Yeah, there has been a convergence of genres going on for a time. For example, Action games where stealth has been added as an option, now it’s the standard and people would complain if they can’t do a silent takedown. And of course every game have now RPG progress, that’s like the bare minimum dude!. And hey if you are going to take stuff in a game world, because people like to take stuff, it makes sense to make a crafting system!
After these last five years, playing is… well, it’s enjoyable because we haven’t reached this by chance, we reached this formula with a bit of ‘natural selection’, and it really works (distillation, as Yakattack says), but it feels so samey at this point. Been there, done that.
And in the other hand it’s also ‘watering down’, I miss the times where an AAA game could be a full blown action game, or a game could be a stealth game without action option, or just be different. Now they are all watered down to be the same, and watered down because the formula is about not going very deep in any of these subgenres.
It’s imo a real problem with the AAA game is that mix of action/adventure/stealth/crafting/rpg… but none of the components is especially strong and super well executed. Example? Tomb Raider. Yeah, it has a bit of everything, but the action isn’t as good as a pure action game like Bayonetta or Binary Domain, the stealth isn’t as strong as a pure stealth game like Thief, the crafting obviously hasn’t 1/10th of the depth of a survival/crafting game, the platforming/puzzles are far away of the original Tomb Raiders…
The impression it gives these AAA games is that it’s a very carefully done design, they choose to not go very deep in any of the ‘subgenres’ for fear to alienate their idea of ‘average player’. Not too much stealth because it can scare off players that want action, put puzzles but all very light and easy because we are chasing a bigger audience that people that likes puzzle games, etc.