Is the future of gaming “pretty, but shallow?”

Shallow gamingIs the excerpt below the future of gaming? Is this more proof that the “next generation” is really just a shiny bookend to the “console wars” and all that that strategy entails?

Pluses: Amazing graphics, well-directed cut scenes, “bullet time” shooting sequences.

Minuses: Shallow gameplay, not much variety, extremely short.

I’m not going to say where this review is from (I’ve even modified the wording a bit to hide the obvious giveaway), nor am I going to say for which game or which system. That’s irrelevant to this post’s purpose. What I see here is a pattern; I’ve seen similar reviews starting to pour out of the gaming press over the past couple of months. It bothers me. I do not want short but beautiful games. I do not want well directed cut scenes with cheapened, neutered game play. I do not want interactive movies. What I want is a balance of all of these elements and, more importantly, completely new elements that I could not get before.

So, I challenge the developers and publishers: Do you really think that what’s printed above is enough to warrant a $60 price tag? Is this what gaming really means to you? Stop telling me what a great game is supposed to be and start showing me real innovation so I can make that distinction on my own. The reality of the situation is I can just move on and ignore you. Since this is your profession you can’t do the same. Your livelihood depends on my wallet. Deal with it.