Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'red dead redemption'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Extra Life News
    • Extra Life Updates
    • Best Practices
    • Community Content
    • Why I Extra Life
    • Fundraising
    • Contests
  • Gaming News
  • Features
  • Podcast

Discussions

  • Extra Life Discussions
    • General Extra Life Discussion
    • Local Extra Lifers
    • Fundraising Ideas
    • Live Streaming Tips & Tricks
    • Official Extra Life Stream Team Discussion
    • Extra Life JSON Code Discussion & Sharing
    • Extra Life United
    • Extra Life Q & A
  • Articles & Extra Life Announcements
    • Announcements
  • Official Extra Life Guilds
    • Guild information and Discussion
    • Canada
    • Northeastern US
    • Southeastern US
    • Central US
    • Western US
  • Gaming Discussions
  • Other Stuff
  • Denver Extra Life Guild's Recent Posts

Calendars

  • Extra Life Community Calendar
  • Extra Life Stream Team
  • Akron Guild
  • Albany Guild
  • Albuquerque Guild
  • Anchorage Guild
  • Atlanta Guild
  • Austin Guild
  • Bakersfield Guild
  • Baltimore Guild
  • Birmingham Guild
  • Boston Guild
  • Burlington Guild
  • Buffalo Guild
  • Calgary, AB Guild
  • Morgantown Guild
  • Charlottesville Guild
  • Chicago Guild
  • Cincinnati Guild
  • Cleveland Guild
  • Columbia, MO Guild
  • Columbus, OH Guild
  • Dallas Guild
  • Dayton Guild
  • Denver Guild
  • Des Moines Guild
  • Detroit Guild
  • Edmonton, AB Guild
  • Fargo-Valley City Guild
  • Fresno Guild
  • Ft. Worth Guild
  • Gainesville-Tallahassee Guild
  • Grand Rapids Guild
  • Halifax, NS Guild
  • Hamilton, ON Guild
  • Hartford Guild
  • Hershey Guild
  • Hudson Valley Guild
  • Houston Guild
  • Indianapolis Guild
  • Jacksonville Guild
  • Kansas City Guild
  • Knoxville Guild
  • Lansing Guild
  • London, ON Guild
  • Los Angeles Guild
  • Milwaukee / Madison Guild
  • Minneapolis / Twin Cities Guild
  • Montreal / Quebec City Guild
  • Nashville Guild
  • Newark Guild
  • NYC & Long Island Guild
  • Oakland / San Francisco Guild
  • Omaha Guild
  • Orange County Guild
  • Orlando Guild
  • Ottawa, ON Guild
  • Philadelphia Guild
  • Phoenix Guild
  • Pittsburgh Guild
  • Portland, OR Guild
  • Portland, ME Guild
  • Raleigh-Durham Guild
  • Richmond Guild
  • Sacramento Guild
  • Salt Lake City Guild
  • San Antonio Guild
  • San Diego Guild
  • San Juan, PR Guild
  • Saskatchewan Guild
  • Seattle Guild
  • Spokane Guild
  • Springfield-Champaign, IL Guild
  • Springfield, MA Guild
  • St. Louis Guild
  • Syracuse Guild
  • Tampa / St. Petersburg Guild
  • Toronto, ON Guild
  • Vancouver, BC Guild
  • Washington DC Guild
  • Winnipeg, MB Guild
  • Denver Extra Life Guild's Events
  • Extra Life Akron's Events

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Hospital


Location


Why I "Extra Life"


