Free Your Mind
Two original IPs from an unlikely source offer a little joy to jaded gamers this holiday season.
Originality is something to always be sought in the Game Industry. At the same time though, I get the impression publishers tread carefully on that topic. Innovation refreshes the content available in the game industry, but it doesn't always make up for huge sales.
For that matter, publishers thrive for something new, but always analyze if it will work out in the end. Risks are necessary and sometimes, regarding that topic, publisher and developer interests conflict.
Kudos for both titles in this case. Both of them have been released (and for what it matters) have been critically appraised. Let's hope sales follows in the reviews' footsteps and this paves a road for more risks and originality.
But the company is going down the crapper, so what does that mean?
When you say "An RPG without resource management," don't you mean an RTS? Unless you're talking about HP, MP, and currency, I'd say there aren't that many RPG's out there that utilize resource management.
Great article, though, I agree that first-person adventures need a more prominent place, though I think there's an awkwardness factor that requires a lot of innovation to overcome. For example, I think Ocarina of Time being released as a first-person game would have been very interesting. However, I think it would have been more often shunned than praised in the end.
A game should not be limited by its genre, required to fit all the conventions and check all the requisite boxes. Stubbornly insisting that survival horror must contain certain elements, as some fans and more than a few critics who should know better do, is exactly why so many genres are as pigeon-holed and staid as they are.
I feel like I keep repeating myself around here. From Wikipedia: genres are formed by sets of conventions. In genre studies the concept of genre is not compared to originality. Rather, all works are recognized as either reflecting on or participating in the conventions of genre.
In other words, everything is necessarily & unavoidably limited by its genre. When I "stubbornly insist" that survival horror must contain "certain elements" I am simply stating a fact. Dead Space is not survival horror; Resident Evil is. Two facts. Mirrors Edge is not an FPS; Bioshock is. Two more facts. If someone decides to make a survival horror game or an RPG they are not by definition producing something unworthy, contrary to what most people seem to think these days. Dead Space is about as boring and pointless as games get whereas Siren Blood Curse is an absolute masterstroke... but oh no, it's too pigeon-holed to be worth my time! Needs more mish-mash!
The insistence on denying genre conventions has led us to romantic comedy, chick lit and nu metal. Please make it stop.
I would say a survival horror game, or horror game in general, is one where you are dreading the next enemy encounter. Which is exactly what dead space had me do on hard and impossible difficulty. When I see the enemy and say "OH SHIT!" every single predictable time, then IMO, it's succeeded.
Games like Penumbra do this well. There are monsters and such, and heck even the occassional gun. Yet you are always trying to sneak by the monsters in the game, and if they find you...you just run away like a little kid... There are lots of puzzles that involve getting out of locked rooms and such, which add to this feeling that all you want to do is just get out alive.