Five Most Influential Games This Generation
Posted on Tuesday, August 7 @ 07:36:31 Eastern by Alex_Osborn
Every new wave of consoles ushers in fresh and exciting innovations for the gaming industry. This past generation has stretched on a bit longer than usual (a bit too long if you ask me) and as such, is loaded with so many groundbreaking experiences that have changed the industry forever. To celebrate these achievements, we're going to take a look at five of the most influential game experiences since 2005.
—contrary to popular opinion—the original was by and large the best of the three.
Not only did the original feature the best story, but it introduced a level of player choice never seen before in the medium. Sure, branching dialogue had been done in games prior, but not with the same cinematic approach. In many ways, Mass Effect felt more like a space drama than just another RPG with dialogue trees. As games have evolved over the past few years, we've begun to take it for granted, but let's not forget how groundbreaking ME1's presentation and cinematic approach to storytelling was back in 2007.
Nathan Drake's initial outing was a fun ride, but it didn't serve up the mind-blowing experience that everyone was expecting from Naughty Dog. However, the sequel not only rectified the issues with Drake's Fortune, it went above and beyond the expectations of gamers everywhere, delivering the most cinematic action adventure experience at the time. From jaw-dropping vistas to interactive set-piece moments, Uncharted 2 served up the first experience that truly gave players the sense that they were in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Debates regarding whether or not the PS3 was more powerful than the 360 halted when Naughty Dog blew the lid off of Among Thieves, but there is so much more to this game than just a pretty face. The witty banter between characters made the cast relatable and the overall writing served to create an experience that had you emotionally involved despite the game's somewhat zany conclusion. With the third-person action genre growing to new levels of popularity, we've seen so many recently released games borrow from the Uncharted 2 approach. And honestly, can you blame them?
Ken Levine and his team at Irrational Games made one heck of impact on the industry when they introduced gamers to the underwater world of Rapture. The sheer level of detail pack into every inch of BioShock brought its dystopian city—and all of its horrifying elements—to life. The game mechanics were also unique, giving players a firearm in one hand and a plethora of genetically-induced powers in the other. With so much variety, categorizing this game as a first-person shooter simply doesn't do it justice.
Epic's brotastic third-person shooter brought some major revolutions to the genre and no, I'm not just referring to chainsaw lancers. Gears of War essentially trademarked the "stop and pop" style of gunplay and serves as one of the first truly impressive visual showcases for the Xbox 360. So many shooters today feature the snap-to-cover mechanic, and if it weren't for Cliff and the rest of the guys at Epic, the third-person shooter genre wouldn't be nearly as popular as it is today. Heck, the aforementioned Uncharted 2 borrows a lot of the mechanics first seen in Gears.
While Halo has served as the undisputed hallmark franchise for the Xbox platform, Marcus Fenix has certainly given Master Chief a run for his money. With a robust online experience, gorgeous visuals, and some of the most intense firefights we've seen this generation, the first Gears of War was a landmark achievement and a worthy addition to Microsoft's lineup of exclusives.
I doubt you need me to remind you that Call of Duty is insanely popular. No one ever thought Halo could be topped in the online space, but when Modern Warfare launched in 2007, the world of online gaming was changed forever. This military shooter caught on like wildfire, resulting in annualized sequels that sell ridiculous numbers year after year. Like it or not, Call of Duty 4 will go down in history as one of the most influential first-person shooters of all time, and for good reason.
Agree with our picks? Let us know which games you think are worthy of a mention in the comments below.
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