Interests


Twitter


Instagram


Twitch


Mixer


Discord


Blizzard Battletag


Nintendo ID


PSN ID


Steam


Origin


Xbox Gamertag

Found 10 results

  1. E-Line Media's upcoming title, The Endless Mission, can leave a lot of people scratching their heads at first glance. It is a game about making games that includes games within itself while also being a strong single-player experience that prepares players to make games. Make sense? It was a lot for me to digest from just a press release, so I took some time to sit down with Brenden Sewell, the creative director of The Endless Mission, to talk about his conceptually dense project. The Endless Mission's prioritizes giving players the power to create games of their own. It eases players into the process with a story and mechanics that gradually teach players how to use its tools. It begins with a handful of game modes that players can play on their own or mix together to create different game types to play. The game creation process evolves over time as players discover their own unique combinations of settings and find a need for greater complexity. Not only that, but players can then share their creations with other players, leading to what will hopefully be an ever expanding pool of stories and mechanics from which other players can draw inspiration for their own games. The Endless Mission grew out of a desire to connect young people with an accessible, fun game that could double as a tool set serving as a bridge between the introductory world of coding and full-blown game development. Sewell says that he and his team were inspired by seeing kids engaging with Minecraft in ways that became more and more elaborate over time. First, they would figure out how to start up a server, going through painstaking tutorials and executing commands. Some would start crafting mods for the game, again working through ridiculous amounts of tutorials, essentially teaching themselves how to code. However, after that, many never seemed to make the leap to game development, despite having good ideas, because the leap itself seemed so daunting. Once Minecraft was taken out of the picture all of that technical knowledge faded into the background. So, The Endless Mission aimed to give players the means, tools, and drive to help them cross over into game development and fill the perceived voids separating playing, modding, and developing. To help players cross the divide, The Endless Mission goes through an evolution that follows the player's increasing skill level. Players begin the game with access to a handful of pre-made games; initially a kart racer, an RTS, and a platformer, along with whatever games other players have shared online. That might not sound like much, but when you jump into one of those games, The Endless Mission gives players the ability to peek behind the curtain. You can bring up a menu to alter the fundamental rules of the game. Of course, this immediately leads to ridiculousness, like your avatar jumping for colossal heights or dashing impossible distances while 100x its normal size, but that's all part of the learning process. Emergent game design, discovering ideas for games you hadn't even considered before, is part of the fun! However, the game doesn't sit on its laurels and call it a day after giving the player access to the behind-the-scenes sliders. You see, once players have mastered the menus and feel the need for even more refinement, they can access a visual programming language built to represent C#. This allows players to make changes to the game in real-time. While the visual language possesses much more power and versatility than the basic menus, it might be found lacking for players who really want to get into the nitty gritty details, which is why the game allows players to open it up and directly program in C# to create the game in their head. Players will be moved through this journey by the single-player aspect. To call The Endless Mission a set of tools for making a game on your own would be an understatement. Though it certainly gives players the capacity to craft entire games, it's as much a rumination on the act of creation itself, with a script penned by Christian Cantamessa, the lead writer of Red Dead Redemption, and Richard Elliott, known for his work on the animated series Fangbone!. The premise revolves around the modern tension of shaping our environment with technology while in turn finding ourselves shaped by that technology. Though not necessarily the main goal of The Endless Mission, E-Line Media wants to enable players to make a full, functional game in Unity that can stand on its with the tools provided. If you're not a fan of the assets used in The Endless Mission, Sewell says you can import your own. Games can be shared online within the game, though it's not exactly clear how curation will work. Eventually, if someone puts in enough time and effort, their Endless Mission creation could even be exported as an independent game. The Endless Mission undoubtedly takes a big risk. However, the potential ability to inspire and enable a generation of young gamers to make their own art and tell their own stories could be more than worth the difficulty. The project won't be getting a full release for a while yet, but players can get in on the Early Access version for PC on August 31. