More Reviews
REVIEWS The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.

Five Nights at Freddy's Review
So damn scary, I had to break every ten minutes just writing this review.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Legend of Raven Preview
The spirit of Street Fighter III still lives in the heart of Legend of Raven.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Madden NFL 15
Release date: Out Now

Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14

Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
Release date: 09/23/14

FIFA 15
Release date: 09/23/14


LATEST FEATURES A Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Controversy in the Video Game Industry
Need help wading through the latest misogyny/homophobia/racism/corruption debate in the gaming industry? Paul Tamburro’s here to help!

inFamous: First Light Battle Arena Hints, Strategies, Tips [Stream Over]
Watch as I build out our feature of useful tactics for players in Sucker Punch's wave-based and arcade-awesome arena mode.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

DAILY MANIFESTO

Secret Sauces Define Call Of Duty, Pokemon, GTA, And Assassin's Creed This Year

Posted on Friday, October 18 @ 20:26:27 Eastern by


With millions of fans snapping up new entries in their favorite games this year, it seems like 2013 could be summed up in two words: secret sauce.

The mega-franchises, the triple-A blockbusters, the rehashes, the unimaginative churn of gaming... they all seem to hone in on one thing and refine it to an extreme. For Grand Theft Auto V, this means delivering one of the best, most entertaining open-worlds complete with a "fuck-you" attitude that gamers can't help but eat right up.

For Pokemon X & Y, it's a matter of maintaining the steady rhythm of new kid, new town, new adventure, new world, new and returning monsters, and 8 gym badges with an elite series of opponents waiting for a final conflict. This is my one sticking point about X & Y even if both games are fantastic at creating more satisfying catching-training-trading-battling distractions.

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg directly mentioned a Call of Duty "secret sauce" at the massive CoD: Ghosts multiplayer event:

I've been asked to decode the secret sauce of Call of Duty countless times. Is it the archetypal fantasy of being a hero and unlocking that inner soldier in all of us. Is it the technology, the graphics, the silky smooth controls? Is it the framerate, the progression system? Sure it's all those things… but at the end of the day none of that matters if they don't all combine to add up to the essential ingredient in the heart of every Call of Duty game and that's fun.

If I hadn't told you who the quote was from, what context, and edited it for hints of Call of Duty, could it have been any other gaming executive hyping up any of 2013's biggest games?



Could Reggie have said it? Or one of the Houser brothers who poked their heads out as they do when a new game is coming from Rockstar? I'm sure I've heard the Assassin's Creed developers say it too.

These games are fun certainly but each has its own merits, drawbacks, weaknesses, flaws, strengths, and uniquely satisfying feedback mechanisms. I hope the open worlds continue to drive for deeper and more interesting levels of interaction. I hope the shooters maintain a focus on speed and accessibility. More importantly, I hope the people behind these games (not the ones selling them to us) continue iterating smartly and provide new looks and ideas to massive brands.

Call of Duty certainly impressed me with its secret sauce strength earlier this year and Pokémon X & Y (review incoming) disappoints me by sticking too closely to its secret sauce. Black Flag could be smartly chasing a secret sauce they debuted in last year's Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto V continues to play the parody well.

What other mega franchises have a secret sauce? Do the developers change enough to stay fresh?


comments powered by Disqus

More On GameRevolution