Monday, 1 February 2010

Another pointless piece of terminology

Game play, until now I never even questioned what this impossibly vague description encompasses. “the game play is really dynamic” – what does that mean? I kinda just completely ignored it in the millions of game interviews and reviews I’ve seen and read. The way it’s used most of the time makes it a completely pointless word to use, unless you break it down to have a meaning of value.

I guess for me it’s a term which describes what the player does, the challenges a game poses the player, the responses the player can make and how enjoyable the overall experience is. Yet, verying from genre to genre, these areas of “gameplay” will vary again. There’s no way that the game play of a strategy game is fairly comparable to that of an FPS or an RPG, or vice verca. Parts of a game which make it enjoyable will be very different in one game than they would in another, ie: a fighting game like street fighter IV, fast paced, competitive, online and local play, it’s a quick thrill which can be played socially but personally I would never sit and play through the campaign on my own. Where as a turn based/real time strategy game like Rome Total War, which is hardly quick paced and has disappointingly poor online capabilities, has an unlimitedly variable campaign, is highly addictive and replayable is historically accurate before the variants kick in and has the largest real time battle scenes than any other games of its genre (other than other games of the Total War franchise)

So Basically, which has the better game play? I guess that’s pretty much subjective to the person whose playing the game and their opinion on the game. As good as the graphics are and all the possibly ways of playing COD there are, personally I’m more of a Halo player, so to me, the “gameplay” in Halo is far better than that of COD. So clearly, how enjoyable a game is has a big impact on how the player considers the gameplay, making the term gameplay, completely subjective and still, quite a pointless term to use. I think I’ll continue to ignore it in interviews and reviews.

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