8 New Gaming Trends That Are AWESOME

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(logo beeping) - [Falcon] A lot of the time people talk about gaming trends that bug the hell out of them.

Not today.

These are good ones.

Hi folks, its Falcon, and today on Gameranx, eight new gaming trends that are actually awesome.

Starting off with number eight, the fact that you cannot tell the difference between cutscenes and gameplay in most modern game.

Now this is partly because graphics have just become so good that games look a lot like a cutscene, but the way that these seamless transitions happen is weve moved into an era where all video game assets are loaded off of solid-state drives.

On the PlayStation 5 and on the Xbox Series X, we have a totally different situation in terms of loading.

PlayStation 5, of course, having the advantage there.

Thats also been something thats been creeping into PC gaming, where its easy to picture the norm being solid-state drives on everything.

Like, of course its a big thing that the graphics are a lot better, but all of that stuff can be loaded at any given time instantaneously.

You can have the high resolution models for the cutscene, dump that stuff, move into more system intensive, like physics models, these types of things, quickly and without any real cost to the machine.

Obviously, it doesnt take a lot to go from FMV to polygons, but now that theres things like Nanite out there where extremely high polygon count models can be rendered with much less system intense resources.

Being able to load those things quickly is a big element here as well.

Its a really exciting time actually, because this is a trend that kind of happens because everything is just awesome.

Theres like a confluence of different technologies coming together to create the perfect situation.

At number seven is New Game Plus making a comeback, like, okay, New Game Plus is an old school game thing where really difficult games gave you a different kind of challenge by letting you restart the game with everything you had at the end, after you beat it.

Now sometimes, New Game Plus meant some different content, something changes, sometimes the difficulty level would be higher, but generally, it meant you got to keep your stuff, which is badass.

If youve ever spent a really long time gaining stuff in a video game, like, an incredible loadout, an inventory just full of the best weapons, tons of accessories, items, it kind of feels bad to stop playing the game by beating it because a lot of that does go to waste.

The thing is is that New Game Plus went away for a while and I dont really understand that, its just such a fun way to increase replay value and in certain games like, well, youve gotta call the "NieR" series a game that New Game Pluses its way through the story.

It may be partially responsible for bringing back the popularity of this.

I mean, "NieR: Automata" certainly wasnt the first that toyed with this concept, but it did remind us that it was there and there were a growing number of games that were including it anyways.

At number six is cross-play.

Now, this is something we all wanted since forever.

Way back in the day, before multiplayer was even really a thing that took off, when we played "DOOM" on MS-DOS and connected to a LAN party, we would have never imagined the idea that people across different consoles would ever do anything like this.

This is such an astounding bit of technology if you think about it.

Because you need to create some way to mediate a bunch of different versions of a game and behave as though everybodys playing the same thing.

Of course, its not like that impressive anymore.

Everybodys running x86 architecture, everybodys got AMD chips, everybodys using Unreal Engine.

So, like to some extent, its kind of a no brainer that it happens, but, considering how different every machine was 30 years ago from each other, thinking about exactly what had to be overcome for this to actually be a thing, its kind of amazing.

I mean, I dont really play Fortnite, but I could pick up a Nintendo Switch and play Fortnite against my friend on the computer.

We would both die and somebody else would win, but its possible and thats amazing.

At number five, cloud save and cross-account progression.

So lets say youre playing a really big game, a huge multiplayer game where tons and tons of different people are playing.

While you might have to buy the game on another platform, its absolutely phenomenal you have an account to that game that you can move everything over to that other platform should you want to.

For instance, with "Destiny 2", if for some reason youve been playing it on Google Stadia, and you come to your senses, you can port all of that progress to any other actually functioning version of the game you want to play.

But its not just that, like, just the ability to cloud save at all is amazing.

Lets say you jumped from PS4 to PS5 and you port your game library, all that stuff is not stuff you have to figure out some way to move between two machines, but you just have to log into your PSN account, and in some cases, not just download the saves, but just download the games.

Theyre there.

