2010: The Year Of Evolutionary Steps?
You know, we're not quite halfway through the year yet, and I'm already thinking that 2010 will go down in history as one of the industry's best.
Now, I say this not because I believe there will be an inordinate number of fantastic games - in that respect, 1998 may never be topped, and 2001 is awfully impressive as well - but because we may see the industry take very big steps; evolutionary leaps, even. Perhaps it began with Heavy Rain, which in my eyes, redefined the nature of storytelling and player involvement in video games. It also represented a new, more mature presentation and style that could rival many movies designed for older, more intelligent participants. Now, this month, the "leaps" may continue with Red Dead Redemption and Alan Wake. For RDR, we've got a great team behind it and based on everything we've seen (make sure to check out our videos), this could very well become the single best Western-themed video game ever. No, we're not expecting a gameplay mechanic that's entirely new - sort of reminds us of Assassin's Creed and Uncharted - but the setting...it's just something we've all been waiting for.
And if you read some of the early reviews for Alan Wake, it could redefine the survival/horror genre; it reminds me of Silent Hill, only smarter and even more atmospheric and intense. Dead Space took a step in the right direction back in 2008 and the sequel might do it again later this year, only in a very different direction than Alan Wake. Fans of freaky games should have a blast, at the very least. Furthermore, there's Gran Turismo 5, which should be another benchmark for simulated racing games. Last year, we had fantastic games, no doubt about it, but as amazing as they were, they may not offer the evolutionary/revolutionary elements that some of 2010's best may feature. Even Final Fantasy XIII, despite the flack it takes, marks a turning point in that franchise (like it or not) that is designed to appeal to those who didn't grow up with the series, and who might routinely play other types of games.
We're really seeing some significant shifts. Call of Duty will go to Vietnam and Medal of Honor will tackle the war on terror. Even Alpha Protocol, set to launch in June, might surprise everyone with its decision-making aspects, and ModNation Racers will build upon the "Create, Play, Share" concept pioneered by LittleBigPlanet. Yes indeed, this could end up being a very, very interesting year.
5/5/2010 9:13:59 PM Ben Dutka