Video games have become more serious, but thankfully we can still have our fun
I was asked several times last year what my favorite game from 2013 was. Without hestitaiton, I answered Rayman Legends every time.
It's easy to rebut that answer with "What about The Last of Us, or Super Mario 3D World, or BioShock Infinite?" Yes, these are all good games, but Rayman Legends had something others didn't: the essence of innocent fun.
Of course, Rayman Legends wasn't the only game to share this characteristic; Super Mario 3D World had cat costumes of all things. But increasingly, games are taking a far more serious tone. The narratives of BioShock Infinite, Metro: Last Light, The Last of Us, and many others grow more and more mature, tackling dark tones and adult themes. Ultimately, they can leave the player with a feeling of sadness. Suffice to say, games are slowly but surely starting to become more and more serious.
Maybe this is another reason why we're taking video games more seriously. Still, I'm the type of person who doesn't always play a game for its serious tone and nature. I play a game to have fun. Sometimes, I do have fun in a BioShock Infinite. More often than not, though, I'm entertained by Rayman Legends. The ability to hum along with the in-game covers of classic songs, the gorgeous visual style, and the insanely addicting platforming combines well with my competitive nature to rise up leaderboards. At the same time, I'm able to avoid taking things seriously; I don't gain anything by topping the leaderboards in Rayman Legends. Sure, there's the appeal of self-satisfaction from meeting my goals, but I can always just pretend I saved the world via an epic rock concert through the halls of a castle.
That's a far more obtainable goal, to be perfectly honest.
As 2014 rolls on into 2015, we'll be given a bountiful slate of "serious" games: The Division, Assassin's Creed: Unity, The Order: 1866, among others are titles with serious tones that are on the rader of many gamers. Thankfully, they're offset by games like Sunset Overdrive, Splatoon, and (arguably) Evolve. It's nice to have the option of switching gears after the French Revolution to hunt a gigantic Kraken.
Just kidding; I can't wait to own some damn noobs as the Kraken. I'll unleash my rage upon them.