Around this same time, the fighting game genre has ebbed and flowed, rising to heights of popularity that prompt nearly every company to throw a fighter into the ring, and sinking to depths where years would pass with only one or two new fighters ever coming out. Just now, we are coming off of another micro fighting game boon, spurred by Street Fighter IV. Soon, though, we will see them fall out of the public spotlight again.
Even now, the shooter craze is actually a follow-up to the last big gaming craze, the motion gaming craze. Started by the Wii and joined in by the Move and Kinect sadly a bit too late, everyone wanted to be flailing their arms around rather than pressing buttons. Even hardcore gamers were excited about the possibility of virtual reality-style action games, until they figured out that our technology simply can't handle a hardcore motion gaming experience yet.
So what will the next big thing be? There are two possibilities, according to this year's E3. The first is the traditional hack and slash action game, which has slowly started to make a comeback. God of War: Ascension, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Anarchy Reigns, Lollipop Chainsaw, Batman: Arkham Asylum Armored Edition, DmC: Devil May Cry, Sleeping Dogs—and that's just a sample of what the action genre had to offer this year. I mean, even Silent Hill was retooled to be more of an action title in its Vita offering, Silent Hill: Book of Memories. According to these trends, it looks like the gaming populace wants to button-mash its way through levels and boss fights for the next few years.
The second possibility goes hand-in-hand with the mobile revolution, and that's touch-based gaming. Every handheld system on the market now has a touchscreen, as do all common tablet devices and smartphones. The Wii U's controller comes with a touchscreen built in, and Xbox SmartGlass will allow you to use existing tablets and phones as controllers as well. Then we have the latest news of the Ouya indie console, which has a touchpad built into its controller as well. Couple this with the sudden boom in touch-based arcade games like Fruit Ninja and Re-Rave, and it's easy to see that touch-based gaming is hot right now.
Perhaps both of these trends will be the next big thing, action games for hardcore gamers and touch-based games for the casual crowd. Then again, the gaming community is fickle, and we may see neither. Either way, shooters appear to be on the way out. We have simply seen too many of them, and we are getting a bit tired of aiming down our sites to shoot at terrorists.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: July 25, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*