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video games as we have established previously is a form of art(combining visual and performing arts) and we know that all art is subjective, you like what you like. However every good art still has core elements like; negative space, proportion, value, composition etc. therefore if we tried to find some dominant features across successful video games, it shouldn’t be impossible. should it?
Consider a simple yet evergreen game like Tetris. There is no storyline just a classic easy to understand gameplay, it goes to show that a game with good gameplay and easy to understand controls can make up for any lapse in other areas.
You may say “oh Tetris is an old game!” but even in modern games like Call of Duty, for instance, the importance of excellent gameplay still rings through, most people don’t even bother with the campaign, they’re more interested in the multiplayer. This is true as well with Fortnite and PUBG.
With many other games, realism would not be one of the first things criticized but with sports titles, it is essential. The nearness of the in-game characters to the real-life sports stars they try to mimic is critical to their success. Yet, graphics and design don’t always have to be realistic to be engaging and a big example of this is the borderlands series and its cartoon-inspired Cel shading. However, with every FIFA/Borderlands, there’s always Minecraft.
The important thing with graphics then maybe that the game’s art style should fit the objective it pursues and the story it tells.
The concept of challenge and reward cannot be more vividly explained than with a mission on grand-theft auto. The balance of challenge and reward is something Rockstar games have mastered over the years and not just with individual missions but from getting control of zones and gangs on San Andrea’s, to getting Diaz’s mansion in vice city or being filthy rich in liberty city the balance of challenge and reward ensures that players feel a sense of accomplishment after overcoming a difficult mission or level.
A good story becomes essentially important if a game is a single-player only experience like the aforementioned title. The gameplay alone will not always save such a game. Other good examples for this are the Batman Arkham Series and Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed series
A great story can keep the player immersed in the game, players become attached to the characters and want to continue playing to see how the story unfolds, just like I did with Kratos.
Writer, artist, Accountant and a forever learner. Learning, loving, Hoping.
These ideas explain 4 elements that makes a great video game.
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