Seven modern games that mattered. A short list

Resident Evil 4 (Game Cube): A modern game before even modern gaming was born. It changed drastically the survival horror sub-genre and the 3d person action adventure in general. After RE 4, all horror games would necessarily include aiming and shooting as part of the game-play and often a behind the shoulder camera view. It also signaled the end of the survival-horror genre.

God of War (PS2): It started a whole school of hack n' slash games with fluid animations, spectacular boss battles, raw violence and dislikable game characters.

World of Warcraft (PC): A beautiful and wisely constructed online action RPG set in a massive world with a simple yet very addictive premise - kill monsters, gain XP, level up, become more powerful and kill tougher monsters, easily accessed by everyone. A game that put MMORPG on the map.

Gears of War (Xbox 360): Health regeneration, hide behind an obstacle and shoot; after this game all modern shooters would follow these features. As a side effect Gears of War is responsible for the trend of the bulky and deformed game characters.

BioShock (PC, Xbox 360): An FPS that didn't look like other FPS and with an incredible atmosphere of decadence. I can't say that BioShock created a school of games of that type, because no other title could repeat this formula, not even BioShock 2.

Call of Duty 4. Modern Warfare (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii): A very special FPS, an excellent shooter in the surface, but deep inside a dark and pessimistic game with a dramatic finale.

Demon's Souls (PS3): It re-invented action-rpg gaming and online play. A brutal game with an unforgettable atmosphere, epic boss battles and a very unique online multi-player system that allowed other players to invade your world. A landmark for modern gaming. A landmark for sadomasochism as well.

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Posted by Rheinmetall

Resident Evil 4 (Game Cube): A modern game before even modern gaming was born. It changed drastically the survival horror sub-genre and the 3d person action adventure in general. After RE 4, all horror games would necessarily include aiming and shooting as part of the game-play and often a behind the shoulder camera view. It also signaled the end of the survival-horror genre.

God of War (PS2): It started a whole school of hack n' slash games with fluid animations, spectacular boss battles, raw violence and dislikable game characters.

World of Warcraft (PC): A beautiful and wisely constructed online action RPG set in a massive world with a simple yet very addictive premise - kill monsters, gain XP, level up, become more powerful and kill tougher monsters, easily accessed by everyone. A game that put MMORPG on the map.

Gears of War (Xbox 360): Health regeneration, hide behind an obstacle and shoot; after this game all modern shooters would follow these features. As a side effect Gears of War is responsible for the trend of the bulky and deformed game characters.

BioShock (PC, Xbox 360): An FPS that didn't look like other FPS and with an incredible atmosphere of decadence. I can't say that BioShock created a school of games of that type, because no other title could repeat this formula, not even BioShock 2.

Call of Duty 4. Modern Warfare (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii): A very special FPS, an excellent shooter in the surface, but deep inside a dark and pessimistic game with a dramatic finale.

Demon's Souls (PS3): It re-invented action-rpg gaming and online play. A brutal game with an unforgettable atmosphere, epic boss battles and a very unique online multi-player system that allowed other players to invade your world. A landmark for modern gaming. A landmark for sadomasochism as well.

Posted by Inkerman

I agree with all except Demon Souls, I would say something like Half Life 2 was more influential. 

Posted by AhmadMetallic

Gears of War was on PC as well

Posted by TheSheepherder

COD4 FTW.

Posted by fini_fly

@Inkerman said:

I agree with all except Demon Souls, I would say something like Half Life 2 was more influential.

I would agree with this, despite being a fan of Demon Souls.

@Rheinmetall said:

Resident Evil 4 (Game Cube): A modern game before even modern gaming was born. It changed drastically the survival horror sub-genre and the 3d person action adventure in general. After RE 4, all horror games would necessarily include aiming and shooting as part of the game-play and often a behind the shoulder camera view. It also signaled the end of the survival-horror genre.

I would also say that the survival horror genre is not necessarily dead, as per the release of the Penumbra series and Amnesia. The survivor-horror on the console has changed to the action-horror genre.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

I don't agree with putting RE4 and Demon Souls in the list.

Edited by Rheinmetall

@Inkerman: Surely Half Life 2 was more influential, but Demon's Souls had a bigger impact on me. I haven't played anything like that.

Posted by GuyIncognito

To me Demon's Souls is the best game of this generation.

Edited by Rheinmetall

@fini_fly: I haven't played Penumbra and Amnesia, I should check them. Yeah, maybe the survival horror genre is not entirely dead, but after RE 4 it has been transformed to something different; action-horror as you said.

Posted by fini_fly

@Rheinmetall: Penumbra and Amnesia puts your character as weak and human. Basically you have to run and hide if confronted, instead of run into a room guns-a-blazing.

