Innovation and invention is constantly playing a massive part in the revision and expansion of scientific knowledge and current technology. In a little over a century our technology limit has lifted such that we have moved from riding on the back of horse-drawn carts to sending people to other planets. Computing power has significantly jumped leagues ahead – a computer which once took up a whole room has been not only surpassed in processing power and capabilities but shrunk to the size of one’s palm, so it seems only natural that the games industry should also seek to expand and review its practices to change with the times.
Watch_Dogs was supposed to be an example of this innovative development, but as Vanessa reported previously it was a bit of a disappointment. This isn’t to say by any means that it was a bad game. It was a great game but it just wasn’t what we were promised. The hacking and control of city systems was supposed to be the biggest thing. After a time it simply became second nature to use, but it didn’t feel new. It felt like a simplification of the things we already had; it became clear that the interactions between your hacks and, say, traffic lights, were pre-scripted, not being generated on the fly, as we were promised. The profiler would very easily show up two NPCs to be the ‘same’ person as opposed to the full and rich and diverse city we were shown before, a city where “every NPC has their own identity”.
No Man’s Sky is, so far, an exploration game. Think a combination of Proteus and Minecraft with elements of Spore’s space stage and the original concepts for Battlefront 3. A universe that would be procedurally generated, but only once – accessible to all players as the same universe, possibly with player-to-player interactions, but with worlds the size of real worlds. Say just one million people resided on Earth, scattered all around it. How often would one man pass another? That’s the environment that Hello Games hopes to create with their new sandbox, a wide, vast universe ready to explore.
If they could add some degrees of Minecraft or Space Engineers to the mix; allow players to build and design their own bases and starships, this might just turn out to be the sandbox game to end all sandbox games. The release date is quite far off (31st December 2015) and will be a timed exclusive on PS4 – so that they can perfect the PC version and we don’t just get a console ‘port’.
I don’t think it will ever take off, owing largely to the expectation of games to be played in a relaxed environment, and the scale of the things currently required to make physical games a reality. The Kinect requires a stupidly large space to function accurately. With the Oculus on you need to be aware of your surroundings so you don’t crash into anything. But, with innovation comes revision, and as I said before, we once travelled by horse and cart and spoke by way of written letters. Now we can do both of those things faster and more efficiently than ever. With time and development, what we consider outlandish today will be the norm of tomorrow.
But probably, I’ll be so nostalgic for the past that I’ll just lie on the virtual sofa, hold a virtual controller, and play virtual Crash Bandicoot.
The way of the future...
What are your thoughts?
Where do you feel the next great innovation will come from?
Is Virtual Reality just another fad?
Let us know in the comments below!