The beauty of my job is that it’s subjective. That for every game I love, someone is willing to argue back, to cite my opinion as invalid and bring light to the unmentionable things they’ve done to my mother. That’s why as a savvy consumer (the type that comes to our website!) it’s imperative to find a journalist that shares your views, someone whose opinion you trust.
If by some miracle you happen to trust my opinion (thanks for that) then check out what I consider some of this generations most influential game, thus I feel it necessary to state that these aren’t necessarily my favourite games, but rather those that have had an impact.
5 – Gears of War
The thing that Gears of War had more than any other game this generation was bromance, not just the blossoming relationship between Marcus and Dom, but also the one between you and the guy next to you.
It popularized split-screen in a generation that seemed intent on culling the screen dividing monster, perhaps that was one of the reasons I loved it. Though in reality Gears was a system seller during the 360’s infancy and was one of the few games with such addictive multiplayer that it was able to go toe to toe with Halo 2 (no small feat at the time).
Plus the Lancer had a freakin’ chainsaw on it! You’ll see Gears of War’s influence in any game featuring a horde mode too (though we have to credit the sequel for that one).
4 – Heavy Rain
Are games art, it’s a discussion that’s been raging for a number of years now. However Heavy Rain seemed intent on asking whether or not games could be movies. It was a dark interactive tale, telling the story of Ethan Mars, a man willing to go to incredible length to save his son.
It might have scrimped a little on the gameplay, but Heavy Rain was all about choice, deciding the fate of four characters and the ending itself. Dark, gruesome and all a little too poignant, Heavy Rain might not have had the same bite second time round, but the staggering variation made it worth giving another shot.
It was the PlayStation exclusive that helped define the system. “Oh you’ve got a PlayStation 3, have you played Heavy Rain?”
3 – Mass Effect 2
BioWare laid the groundwork in the original, but its sequel was where the consequences of your actions began to bear fruit. Mass Effect 2 not only managed to improve upon its predecessor, but even managed to kill the protagonist in the opening level.
Spoilers aside it boasted a completely revamped combat system, eliminating needless micromanagement and streamlining combat. It increased the pace of a story about being on a time limit. That being set the addition of loyalty missions was a welcome chance to delve into the backstories of our crew and influencing their odds of survival during the climactic suicide mission.
Many consider Mass Effect 2 the pinnacle of the series and sometimes it’s hard to argue, particularly against those still bitter at the thirds controversial ending.
2 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the impact that Call of Duty has had in shaping this generation of gaming. These days they’re accused of copying and pasting, but back in 2007 Activision shook up the formulae, swapping the trenches of the World War for Modern Warfare.
Known for its rapid pacing and frantic set pieces, these stylized escapades evolved to a point where you were fighting in zero-g aboard Air Force One to destroying a space station in the recently released Call of Duty: Ghosts.
However the franchise is most widely known for captivating audiences with their in-depth multiplayer offering. You don’t have to look very far to see its influence either, most multiplayer titles feature some variation on the load out and some have even borrowed the prestige system.
Regardless of how you feel about the franchise, there’s no denying that many developers would love to emulate its success.
1 – League of Legends
Recently the MOBA scene has exploded with every developer and their mother trying to get a slice of the pie. No doubt in part due to the staggering success of League of Legends.
Yet the reason I chose it over the competition (HoN or DotA) is because of the immeasurable impact League has made on the eSports scene, earlier this year the U.S government recognised the League Championship as a professional sport, allowing pro players to move to get work visas.
However whilst I do have a certain affinity towards competitive gaming, League of Legends is a bastion for developers looking to embrace the free to play model. Riot have successfully implemented two forms of currency, the first earned for playing games and the second used for cosmetic upgrades or as a shortcut to purchasing a champion.
It’s arguably the most played game in the world right now. With Season 9 looming on the horizon, some big changes in store during the preseason, we’re set for the most explosive season yet.