As you’ve probably deduced, I spend a lot of time playing video-games. Sure, I do other things as well, like work, see my girlfriend and… play football. A generation or so ago, I might have been a rare breed, but these days there’s a massive ever growing community that like to lose themselves in video-games. But, despite all of the games I’ve played over the years, and the hours I’ve poured in to them, I’ve not yet found my perfect game. I’ve played some amazing games, that’s for sure, but despite how brilliant they are, I would never say that they’re perfect.
Because it’ll take a right age to describe my ‘perfect game’, I’ve opted instead to describe elements from other games that I believe could combine to make my ultimate video-game. So here they are!
A gripping story
For me to really want to play and complete a game, it kind of needs to have a gripping story. There are, of course, exceptions to my own rule – games like State of Decay don’t rely on a story, but allow you to make the story yourself as you play through the game and grow attached to the characters. Still, in my ‘perfect game’, I’d like a gripping story to help drive the game and focus my attention. I’m thinking of a story on the scale of The Last of Us or Dragon Age: Inquisition. I’d want it to be deep, detailed and engaging – but not linear. I like having choices and I like knowing that my choices have some sort of impact on the game. I also like being able to dip in and out of the main story by completing side-quests. I loved the way that Dragon Age: Inquisition handled the side-quests, because quite a few of them felt like they had a direct impact on the overall story, but they weren’t necessary for its completion.
An open world
When it comes to open worlds, there are few that do it better than Rockstar or Bethesda. They’ve had years of practice at building diverse, vibrant and alive worlds – and it’s the sort of world that I would like in my perfect game. Whilst I enjoy the concept of a closed-open world (if that makes any sense… think Dragon Age 2), I much prefer being able to explore without loading screens, and find all of those hidden gems that the developers left to entice us to look a little further. Techland did a brilliant job with this in Dying Light, through all of their various hidden items and references. For instance, on the very top of the highest point in the game, on the destroyed bridge, they’ve placed a blueprint for a weapon called the ‘Surprise Mother Fucker’. Furthermore, they’ve also left a version of the Destiny loot cave to find, and they’ve dotted various other references around the world too, like this Left 4 Bread sign.
A key component to any game, for me at least, is character customisation. Ideally, I’d like to be able to pick everything about my character, from the colour of their eyes to the length of their arms. Dragon’s Dogma had my ideal level of character customisation, because you could be really anal about how your character looked – right down to their scarring. Not only that, but you could even customise your companion to the same level of detail. In my perfect game, I’d like the same level of customisation as Dragon’s Dogma, just with better graphics!
For me, the setting isn’t as important as the story. I think that talented writers and developers can create a good story out of most settings. Still, in my perfect game I think I’d like a historical setting. Recently, after studying the period at university a few years ago, and watching the TV series Vikings, I’ve been quite ‘in’ to Anglo-Saxon English history. So at this time and in this place, I’d very much like to play an open-world RPG based around the Vikings in Britain. Specific, I know. But there are very few historical games out there, other than World War Two shooters and medieval RTSs.
Lots of loot and gear!
I love stealing / collecting things in games, like a kleptomaniac… or a magpie. But unlike a hoarder or magpie, I like those things to be of value. Weapons, armour, jewellery, potions, you name it; if it has value of some sort, I’ll grab it. In video-games, I love collecting things, whether it be new armour for my character or notes and codex entries that add another element of narrative to the game. The loot and gear aspect of a game keeps me playing when I’m taking a break from the story – finding better weapons, armour or collectables always drives me to delve a little deeper into a game and its world.
For my perfect game to be complete, it has to have an element of multiplayer. For me, Dragon’s Dogma would have been one step better if you were able to let a second player drop in to the game as your companion (known as a pawn), whether that be online or off… ideally it would be both. In my ideal game, I’d like to have both as options. I really liked DD’s method of online play, so something along those lines, but allowing players to play as the pawns, would be fine in my books.
So hopefully that gives you a rough idea of what my perfect game would entail. How do you see your perfect game? Or maybe you’ve already found it. Let me know in the comments below!