Top 5 Original IPs of 2008
Written Friday, December 19, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
2008 on the whole was a year for sequels and it seemed like every big game throughout the year was a sequel. Whilst we love taking Lara Croft on new adventures, refighting aspects of World War II, and surviving the nuclear apocalypse again; it’s nice to have some fresh and exciting titles to get knee deep in.
The new IPs of this year may not have been as big hitting in terms of sales as last year’s efforts (Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed) but that’s purely down to the amount of titles that have been thrust upon us. So join us while we reflect on our top 5 original and new IPs, which are unveiled after the jump.
The gaming public on the whole knew very little about Pure before its release this year but after 20 minutes alone with it in Leipzig in August, we knew we had a great game on our hands.
An SSX Tricky and ATV racer hybrid, Pure is a racer with style and substance. Set against the backdrop of some impressive environments, Pure allows you to race courses powering your boost meter with some dramatic and over the top stunts. Nothing ground breaking in terms of ideas, but the execution is fantastic and we’re hoping it can pick up momentum like the SSX tricky franchise.
Lost Odyssey was a game next to little or no hype. Sure, it was on a few radars because of the whole Hironobu Sakaguchi factor, but it was never built up in the slightest. In hindsight, if it would have been, Microsoft would have had an impressive impressive new RPG and some decent sales figures to match, yet on the whole, it failed to make much of an impact.
Hironobu Sakaguchi is one of the famed creators of the biggest RPG franchise of all time, Final Fantasy; and his new company Mistwalker, who had considerable success with Blue Dragon last year, now look to Lost Odyssey to repeat that feat. Lost Odyssey tells the tale of Kaim, an immortal who has lost all his memories of the last 1,000 years and sets on an epic adventure to get them back. Set in a world that lives embroiled in a 3 way war, Lost Odyssey is an epic, turn based RPG that thrusts players into a truly immersive and meaningful experience.
Essentially, Lost Odyssey is a more Western dramatization of the Blue Dragon franchise with a similar turn based role play mechanism with a few tweaks, minus the whole anime look and should be considered a must buy for any RPG lover.
Mirror’s Edge may not have hit home on the sales front and actually sold quite poorly despite a more than positive response from most reviewers, yet it still ranks quite highly as one of our new IPs of the year.
The parkour, action-adventure title from Swedish veterans DICE, was a fresh and innovative title that was liberating and gave the player a sense of freedom as they scaled the rooftops of a totalitarian society as a “runner”. Lush, bright environments with a great story meant that Mirror’s Edge is a great addition to EA and DICE’s catalogue.
The relatively short game offers gamers plenty of replay value with its speed runs and time-trial modes and seems to be well supported by DICE already with downloadable content promised for January in the form of some crazy new time-trial environments. Let’s hope EA don’t decide to can Mirror’s Edge and its sales pick up over Christmas that gives the franchise some staying power.
Who’d have thought EA would have had two of their titles sitting in a Top 5 original IP feature ... 2 years ago, we would have said, April Fools or something to that effect, but truth be told ... EA are a changing company and Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space are their two indications of that.
Dead Space is a horror-survival title from EA’s Redwood Shores and throws gamers in to the shoes of Isaac Clarke. It takes place aboard the Ishimura, an abandoned mining ship, where Clarke is faced with a terrifying enemy, the Necromorphs and he must do what he can to survive. Gamers will need to take advantage of the game’s stasis gun and the fundamental “strategic dismemberment” mechanism in order to succeed. With its immersive third person view with no HUD, Dead Space offers plenty of frights throughout and will have you jumping out your seats on more than one occasion. Not played Dead Space yet? Pack the nappies and go out and buy it now. Played it? Reflect on its glory with us.
The premise of Left 4 Dead isn’t really that original; survive the zombie apocalypse, but quite simply put; it is original because no one else hasn’t tried it. You’ve got to ask yourself why though, and the most probable answer is more than likely going to be that it’s incredibly hard to pull off something that isn’t scripted, offering a worthwhile experience.
Valve have done a fantastic job with Left 4 Dead, a game only let down by its lack of variety and 360 visuals, and are on to a winner with their AI Director script. Not many developers can boast a gameplay experience that changes to suit you and your group’s performance; and it’s this aspect that makes us keep going back to Left 4 Dead. The zombie genre has never been more terrifying and accurately built than in Valve’s Left 4 Dead and we are thankful for that. Come on, slaying wave after wave of zombie’s and infected loons never gets old. We only pray that they release some more scenarios before we shelve it.