Despite its many problems, I think the 8th generation of consoles is kind of under appreciated


#1

When it comes to discussion about the modern state gaming so much of the discussion is on how bad games as a service are and stuff like that. Now while I certainly don’t think those criticisms are invalid, I do think the 8th generation (in terms of quality games) is an improvement over the 7th generation consoles (though admittedly the PS2 era is better than both). To show you why lets compare the top scoring games of 2017 vs the top scoring games of 2007 which is remembered as the high point of the seventh generation of games:

Top Scoring Games of 2017

Top Scoring Games of 2007

While 2007 is hard to beat in terms of raw quality with titles such as Bioshock and Halo 3, but in terms of variety I think 2017 easily beats 2007 as it features the reemergence and success of genre’s long thought dead like:

  • Triple AAA survival horror (Resident Evil 7)
  • Isometric Turn Based CRPG (Divinity Original Sin 2)
  • Triple AAA JRPGs Like Persona 5 or Xenoblade 2

And that’s not even counting some of more neat experimental indie and VR games released in 2017. Compare this to 2007 where a lot of the highly acclaimed were shooters of some kind (Bioshock, Halo 3, Crysis, COD 4). One of the reasons there’s more variety is the reemergence of Japanese developed games into the mainstream market as explained by this video

What is more I also really appreciate how much more colorful games are now than they were in the last gen, case and point remember when Gears of War was famous for having desaturated and brown color tones

In conclusion while there’s certainly a lot to criticize the 8th Generation of
video games (crunch in my mind is the worst thing about the industry), I also think there’s enough improvement here to be hopeful for how games might evolve in the future.


#2

I like this gen so much more than last gen. 360/PS3 gen was too shooter focused. Mainstream games feel a bit more diversified this gen. There were also growing pains associated with HD visuals. Last gen games felt dumbed down due to how much of production resources needed to go to the visual departments and gameplay seemed to suffer greatly. Maybe the tools have gotten better and/or they’ve gotten more efficient and smarter in this respect this gen. Games still look great but they play much better. Another plus for this gen? Japanese developers have got a better handle on the tech. We’re seeing good games come from there as well.


#3

I just wish major game releases weren’t constantly under the constant threat of just not existing anymore because half of everything feels like it needs online server connections and most every major release needs a huge patch that has the entire game on it (this complaint excluded for first party releases).


#4

Although I’ve certainly enjoyed more games from this generation than the last, it’s one where the trends have unsettled me more. Regardless of the degree to which they are monetised, almost all big games are now built around Satisfying Feedback Loops. I didn’t ever think that an Assassin’s Creed game would have no fun buildings to climb on and basically be Diablo, but here we are.


#5

I would say that the current gen is great despite its marred history. The aforementioned trends are definitely part of it, but to cite another Super Bunnyhop video:

It didn’t start out pretty. On top of the glitches, it’s also kind of wild to watch this vid and return to the games that transitioned us from then to now. Driveclub? AC: Unity? Watch underscore Dogs? Yeesh, I remember 2014 being a bit of a dry spell, but that’s rough.

That being said, this video is only a few months before games like Bloodborne started showing up, so it definitely got better. In fact, '15 is probably tied for 2nd when it comes to my favorite years in games ('10 is #1, which kinda invalidates this point I’m making a bit, huh).


#6

My biggest issue with this generation is the continued extinction of “B Games” that started during the PS3/360 generation. In some ways Indie developers have filled those spaces but the mid-level developers of the ps2/gc/xbox era have mostly closed, shifted to mobile, or been absorbed by bigger companies. A lot of AAA games these days feel like they are massive all-consuming experiences regardless of whether it makes sense for them to do that. It means I play less games overall cause all the bigger budget ones are just so time consuming.

Despite that though, most of my all-time favorite games have come out during this generation and second half of the last one. Dark Souls 1-3, Bloodborne, Prey, Hitman(2016), The Witcher 3, Monster Hunter World, the PC port of Dragon’s Dogma, Rain World, Hollow Knight, Mario Odyssey, Spelunky, Splatoon 2… its a bonkers list of games. And there are still so many I haven’t even gotten to yet! The overall bar for quality in games whether AAA or indie has risen SO much and in a lot of ways video games have never been better. Its weird to feel that and at the same time be so frustrated with the state of labor exploitation, manipulative microtransaction/free-to-play/gachapon design, and the aforementioned diminishing of “B games.”


#7

Speaking of transitions, stuff like Infamous: Second Son feels like a god damn eternity ago, but nope, it was just four years.


#8

Funny thing you should mention shooters another plus about this the 8th generation of consoles is how in addition to not completely dominating the market anymore, first person shooters have so much more personality now than they’ve ever had before. Just take a moment to think about the big first person shooters released this generation that aren’t called Call of Duty or Battlefield

  • Wolfenstein 1/2
  • Overwatch
  • Doom 2016
  • Titanfall 1/2
  • Halo 5

Each of these games has their own unique quirks that set them apart with unique movement mechanics, tones, and styles of gunplay that feel so wonderfully varied than the Ho Hum serious war shooters that infested the 7th generation of consoles.