We put a 48-inch LG CX OLED TV on the line, and in response, you gave us your dreams, wishes, and some really sweet memories of playing Red Alert 2 at LAN.
I don’t know how Red Alert 2 fits with the whole next-gen angle. But given how good Command & Conquer Remastered was, there’s a good chance we’ll see a remastered Red Alert 2 in a year or so.
In any case, our question was simple: What is your ideal next-gen gaming experience?
The response was overwhelming, as always. Here’s some of the best entries, followed by the winner.
As always, your imagination continues to impress me. Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the incredible entries — there are legitimately too many to fit into one post. Seriously. I think it might break the website if I tried.
Chris’s Stargate dream
I would love to see a next-gen experience using the Stargate IP, imagine travelling to new worlds all procedurally generated, missions could range from go to this planet and study some ruins to stop a hostile invasion of Earth. The possibilities are endless.
Man, we’re really missing out by not having a high quality Stargate adventure. That should be something that, say, Amazon funds. They could use a big win in gaming.
Spider-Man swinging into Demon’s Souls
This one wins extra points just for the sheer creativity and hilarity of the imagery.
Ok, so next-gen is very much about those SSDs and full on suspend states, so why don’t we just dial that up to 11 and have cross game functionality? Like literally jump between multiple games on the fly as part of a shared outcome. Don’t just have one massive sprawling world, take it across multiple. Let Spiderman swing into Boletaria. Drive a warthog off the halo map and straight into a Forza race. Let Steve take his inventory out of Minecraft and over to Gears to build a new home or collect unique blocks to take back. The possibilities are crazy. Go crazy.
Half of you know what this answer is gonna be, every ‘generation’ has had an early game to show what the technology can deliver. Life is hard to represent in games, so an ideal next gen gaming experience with all the HDR bells, the RTX whistles just leaves you wanting something hefty, like a crowbar, to bring that realism home. 3 times you have read the above drivel, but honestly Valve, give us that true Next gen gaming experience of completing Gordon’s adventure and give us Half Life 3.
Love your energy Steve, but if Gabe hasn’t greenlit it by now, it probably isn’t happening. Unless Valve starts developing for Elon’s Neurolink or something wild like that.
Naked Ryan Reynolds
With the release of next generation GPUs and consoles, it really shows how far we have come in gaming technology. We now need to utilise the advancements in gaming hardware and bring some innovation to the table. It is the only way we can move forward. I would love to see a form of neurotechnology brought into this era of gaming. Imagine having a VR headset which has a helmet like head piece which can tap into your thoughts. Now utilising that technology in a sandbox game you could think of anything you wanted to and it would spawn into the VR world that you could then interact with.
Ideally it would have multiplayer and cross-platform support so you could hang out with your friends in VR and imagine anything you wanted to and it would just appear in the world. Want a dirt bike that you can hop on and ride around? Done. Prefer having Shrek appear and do an Irish tap dance? Sure, why not. Or maybe you want Ryan Reynolds to appear in front of you? Stark. Naked. Completed with ease (assuming the parental filter is off..). It would be such a wild and exhilarating experience or whatever kind of experience you want it to be really.. Is something like this ever going to be possible? Anything is possible – don’t let your memes be dreams. Make it happen, Elon Musk.
Rather than going for something identifiable, Tim pitched advancements in gesture and facial recognition, which is pretty cool.
My computer hums for a moment, greeting me with a splash screen before I’m into the game proper. A character greets me, gives me a cheery wave and asks how my day has been. “Not bad.” Perhaps it’s my tone, or a gesture I’ve made, but the game, and the character, knows something’s up. ‘Your boss giving you trouble again?’ I nod. “Something like that”. It’s a small exchange, a short phrase no doubt pulled from a collection of thousands of possible reactions – but it knew which to pick, and it feels nice. My ideal next-gen gaming experience would be one where rather than a new graphically intensive cityscape or a massive adventure with thousands of potential characters to briefly meet I could spend more time with deeper characters.
With new technologies pushing some amazing visuals I’d love to see a game bring simulated social interactions up to the same level. I hope for an end to ‘press e to interact’ or ‘press f to pay respects’, with those simple interactions replaced with more complex, human ones. My ideal next-gen gaming experience would be one that asks for more from me as a player while it offers more in return. A connection with the medium deeper than any I know currently. Pretty new visuals are great too, but more complex characters lying under them are what I’d really love to see from the games coming to this next gen.
Just thinking of the impact this could have in MMOs would be wild.
