5 Games Attending To 5 Neglected Genres In The Gaming Industry
by Daniel Hill
For whatever reason, there are certain themes or game ideas that are never given love or are not loved enough. How often do you see games like Mirror’s Edge or cyberpunk games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Granted, the trendy thing to do right now is to develop an FPS with a full-loaded multiplayer suite, so it’s not necessarily a surprise that we don’t see a lot of these games. When they come along, though, there is always a very specific itch that they scratch, and it is always one of those itches where it is just out of reach on some really inconvenient spot on your back. One that you can’t reach even when you twist your arm and try to scratch it with the very tip of your finger, and you have to ask your friend to get it for you.
Risen 2: Dark Waters – Pirate-Themed RPG’s
This seems to be an even more egregious omission from video games given the wildly-popular Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies, but it blows my mind that there aren’t more pirate-themed RPG’s out there, and the cancellation of the planned RPG based off the series made things even worse. They embody pretty much everything that RPG’s are about! Discovering unexplored, exotic locations, plunder their loot, and kill a bunch of creatures ranging from innocent bunnies to evil creatures. I just started playing this a few days ago, and it’s charmingly good. If you can ignore the bugs and mediocre visuals, everything else about the game is pretty great and feels inherently piratey.
Cyberpunk – Well, um, cyberpunk
Minus last year’s excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution and this year’s okay Syndicate, the cyberpunk genre hasn’t really gotten a lot of love in the video game realm. Again, this just seems ridiculous because the whole idea of cyberpunk is a perfect fit for video games. Anyhow, minus a few details posted on CD Projekt’s site in the form of a Q&A, there isn’t really much known about it except that it’s inspired by the pen-and-paper game Cyberpunk (thus the working title) and is drawing influences from William Gibson and Deus Ex (among other sources). Given that it’s being developed by CD Projekt, the guys behind the wonderful Witcher games, I think we’ll all be in for a treat when it comes out.
Assassin’s Creed III – Revolutionary War-themed games
Gamers have visited just about every imaginable battlefield that World War II and, increasingly, fictional modern battlefields, but we’ve never really visited the Revolutionary War. It was an exciting time for our country and has a lot of history that developers could use to make some interesting games. Though the mechanics and concepts of Assassin’s Creed are nothing new at this point (it has adopted a Call of Duty release schedule), the setting is most definitely fresh. Another unique idea is that you are stepping into the shoes of a Native American. Minus 2006’s Prey, when have we ever really done that?
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Anthropomorphic platformers
The ’90s and early 2000’s were riddled with games starring cute and cuddly creatures collecting arbitrary crap and hopping gleefully across a variety of, ahem, platforms. Lately, however, developers are really loving the “adult,” profanity riddled, gritty games that are exactly like real life. Thankfully, developer Sanzaru still loved this particular genre as much as whoever else loves it, and we will be travelling through time with Sly and the gang stealing things this fall.
Dishonored - choose your own path adventures
Now, that genre I listed above is not a reference to open world games or decision-based games, I am speaking of games that give you about a million ways to approach any given situation. In an age of on-rails, look-at-this explosion cinema-inspired games, this genre doesn’t have a big showing. In this game though, it’s all about choice. For example, you can get through the whole game without killing a soul and can exact vengeance on your targets through death, or you could, say, get one of your connections to kidnap the target, change their identity, and send them to work in the mines for the rest of their miserable existence. Either way, I am already excited to see how many different ways I can play through this Dishonored when it comes out this fall.
Are there any other games coming out that you think are going in a direction that isn’t exactly conventional or popular? Let us know in the comments below!