In the last 30 years, we have seen unimaginable advancements in the world of video games. 16-bit sprites have been replaced with hyper-realistic 3D character models. However, it's not just the graphics that have evolved. Some elements once common in the video game world have changed, been replaced, or simply disappeared. As we celebrate the present, it's also important to take a look into the future and remember the strange history of video games over the past three decades. In this article, we'll explore eight of the coolest things that video games no longer do today.
1. Film adaptations
In the past, it was common for major cinematic hits to be adapted into video games. Games such as Aladdin on Mega Drive or 007 GoldenEye have left their mark on the video game industry. However, this trend is now over. Adapting a film into a video game is no longer as common, mainly due to the increasing costs and complexity of creating games. Release schedules are also more difficult to coordinate. We probably won't see any more games based on cult films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is a shame because it allowed fans to extend the cinematic experience.
2. Split-screens and couch co-op play
The advent of the Internet revolutionized video games, providing gamers with the ability to play online with people around the world. However, this also meant the gradual disappearance of split-screen and couch co-op gaming. While recent tracks like “It Takes Two” have brought this experience back to life, it has become a rarity. The magic of bringing friends together around a single console to play together, laugh and tease each other is often forgotten. Memories of split-screen games like GoldenEye and Halo remain with gamers, but these days you often have to play online to get that experience again.
3. Midnight launches
Nothing expresses gamer passion like a midnight launch. It was an opportunity for fans to gather in front of their local store, in the cold, waiting for the clock to finally get their hands on their pre-ordered copy. Midnight launches were both low-key gatherings of enthusiasts and huge events. However, with the digital distribution of games, this tradition has almost disappeared. Now, you just need to press a button to download a game from your console. While this is more convenient, it takes away some of the excitement of the midnight launch ritual.
4. Crazy cheat codes
Cheat codes were once commonplace in video games. They allowed you to transform an ordinary game into absolute chaos. Games like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row are notorious for their crazy cheat codes. However, these codes have become less common in modern games, as many multiplayer titles seek to maintain a balance. Cheat codes, such as turbo mode or giant heads, have become rare, giving way to more balanced gaming experiences.
5. Creative risk-taking and reinvention
In the 2000s, franchises like Resident Evil were willing to take creative risks. They were experimenting with online play, unusual perspectives and radical gameplay changes. However, these days, many franchises prefer to play it safe by using tried and tested formulas. Games take longer to develop, which makes experimentation rarer. Studios often turn to nostalgia or borrow elements from other successful games, rather than seeking to innovate.
Demos used to be a way to discover new games. They could be found in magazines or even offered as bonuses with other games. Demos allowed players to sample new experiences and become familiar with a game before purchasing it. However, demos have become less common these days, as many publishers prefer to focus on selling full games rather than offering free samples.
7. Game manuals
Before the digital age, buying and playing a new game was a tactile experience. Players felt the weight of the box in their hands, unboxing the game, and thumbing through the manual to familiarize themselves with the controls and world of the game. The manuals were often adorned with beautiful artwork, lore, and tips from the developers. However, these days, physical manuals have been replaced by in-game tutorials. While this is more convenient, it takes away some of the magic that once accompanied purchasing a game.
8. Games that work out of the box
Finally, the most significant change in the world of video games is the reliability of games at launch. It used to be that gamers expected their games to run smoothly out of the box. However, nowadays many games are released with bugs and performance issues. Players often have to wait for patches to fully enjoy their gaming experience. It's unfortunate that the industry has reached a point where publishers publicly announce that they will work on a game for a decade to make it "good." . Gamers deserve quality games from launch.
In conclusion, video games have evolved a lot over the last 30 years, and some things that were once commonplace have disappeared. Although much progress has been made, sometimes it's nice to look back and remember the unique elements that have been a part of video game history. As we celebrate the present, let's keep an eye on the future while appreciating the rich history of gaming.