Things have changed in the games industry quite dramatically since its early days, and indeed even over the last few years. As with all entertainment industries, the huge number of titles it releases each year means the games industry is saturated with low quality rubbish. But there are some real gems amongst the dirt – games that really have something special about them.
I haven’t done a list of my favourite anything for Ready Up before, so I think one’s about due. As the games industry has changed, so has my list of favourite games. Here’s a rundown of my top five favourite games that shook the industry, games that make the industry a special place to hang.
First up it’s got to be the first Tomb Raider game. I’ve lost count of how many games the series has brought. People loved Tomb Raider for two reasons: the exciting environments that people experienced for the first time and the innately interesting protagonist through which they were able to explore these environments. It also had a few additional surprises up its sleeve: nobody expected that dinosaur.
And here we have The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The fifth game in the series was anticipated like a mother, and not because it has silly dinosaurs in it, either. DRAGONS! It’s because it has dragons. Skyrim actually lived up to the hype, which doesn’t often happen. And what’s not to like about this open-world beauty? You can loot, murder, marry, adopt children… all the things you can do in real life (although, rather unrealistically, you can’t murder your wife or kids) and much, much more. Plus you get to look at pretty snow without getting cold.
Number three for me is the PlayStation 3 exclusive, Heavy Rain. It captivated people’s imagination of what could be achieved in games. The heart of Heavy Rain is its storyline, and its mechanics help to connect the player with that storyline. It made me experience all the emotions that a game possibly can. It also changed my ideas on storylines driving games forward. I used to say that a game should be less about passive stories and more about actions. Now I realise I was talking rubbish: stories are fundamental to many games.
BioShock was an actual shock to the entire gaming community. What made it brilliant was its direction and level design. The level ‘Fort Frolic’ became famous for its amazing locale. The monsters of the game – ‘Splicers’, ravaged by DNA-mutating drug dependency – were pretty messed up folk and the underwater fallen metropolis was exquisitely realised. A technical element that helped to make it brilliant was also the lighting. And the famous twist in the story seemed to affect just about everyone who played it.
Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite game is and will always be Silent Hill 2. That’s just never going to change. The word ‘game’ doesn’t do justice to this title: it’s closer to a work of art. The whole game is special: the character depth; the truly scary environments and monsters; the involved storyline; and the artistic quality of the visuals all work to make Silent Hill 2 the experience that it is.
And that’s it for my top five favourite movers and shakers of the games industry. In my next blog I’ll give you my top five most disappointing games of all time. As a sneak peak, I talk about Persona 4, Saints Row, Resident Evil 6, Assassin’s Creed and Star Wars: the Force Unleashed. Actually, there’s probably not much point tuning in anymore.