How many advertisements for new arcade games have you seen with blurb to the effect that, ‘This game is a shoot em up with elements of strategy...’ in recent months? I realised at the PCW Show that companies are not really going out of their way to make games more thought provoking or satisfying. Some reviewers have been taken in, almost quoting the blurb on game inlays when they announce that a game has ‘strategic overtones’. I nearly was myself.
Rubbish. Absolute drivel. Find me such a game. They don’t exist and it’s as simple as that. The software industry is paying lip service to an ever growing faction of gamers, instead of providing real diversity in their products. It’s true that more crossover games have appeared in the mould of Lords of Midnight but arcade games have remained just that. Any use of ‘strategy’ in the blurbs must be in the most abstract sense only.
I’m not claiming that the con is wholly intentional. It seems to be a case of the King’s New Suit, with some software houses believing that any increase in the complexity of play must entail a ‘strategic’ element. What hasn’t occurred to them is that what is required is a change in the style of play — not the detail.
Anyway, moan over. Next month I hope to take a look at some home grown strategy games, supplied by FRONTLINE readers...