I'm not going to say that anybody can come out with a First Person shooter so easily. There are too many complex factors that I don't understand. While each game plays the same, what makes them want us to play them? Could it be the settings? Could it be the developer behind the game? There are a ton of reasons to want to play a game. The big question is, why do we continue to play the game afterward? I DON'T RELY ON LUCK
In preparation of Mass Effect 3, I bought Mass Effect 2. What keeps the games unique is the hook that they have that makes it great. That hook is the world that Bioware has created. Whole galaxies of history, races, places, and technology. Have you ever heard some of the codecs from the game? Each race has their own biology, psychology, religion, politics, history, everything a race needs to keep them unique. The games are fantastic. It's learning more about the galaxy out there that makes me play it again. You will never know if you will learn something new about the game.
A Complex Race.
Hooks can be a powerful thing, but they don't only apply to big games like Mass Effect. Sometimes it can be the characters themselves. Nathan Drake is one of the greatest new character to hit video games in a good while. A wise cracking, always lucky, treasure hunter make the Uncharted games funny and fresh. Even though he's no super solider, he takes more beatings than any other character in gaming. From a train crash to a plane crash, Drake always finds a way to survive. Seeing how Nathan Drake escapes danger time and time again is one of the hooks of the games. The brilliant thing about the games is that it's got several hooks. One hook that the games have is the other characters. Elena Fisher, Victor Sullivan, Chloe Frazer, and others are great around Drake. The story is the another hook the game has. All the games has a great story that makes you come back time and time again.
HIP THREE MINUTE DITTIES
Call Of Duty has a phenomenal hook. The single player is short and not really worth it half the time. What it does have that fans continue to go back to is its Multiplayer. That need to upgrade and get better weapons. While I do believe that Call Of Duty has run its course, there is no denying that Multiplayer is the reason why people buy the game and not for the Single Player. Before mulitplayer became big, the hook for Call Of Duty 4 was that it was finally leaving World War 2 and going for a more modern setting.
There was a time where this was Fresh
What makes them hooks in the first place? Hooks is something that grabs you. Hooks also implies to music. No matter the song or genre, there is something that just grabs you and you will remember it at the end, and that end will make you go back. The same goes for games. If it doesn't have that hook there would be no reason to spend up to 100 hours on a game. If there is no hook than that game has failed. Would you really want to spend a few hours a day on something that is boring. Take Guitar Hero. The first time I played the game I was terrible at it. It took a couple of tries to get it, but once I did I could hardly stop. I would go to the nearest Best Buy just to play it. People would come and watch me play. I was never good enough to play it on expert, but I was pretty good with Normal. I used to be really good at Jordan by Buckethead. Every once in a while someone would get the game, just because they saw me play it. Those music games had a very clear and amazing hook. ONLY THEN SHALL I ABIDE
Sometimes, when you play a game, you don't know what the hook is til you play it yourself. Bayonetta's hook, or at least it was trying to be, was its sex appeal. While I didn't care about the sex appeal, I did play the game and had a lot of fun with it. To me the biggest hook that game has is its total fucking insanity. The game play and the insanity was worth the price.
Don't let her fool you. It's a hard game, but a great one
There are a ton of games out there that has a hook or two that will keep you coming back. Either the story or stealth in Metal Gear Solid. The brutal difficulty of Ninja Gaiden. Or something as simple as puzzles in a new way. Each successful game has a hook that developers and publishers take advantage of. If a game doesn't have a good enough hook, or no hook at all that game is going to fail.