, as it is a crowd-funded project. Many of the games today are updated based on feedback, but those changes are made after the game gets out. It takes sometimes months after you see those changes, and in many times it’s a bit too late for that. People are already fed up with the game and searching for something else to play.
I hope that more companies will work hard to bring us games with high replay value. Right now it doesn’t look so encouraging, but I cross my fingers that the lesson has been learned and we’ll get to have more of those amazing games in the near future. Oh, I know, “Replayability” is not a word in English, but because so many people use it, it has become a word, at least in the gaming community – just saying.