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. E-Line Media's upcoming title, The Endless Mission, can leave a lot of people scratching their heads at first glance. It is a game about making games that includes games within itself while also being a strong single-player experience that prepares players to make games. Make sense? It was a lot for me to digest from just a press release, so I took some time to sit down with Brenden Sewell, the creative director of The Endless Mission, to talk about his conceptually dense project. The Endless Mission's prioritizes giving players the power to create games of their own. It eases players into the process with a story and mechanics that gradually teach players how to use its tools. It begins with a handful of game modes that players can play on their own or mix together to create different game types to play. The game creation process evolves over time as players discover their own unique combinations of settings and find a need for greater complexity. Not only that, but players can then share their creations with other players, leading to what will hopefully be an ever expanding pool of stories and mechanics from which other players can draw inspiration for their own games. The Endless Mission grew out of a desire to connect young people with an accessible, fun game that could double as a tool set serving as a bridge between the introductory world of coding and full-blown game development. Sewell says that he and his team were inspired by seeing kids engaging with Minecraft in ways that became more and more elaborate over time. First, they would figure out how to start up a server, going through painstaking tutorials and executing commands. Some would start crafting mods for the game, again working through ridiculous amounts of tutorials, essentially teaching themselves how to code. However, after that, many never seemed to make the leap to game development, despite having good ideas, because the leap itself seemed so daunting. Once Minecraft was taken out of the picture all of that technical knowledge faded into the background. So, The Endless Mission aimed to give players the means, tools, and drive to help them cross over into game development and fill the perceived voids separating playing, modding, and developing. To help players cross the divide, The Endless Mission goes through an evolution that follows the player's increasing skill level. Players begin the game with access to a handful of pre-made games; initially a kart racer, an RTS, and a platformer, along with whatever games other players have shared online. That might not sound like much, but when you jump into one of those games, The Endless Mission gives players the ability to peek behind the curtain. You can bring up a menu to alter the fundamental rules of the game. Of course, this immediately leads to ridiculousness, like your avatar jumping for colossal heights or dashing impossible distances while 100x its normal size, but that's all part of the learning process. Emergent game design, discovering ideas for games you hadn't even considered before, is part of the fun! However, the game doesn't sit on its laurels and call it a day after giving the player access to the behind-the-scenes sliders. You see, once players have mastered the menus and feel the need for even more refinement, they can access a visual programming language built to represent C#. This allows players to make changes to the game in real-time. While the visual language possesses much more power and versatility than the basic menus, it might be found lacking for players who really want to get into the nitty gritty details, which is why the game allows players to open it up and directly program in C# to create the game in their head. Players will be moved through this journey by the single-player aspect. To call The Endless Mission a set of tools for making a game on your own would be an understatement. Though it certainly gives players the capacity to craft entire games, it's as much a rumination on the act of creation itself, with a script penned by Christian Cantamessa, the lead writer of Red Dead Redemption, and Richard Elliott, known for his work on the animated series Fangbone!. The premise revolves around the modern tension of shaping our environment with technology while in turn finding ourselves shaped by that technology. Though not necessarily the main goal of The Endless Mission, E-Line Media wants to enable players to make a full, functional game in Unity that can stand on its with the tools provided. If you're not a fan of the assets used in The Endless Mission, Sewell says you can import your own. Games can be shared online within the game, though it's not exactly clear how curation will work. Eventually, if someone puts in enough time and effort, their Endless Mission creation could even be exported as an independent game. The Endless Mission undoubtedly takes a big risk. However, the potential ability to inspire and enable a generation of young gamers to make their own art and tell their own stories could be more than worth the difficulty. The project won't be getting a full release for a while yet, but players can get in on the Early Access version for PC on August 31. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. As promised, Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer has been released into the wild. It shows a lot of wide open spaces, tranquil wildlife and slow living... at least until a ranch smolders in the background and a gruff man tells you that "when the time comes you gotta run and don't come back." Maybe this is the story of how John Marston became an outlaw in the first place, which could be a neat way of bringing his life's story full-circle. Either way, the trailer just makes me want to see more of whatever Rockstar is cooking up in their secretive headquarters. Red Dead Redemption 2 will release sometime during the fall 2017 release window.