Bringing Shogo, Neo-Tokyo and the Yakuza devs all in one place
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio tackling a neo Tokyo world influenced by the works of Mamoru Oshii and Katsuhiro Otomo with a stylisation of hand drawn anime. I’m imagining it being Patlabor influenced as a small town police officer of the Mobile Police and a leader of a high-school motorcycle gang drawn into an overarching conspiracy with the gameplay a mix of the open world beat em style, small life moments, investigation and stealth, illegal street racing and mech battles.
The story would develop from the small slice of life to the larger scales of apocalyptic devastation that anime is so renowned for as the two narratives intertwine whilst retaining the warm heartedness and faith in humanity that the studio has perfected. I want to explore world’s like small coastal towns where you’re a teenage shit bag hanging with their mates, smoking and listening to Aphex Twin Ambient Works whilst battling other gangs and trying to put together your bike contrasted with a small town cop moving into the sprawling Neo-Tokyo and uncovering a case that leaves them over their head.
I want a next gen experience that is like playing Deus Ex for the first time and that feeling of choice, the style of the forgotten SHOGO and just the timelessness of playing Blade Runner and listening to Vangelis on the balcony. I want a game that breaths, is hopeful and captures that feeling when listening to a walkman felt like the future.
Imagine the Switch, but the dock was more like an external GPU
This one from Edwin’s a bit technical, but I liked it because it highlighted a really good idea that’s a neat respin on technology that already exists.
When we think of next generation experience, we want something that revolutionises how we play games. Beyond resolution bumps and higher polygon counts, gamers are looking for innovations that will last in memories. Nintendo had massive success with the Nintendo Switch for this reason. Ever since handhelds came out, a unification of home consoles and portable game machines was a fever dream of many – and no the SEGA Nomad doesn’t count. For years crafty tinkerers DIY’ed strange mishmashes that looked great on Youtube but were never meant for mainstream production.
The Switch *was* revolutionary – letting us play the same games wherever we wanted, even in multiplayer on its tiny 6” screen. But, for all its benefits, the Switch was and isn’t to this day powerful enough to compete with the PS4 or Xbox One, and is entirely outclassed by the new PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. There is hope, however. With advancements in ARM chip design, new process nodes and the introduction of USB4 – fundamentally a reimplementation of Thunderbolt 3 – the Switch’s dock could now become a powerful addition to the console’s capabilities, without need a complete redesign.
In the Switch’s dock, we could have a powerful (or, knowing Nintendo, a moderately powerful) GPU that’s able to compete on a more level playing field. With AI Tensor cores from NVIDIA, we could even see the Switch using DLSS to present surprisingly high resolutions. It’s tantalising, a Switch that truly Switches into a next-gen console just by dropping it in its dock.
ARM is definitely one to keep an eye on — the power/efficiency of those chips are staggeringly ridiculous. And now that Nvidia owns them and is offering their staggeringly large R&D budget, the AI capabilities of ARM chips down the road could be real interesting. DLSS is already something that’s making massive waves in video games, but there’s an enormous potential for it in lower-end hardware like the Switch — especially if that hardware can just be stored inside an external dock.
But there can only be one winner.
Merry Christmas to the following owner of an LG 48-inch CX OLED TV…
… and the winner is …
Taylor’s Australian Akira/Mad Max mash-up
Picture a dark and gritty Akira/ Mad-Max inspired RPG set in an open-world post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, with a heavy focus on unique characters and immersive story-telling. Set 500 years after all governments have fallen, many have turned to corrupted religions for a sense of comfort and community, while the rest survive day-to-day as bandits and scavengers.
Following the fall of mainstream media, special people have rekindled their connection with nature and unlocked an unknown supernatural potential. The open-world features the entire continent of Australia, packed with engaging stories and relationships that the protagonist can navigate if they choose. This experience is playable solo or cooperatively with friends and/or recruitable NPC’s, encouraging tactical and experimental gameplay. Instead of a single main quest-line, all quests will be just as well-written and immersive to carve the characters unique journey into the world and guide them to their ultimate goal, to create and maintain a strong community, all while unravelling a captivating lore. It would be a true sci-fi experience, with a heavy focus on wonder and exploring the unknown.
Australia is one of the most beautiful continents on the planet, complete with wondrous landscapes and eccentric wildlife and deserves to be represented to it’s fullest in the next generation of games. This experience would in turn encourage future generations to take care of our own environments and build a strong sense of community with each other so that we as a human race can ultimately overcome and prosper.
Given how neat the Badlands has been in Cyberpunk 2077, this is something I’d be keen to see CD Projekt Red pick up. And more studios should be using Australia as a cornerstone of their setting. Our country is a beautiful place.
Thank you once again for your time and effort — it’s always hugely appreciated. I’ll be looking to do much more of this in the coming year, so if you missed out next time — don’t worry, we’ll be back with more.