With the future of console gaming only a few weeks away, it’s great to look back and reflect on games which have stood out from the rest and defined a generation. As well as reflecting on the good side, you need to have a think about what is in store for the future of the PS4 and Xbox One. Everyone will be looking forward to new Halo, God of War and Destiny. Combining both good and bad memories from the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, I believe that these games should not be re-released nor have direct sequels produced for the next-generation consoles.
*May contain spoilers*
I was late to the Dead Space series after it was released in 2008. I bought the game at a stage when it was reduced to £10 in most places and thought I would give it a try as I have always enjoyed survival-horror games. I fell in love immediately with the game, although I became freaked out during my first experience of a Necromorph when running for a lift. It was terrifying.
As far as edge of the seat action is concerned, Dead Space reigned supreme in that regard and I will always remember to check vents and air ducts in every horror game. The close-quarters action, sound design, surroundings and enemy design all helped create one of the scariest retail games that I have ever played. For anyone who had played through the full game, not known of the ending and didn’t get a huge fright right at the end, I take my hat off to you.
Like many gaming series, the first game is always the best and with the Dead Space series, it was definitely true. While Dead Space 2 offered some of the same scares and atmosphere as the original, the game was more focused on action rather than setting an atmosphere and making you sit on the edge of your seat. The sense that Isaac had lost his mind was a great feature as you couldn’t tell what was real and what he was imagining. The less said about the third game, the better.
Dead Space 3 had the potential to create its very own version of the classic movie “The Thing” and as you played through it, you could sense that Visceral Games had drawn some inspiration for DS3 from the movie. The story seemed to have suffered as it just seemed to be adding elements on for no real reason and the sections in the core of Tau Volantis leading to the ending were restricted and boring. Suddenly this classic survival horror game had glammed up and decided to go Hollywood.
As far as the Dead Space series goes, I think that I am not alone in thinking that the first game is what everyone will remember from the series. It was genuinely scary as you could only ever see what was in front of you thanks to the third-person perspective and the environment, it all added to the atmosphere. As the second and third games were released, you had almost got used to the enemies jumping up from the ground and through air vents and almost treated it like an action game. The story had grown tiresome as well. The story of the original was one man trying to look for his girlfriend, no matter the cost which leads to his demise which was effective in the sequel but not Dead Space 3.
As much as I am a fan of the series, I think that Visceral need to forget the Dead Space series and move onto something new. Visceral have shown that they can create good games with Dante’s Inferno and are almost working on an upcoming Star Wars game, the studio certainly has talent but please, leave Dead Space as it is.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us has been my favourite game of 2013. Grand Theft Auto V may have eclipsed it in terms of sales but the way in which TLOU makes you feel throughout single-player is spectacular as the story is so well done and nothing can be assumed in The Last of Us. I reviewed the game earlier this year and looking back at it, I stand by how perfect I think the game is. In saying that, I feel as though that Naughty Dog shouldn’t release a “The Last of Us 2” or sequel called “The Last of Us 2: Last Longer”.
The story of Joel and Ellie takes so many twists and turns along the way and within that, the ending is enough. That is the end of their story and shouldn’t result in a sequel which I’m sure many people will agree with. If a direct sequel for TLOU were to be released, I feel as though it would take away some of the glory which the original game had. I believe that if Naughty Dog were to create a direct sequel to the original, then they will be merely creating stories just for the sake of it. Although, I do remember reading somewhere when TLOU was released that it was actually a trilogy which may just prove my theory wrong.
Naughty Dog have shown what a great studio they are and how much the PS3 relied on them for creating great exclusives such as the Uncharted series and the Jak and Daxter collection. It will be interesting to see where the developer goes with the next-gen approaching but hopefully it won’t result in them making TLOU into an average series by releasing them to just make money and lessening some of the original impact the game had on the community.
Although the first game wasn’t released this generation, I firmly believe that there should be no more Resident Evil games. The Resident Evil games which have been released this generation have been nothing short of disappointing.
RE5 was nothing more than a poor clone of RE4 which is arguably the best game the series has ever created. The enemy designs were almost the exact same as its predecessor and the story was very poor. The game seemed to constantly bring back Wesker just for the sake of it and the boss battles were tedious, long and uneventful. The ending of RE5 is one of my worst memories in gaming. After completing it once, I never turned RE5 back on. At this stage you could sense that the story was getting out of hand.
The build-up to RE6 seemed promising as I enjoyed the demo. But when the game was revealed, they had just seemed to completely run out of ideas. With boss fights becoming even more tedious and replaying the same sections when you were playing as different characters, the game had promised so much but had delivered so very little.
The warning signs for Capcom should have been with the reaction to Operation Raccoon City which was a very poor shooter and the mechanics for RE6 were built around this. I played through three of the four campaigns in RE6 and immediately traded it in. It seems as though they have forgotten what help made the first four games classics. Like many successful franchises they had forgotten what made them stand out from other games in the first place.
I would much rather see Capcom rebooting the series either with another name or changing the name in its entirety. The characters have become so overused that everything is in need of a refresh and I think that a new series would provide that. Travelling around the world battling different types of viruses isn’t scary, it’s just unnecessary.
In contrast to this, Shinji Mikami, who was the director of RE4, has announced his latest project away from Capcom as he is the director in the survival-horror game “The Evil Within” which, by the look of the trailers and gameplay, looks terrifying. If Capcom can get someone on board similar to Mikami’s way of thinking, the Capcom survival-horror genre will be something to be proud of.
There is one thing that these three games all have in common and it is that they are all survival-horror games. Since that is the case, what does that say about the industry now? The zombie genre has been so overused that it has lost its appeal. I was going to add Bioshock to this list but Irrational have already said that they won’t make any more Bioshock games, which is fine.
Gaming is like having your favourite sandwich at Subway. The first time you create your preferred sandwich, you are blown away by it. As you become more adventurous, the sandwich can either be even better than the original or ruin the taste of it for you. The same goes for if you eat the sandwich too often in that you become bored of it and want to try something new. This is definitely the case for Resident Evil whereas Dead Space tried to change everything too much and lost sight of what it was. The Last of Us is like a limited edition sandwich. Loved once and will always be remembered for what it was… I hope.