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2008: A Great Year for Gaming
Ask any gamer what the most iconic video games of all time were and they would most likely respond with games like Super Mario Bros or Pac-Man. These classic games instill memories and emotions in us that last forever. I know that whenever I hear the words Super Mario World I can play the beautiful music over in my head, and see the quick twirl of a yellow cape against the hard shell of a koopa, but times change, and so do video games. After all, where would the industry be if it were still producing games for 16 bit systems? So what will the gamers of tomorrow look back on, as classics, games that defined a generation? I can answer with full confidence that I will be looking back on the games of 2008 ;it was a great year to be a gamer.
There are some incredible games today, but in my opinion, thus far no year of gaming has come close to the amount of gaming gold that 2008 was able to put out. We saw some incredible titles that year: Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Mass Effect, Fable 2, Dead Space, the list goes on. Not only did we see beautiful games like these, but smaller, more overlooked games like Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts. But what made these games that defined a year of the gaming industry so beautiful and captivating, and why hasn’t it happened since?
The simple answer is change. These games all in one way or another changed what it
meant to play a certain way or genre. Mass Effect changed the way a story was told, changing the intricate tale with every small detail and decision the player makes. Dead Space changed horror/survival games defining what it meant to have a creepy atmosphere and innovative game play. Fallout 3, arguably one of the greatest games ever made (yet again, my opinion), features open world gameplay with hundreds of missions and side missions available for nearly never-ending gameplay. These games and dozens others like them took risks, threw away the template, and created something totally unique, and above all fun! There are still incredible and creative games produced today, but franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield that just use the same concept over and over are abusing the freedom of games.
Sure these games are fun, and I will admit, I enjoy a good FPS now and again, but where is the innovation and creativity. I’m not saying we should stop buying these games, and if you enjoy them, by all means keep playing them, but if game designers really want to be remembered and looked at with awe and respect they will just have to take some risks. Gabe Newell, creator of Valve is a living example of this. Will Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 be remembered? Maybe. Will Fallout 3? Most definitely, because it took the risk, played differently, and went beyond your normal everyday FPS. 2008 was a great year for gaming; 2013 can be too.