  4. As promised, Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer has been released into the wild. It shows a lot of wide open spaces, tranquil wildlife and slow living... at least until a ranch smolders in the background and a gruff man tells you that "when the time comes you gotta run and don't come back." Maybe this is the story of how John Marston became an outlaw in the first place, which could be a neat way of bringing his life's story full-circle. Either way, the trailer just makes me want to see more of whatever Rockstar is cooking up in their secretive headquarters. Red Dead Redemption 2 will release sometime during the fall 2017 release window. View full article
  5. This week the wild bunch reunites to dive into the wild, wild west for a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Rockstar Games' 2010 high noon classic Red Dead Redemption. The searchers make some surprising discoveries about whether the open range western should be considered one of the best games period or remain unforgiven. Look, I really like westerns, okay? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. Since the latest couple of flags on our channel have been dropped expect some incoming uploads to the YouTube channel, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Mega Man 2 'The Quick and the Blue' by The Megas (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02090) - if you like it, check out the band's online store (http://www.themegas.com/store.html) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  6. This week the wild bunch reunites to dive into the wild, wild west for a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Rockstar Games' 2010 high noon classic Red Dead Redemption. The searchers make some surprising discoveries about whether the open range western should be considered one of the best games period or remain unforgiven. Look, I really like westerns, okay? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. Since the latest couple of flags on our channel have been dropped expect some incoming uploads to the YouTube channel, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Mega Man 2 'The Quick and the Blue' by The Megas (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02090) - if you like it, check out the band's online store (http://www.themegas.com/store.html) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  7. Today, CVG spotted a posting on NeoGAF by a member known as Lazaro that lists Red Dead Redemption as fully compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. It would be reasonable to approach this with a degree of suspicion since Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar have been tight lipped regarding PC versions of newer Rockstar games like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V. However, a PC adaptation of Red Dead Redemption would be in line with Take-Two's desire to establish more permanent franchises. Going out on a limb, Red Dead Redemption coming to PC would raise awareness of the series and set the stage for a possible sequel called... Red Dead Revenge? Red Dead Repentance? Red Dead Rolex?
  8. Today, CVG spotted a posting on NeoGAF by a member known as Lazaro that lists Red Dead Redemption as fully compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. It would be reasonable to approach this with a degree of suspicion since Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar have been tight lipped regarding PC versions of newer Rockstar games like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V. However, a PC adaptation of Red Dead Redemption would be in line with Take-Two's desire to establish more permanent franchises. Going out on a limb, Red Dead Redemption coming to PC would raise awareness of the series and set the stage for a possible sequel called... Red Dead Revenge? Red Dead Repentance? Red Dead Rolex? View full article
  9. If there is one thing that I’ve learned from writing in the video game industry it is that people go bananas for top ten lists. Since console generations don’t come along every day, I thought I would take this opportunity to reminisce on the past few years of gaming history and write a list. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you the top ten video games of the previous console age. 10. The Stanley Parable The strength of The Stanley Parable isn’t in its gameplay, which consists only of movement, or aesthetic, which is that of a bland office building. No, the strength of The Stanley Parable lies in the high-caliber writing and the fantastic voice acting by Kevan Brighting as the Narrator. The Stanley Parable explores the issues of game design in a hilarious fashion and makes its points by responding to whatever the player does. The difficulties of creating for an interactive medium are so clearly illustrated by what players decide to do that it is hard, or even impossible, to imagine The Stanley Parable in any other medium because so much of what it has to say is told through a player’s interaction with it. And that is something that I have never experienced to such a degree with anything else in this medium. 