Top 5 Game Reinventions

borderlands box artGame reinventions, you say?

What are they? Well, it’s when a game and a developer love each other very much… so much, in fact, that the developers decide not to push out another average shelf-filler, but instead throw everything they’ve worked on in the bin, and start again; to craft a new game – free from the tyranny of poor graphics and dull gameplay; a new game, where players may prosper under it’s bountiful atmosphere and storylines; a new game, that actually gets respect, instead of just money – a new game! A good game! THIS IS SPARTA!

Or something.

5 – Team Fortress 2

team fortress 2But…But…Team Fortress 2 was in development for years? Valve never meant it as another money-maker – they crafted a beautiful online game! True. But not many know (ok, loads of people know) that TF2 originally start out looking something like…this. It was set to be a carbon-copy of Team Fortress 1-style blocky characters, with the same gameplay style to boot. And grenades. Ugh.

Luckily, after several delays, Valve realised they weren’t going to set the online-gaming world on fire with…that, and instead chose to cartoonish, bright, humour and very violent world you see in your Orange Box today. With no grenades. Phew. It succeeded in becoming the best online game to date. At least on the PC…

4 – Infamous

infamousHang on – hasn’t Infamous always had the superhero-parkour thing going on? Yes, it has. In fact, it had all the same gameplay, graphics, content and…spark (Classic). So what did they change to earn the number 4 spot? Well, just take a look at the Debut Trailer.

DID YOU SEE THEM! DID YOU SEE THEM! Oh my god! They’re MASSIVE! I don’t know who and I don’t know why, but someone at Sucker Punch decided getting lost would be a problem for a super-agile climbing-master, so put possibly the largest signposts ever made into the game. I mean, the size of buildings. How? Why? Who? WHY?! Sure, the game would have still been incredibly enjoyable, and it’s not as if you can seriously mark a game down for having huge directions, but…Look at them!

3 – Need For Speed: Shift

NFS ShiftWhat does the NFS series mean to you? Nothing? Good. After some highly fun and playable iterations like Underground and Most Wanted, the series slowly lapsed into mediocrity, poorness, and then…Undercover. However, each one sold very well, and you couldn’t blame the next game to follow the tradition of ‘Oh, pretty girls!’ and poor gameplay.

And then, in someones brain, the idea of the next game….Shifted (lulz). Why construct a rubbish racer, when you could…make a good one? Why follow the pack with the same old mechanics, when instead you put the game into first person only, have really nice crashes, go from 0-260 in 3.5 seconds? The hype for the series really…Shifted up a few gears (Ohh, I’m on fire!), and with it, it looks like big names in the racing world will have to…Shift over (Don’t pretend you’re not impressed).

2 – Borderlands

borderlandsIt was billed to be the next Haze. And when your game is compared to an FPS that single-handidly brought down Free Radical, you might as well try and claw your windpipe out. Bit that was a bit harsh, no? Not when you look at the early screenshots. It was bland, boring, generic and Borderline disgraceful (Yeah, that was poor one).

Then Gearbox realised who they were. They made the first Half-Life expansions! They were the creators of the incredibly-understated and stupefyingly AWESOME Brothers In Arms series! No way were they going to let this heap of brown turd past their gates, and they didn’t. But how to fix it? Cell-shading. Seriously, it fixes everything. According to President Randy Pitchford, he thought the team were rendering the concept art, it looked so good. Add style, an FPS-RPG hybrid system, and a wonderful Box Art, and you’ve got a very exiting game on your hands.

1 – Splinter Cell: Conviction

Splinter Cell Conviction 2

‘Bill?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Bill!?’

‘YEAH?!’

‘I’m running outta money. Do you wanna make another Splinter Cell? It’s a really good series, but let’s make Sam Fisher a hobo, throw away all the good stealth bits, make it like Assassin’s Creed, put in some horrible gameplay, and basically ruin the whole concept forever?’

‘…Yeah, just let me finish this Twix’

And so it was to be. Splinter Cell: Conviction would have hobo-Sam evading the police in broad day-light, with a top-down-style view and possibly the worst gameplay you’ve ever seen.

And here-in lies proof that there is a God. Millions of Splinter Cell fans, myself included, voiced their outrage on the internet. How could a series that produced such great moments as ‘The Train Mission’ and the ‘Breaking Into LAX Mission’ suddenly go so…wrong?

And Ubisoft slapped themselves round their faces, pulled the green night-vision goggles off their eyes and started to make a game. Not a good game, not just ‘another in the series’, but a brand new, superb looking, incredible title. Crisp graphics, wonderful physics, sublime lighting – and to top it off, one of the best things in a game ever; the style. From the cinematic toilet scene (It’s not as dirty as it sounds), to the mind-blowingly simple yet impossibly awesome displaying of objectives and information on the scenery, Splinter: Cell Conviction is looking out of this world.

BONUS ROUND:

Game that has changed the least:

Gran Turismo 5

July 11, 2007 – Oh, hey, nice cars.

July 15, 2008 – Oh, hey, nice cars/menu.

July 9, 2009 – Oh, hey, nice cars.

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2 Responses to “Top 5 Game Reinventions”

  1. You should have included Dark Sector. It went from a space sci-fi shooter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mucf3kdVzes) to a black-ops guy combating a nano-virus in the U.S.S.R. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnsjVO3Y6Rw) Quote a reinvention.

    -xero-

  2. I’ve been looking on google for games when I found your site. Thanks for this post, it’s definetly worth reading!

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