Serious violent edgy games - gaming's teen goth phase?

#1 Edited by drekula2 (2930 posts) -

I put it in System Wars because these kinds of games have been so prominent and so high selling over the past 5-10 years.

During the past gen, games have explored storytelling. However, most of this storytelling involves the following: violence, black shiny guns, commanders, half-naked sexualized women, hostages, people being impaled, monsters, zombies, towns being blown up and the like. Even some of the more serious stories have been over-emotional, corny, and the like.

Games want to be provocative and edgy, so they can look badass and the player can feel like a juggernaut of destruction. But I honestly think its the equivalent of teenagers slashing holes in their jeans to look "cool". Years from now, we'll probably say (about gaming from 07 to 2014) that it was trying too hard to be edgy.

So, when Nintendo said they weren't interested in serious stories, I think it moreso was a polite way of saying they wanted to avoid this trap. I have nothing against violence or serious stories but there needs to be substance behind the story.

Obviously, I don't want to live in Disneyland where we only have cartoony platformers, but it really feels like we're going through a phase right now.

#2 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (15866 posts) -

I personally feel depending on the genre and theme the game is trying to go for, we need more dismemberment and gore.

When bullets hit someone, I'd actually like to see some contact. Maybe not entirely soldier of fortune levels *Although that was awesome*, but falling over like a ragdoll just feels like a copout. It's fun to witness carnage.

#3 Edited by lostrib (41245 posts) -

examples...?

#4 Posted by wis3boi (31830 posts) -

this post is 2edgy4me

#5 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (15866 posts) -

Also, you should realize that Nathan Drake is a mass murderer.

#6 Posted by drekula2 (2930 posts) -

I basically see violence as a crutch. Games want their players to be shocked and surprised. Usually smart games do this by introducing interesting ideas, keeping some things hidden in plain sight, or plot twists that logically make sense. But when games can't do this, they need "bullet to the head" cutscenes to keep things spicy.

Basically, it's not the violence in and of itself that concerns me. I liked TLOU because the excessive violence was backed by a strong story.

#7 Edited by Blabadon (28036 posts) -

Someone read the OP and tell me if its okay, TC being TC makes me vomit when he types.

#8 Posted by lostrib (41245 posts) -

@Blabadon said:

Someone read the OP and tell me if its okay, TC being TC makes me vomit when he types.

you might want a garbage can

#9 Posted by Heil68 (46450 posts) -

A game like the TLOU is supposed to be dark and violent. There are plenty of games that are not violent and family friendly, even outside of Nintendo.

#10 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (15866 posts) -

@Heil68 said:

A game like the TLOU is supposed to be dark and violent. There are plenty of games that are not violent and family friendly, even outside of Nintendo.

I'd love to see TLOU's influence rub off on Mario.

#11 Posted by drekula2 (2930 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

@Heil68 said:

A game like the TLOU is supposed to be dark and violent. There are plenty of games that are not violent and family friendly, even outside of Nintendo.

I'd love to see TLOU's influence rub off on Mario.

Would love to see Mario throw a brick at goombas, run up to them and smack them with a 2x4

#12 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -
@ReadingRainbow4 said:

I personally feel depending on the genre and theme the game is trying to go for, we need more dismemberment and gore.

When bullets hit someone, I'd actually like to see some contact. Maybe not entirely soldier of fortune levels *Although that was awesome*, but falling over like a ragdoll just feels like a copout. It's fun to witness carnage.

yes

and soldier of fortune was indeed, awesome.

"My that's a lovely hand you have. Now it's time to re-enact that scene from Robocop!"

#13 Posted by KHAndAnime (14404 posts) -

Yup, violence and dark story-telling is only a phase, which is why movies like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Shawshank Redemption are long lost, forgotten movies.

#14 Posted by Netret0120 (2862 posts) -

Violence sells. America makes too much money from war for world peace to ever happen.

People love killing. Solid Snake is a murderer. Heck even Mario when you consider he beats mushrooms.

It's entertaining and as long as it is entertaining get ready for another gen of this.

#15 Edited by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -
@KHAndAnime said:

Yup, violence and dark story-telling is only a phase, which is why movies like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Shawshank Redemption are long lost, forgotten movies.

brilliant!