Posted by Karkarov

I love the opening comments on this thread. You guys think God of War which is nothing but another action/combo game that had already been done many times by the time it came out (maybe not quite as well as GoW did it admittedly) deserves to be on the list but games that actually tried to and successfully innovate don't?

The games I don't see making sense on the list first off is Bioshock. Be honest popular does not equal game changing or important, it was a really good FPS/RPG hybrid other than that there was nothing to it. Maybe if it was the first FPS/RPG to ever exist I could throw it more weight or if it redefined the genre, but it didn't. Also as you can guess by now, God of War. For all of it's being better than other action games at the time it was still just another action game in the vein of Devil May Cry, do you really think those other games didn't have crazy bosses too? It didn't change enough to feel "different" it isn't a new genre, it was just the most popular game of it's genre.

RE4 did start up a whole subgenre of survival horror which is now more popular than actual... survival horror. So it being there seems okay to me.

Posted by CookieMonster

Dat layout.

Posted by jetsetwillie

i think Geometry Wars should be on that list as it was the game than popularised the twin stick genre and proved that DD on consoles was viable.

Edited by Sooty

I hope The Witcher 2 has an impact. It has some of the best combat I've ever played in an RPG. It feels sort of like Demon's Souls but not quite as harsh. Real tactile feel to it.

Posted by Cheesebob

Half life 2 begat Bioshock with the way it told stories...why isn't it on this list?

Posted by el_tajij

I'd agree with Bioshock and World of Warcraft. The rest are basically quake, or streets of rage with improved mechanics/updated graphics. Thinking about it again recently, 999 for the DS is the most important game I've played in as long as I can remember. It basically smacked me in the face and proved to me that not only can a game be a superior way of storytelling but video games are pretty much the guaranteed future of entertainment. And most importantly, pretty much ANYONE can play it.

Posted by Rheinmetall

@Karkarov: Devil May Cry was surely more important for the evolution of video games. I didn't even like that much God of War. I put it in this list because everyone now refers to modern hack n' slash games as "God of War type of games". BioShock didn't do anything new either, so maybe it doesn't quite deserve to be in the list, but it helped me see FPS games with a different approach, because before BioShock I avoided them altogether.

Posted by Meowshi

God of War is on the list because so many games emulated the style of gameplay it offers. Did the style exist before God of War? Sure. But no one was trying to emulate it, because it wasn't ultra-popular. God of War made it ultra-popular! That's why it matters.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Seven modern games...from seven years ago :P.

Posted by PenguinDust

I probably would have exchanged Defense of the Ancients for Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare since it created a new genre in gaming while COD just continued what all the other FPS shooters were doing. I can't argue too much with the rest of the list. I'd change some other things, but all-in-all, I can accept your choices. There's nothing too egregious listed above and everyone can have an opinion.

Posted by Rheinmetall

@Cheesebob: Half Life 2 some times leaves you for long time wandering clueless without much help. In many instances I felt "abandoned" by the game. I preferred BioShock, as a more "friendly" game. It's a matter of personal taste I guess. Otherwise Half Life 2 is without doubt a very important game.

Posted by Rheinmetall

So far nobody disagrees about World of Warcraft being in the list. That means a lot.

Posted by laserbolts

Good list except for demon souls.

Posted by Athadam

You are missing Half Life 2, Grand Theft Auto 4, Crysis, Morrowind/Oblivion.

Posted by Adamsons

@Rheinmetall said:

So far nobody disagrees about World of Warcraft being in the list. That means a lot.

I don't think there is really any way you could discount it.

Obviously it has its own balance / gameplay / community issues, but what it has accomplished is phenomenal.

Bioshock always puzzles me though, its something that IMO is greater than the sum of its parts, has a lot of character but the gameplay elements are so-so.

Posted by BraveToaster

The layout of your blog is odd. Also, your avatar looks like Serious Cat, so I'm going to follow you. 

Posted by Shirogane

@Rheinmetall said:

So far nobody disagrees about World of Warcraft being in the list. That means a lot.

It practically single handed brought gaming mainstream, so yeah, argueing against that is crazy.

Edited by darkwingduck

@PenguinDust: CoD 4 introduced the perk system which greatly influenced multiplayer shooters and games in general, and the modern setting was also fairly new at the time.

though i completely agree with DotA being a worthy candidate for this list.

Edited by Gamer_152

There are some pretty good choices here and if you put a few more return characters in, the presentation would be very nice as well, but I have quite a few problems with this list.