Now, this has a lot of unsavory implications in terms of ownership.

Like, I dont like the idea they could just shut a game off for you forever.

Im looking at you P.T. and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" game.

Although fortunately, one of those has made its way back to us.

It has its downsides, but you cannot argue the upsides.

I love just having access to my saves anywhere.

I love just having access to my games anywhere.

At number four, more and more accessibility options becoming common.

And I know that that probably doesnt seem like a big deal to somebody like myself, who doesnt need a colorblind mode, or a hearing impaired mode, or anything like that.

But when I was little, I came from the perspective that more people enjoying video games is always a good thing.

And it really sucks when people, because of some aspect that they have no control over, are not able to participate in such an awesome hobby.

I like to think that video games have enriched my life very significantly.

Like, theres been numerous studies that have shown that it helps with neurocognitive development, weve covered them on this channel.

I think that growing up with that stuff, even at a time when we were being told, "Oh, this is bad for your brain." I knew it was still good for me.

I think maybe sometimes I play it a little bit too much, but, eh, it all equals out in the end.

I think more people should be able to experience that.

I think more people should be able to boot up "Super Mario Odyssey" and actually hear it, you know? Or see it in a way that is actually visually distinct for them given the fact that their vision only displays, like, lets say yellow and green.

I think its fantastic that more accessibility options have been made useful to people, especially like, youve seen all these amazing controllers be made for people who have specific physical disabilities.

And I love the idea that those people are able to play games.

Thats good stuff.

At number three is Photo Mode.

Now, this might not sound like a big deal to certain PC gamers because Photo Mode has existed in a lot of games for a long time on that platform.

But man, that has become a mainstream feature and I love it.

First of all, we are living in an era, like I said, when we were talking about the transition between cutscenes and gameplay, where games look better than they ever have.

And knowing that more likely than not the game has the ability to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, really get into the nitty-gritty of whats going on, detail in textures, detail in models, or just creating great vistas with sunsets and weather, and I mean, have you ever used Photo Mode in "Ghost of Tsushima"? It is, without a doubt, one of the most glorious sights.

And Im talking about the PS4 version, its amazing looking.

You see a lot of big Sony games in fact feature this and it really does well, but you even see it down in like indie games, like "Chernobylite".

At number two are streaming options for games.

Even if, I mean, if you detected a little bit earlier, when I dunked on Google Stadia, were not super crazy about streaming.

When it works, its actually a really good feature.

And I like the idea that you have ways to access your games from different places via different services, some better than others.

Again, not a big Stadia fan.

Its just great, like, Ive seen this streaming version of "Assassins Creed Odyssey" working on Switch, I havent actually been able to play it because I dont live in Japan, but its actually incredible.

The people dont hate it, it works.

And people enjoy a big epic game that far outweighs the possibilities of the Nintendo Switch platforms actual hardware, but enjoy the portability of it for playing a game like "Assassins Creed Odyssey", which is a big, expansive, very cool game.

It is hard to argue against that.

I think in a few years, its probably something that we might be talking more about.

Were not quite there yet, but its a cool technology that is nice to see continually rising in profile.

And finally, at number one is Exploration Mode.

A mode that is becoming more and more common in various open world games where you dont just get all of the way points right off, you actually have to figure out where youre going.

Its certainly reminiscent of older games, except for game worlds were never as expansive as they are now.

Hell, we could even bring up the History Learning Mode from "Assassins Creed", where you actually have a guided tour around the environments, which are, as you know, based in real areas.

Like, in "Assassins Creed Origins", doing History Learning Mode, lets you see a ton of incredible things in Ancient Egypt and actually get information about it as we know it, in real life, not mystical.

These kinds of modes add a different way to experience these massive worlds that were created in ways that dont restrict you to simply annihilating your own way through them.

Its pretty great.

Well, thats all for today.

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Im Falcon, you can follow me on Twitter, @FalconTheHero.

Well see you next time, right here on Gameranx.

gameranx: 8 New Gaming Trends That Are AWESOME - Game Development