#16 Edited by Speak_Low (1241 posts) -

It's not a phase because it will never go away. It never went away for movies (violence and large-scale destruction has only gone up it seems, and Transformers 4 made lots of money).

What you can hope for is a light dash of better quality titles - astounding even - mixed into the current existing pool of games. Leading examples for those below to aspire towards. But there won't ever be a overflowing, glorious "Renaissance" we'll look back upon like they can with movies studios (Disney in the 1990s for instance).

When expensive $60 games requires 8-10+ hours of gameplay at least, the first thing they think about is "how do I fill up this time?" Lots of guns + aliens, mutants, soldiers, government agents...pick your enemy variety and make wave after wave of them. "The most bang for your buck" - literally

I was actually a fan of Heavy Rain (the extreme minority) but when David Cage tried to make something different people were flipping out that some awful trend of "no gameplay" was emerging. Then when TLOU comes out it's "overrated trash and basically a movie. Stupid game with no gameplay"

I'm not sure what gamers want if that's the case. Every time I see gamers post their Top 10 lists and the games they buy, it contains games filled with things they claimed they hated about the industry (FPS, TPS, QTE, T&A, DLC). Every time I see a COD thread I hear "Oh GOD not another one! The last one sucked." The fact that you even bought the last one and it took you that long to realize you couldn't stand the series makes me think you're weird as hell (what are you, a grudging game reviewer forced to play these games?)

Somebody is buying these games (in the millions) and $$$ is the only language and message publishers need to let them know of their future direction. And word of caution developers. If you make a game like Heavy Rain or TLOU and attempt to introduce more story - they will HATE you for it and tell you not to stray too far from what we have.

Be different but don't be different. Which basically amounts to staying in the same place. That's their advice.

#17 Edited by Silverbond (16115 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4: Aren't you the guy that wants to enlist child soldiers in MGS 5?

#18 Edited by Macutchi (4220 posts) -
@lostrib said:

examples...?

^ this.

there's always been games with those things you describe and not many of the modern ones have "explored storytelling" to any degree worth discussing

#19 Edited by handssss (1898 posts) -

yeah, it's not very violent or gory by normal standards, but it is obligatory.

#20 Posted by mems_1224 (48140 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Also, you should realize that Nathan Drake is a mass murderer.

Probably the biggest mass murderer in gaming. I mean, other people actually have reasons for their killing but Drake just wants to get rich. He's a sociopath.

#21 Edited by uninspiredcup (11934 posts) -

Video games tend to attract highly ego driven young people who want to feel relevant due to inadequacy IRL.

Gun like god power. Point at thing, thing dead. You are god. Even though IRL shit and you useless, in game, you da man. Woo!

#22 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

Video games tend to attract highly ego driven young people who want to feel relevant due to inadequacy IRL.

Gun like god power. Point at thing, thing dead. You are god. Even though IRL shit and you useless, in game, you da man. Woo!

that's pretty much what happened to my cousin

by day, he was an under appreciated checkout clerk at a major supermarket

at other times, he was a level whatever whatever in the game world of warcraft. worshipped by his peers. he wanted to spend as much time as possible in the game world, where he was baws.

#23 Posted by KittenNose (595 posts) -

Games keep getting more and more violent because graphical enhancements as technology keeps improving allows them to. Once it levels off, so will blood explosion for the sake of blood explosions. They will always be there, just like horror movies, but it will be less common, like horror movies.

#24 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (17012 posts) -

I do have games where there's no shooting. There's no guns in FSX plus it's weather/cloud engine compliments my real-world profession. I think the kiddies would find such a game too boring.

#25 Posted by handssss (1898 posts) -

@mems_1224 said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Also, you should realize that Nathan Drake is a mass murderer.

Probably the biggest mass murderer in gaming. I mean, other people actually have reasons for their killing but Drake just wants to get rich. He's a sociopath.

Yep. because Drake is always the one who shoots first. The one who is trying to obtain the unearthly relic in each game in order to gain power to conquer the world or something.

Please. He's a dude trying to get rich and a thief, but all his kills are self defense.

