As much as I’d honestly love to tell you that the ultimate life simulator game has just dropped this second, with all the lavish features you’d expect to see from a real-life multi-millionaire family — I’m afraid to say that such a thing is still a long ways off yet. And anyway, that game was supposed to be called RAW, the overly-ambitious MMO with no form of boundaries. But that just happened to be one of the biggest gaming scams in the past decade, annoyingly.
The truth is, not all ideas can transition from paper to pixels, no matter the amount of cash there is to drive the team building it. It’s just not possible to recreate certain ideas that go way beyond the limitations of most game engines — despite the ambition that greases the cogs like a stick of butter. And if these five cases, the ideas that many others have often tried to forge into a video game just aren’t likely to work. One day, perhaps. But not in the next couple of years.
Seeing as we already spoke about RAW, the no-good open world life simulator that was designed to be “the game to end all games”, it seems only right that we explain why that idea will never work in reality. And it’s simple, really. The fact is — with the number of jobs there are in the world, and not to mention the number of things an everyday citizen takes under the wing — there really is no possible method of extracting every last spec of it and bundling it into a single file. Taxes, mortgage repayments, health insurance, fuel expenses — it’s simply way too much to implement in one game, let alone entertain.
Now, add on the remainder of things you’d hope to see in any Sims expansion. Say, space travel, go karting, and maybe even hiking up Kilimanjaro on a brisk winters morning. Basically anything that comes to your mind. Picture the entire world as a playable playground without any sort of boundary. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Of course it does. But will it ever transition into a video game? Unlikely. Or, at least not in our lifetime, anyway.
4. Space Travel
A game that immediately springs to mind when I think of deep space exploration is Star Citizen, ignoring the fact that the game itself still hasn’t even been developed, despite its four hundred million dollars in funding. And that had me thinking, mainly about how Cloud Imperium Games are in over their heads if they think delivering such an ambitious project will be nothing more than a cake walk.
Let’s add No Man’s Sky into the equation — the equally as ambitious, though understandably watered-down clone that draws blood from the same vein. At first, people laughed at Hello Games for attempting such a concept. Fast-forward several years and that very game somehow managed to become a roaring success. But Star Citizen, on the other hand, aims for another ballpark entirely. A ballpark that, in all honesty, seems to be on another galaxy altogether.
3. An Endless Journey
Although you’ll find that most sandbox games can have you churning out gameplay for years on end, most of them do tend to draw the line at one point or another. It’s natural, of course, for us to want to hang up the pad and move on to something else entirely. However, deep down, developers have forever been trying to build a game “to end all games”, where the journey never really grinds to a halt, but more or less aimlessly soars through an eternal abyss without borders, no matter the amount of hours clocked along the way.
It’s in our nature to sway to new fads and pick up new things every once in a while. We can’t help but feel inclined to dabble in new waters and leave the old source behind — and that’s okay. The point is, no matter how hard a studio may try to create a game without boundaries — players are unlikely to stick around long enough to devote an entire lifetime to it. It’s an impossible feat that many have tried to invent, but will always fail to complete.
2. A Whole Country
When I think of video game worlds that are worryingly accurate to real-life counties, I think of games likes Forza Horizon 4, in which a chunk of England is spread out and captured tremendously well. But even games as ambitious as that still fail to encapsulate an entire country and all its aura. Even The Crew 2, which practically hands you the keys to drive hundreds of miles over North America. Even that has its missing bits and pieces.
As much as we love being able to patrol our suburban streets and real-life city landmarks — the fact is, we will never really be able to enjoy a country in its entirety, with all the surrounding counties and rivers one would hope for. Even Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, despite having a major piece of England in its grasp. Even that had its limitations. And as for when we’ll actually get a full-on replica of a country is another question, though it’s unlikely to be answered anytime soon. Our hard drives probably couldn’t handle the amount of data, anyway, to be fair.
1. “What’s a NPC?”
One thing we have to admire is Ubisoft’s brutal approach to Watch Dogs Legion, in the fact that every featured Londoner could be made into a playable character of sorts. And that was a pretty big step for not only the franchise — but for the industry as a whole. Having not just a handful of protagonists, but millions of them, all destined to wear the lycra pants and cape.
The problem with Watch Dogs Legion, however, was that every single one of those so-called heroes was actually shockingly flat. Of course, the idea was bold, but the execution was weak, and changing a few pitches honestly wasn’t ever going to be enough to inject any form of life into the countless bland personalities scattered across London. Just a million or more useless drones wandering aimlessly. So, you can see why having such a concept just wouldn’t work if ever tried again. There simply wouldn’t be enough voice talent, funding — or even a big enough following to build such a thing.
So, what’s your take? Are there any ambitious project ideas you’d like to see a team of devs get to work on? What would you even class as being overly-ambitious? Let us know over on our socials here.