Posted on Tuesday, December 25 @ 11:30:05 Eastern by Jonathan_Leack
5. Deus Ex
Deus Ex was a cutting-edge blend of first-person shooting, role-playing, and sci-fi. It was a beautiful construction of endless possibilities in character development that made conquering its many challenges personally rewarding. Its futuristic landscape was wrapped in conspiracy theories that made it easy to become engaged. The dynamic narrative was successful in enticing RPG fans across the board. Deus Ex was a rare success story in a sea of games looking to stray from the norm.
Blizzard Entertainment showed its brilliance in 1998 when it released StarCraft. Although its story delivered some blockbuster moments, it was the online experience that captivated a sizeable audience. The game’s three diverse races provided the potential for endless strategy that many would spend countless hours trying to perfect. Its map editor allowed users to developer thousands unique creations, from tower defense to paintball matches. Asia in particular was blown away by its release, and it has remained a staple competitive game despite the emergence of a successor 10-years later. Consequently, it became the game that all future RTS games were to be judged—a truly unfair proposition.
At a time when twitch-based shooters ruled the world, Counter-Strike appeared out of nowhere with its realistically-paced design that rewarded the patient and precise. Counter-Strike was a bold creation by a mod developer that grew to insurmountable heights when hundreds of thousands of players surged in from word of mouth. It rapidly became the most popular shooter in the world and would remain that way for years to come once people experienced the satisfaction of shooting its long list of real-world weapons. Its cohesive combat can be attributed in part to Half-Life from which its engine was run-on, but it wouldn’t have been the same without its money system or bomb defusal maps which worked harmoniously with the game’s structure.
2. World of Warcraft
Blizzard saw Warcraft’s highly-developed storyline as an opportunity to branch out, and what a genius idea that was. The marriage of Warcraft and the scale of MMOs, a genre that was in its adolescence, was a match made in heaven; the illustrious world where stories of Arthas, Illidan, and other alluring charaters had been brought to life. Before its time, MMOs were known for intimidating level grinds and clunky combat, but Blizzard fed that to the wolves with World of Warcaft. Instead, the enjoyment of each player became the number one concern, and its fluid combat was the perfect host for such an arrangement.
More than eight-years later World of Warcraft still stands tall with millions of subscribed players and a world that’s probably even bigger than our own. If that isn’t indicative of its success, I don’t know what is.
1. Half-Life 2
Valve achieved the impossible by making Half-Life 2 better than its predecessor, and most surprisingly it surpassed it in every way imaginable. The story was engrossing with an oppressed world that continually introduced interesting characters through its journey. The struggle through its fervently evolving chapters were paved with struggle and glimpses of success. Gameplay was full of variety with puzzles, vehicles, and cohesive shooting mechanics to complement its assorted weaponry. The engine included realistic physics that were employed in novel ways. Case in point: The Gravity Gun.
What Half-Life 2 represented was what video games could be when their imaginative concept was brought to fruition. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then consider Half-Life 2 flattered through the roof. The game’s story delivery and gameplay elements have become a model for success by which future stories would be cultivated.