It’s no secret that certain console generations go through fads. The 16-bit era was host to a plethora of side-scrolling platforms. The 64-bit era saw the proliferation of JRPGs and 3D platformers. The last generation was perforated with shooters. Given that the current generation just started, the “it” video game genre hasn’t been established yet, leaving hope that developers seize the opportunity to bring back a few gaming genres that got less love than a mid-30’s Steve Carrel in The 40-Year-Old Virgin last generation. Here’s my top five.
While there were some exemplary examples of survival horror last generation with the first Dead Space, Amnesia, and a few others, the genre as a whole had a very small presence. During the Xbox and PlayStation 2 era, there were many more titles to choose from. Fatal Frame, Call of Cthulhu, and many others were available. Last generation, there seemed to be a lot more blowey upey and not enough keepey me upey at nightey. Thankfully, titles such as Outlast seem to be setting us up for some great survival horror.
Notable Exceptions: Dead Space, Amnesia, FEAR
No. Rainbow Six: Vegas was not tactical. Neither was freakin’ Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. Compared to the Rainbow Six’s and Ghost Recon’s of old, these games were candy coated theme park rides. Pre-mission planning, teammate perma-death, and slow, deliberate pacing were the name of the game back in the day. However, with the last generation’s Michael Bay complex, none of these games that reveled in slow pacing and higher difficulties were allowed to flourish. Here’s to hoping the shooter genre gets a little more tactical this generation.
Notable Exceptions: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Granted, SSX did make a small comeback, and the Skate. games were also pretty damn cool, but compared to the amount of extreme sports games we saw come before, this genre is all but dead. Remember Dave Mirra? How about 1080 Snowboarding? Hell, there were even some surfing games out there with Kelly Slater’s label on them. With technology reaching such heights as it is today, the opportunities to make the fluffiest powder, swells that any surfer would drool over, and incredible physics to pull off stunts in the half pipe are limitless.
Notable Exceptions: Skate., Amped 3, SSX (2012)
Ahh mascot platformers – the most unfortunate victim of the late 2000’s. Minus the expected appearances from Mario, a few great games from Ratchet and Clank, and a few sad spinoffs from former 3D platforming greats such as Crash and Spyro, there were basically no 3D platformers to be seen. Having gone back and played some of these games recently, my desire to see more games like this on the latest consoles. Imagine the wacky, wild, and imaginative worlds that developers would be able to make with all that power under the hood.
Notable Exceptions: Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time, Super Mario Galaxy, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
The last generation presented a very strange dichotomy between tactical and arcade shooters. What we were seeing from games such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Homefront were games that had arcade properties such as a lot of explosions and a fast pace, but were disguised as tactical shooters because of how damn seriously they took themselves. Titles such as Timesplitters, where the tapestry of violence was painted in pastels instead of muted browns and blacks, were nowhere to be seen. Hell, even Red Faction got overly serious on our collective butts. I say that this generation, developers bring back my weapon wheel, bring back my wacky weapons, and, for god’s sake, bring back a little humor!
Notable Exceptions: Serious Sam, Painkiller: Hell and Damnation
What do you think? Are there any genres you think I missed? Do you think the genres listed here saw more shine than I think? Let us know in the comments below!