So here we are, the end of a generation. Eight years encompassing the domination of the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii of our video game habits. Over those years each of us has experienced many things from the games we’ve played. From this, the difficult task of choosing just five games that defined the generation has been put before staff of TSA. The list I write doesn’t define what my games of the generation are but instead the ones that had some special impact on me.
Mercenaries 2: World In Flames
The reason Mercenaries 2 is on my list is because it was the very first game of the generation that I played when I bought my PS3 in 2008. It came bundled with my console, along with Force Unleashed, and for me it opened up the potential of what the generation could do.
Sure, it wasn’t as great as Mercenaries: Playground Of Destruction, but Mercenaries 2 was fun in its own right. The map was large enough to cause mayhem with various types of vehicles. There wasn’t one defining moment that I can pick out as to why the game is on the list but a whole lot of tiny ones including tank rampages and base attacks. There was also a bright pink convertible involved too, which was highly amusing to use when ramping into enemy bases.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
If you read my Retrograde Perspective article from last week then you would have seen this game mentioned already. The reason this is included is because this is the game where online multiplayer truly came together for me. I’d played online before but Modern Warfare 2 was where I first really played online with a close group of friends.
It was 2009, my 3rd year of uni, and I shared a house with a bunch of friends. On the eve of the launch of MW2, one of my friends and I decided to go to the midnight launch – my last midnight launch actually – and decided to pick the game up. Soon after my other friends got the game and a team was created.
I took the role of assault while I was covered by some great snipers and other assault members. We became an unstoppable force, a well oiled war machine decimating anyone that crossed our path. The amount of joy that we experienced when a plan came together, or when we did absurd things online like creating wall of riot shields and then attacking when the enemy weakened.
It was just so much fun, and since those days that same multiplayer experience hasn’t really replicated itself for me in other games.
What a debut it was from Supergiant Games, when Bastion was released to the world. I played through most of the game in one sitting because I was so mesmerized by everything about it, frin the gameplay to the artstlyle and music. The Narrator had the perfect voice to guide you through the game, being his own force in a narrative that wasn’t being dictated by him.
The music may also be some of the best game music I have had the pleasure of listening to it. Instead of going on about it, just listen for yourselves:
To say I’m excited about Supergiant’s next title, Transistor, is an understatement.
As first single player game that I can truly remember investing over 100 hours in, possibly even 200, Fallout 3 is a truly special title. A world was created here where the smallest detail, like a bobblehead, could be just as important as the imposing Citadel and the Brotherhood Of Steel.
The Wasteland was full of stories to discover, some of them pretty disturbing. As just one example, that place with the two families who always used to have a steady supply of meat, even though there were no animals nearby. As my playthrough as a Wasteland hero I removed the parents from that world, but left the children to live because it wasn’t their fault. It might not be too realistic, but they seemed to be okay every time I went back.
Then there were the battles I would get involved in with gangs and factions. Finding a seemingly ideal sniper spot over a gang’s territory seemed perfect until I was caught by a passing gang member, who had a super mutant in their possession. I fled the scene but returned later at night and struck like death from the shadows.
Fallout 3 gave me a new love for the open world games in general, with follow up New Vegas just increasing my love for those games. All I need is a Fallout 4 announcement for next gen and I’ll be set.
The Mass Effect Trilogy
Okay, technically this is three games but there is one continuous story, and what a story it was, spanning a galaxy and holding so many interesting story threads. Some games struggle to even have a single good story to follow. I’m not too fussed that the ending wasn’t as great as it could have been, because the journey is something I’m likely to never forget.
Not only did Mass Effect provide an excellent narrative and lore, but the characterisation of individuals was top notch too. Your companions in the game weren’t just video game characters, they were people who had their own motivations and fears that you could relate to. One wracked with guilt over past transgressions, while another trying to find a place in a universe that shunned him.
Then there were the moments that some of those characters were lost forever. Characters I had spent hours with exploring the galaxy and the different worlds, characters who had spoken about what drove them, gone because of a mistake made earlier in the game. Video games are full of death, but how many make you mourn the loss of someone you didn’t want to lose?
The Mass Effect Trilogy was special to me because it gave me something I had wanted for so long in games, and that was a mature story that drew me in and had real consequences to my actions.
Though those five games are the ones I finally decided on putting on this list, there are literally dozens of others I wanted to include such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, XCOM: Enemy Within, Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption. This generation was good to us all when it came to games, so I thank the developers for that and congratulate them on a job well done.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more memories for this last generation of gaming.