“The following is a contributor post by the Off-Centered Earth Mage.”
With the recent release of Devil May Cry 5, the same thing is on everyone’s mind. It’s 2019 and a single-player, linear story-line-based game has taken the world by storm and brought gaming back to basics in the most glorious way. Here’s why this is more important than ever.
In recent times, there has been a long history of what some might call an overpopulation of shared-world shooters in gaming. Almost every big AAA release is either the next biggest shared-world shooter, the next biggest open-world experience, etc. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that a game in the style of Devil May Cry 5 or even Resident Evil 2 would shock the world and do as well as they have, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have believed you.
Devil May Cry 5 has truly done something special for me. It has brought me back to when I was a child. Playing the earlier Devil May Cry games took up most of my earliest gaming memories. I always loved how the games were designed. It almost felt like playing an arcade machine. You started with a level, you played the level through from start to finish, you fought the boss at the end of the level and you were scored on how well you did. Such a simple formula and yet for many, the Devil May Cry series is a favourite. So how does this formula hold up in 2019 when nearly every single game is a shared-world shooter or an open-world, non-linear experience?
It’s refreshing. Truly refreshing. I found myself getting to the end of each level in Devil May Cry 5 and I was utterly delighted at how it felt to be scored on how well I did or how stylish my combat was. What happens next? You get the opportunity to take a bit of a break from the game. You get the chance to upgrade your skills and your equipment, to change your load-out if you feel the need – but most importantly, you get that arcade-style feeling of beating a level. Quite often with open world games, we don’t get this accomplished feeling. Quite often, the entire game can feel like one big experience, only giving you that euphoric feeling of completion upon getting to the fabled 100% mark.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be said for open-world experiences. Take a title like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for example. The contract system allows you to get that feeling of completion at almost every turn.
However, in a time where major games developers are coming forward and saying that gamers don’t want linear, single-player games anymore, it’s more important than ever to see titles like Devil May Cry 5 come out to critical acclaim.
What are your thoughts on single player, linear titles? Do you think that it is important to maintain a balance? Are linear story-based titles out of fashion? Do we need titles like this? Am I heavily biased on the issue because Devil May Cry 5 lets you dual wield two halves of a motorbike? Let me know below!
The Off-Centred Earth Mage, known as Thomas Kearns-Horan in some parts of the world, or The Vague Maker of References in even darker places, can be found in any second-hand bookshop, game store, and occasionally the odd forest. Check in on his escapades here @thomasK_H for a bit of a laugh, and the odd dog photo.
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