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The Unannounced Games that Could Change Everything
For some time now developers have been taking on staff for next-gen projects, including Sony owned Dutch developer Guerrilla who are recruiting for a non-Killzone related game which, at the very least, should look impressive.
And they’re not the only ones. Below are five studios beavering away to create franchises that could be the next gen Uncharted or Gears of War. In short, these are the franchises that could be the next blockbusters, the games that could change everything.
Bungie recently released a set of impressive Halo stats when they formerly passed the baton to 343 Industries on the franchise that made the Xbox. While many have argued that the series has gone downhill over the years, indeed some say Halo has never reached the lofty heights set by Combat Evolved (at least until Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary), the developer was one of the pioneers of console online multiplayer in Halo 2.
As you’d expect from a sci-fi of that scale there was a significant backstory and history, which, while never overbearing in the games was there for those who were passionate enough to seek it out.
Bungie has a huge installed fan base and by extending their portfolio to the PS3 the studio will open itself to millions of players who never experienced the Chief and co. And it’s the very fact that the company is getting away from Halo that’ makes their next project so exciting.
There have been reports that the studio’s game will be an MMOFPS that may be called Destiny. CCP’s Dust 514 and Trion World’s Defiance are trailing new ground by bringing that genre to consoles so it can certainly be done.
Even if Destiny, or whatever it ends up being called, is not an MMOFPS the potential for the series is obvious. Without creative control belonging to Microsoft or publisher Activision the studio is free to create a fantastic new series. Let’s not forget that when Halo was first planned it was as an RTS, the transition to FPS show just how much a series can evolve.
Combat Evolved changed first person shooters, Bungie’s next project might just to the same and let’s be honest they need to change.
Around the same time Bungie signed it’s multiplatform publishing deal with Activision Respawn, well, respawned with the help of EA. Jason West and Vince Zempella took most of the staff of Infinity Ward with them when they departed Call of Duty forever over several litigation procedures.
On the one hand, these are the people who were responsible for Modern Warfare 2; on the other hand, these are the people responsible for Modern Warfare. A picture on their website (above) seems to hint at a sci-fi setting, of course that’s if a picture seemingly bathed in Vaseline can be said to hint at anything.
Modern Warfare was something of a gamble, and it payed off many times over, it forced shooters out of the Second World War and into the modern age. Respawn’s first game as an independent studio could push the genre into the stars (NB anything set in space is automatically 10-15% more awesome).
Of course even Earth based sci-fi shooters can be fantastic, such as last year’s criminally overlooked Resistance 3 which was one of most atmospheric games in quite some time. The boat level in particular was one 2011’s gaming highlights and there’s always Half Life.
Heavy Rain wasn’t a perfect game with quite a few plot holes and a difficultly essentially scaled to your familiarity with the Dualshock controller. But it was one of the few games that allowed for such emotional storytelling, even if that emotion was usually on the range of sad to outright depressing (if you haven’t played it and this is putting you off don’t let it).
The Kara tech demo from GDC gave us some insight into what the company’s been planning since work on Heavy Rain’s Move patch finished but what their next game will be remains a mystery. One of the other intriguing aspects of Heavy Rain was that it allowed you to arrange for a serial killer, one of the four protagonists, to walk away completely free.
How many games allow for that? And yes, the barman in L.A. Noire also got away but you never played as him or saw the world through his eyes, there wasn’t as much background or exposition as to why he murdered all those people.
Quantic Dream has a great heritage and as technology develops the possibility for ever more involved and sophisticated storytelling in games is becoming a reality.
The Finnish developer of Alan Wake recently posted that it was hiring several positions for an unannounced next gen project, including art director and level designer.
While Oskari Häkkinen, the company’s head of franchise development, has said that Alan Wake will never come to PS3 the job announcements states that the project is for next gen consoles. Potentially meaning that the series could hit PS4 and Wii U.
There’s no guarantee however that this project has anything to do with Alan Wake and that’s what makes it exciting. New IP always tend to sell better in the initial period after new systems launch and Alan Wake’s story and script, while slightly clichéd given the genre, was better than most.
American Nightmare might have been a slightly flawed transition to XBLA with you essentially repeating some of the same tasks time and again but it too had some promising ideas.
There were dragons in Skyrim, enough said.
Oh alright then, Bethesda in February posted that it was also looking for developers for a next gen project. This could be the rumoured Elder Scrolls MMO, the depressingly unimaginatively titled Elder Scrolls Online or the Elder Scrolls VI which we should expect to see sometime around 2018 (that’s just a rough guess based on absolutely nothing).
It could also be Fallout 4, a Fallout MMO, or another project entirely. This is the one example on this list where I think I might prefer the new game to be an existing franchise. In many ways, the Creation engine improves on its predecessor, Gamebryo, but people’s faces, in particular, continue to look a little odd.
Even so Skyrim was beautiful and with the power of next gen consoles and the immense, believable, and open worlds Bethesda is able to create this could be a simply incredible game.
Developers, please use less neutral background colors for your logos.
Otherwise just keep making groundbreaking games. Are you excited for the work these developers are doing? Are there any other unannounced titles that could change gaming?