9. Sid Meier’s Civilization V It is by no means an overstatement to say that Civilization is one of the best turn-based 4X strategy franchises on the market. While Civilization IV also came out during this generation, the dramatic shift away from squares in favor of hexagons and the elimination of unit stacking opened up more interesting combat scenarios and paths to victory. The end result of revising these mechanics was a much more fluid and exciting game relatively free of massive stacks of units entrenched against each other. Smaller empires became more viable and more mechanics were added later through hefty expansions that deepened the gameplay and added unique paths to victory such as espionage and faith. Civilization V strikes a great balance between the various methods of victory: combat, culture, diplomacy, and science. Other turn-based 4X games that follow in Civ V’s footsteps will surely be taking cues from this shining example of strategy for the foreseeable future, which earns Civilization V a place on this list. 8. Red Dead Redemption One of the biggest problems inherent to the design of open world games has always been effectively conveying impactful stories. Allowing players to goof off or pursue side quests between important plot points often diminishes the effectiveness of an open world game’s storytelling. Red Dead Redemption seems to be the exception to the rule. While there are sidequests and plenty of distractions to keep the completionists busy for years, the main focus of Red Dead Redemption never wavers from protagonist John Marston’s quest to escape the specters of his checkered past and save his family. That dedication to story eventually pays off with what ranks as one of the best video game endings ever that is shocking, sad, anger-inducing, and ultimately satisfying all at once. The ending alone would be enough to elevate red Dead Redemption to a position on this list, but toss in solid third-person shooting mechanics and leaving it out would be a crime. 7. BioShock Infinite I’m just going to come out and say it: BioShock Infinite had the most interesting narrative of any first-person shooter released this generation. Some people might argue that the first BioShock was better in some respects, but Infinite had so much more to offer on a narrative level that it makes the original look like a pale reflection. Themes of racism, isolationism, overzealous nationalism, religious persecution, predestination, and more pervade the game and open it up for interpretation on numerous levels. Furthermore, carrying on BioShock’s tradition of meta-comments on gaming and gamers, the ending of Infinite not only takes into account all of the players of BioShock Infinite, but also retroactively the players of the first BioShock and provides a new perspective on the material in both games. On top of that, Infinite’s city in the clouds was astoundingly beautiful which provided a great contrasted with the horrific violence and bigotry that lurked just beneath the surface of Columbia. Remember, there is always a lighthouse. 6. Mass Effect 3 The culmination of the Mass Effect trilogy was the ultimate payoff for players who had spent years of their lives, two games, and several packs of DLC building up to the final conclusion of a galaxy in peril. After carrying over the same Commander Shepard from game to game along with the baggage of all the difficult decisions made along the way, the finale carried so much meaning for players. Mass Effect 3 was better for all the time spent developing the characters in Mass Effect 1 and 2. The ending left people so vehemently divided because they cared so deeply about the universe of the series and the ending wasn’t what they expected. Was it bad? Personally, I enjoyed the game before the extended ending was released and I enjoyed it afterward. The game was more than its ending, though. Mass Effect 3 was a vast improvement over the first and second entries in the series: the story was more focused, the sidequests were more interesting, and combat was drastically improved to the point that an enjoyable multiplayer could be built around it. More than any of that, though, I loved Mass Effect 3 because after all of the choices I made as a player over the course of five years, the story came to feel personal, like it belonged to me. And, well, that was special. 5. Braid Jonathan Blow’s masterpiece was one of the first big indie hits and became a symbol for what indie developers could achieve in a modern market via digital distribution. What many people found appealing about Braid isn’t hard to see: fantastic art design, interesting time warping mechanics, and an abundance of clever puzzles. At first glance, Braid appears to be a traditional 2D platformer in the vein of Super Mario Bros. However, anyone who believes Braid to be nothing more than a pretty game with cunning mechanics is sorely mistaken. Tim, Braid’s protagonist, becomes the most interesting element of the game by shrewdly playing with the commonly accepted conventions of the platforming genre. By the time the credits roll, Braid has introduced the concept of the unreliable narrator to video games (or would that be the unreliable avatar?) and left a feeling of uncertainty. I’ve played through Braid multiple times and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand it, but I am sure that it is one of the most influential games of this generation. 