#26 Posted by Gue1 (11019 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

Yup, violence and dark story-telling is only a phase, which is why movies like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Shawshank Redemption are long lost, forgotten movies.

anime went through the same cycle too with stuff like Elfen Lied, Berserk, Zeta Gundam, etc. with the disturbing elements, over the top violence and really dark story-telling.

#27 Posted by PS4hasNOgames (2210 posts) -

i liked the dismemberment in fallout 3 and vegas, it was.....addictive.

#28 Posted by uninspiredcup (11934 posts) -

@Gue1 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Yup, violence and dark story-telling is only a phase, which is why movies like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Shawshank Redemption are long lost, forgotten movies.

anime went through the same cycle too with stuff like Elfen Lied, Berserk, Zeta Gundam, etc. with the disturbing elements, over the top violence and really dark story-telling.

But anime, as an entity, isn't good.

#29 Edited by Jankarcop (10242 posts) -

@Gue1 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Yup, violence and dark story-telling is only a phase, which is why movies like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Shawshank Redemption are long lost, forgotten movies.

anime went through the same cycle too with stuff like Elfen Lied, Berserk, Zeta Gundam, etc. with the disturbing elements, over the top violence and really dark story-telling.

I knew this idiot watched anime.

#32 Posted by 001011000101101 (4049 posts) -

It can work depending on the theme and tone of the game, but more often than not the violence is just there for the sake of giving people stuff to kill. Story telling in games is a joke.

#33 Edited by AzatiS (7923 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

I put it in System Wars because these kinds of games have been so prominent and so high selling over the past 5-10 years.

During the past gen, games have explored storytelling. However, most of this storytelling involves the following: violence, black shiny guns, commanders, half-naked sexualized women, hostages, people being impaled, monsters, zombies, towns being blown up and the like. Even some of the more serious stories have been over-emotional, corny, and the like.

Games want to be provocative and edgy, so they can look badass and the player can feel like a juggernaut of destruction. But I honestly think its the equivalent of teenagers slashing holes in their jeans to look "cool". Years from now, we'll probably say (about gaming from 07 to 2014) that it was trying too hard to be edgy.

So, when Nintendo said they weren't interested in serious stories, I think it moreso was a polite way of saying they wanted to avoid this trap. I have nothing against violence or serious stories but there needs to be substance behind the story.

Obviously, I don't want to live in Disneyland where we only have cartoony platformers, but it really feels like we're going through a phase right now.

Rofl big time .... You need to think out of the box ... Nintendo is just another big company that wants to make as many millions as possible . Dont get too soft with them just because they making "childish" games unlike other companies. Its what works best for them and that the only reason why they do so.

Its all about money and only that , dont you ever forget that. If Nintendo could make a bloody, super gory AAA title that could quarantee sales of 5M+++ ...you think they wouldnt do that because of " politeness " ... Are you even thinking what you saying ? Profits >>> everything bro. Thats what matters , nothing else. Dont confuse what Nintendo does with kindness or something , just dont , it sounds stupid.

#34 Edited by edwardecl (2239 posts) -

Violent games have been around a lot longer than 2007.I guess you forget games like Doom, Carmageddon, Mortal Kombat and many others existed, these are games that were edgy at the time.

My first experience with a violent game with guns that was a bit edgy was in about ~1991 (game came out in 1989) Persian Gulf Inferno, a game where you had to gun Muslims terrorists down with a hand gun, shotgun and Uzi while they shouted out Allah Akbar and other things you could not understand then defuse a bomb, I thought is was pretty edgy at the time but hilarious, the game would not have been funny if they were trying to be your friends and you shot them with rainbows instead...

#35 Edited by Golden_Cupcake (13 posts) -

I think a game can be violent as long as it has has reason to be, not just for the sake of being violent.

Which is why I dropped GTA games long ago, but loved Red Dead Redemption when it released.

#36 Edited by JangoWuzHere (17156 posts) -

You seriously think this generation is trying to be too edgy? Especially when games like this game out last generation?

#37 Edited by Krelian-co (12423 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

However, most of this storytelling involves the following: violence, black shiny guns, commanders, half-naked sexualized women, hostages, people being impaled, monsters, zombies, towns being blown up and the like.

