Early-Onset Genre Fatigue

I kept my word everyone! I didn’t spend over three hundred pounds just to play one game. Yay!

I’m not saying I didn’t think about it: a quick glance at Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’s Metacritic page reveals a current cumulative score of 97%! Plus the Nintendo Switch itself is brand spanking new, both in terms of how long its been available, and its potential to revolutionise the way in which we interact with our video-game consoles. And I’ll bet you a quid that – even with its matte finish – if you hold it up the light in just the right way, its really, really, shiny…

Luckily for my bank balance the gaming gods (PR and Marketing), saw fit to release another Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) on a system I already owned, a few days before Zelda and the Switch were released. That game was Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PS4. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’d wholeheartedly recommend it based on the dozens of hours I’ve sunk into it so far: the graphics are amazing, the combat’s fresh and interesting, and the story is compelling enough to actually make me want to engage in the busy work side-mission’s that are a defining staple of the genre.

Which reminds me of the last game of I finished before Horizon: Final Fantasy 15. It too had amazing graphics, a fresh and (slightly less) interesting combat system, and a reasonably compelling story. Before FF 15, it was Watch Dogs 2. Before that it was probably Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, or Batman: Arkham Knight, or Rise of The Tomb Raider, or The Witcher 3, or something just like them. All of these are at worse, competent and enjoyable examples of the genre. And I’m sure that Zelda has earned its place, either at or at least near the top of that pile. But the borderline excessive proliferation of this type of game over the past few years particular is starting to get a bit much.

My name is Tuelo, and I am suffering from early-onset genre fatigue – just as I did with multiplayer loot grinders, and first person shooters previously. For the most part it’s self inflicted; I need to start seeking out actually different games to play. It’s on me to start voting with my wallet. The rise of online distribution had lead to gamers now being offered more choice than ever before, and so there are other more unique experiences out there if you know where to look. On the other hand, it would be nice if developers outside of the indie community – or more accurately the publishers funding them – could start taking risks again. Pushing the boundaries beyond ‘what if it were like these 12 other successful games, but our version?’. Please?

I’m not expecting every single new game to be revolutionary, but seriously: when was the last time even one was?

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