4. Portal Portal is the textbook example of near perfect game design in the modern era of video gaming. Its simple-yet-complex gameplay slowly escalates in difficulty along with a gradually revealed antagonist who is delightfully sadistic and entertaining. The game world similarly reflects the gameplay design by going with a deceptively simple aesthetic. Sterile environments surround the player initially, but eventually cryptic warnings in nooks and crannies start to peel away the benign façade. One of the best parts about Portal is that it knows not to overstay its welcome. The game is long enough to be satisfying and feel like an adventure, but short enough so that the mechanics of the portal gun don’t start to feel overused or gimmicky. Portal isn’t just one of the best games of this generation, but it can hold its own as one of the best video games ever made. 3. Journey The minimalistic, “less is more” approach to game design has always appealed to me since Ico made waves back in 2001. Thatgamecompany has taken a similar design philosophy to heart with fantastic titles like Flow, Flower, and ultimately in their Opus, Journey. Journey is a simple platformer with some minor points of open exploration and only the barest hints of online play, yet its sophistication and subtlety set it so far ahead of most games that it feels transcendent. The animations and art direction are so well crafted that every time you jump you can feel the joy radiating from your character or the tense fear of being hunted. The musical score of Journey can touch even the stoniest of hearts and dredge up considerable emotion. All of these are great, but one of the most remarkable aspects of Journey is the inclusion of drop-in online co-op. Other players online can walk into and out of your game, drastically altering the experience with their presence. Some people are friendly and helpful, others lone wolves with no time to spare. Journey can be funny, sad, angry, lonely, and joyful all at once. Quite simply, Journey is a beautiful game in every sense of the word; a game that everyone should play at least once in their lives. 2. Bastion Developer Supergiant Games is one of the most amazing developers to spring into being this generation. They have a knack for crafting amazing games with a signature artistic and musical flair. Bastion’s quality is obvious from the first minute of gameplay. Playing through the shattered fragments of Bastion’s world is like stepping into a fantastical storybook unlike anything you’ve ever read. The similarities to a story book are further reinforced by the compelling narration that follows players’ every move, emphasizing the simultaneously wonderful and sad fairy tale feel. The amazing soundtrack by Darren Korb is a huge credit to Bastion and works with the other audiovisual components to enthrall players. The story takes unpredictable turns as it gradually unfolds and ultimately leaves players with a heartbreaking choice. Bastion is a fairy tale that spellbinds players and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. 1. Minecraft The sheer genius of Minecraft is that it gives players a set of tools and then unleashes them within a world that is practically infinite. That world, and by extension the game, can become pretty much anything the player wants it to be. Feel like building something without having to worry about pesky things like deadly monsters or dangerous falls? You can play in a creative world where you have the ability to fly and have access to infinite resources. Do you want a more adventurous experience? Start a survival world and brave the horrors of night and Nether to find the gateway to The End. Content update after content update have been added to the game for free since its release, leading to more blocks, more monsters, more… everything. While offline Minecraft certainly shines, playing online with friends and tackling a colossal project or deciding to journey together into the unknown begets a spirit of camaraderie and excitement unrivaled by many triple-A releases. On top of that, Minecraft’s simplistic aesthetic strikes me as incredibly beautiful, to say nothing of the endless supply of texture packs which add new visual effects. The massive popularity of Minecraft speaks to how much it resonates with its players, and while popularity doesn’t necessarily indicate quality in any form of media, in this case it is not hard to see why so many people have fallen in love with the title. No other games this generation come remotely close to what Minecraft offers its audience: The chance to unlock pure imagination. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am, agree with me, or even better share your own lists in the comments. View full article