Well sherlock you are the first one to found out those things sell!!

I don't see the point you are trying to make, those things aren't bad as long as they aren't the only type of games out there, which they aren't. There are games for everyone, ofc the ones that sell better will be more predominant but i don't see that as a bad thing.

#39 Posted by Krelian-co (12423 posts) -

@Netret0120 said:

Violence sells. America makes too much money from war for world peace to ever happen.

People love killing. Solid Snake is a murderer. Heck even Mario when you consider he beats mushrooms.

It's entertaining and as long as it is entertaining get ready for another gen of this.

yeah they should make games about helping old people cross the street and world peace, that must be an interesting game....

#40 Edited by MBirdy88 (8979 posts) -

Games are for gameplay first and foremost. I understand why console gamers can't make this seperate because most games these days are trying to be movies on their platforms.

Violence and Gore fits the themes of most genres. and no, it was never different. in your precious PS2 era you was actually a japanese teen emo most of the time, with half naked girls who were KAWAAIAAIIIIIII and you would be saving them from gods... or empires.

You would be playing GTA ..... pretending to be a tough criminal.

You would be some sort of stealth agent with 6 hours of gameplay and 20 hours of cutscenes. or shooting zombies while moving really slow with cheesy anime characters thrown in.

nothing has changed. the only real difference is the presentation side keeps on improving, where as the gameplay side doesn't.... and the presentation side is starting to take so long it effects even the basic level of gameplay.

nothing in terms of story/themes has changed. shooters were always big on PC. it trended on consoles 10 years later when you finally had decent hardware and actually had tollerable online play.

#41 Posted by edwardecl (2239 posts) -

People also play games to escape reality for a while, doing things you would not otherwise do. I mean you do get shit like 'Forklift Truck Simulator' and 'Street Cleaning Simulator' but who the fuck plays that, and outside of that what else is there? puzzle, simulation, arcade, and adventure games... most strategy games involve killing things maybe not in gory detail, most platform games involve death in some way, fighting games are about punching the shit out of someone can be classed as violent and in the real world there is a risk of death associated with it.

So what you are saying is you only like puzzle, simulation, arcade, adventure and some platform games? I find it kinda funny you have Uncharted 4 in as your signature, that game is pretty much wall to wall cover shooting with some breaks for platforming and I would say puzzle but that would be insulting to puzzle games (they need to make it more challenging). So killing people in Uncharted 4 is totally fine then?

I think they should make a game like GTA but every time you kill someone you get a short flash back sequence of their achievements in life to make you feel guilty.

#42 Posted by foxhound_fox (90309 posts) -

Your description of this type of game reminds me of Mortal Kombat. That game that changed the face of gaming forever and came out long before this phase you describe.

#44 Edited by Macutchi (4220 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Your description of this type of game reminds me of Mortal Kombat. That game that changed the face of gaming forever and came out long before this phase you describe.

anyone old enough to remember this? violent, gory, boobs, decapitations... late 80s if memory serves

#46 Posted by bbkkristian (14967 posts) -

Please don't tell me you're saying a game needs to be dark in order to have great storytelling.

#47 Edited by turtlethetaffer (17102 posts) -

I think it's only due to the success of CoD. Those games are really violent and thus sell well because like GTA, a lot of kids think they're being mature and grown up when they play these things simply because it's R rated material. Hence many more violent games. I personally don't mind it, if it has a place in a game then it's fine. But I don't exclusively play violent games.

It's just like how some people claimed the level in MW2 No Russian to be almost art. When in reality it was there for shock value and shock value only. It wasn't saying anything beyond "look how shocking we can be." But because it's so shocking a lot of people made a bigger deal out of it than necessary. This is opposed to a game like Hotline Miami, which is actually subtly commenting on the nature of violence in games and media in general.

#48 Posted by Krelian-co (12423 posts) -

@Desmonic said:

TC started gaming in 2007 am confirmed.

#49 Posted by edidili (3449 posts) -

When it comes to dark and edgy, sex and violence movies put games to shame yet no one complains there.

#50 Edited by worknow222 (1411 posts) -

Goth phase, You mean Black Metal Phase