SHOULD Series: Should Dead Bodies Disappearing Be A Part Of Next Gen Gaming?
Continuing with the ‘Should Series‘, a series where I ask — from wide ranging topics such as a trend or approach Should it still exist moving forward in this current gen of gaming.
I felt this time I would attack the subject of how in the past console gaming was handled by developers when it came to the disposing of dead bodies. For the most part there is a technique used and the bodies would…well…disappear after awhile; I suppose hoping that the gamer wouldn’t notice? I ask, should this still exist this gen? Read on.
So if you’re a gamer you know exactly what I’m talking about, pretty much every game last gen — and prior Developers have been using the good ole disappearing dead body trick, I guess to help take the pressure off memory space? And I guess we did advance in that regard because in the past bodies would disappear as soon as you disposed of it. But last gen advanced, where developers used some pretty good techniques to sell the illusion that the dead body would remain on screen forever. Well you know, until somebody killed a couple of enemies left the area for a short time and came back to discover that all the bodies they so satisfyingly had gotten rid of have disappeared (Where’s my work? I want to see my work! :)). I guess developers assumed we’d never go back huh? Well we did go back , and the “secrets” out buddy!
Now indeed if this was a technique to mask memory issues hopefully with the new specs boasted on these new consoles (PS4,Xbox One) — pointing to memory not being an issue, we can get a body count that will stay on screen forever this gen.
This technique I speak (I don’t think) wasn’t just relegated to the “leave area” trick either, developers, I believe have used other clever ways to pull it off.
The God of War series is one of the game’s that comes to mind and it was able to get away with it big time. Because rooted in fantasy; wrapped in greek mythology lore; cleverly, enemies turning into orbs after becoming a victim of Kratos’ blades was pure genius, thus the orb system didn’t seem out of place. Going that route solved the embarrassing issue of having to mask console deficiencies, perhaps without them even knowing it.
What I’m hinting at is maybe this was always the plan all along — to use the orb system, it’s a bit of a nod to the old school of gaming, I get it, or… maybe, just maybe Sony Santa Monica was in that board meeting trying to figure out how to deal with the disposable enemies and didn’t want to go the typical route, in comes the birth of the orb system.
For God of War and God of War 2 fine, But I always envisioned seeing Kratos differently via next gen on God of War 3. God of War 3, when it was first revealed I remember the trailers looking so epic and it was Sony Santa Monica’s first God of War game on next gen (now last gen) consoles, need I explain the anticipation? I anticipated that with the new found power of the PS3 they would rid the whole dead bodies turning into orbs “technique” that was present on the PS2 (As I alluded to; could be wrong… could’ve been art direction). But evisionsing Kratos just slaying a whole army, bodies/body parts strewn everywhere, seeing his work, and then him having to walk over said work; a pile of hundreds and hundreds of bodies in full view, Epic! Tell me that wouldn’t get your gaming juices flowing?
Don’t get me wrong there were a couple of games out there from last gen that tried to come close to the vision I speak of; Uncharted series comes to mind and maybe throw in Metal Gear Solid but gaming as a whole is not there yet, I want it to be standard this gen but those aforementioned games can give us hope.
Why this article? I just steadily grew tired of limitations the last gen brought gaming and I don’t want the same approach to be accepted — by Us, the gamers or the developer for that matter in the current generation of gaming.
I think we are at a place now (hopefully) in gaming that bodies should remain where they are until at least something logical happens like an ambulance coming to scoop the body up or a animal feeding on them — if the situation fits of course.
Just to throw out there, has anybody reading this article played Ryse: Son of Rome? Killzone: Shadowfall? Somebody let me know how do those games handle body counts? All though early launch games could be great indicators to possibly see where this gen is headed when it comes to the subject at hand.
Hopefully this gen won’t have to resort to these tricks and tactics and we could see real-world, real-time body counts. Again I ask, Should dead bodies disappearing be a part of next gen? CCU wants to hear from you.