- Nov 15, 2012
The problem with derivative game design is that it goes too far much too often. It gets boring when everybody and his mother are all doing the same thing with anything, even if most of them do it well. The reason people tend to hate the modern shooter era isn't because the games are bad, it's because they're all copying from the same source and refusing to branch out in their own way. This creates a bland market where every shooter is the same as every other shooter. So if you like shooters you might as well save your money by buying one and then playing it over and over and over again because you aren't going to find anything really all that different when this happens.
I mean, thats partially a position of bias too. Sure the top two shooter games tend to be and have been CoD/Battlefield for some period of time.
There are still Dooms, Destinys, Warframes, Shadow Warriors, Remnant, Apex, Titanfall, Deus Ex, Killing Floor, Serious Sams, Borderlands, Deep Rock Galactic, Waframe, etc... (this was just a brief skim of my Playsation Library).
Wolf3d and Doom are the ones people usually go to for the times, but Catacomb Abyss and Heretic/Hexen were out at the same time (Catacomb actually predates Wolf3d IIRC).
There will always be clones of course (particularly amongst licensed games), but I'd actually struggle to think of a current game that is copying CoD's homework, and most of the ones that did didn't last.
Its like "Souls Like":
The first Souls Like was Lords of the Fallen. It basically was a carbon clone of Souls. And it got ravaged critically and commerically. To the point probably no one remembers it.
The Surge - Moved to Sci-fi, added dismemberment mechanics (ironically, invoking Fromsofts "Shadow Tower" lol)
Remnant - Sci+Shooter (also ironically, could be a remake of Shadow Tower. I doubt that many people ever played Shadow Tower though lol)
Salt and Sanctuary - Took a whole nother route and made the best Castlevania game in years.
Hollow Knight - Took Salt and Sanctuary's notes, but kind of upped the pace a bit to make a faster more platformy version
Tunic - Souls+Zelda (this ones kind of new, but there you go)
All of these are derivative, but they're the frontunners of deriviative. And they're the ones that added things, even if I can and did point out where those things derived from). And they're the ones you hear about. The other Souls deriviatives are usually cycling the bargain bin on Steam