  10. If there is one thing that I’ve learned from writing in the video game industry it is that people go bananas for top ten lists. Since console generations don’t come along every day, I thought I would take this opportunity to reminisce on the past few years of gaming history and write a list. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you the top ten video games of the previous console age. 10. The Stanley Parable The strength of The Stanley Parable isn’t in its gameplay, which consists only of movement, or aesthetic, which is that of a bland office building. No, the strength of The Stanley Parable lies in the high-caliber writing and the fantastic voice acting by Kevan Brighting as the Narrator. The Stanley Parable explores the issues of game design in a hilarious fashion and makes its points by responding to whatever the player does. The difficulties of creating for an interactive medium are so clearly illustrated by what players decide to do that it is hard, or even impossible, to imagine The Stanley Parable in any other medium because so much of what it has to say is told through a player’s interaction with it. And that is something that I have never experienced to such a degree with anything else in this medium. 9. Sid Meier’s Civilization V It is by no means an overstatement to say that Civilization is one of the best turn-based 4X strategy franchises on the market. While Civilization IV also came out during this generation, the dramatic shift away from squares in favor of hexagons and the elimination of unit stacking opened up more interesting combat scenarios and paths to victory. The end result of revising these mechanics was a much more fluid and exciting game relatively free of massive stacks of units entrenched against each other. Smaller empires became more viable and more mechanics were added later through hefty expansions that deepened the gameplay and added unique paths to victory such as espionage and faith. Civilization V strikes a great balance between the various methods of victory: combat, culture, diplomacy, and science. Other turn-based 4X games that follow in Civ V’s footsteps will surely be taking cues from this shining example of strategy for the foreseeable future, which earns Civilization V a place on this list. 8. Red Dead Redemption One of the biggest problems inherent to the design of open world games has always been effectively conveying impactful stories. Allowing players to goof off or pursue side quests between important plot points often diminishes the effectiveness of an open world game’s storytelling. Red Dead Redemption seems to be the exception to the rule. While there are sidequests and plenty of distractions to keep the completionists busy for years, the main focus of Red Dead Redemption never wavers from protagonist John Marston’s quest to escape the specters of his checkered past and save his family. That dedication to story eventually pays off with what ranks as one of the best video game endings ever that is shocking, sad, anger-inducing, and ultimately satisfying all at once. The ending alone would be enough to elevate red Dead Redemption to a position on this list, but toss in solid third-person shooting mechanics and leaving it out would be a crime. 7. BioShock Infinite I’m just going to come out and say it: BioShock Infinite had the most interesting narrative of any first-person shooter released this generation. Some people might argue that the first BioShock was better in some respects, but Infinite had so much more to offer on a narrative level that it makes the original look like a pale reflection. Themes of racism, isolationism, overzealous nationalism, religious persecution, predestination, and more pervade the game and open it up for interpretation on numerous levels. Furthermore, carrying on BioShock’s tradition of meta-comments on gaming and gamers, the ending of Infinite not only takes into account all of the players of BioShock Infinite, but also retroactively the players of the first BioShock and provides a new perspective on the material in both games. On top of that, Infinite’s city in the clouds was astoundingly beautiful which provided a great contrasted with the horrific violence and bigotry that lurked just beneath the surface of Columbia. Remember, there is always a lighthouse. 6. Mass Effect 3 The culmination of the Mass Effect trilogy was the ultimate payoff for players who had spent years of their lives, two games, and several packs of DLC building up to the final conclusion of a galaxy in peril. After carrying over the same Commander Shepard from game to game along with the baggage of all the difficult decisions made along the way, the finale carried so much meaning for players. Mass Effect 3 was better for all the time spent developing the characters in Mass Effect 1 and 2. The ending left people so vehemently divided because they cared so deeply about the universe of the series and the ending wasn’t what they expected. Was it bad? Personally, I enjoyed the game before the extended ending was released and I enjoyed it afterward. The game was more than its ending, though. Mass Effect 3 was a vast improvement over the first and second entries in the series: the story was more focused, the sidequests were more interesting, and combat was drastically improved to the point that an enjoyable multiplayer could be built around it. More than any of that, though, I loved Mass Effect 3 because after all of the choices I made as a player over the course of five years, the story came to feel personal, like it belonged to me. And, well, that was special. 