After daydreaming about my memories with the Mass Effect series, I went to research any games in its vain. I keep on top of the big game releases, so I did not expect to run into anything. Unfortunately, I was right. The closest games to Mass Effect this generation are Dragon Age Inquisition and Witcher 3. Why don’t we look at the new IP from this gaming generation (8th) and compare them to the 7th. I will present a list of what I deemed significant from each generation and match up 7th generation IP with its closest 8th generation counterpart. Smaller titles (indies, AA, portable, etc.) are indicated with an asterisk. Also, Modern Warfare and God of War were so generation defining that I decided to include them on the list.
MASS EFFECT –> (NONE)
Much to my dismay, Mass Effect has no comparable series in this generation. Rather than the lack of innovation by developers, I believe it’s a testament to the series’ uniqueness. Mass Effect Andromeda was a result of Bioware/EA mishandling the franchise and shoving out a half-baked product. It seems we are going to have to leave the space-opera genre up to Ubisoft’s Starlink for the foreseeable future.
ASSASSIN’S CREED –> MIDDLE EARTH
Assassin’s Creed was groundbreaking back when it first came out. The graphics were impressive and the fact that Altair could parkour from beam to beam/rooftop to rooftop fluidly and without stumbling was jaw-dropping. Monolith Productions did a fabulous job taking the Lord of the Rings franchise and making a brutal, enthralling game that arguably does Assassin’s Creed better than Assassins Creed.
UNCHARTED –> HORIZON ZERO DAWN
Horizon Zero Dawn takes the cake for the greatest 3rd person action adventure IP of this generation as of now. The game introduced an awesome enemy faction, robot animal predators. The ability to override them to fight on your side, ride them, and detain them with the ropecaster all contribute to the allure of Horizon. While the story is no Uncharted, the gameplay is excellent (barring melee).
DEMON SOULS –> NiOh
Demon Souls spawned Dark Souls. Dark Souls seeped into this current gen and Bloodborne was a new Souls-esque entry by the same developers. Take Souls, change the setting to 1600s Japan, make it loosely based on real history, make the combat more dynamic, and you have NiOh. Barring a couple of minor gripes, NiOh is a standout game of this generation and is soon receiving a sequel.
RISE OF A GENRE (THE ONLINE RPG SHOOTER)
One of the biggest games of this generation so far is Destiny. Destiny combined the competitive nature of Call of Duty’s multiplayer and the single-player elements of past FPS games within the framework of an online infrastructure. You can squad up with your friends to take on missions together or handle them solo. There is also raid content that requires the help of others. Matchmaking is available to help players find others to play with. Even Bioware, a company known for their single-player campaign prowess, is taking a stab at the genre with Anthem. Thankfully, it seems they are striving to make their current fans as well as those who enjoy online RPG shooters happy.
RISE OF A GENRE (BATTLE ROYALE)
Battle royale has blown up over the past year. While not the most technically impressive, the gameplay loop Player Unknowns Battlegrounds and Fortnite offer is like nothing else. The genre has gotten so big that big investors in gaming like Tencent and Microsoft have their hands deep in the cookie jar. Sony has similar ties with Fortnite to the dismay of many players due to the inability to cross-play between PlayStation and other consoles.
RISE OF THE ADVENTURE GAME
Adventure games are big in today’s gaming landscape. Life Is Strange, The Witness, and Detroit Become Human are some examples that achieved critical and/or commercial success. While not the most exciting games from a gameplay standpoint, much respect has to be given for their storytelling and the diversity they have added to gaming.
Other notable happenings include the plateau of the FPS genre. Call of Duty and Battlefield, while they attempt to shake up the formula, continue to be the same game year after year. Titanfall was a breath of fresh air, but its lack of commercial success is holding it back. The class based multiplayer shooter genre boomed with the standout game being Overwatch. Nintendo created new IP this generation with Splatoon and ARMS. No new big JRPG was introduced this generation yet; last year, we got Xenoblade Chronicles, an expansion of the much loved Xeno series. Lastly, this generation saw the boom of small budget games to the point of rivaling AAA offerings. These include Hellblade, Little Nightmares, Cuphead and Shovel Knight.
The 8th generation of gaming as some legs left, so we may get some awesome RPG IP in the future. What is your favorite trend in today’s gaming landscape. What is your least favorite? Did I leave any notable new IP out? Let me know in the comments!
IMAGES BY Bioware & Bungie