Video games have come on leaps and bounds over the years. At one point, a game like Pong was the most advanced thing anyone had ever seen, now it is something almost anyone can make if they have a bit of know-how.
Games have become almost unidentifiable compared to where they started all those years ago. Different game types, graphics, audio, and size are only a few ways games have improved and continue to improve.
Graphics are one of the most notable differences when it comes to older and newer games. Graphics were highly dependent on the monitor or TV you were viewing them on, and considering how pixelated TVs once were, games weren’t going to look great.
However, games have never looked better with the advent of HD and 4K. The details are crisp and clear; players can see individual hair strands or drops of sweat on a character, and faces are not boxes with details but fully formed and shaped.
Audio is an aspect of gaming that is often overlooked. Back in the day, all we had was an audio track that resembled an early 90s ringtone compared to the incredible music we can enjoy today.
Talking in games has also improved. We can now enjoy real actors voicing our favorite characters and bringing them to life in ways we never experienced back in the early days of video games.
Characters, whether it be the main cast or NPCs, now have many layers and are incredibly detailed. In the early days of video games, think of Pac-Man, for instance, characters were very surface level and only did what they needed to do.
Nowadays, characters have depth in their own personalities, and we can almost engage with them personally. It is why so many people view characters like Kratos from God of War or Master Chief from Halo in the same way we view real-life celebrities.
Game size is another noticeable change and improvement we have seen. Games were once limited to one level that was reskinned or one type of map; nowadays, open-world games have shown us just how big video games can be.
Once again, think of a game like Super Mario. While it looks like a big game with multiple levels, many are on the same level but have different obstacles, as opposed to GTA 5 for instance, which would take you an age to explore every inch of the enormous map.
While multiplayer has been around for a while in some form or another, like being able to plug two controllers into a PS1 or something similar, multiplayer on the level we see today is brand new.
Games like Warzone, where you play against over a hundred other players in the same game, were unheard of fifteen or twenty years ago. Nowadays, it is almost standard, with players expecting it instead of it being a gaming marvel.
AI has changed how we experience games in a way we could have never imagined. The worlds we play in, react to us, and how we play and change the experience we have from one playthrough to another.
AI is also now being used to create parts of games, making it possible to create worlds much bigger than before, in a fraction of the time it would take a developer. Imagine what games could be created if AI does the hard work like world-building.
One of the more obvious differences we have nowadays is just how many games there are to choose from. At this stage, there are millions, compared to the very small amount that we had access to a couple of decades ago.
While it is no surprise that bigger developers like Microsoft are making more games, the difference is the technology needed. You can make a video game with a desktop computer, some YouTube tutorials, and a few months of your time.
These are only a few of the changes we have seen, as the world of video games barely represents what it looked like a couple of decades ago. It is advancing at a speed that is hard to keep up with, and it is incredibly exciting to see where it will go next.