5. Braid Jonathan Blow’s masterpiece was one of the first big indie hits and became a symbol for what indie developers could achieve in a modern market via digital distribution. What many people found appealing about Braid isn’t hard to see: fantastic art design, interesting time warping mechanics, and an abundance of clever puzzles. At first glance, Braid appears to be a traditional 2D platformer in the vein of Super Mario Bros. However, anyone who believes Braid to be nothing more than a pretty game with cunning mechanics is sorely mistaken. Tim, Braid’s protagonist, becomes the most interesting element of the game by shrewdly playing with the commonly accepted conventions of the platforming genre. By the time the credits roll, Braid has introduced the concept of the unreliable narrator to video games (or would that be the unreliable avatar?) and left a feeling of uncertainty. I’ve played through Braid multiple times and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand it, but I am sure that it is one of the most influential games of this generation. 4. Portal Portal is the textbook example of near perfect game design in the modern era of video gaming. Its simple-yet-complex gameplay slowly escalates in difficulty along with a gradually revealed antagonist who is delightfully sadistic and entertaining. The game world similarly reflects the gameplay design by going with a deceptively simple aesthetic. Sterile environments surround the player initially, but eventually cryptic warnings in nooks and crannies start to peel away the benign façade. One of the best parts about Portal is that it knows not to overstay its welcome. The game is long enough to be satisfying and feel like an adventure, but short enough so that the mechanics of the portal gun don’t start to feel overused or gimmicky. Portal isn’t just one of the best games of this generation, but it can hold its own as one of the best video games ever made. 3. Journey The minimalistic, “less is more” approach to game design has always appealed to me since Ico made waves back in 2001. Thatgamecompany has taken a similar design philosophy to heart with fantastic titles like Flow, Flower, and ultimately in their Opus, Journey. Journey is a simple platformer with some minor points of open exploration and only the barest hints of online play, yet its sophistication and subtlety set it so far ahead of most games that it feels transcendent. The animations and art direction are so well crafted that every time you jump you can feel the joy radiating from your character or the tense fear of being hunted. The musical score of Journey can touch even the stoniest of hearts and dredge up considerable emotion. All of these are great, but one of the most remarkable aspects of Journey is the inclusion of drop-in online co-op. Other players online can walk into and out of your game, drastically altering the experience with their presence. Some people are friendly and helpful, others lone wolves with no time to spare. Journey can be funny, sad, angry, lonely, and joyful all at once. Quite simply, Journey is a beautiful game in every sense of the word; a game that everyone should play at least once in their lives. 2. Bastion Developer Supergiant Games is one of the most amazing developers to spring into being this generation. They have a knack for crafting amazing games with a signature artistic and musical flair. Bastion’s quality is obvious from the first minute of gameplay. Playing through the shattered fragments of Bastion’s world is like stepping into a fantastical storybook unlike anything you’ve ever read. The similarities to a story book are further reinforced by the compelling narration that follows players’ every move, emphasizing the simultaneously wonderful and sad fairy tale feel. The amazing soundtrack by Darren Korb is a huge credit to Bastion and works with the other audiovisual components to enthrall players. The story takes unpredictable turns as it gradually unfolds and ultimately leaves players with a heartbreaking choice. Bastion is a fairy tale that spellbinds players and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. 1. Minecraft The sheer genius of Minecraft is that it gives players a set of tools and then unleashes them within a world that is practically infinite. That world, and by extension the game, can become pretty much anything the player wants it to be. Feel like building something without having to worry about pesky things like deadly monsters or dangerous falls? You can play in a creative world where you have the ability to fly and have access to infinite resources. Do you want a more adventurous experience? Start a survival world and brave the horrors of night and Nether to find the gateway to The End. Content update after content update have been added to the game for free since its release, leading to more blocks, more monsters, more… everything. While offline Minecraft certainly shines, playing online with friends and tackling a colossal project or deciding to journey together into the unknown begets a spirit of camaraderie and excitement unrivaled by many triple-A releases. On top of that, Minecraft’s simplistic aesthetic strikes me as incredibly beautiful, to say nothing of the endless supply of texture packs which add new visual effects. The massive popularity of Minecraft speaks to how much it resonates with its players, and while popularity doesn’t necessarily indicate quality in any form of media, in this case it is not hard to see why so many people have fallen in love with the title. No other games this generation come remotely close to what Minecraft offers its audience: The chance to unlock pure imagination. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am, agree with me, or even better share your own lists in the comments.
×
×
  • Create New...