  • RE4 wasn't really a third-person action-adventure, it was a third-person shooter.
  • Not all horror games post-RE4 have been third-person shooters.
  • RE4 was by no means the end of the survival-horror sub-genre. Look at franchises like Silent Hill, Dead Space and F.E.A.R.
  • While a great game in its own right, have there really been that many games obviously influenced by God of War?
  • The premise you're describing for WoW is not particularly notable, in that it's the basic premise of every RPG out there. WoW did not pioneer that, even if it did pioneer many of the mainstays of the modern MMO.
  • Halo had actually popularised the concept of health regeneration long before Gears of War did and considering its influence, it's one of the games I would have liked to see on this list.
  • I'm not sure what you mean about people hiding behind stuff and shooting. The basic idea of people being able to hide behind stuff and also being able to shoot has been around basically as long as the FPS, but if you're talking about Gears' kind of cover system, that's not something that all modern shooters have adopted, not by a long shot.
  • I think the thing that really needed to be mentioned about Bioshock was its story. The thing that made it unique was that it did political or at least sociological commentary like no other game before.
  • Demon's Souls may have been notable for the niche that it appealed too, but I think you're giving it way too much credit in terms of its influence. I really don't think it reinvented the ideas of either online play or action-RPGs.
  • As others have said, I'd like to echo the sentiment that it'd also have been cool to see Half-Life 2 on the list.
Moderator
Posted by GuyIncognito

@darkwingduck said:

@PenguinDust: CoD 4 introduced the perk system which greatly influenced multiplayer shooters and games in general, and the modern setting was also fairly new at the time.

though i completely agree with DotA being a worthy candidate for this list.

CoD popularized the perk system. Weren't there earlier Battlefield games (Battlefield 2142) with "perks"?

Edited by GuyIncognito
Posted by darkwingduck

@GuyIncognito: you're right of course, my wording was a bit sloppy. CoD was not the originator of the perk system in any way. the game did, however, introduce it to a wider audience and made it so popular that it became almost mandatory for modern shooters to have a similar system.

Posted by Vinny_Says

forgot Halo CE

Posted by Gamer_152

@GuyIncognito said:

@Gamer_152 said:

  • Demon's Souls may have been notable for the niche that it appealed too, but I think you're giving it way too much credit in terms of its influence. I really don't think it reinvented the ideas of either online play or action-RPGs

Witcher 2's design was influenced by Demon's Souls.

http://www.vg247.com/2011/04/04/cd-projekt-the-witcher-2-takes-inspiration-from-demons-souls/

Demon's Souls is the youngest game on the list. Give it time.

Okay, a fair point, but I still don't think this constitutes anywhere near reinventing the action RPG and online play. You're right that it's a comparatively new game, but I don't think we can say a game mattered based on speculation about what kind of influence it might have in the future. Demon's Souls hasn't proven itself to be a largely influential game yet and as such I don't think it belongs on the list.

Moderator
Posted by Rheinmetall

@Gamer_152: Survival horror, as much as I understand the term, means an action adventure game with horror content and scarce health packs/ ammo for the player, hence "survival". This kind of game has died. RE Code Veronica X was probably the last good game of that kind. And Silent Hill Homecoming seemed very much changed compared to the first games of the series, perhaps more combat oriented as a game.

As for the other remarks, you are right, my mistake, Gears of War didn't invent health regeneration indeed. Half Life 2 and Halo ought to be in the list too. It's just that personally I didn't like them that much.

Edited by GuyIncognito

@Gamer_152 said:

@GuyIncognito said:

@Gamer_152 said:

  • Demon's Souls may have been notable for the niche that it appealed too, but I think you're giving it way too much credit in terms of its influence. I really don't think it reinvented the ideas of either online play or action-RPGs

Witcher 2's design was influenced by Demon's Souls.

http://www.vg247.com/2011/04/04/cd-projekt-the-witcher-2-takes-inspiration-from-demons-souls/

Demon's Souls is the youngest game on the list. Give it time.

Okay, a fair point, but I still don't think this constitutes anywhere near reinventing the action RPG and online play. You're right that it's a comparatively new game, but I don't think we can say a game mattered based on speculation about what kind of influence it might have in the future. Demon's Souls hasn't proven itself to be a largely influential game yet and as such I don't think it belongs on the list.

I gave you a concrete example where it has proven itself as influential. You just moved the goalpost. EDIT: I don't think arguing about what "largely" influential means is fruitful.

Posted by Gamer_152

@Rheinmetall: I think that on the whole horror games have become much more action-oriented but I don't think survival horror died completely after RE4. Glad we can see eye to eye on some of this stuff though.

@GuyIncognito said:

I gave you a concrete example where it has proven itself as influential. You just moved the goalpost.

I don't think I did move the goalposts at all. I never claimed that Demon's Souls didn't influence anything, I only claimed that it did not reinvent things and that Rheinmetall was giving the game too much credit in terms of what it influenced.

Moderator
Posted by imsh_pl

I'd change God of War and Demon's Souls for Braid and Portal.

