The console was almost made for shooter genres. Early games like Killzone broke the record sale charts, shifting over 3 million copies. The ability to wield a gun through an actual device gave a ‘real’ feel to the console at that time. However, times have clearly changed. World adventure play ‘Uncharted’ now tops the best-selling chart, followed by the likes of Horizon and the Witcher 3.
Clearly, the emphasis on what sells has shifted from shooters to role playing games or action games with a role play element. Aside from the ever popular CoD franchise, of course, there are good reasons for the shift towards role playing.
Utilizing an open world
A major pitfall of video games is the use of linear progression. Games, where the entire environment feels constructively planned out, can be the downfall of the product. Invisible walls in woodland scenes spring to mind as damaging of all important video game immersion. This is where many modern computer games excel. From modern action shooters like GTA V, to the ultra-RPG Skyrim, games are using open worlds – or similarly shaped play areas – to bring the user further into their world. The latest blockbuster titles like God of War IV are also taking the traditional action adventure game design into a open world style.
Customization of the story
Video games benefit over other forms of media from their immersive nature. As you control a character, you become part of that story. This is amplified where role playing games are concerned, as often you are able to shape specific plotlines and craft a character in your image. There is science behind this; a 2015 study by the Czech Republic’s Masayrk University found that customization increases gamer motivation where MMOs are concerned. The ability to make a character your own, through their looks, equipment, weapons and skill sets, is key, and is reflected in PS4 bumper titles GTA V, The Last of Us and Metal Gear Solid.
The ultimate escapism
Real world games, like the Call of Duty franchise, enable gamers to step into the boots of those in relatively real world situations and experience a whole different way of life. The beauty of role playing games is the escapism involved. Media is often a way for people to distract themselves from mundanity in their day to day life, or to experience something new and different.
Role playing games are not often the initial thing that comes to mind when thinking of classic console titles. Rather, the gun-like action of a control pad, or through racing and sports, seem more natural. However, PS4 gamers are like all others and look for the same things; bringing the genre into great repute with the platform.