Sandbox gameplay. Destructible environments. Those are a few of the latest video game buzzwords used to sell ideas, and Grant Collier, studio head of Infinity Ward (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare), is not happy with it.
In an interview with IGN, Collier sees a problematic trend with using sandbox gameplay and "total destructibility" without first considering if it will make the game fun. "And total destructibility, you can really ruin the gameplay," he said.
Collier cites Counter-Strike's über-popular Dust map, where the two choke points serve as the focal point of entertainment, and how that could be compromised with destructible environments.
"It's not fun because you can blow up everything," he said, "it's fun because you know where the action's going to be and there's races against time to get to that action."
"So I think right now it's a fad, and the fad will pass, we're not going to be bite on in it - we want the game to be fun first, and destructibility comes second," he said. The over-indulgence may be a fad, but the interaction that destructible environments and sandbox gameplay adds is something that isn't (and shouldn't) go away, and we think Collier would agree that said features, if properly implemented, can potentially augment gameplay.