Posted by GuyIncognito

@Gamer_152 said:

@Rheinmetall: I think that on the whole horror games have become much more action-oriented but I don't think survival horror died completely after RE4. Glad we can see eye to eye on some of this stuff though.

@GuyIncognito said:

I gave you a concrete example where it has proven itself as influential. You just moved the goalpost.

I don't think I did move the goalposts at all. I never claimed that Demon's Souls didn't influence anything, I only claimed that it did not reinvent things and that Rheinmetall was giving the game too much credit in terms of what it influenced.

OK. I'll re-read Rheinmetall's statement....I noticed you rephrased OP's claim that "Demon's Souls mattered" into "Demon's Souls being ``highly influential.''"

Posted by Swoxx
Posted by Gamer_152

@GuyIncognito said:

@Gamer_152 said:

@Rheinmetall: I think that on the whole horror games have become much more action-oriented but I don't think survival horror died completely after RE4. Glad we can see eye to eye on some of this stuff though.

@GuyIncognito said:

I gave you a concrete example where it has proven itself as influential. You just moved the goalpost.

I don't think I did move the goalposts at all. I never claimed that Demon's Souls didn't influence anything, I only claimed that it did not reinvent things and that Rheinmetall was giving the game too much credit in terms of what it influenced.

OK. I'll re-read Rheinmetall's statement....I noticed you rephrased OP's claim that "Demon's Souls mattered" into "Demon's Souls being ``highly influential.''"

We've kind of reached a stalemate now, as while I'd like to reply you have said you don't want to talk about what largely influential means.

Moderator
Posted by KillyDarko
@fini_fly said:

@Inkerman said:

I agree with all except Demon Souls, I would say something like Half Life 2 was more influential.

I would agree with this, despite being a fan of Demon Souls.

@Rheinmetall said:

Resident Evil 4 (Game Cube): A modern game before even modern gaming was born. It changed drastically the survival horror sub-genre and the 3d person action adventure in general. After RE 4, all horror games would necessarily include aiming and shooting as part of the game-play and often a behind the shoulder camera view. It also signaled the end of the survival-horror genre.

I would also say that the survival horror genre is not necessarily dead, as per the release of the Penumbra series and Amnesia. The survivor-horror on the console has changed to the action-horror genre.

These guys just wrote what I was going to, so that ^^
Edited by Hellstrom

@Rheinmetall said:

@Karkarov: Devil May Cry was surely more important for the evolution of video games. I didn't even like that much God of War. I put it in this list because everyone now refers to modern hack n' slash games as "God of War type of games". BioShock didn't do anything new either, so maybe it doesn't quite deserve to be in the list, but it helped me see FPS games with a different approach, because before BioShock I avoided them altogether.

People also sometimes refer to all cell shaded games as "Borderland graphics" Doesn't mean much really. They're just associating other games with the most recent they have played. It usualy comes out the mouth of a console duder who is clueless of other titles. Many of those games you have on the list didn't do anything new CoD4 is one of them. All it did was get extremely popular among 15 year olds. It did not push anything other shooters weren't already pushing better.

I'm not really a big fan of the Hack n Slash genre at all. However there are much better than God of war. If this list was specificaly about popularity, where was Halo?

Posted by Twisted_Scot

Id have put something like Minecraft on the list over Demon souls and maybe even Bio-shock. In the past having played stuff like System shock and Deus Ex I didn't really get the feeling it defined a lot (although I loved the game dont get me wrong). Minecraft seems to have actually brought this type of game to the mainstream and improved it. Another I would have chosen over them all is Portal. But it's still a good list.

Posted by dbz1995
@Swoxx said:

Where's Heavy Rain?

Good list though

I don't think Heavy Rain has technically mattered-yet, anyway. It will later on.
 Good list.
Posted by sanchopanza

No Half-Life, no GTA? Also why is BioShock on the list? I think loads of other games before it did way more interesting stuff with first person: Thief, Deus Ex, Morrowind and erm System Shock. You could come up with similar examples for the other games on the list, they arent revolutionary, just very recognisable.

An Interesting read, even though I dont agree with your opinions.

Posted by Slaker117

Not a bad list, but considering that three of the games on there are console centric shooters, I'd argue that the original Halo deserves a spot.

Posted by Swoxx

@dbz1995 said:

@Swoxx said:

Where's Heavy Rain?

Good list though

I don't think Heavy Rain has technically mattered-yet, anyway. It will later on. Good list.

Yeah I know, It's a damn shame is what it is

Posted by falling_fast

Gears of War did not invent regenerating health.

Posted by Ravenlight

The racing genre seems absent here. Is that just because you're not really into racing or because no recent game has really made any changed in the formula?

I don't really have any suggestions as I'm one of the people who only causally plays racing games but I'd like to hear some opinions on the subject :)

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