Although these games are not necessarily original in their content, they each represent a shift of some kind, be it in the gaming world as a whole or just in their individual genres. I have picked out only five from a massive selection of games that could be considered revolutionary. So let’s take a look back at only a few of the many titles that have laid the foundations for the next level of gaming.
This one is pretty much a no brainer. Atari’s Pong was released in 1972 and was one of the earliest video games to be released. It is arguably the game that led the way for the gaming industry due to its mainstream popularity and commercial success. Of course, its simplistic gameplay and style seems almost primitive compared to the games of today but that just makes Pong all the more impressive.
Video games have been able to flourish into what they are now thanks to the earliest games like Pong, which were both simple and innovative. It was certainly revolutionary in its day and will be remembered as such. I think I speak for everyone when I say, thank you Pong! We owe you so much yet you take so little…
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty was around long before the first Modern Warfare game appeared. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the fourth game in the franchise. It is also the game that changed online FPS gameplay and led to the Call of Duty franchise becoming one of the best-selling video games of all time. The game incorporated, as the title states, modern warfare into a genre where FPS’s usually remained within past wartime scenarios, such as the previous Call of Duty titles or the earlier Battlefield games, or sci-fi/fantasy/one man army type games like Doom or Duke Nukem.
Whilst the campaign is memorable in its own way (the post nuke scene as Jackson is particularly prominent for me), it was the introduction of the massive multiplayer gameplay that truly made this game revolutionary and created its legacy. It’s just too bad that the multiplayer comes with a complimentary angry 8 year old who feels the need to insult your mother. Could have done without that.
Grand Theft Auto Series
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat as I haven’t chosen one game in particular. Instead, I’m going for the entire Grand Theft Auto series due to the impact the games have had on pop culture as a whole. From the original game back in 1997 to the latest release a few months ago, each game has been a huge success in every way. As well as one of the most successful franchises, it is also one of the most controversial ones. This was to be expected in a game where you can choose to mow down pedestrians if you’re in a particularly bad mood.
Grand Theft Auto 3 in particular is known for its revolutionary nature due to its transition into a 3D open world but the whole series managed to reinvent the action adventure genre. It also arguably changed the way that mainstream media viewed video games, with the fifth game featuring on the news prominently on its release. The game reportedly cost around 170 million dollars to create and market, making it on a larger scale than most movies. The game will hopefully continue to expand, entertain and revolutionise the video game industry.
Minecraft gave us all something that was desperately needed in the world of video game, a giant virtual Lego box. The concept of the 2009 release Minecraft is simple but revolutionary in its massively open world gameplay and blocky toy box like visuals.
Players have an incredible amount of freedom in the game as there are no set goals to complete, although there is multiplayer, different modes and an ending in which you slay an Ender dragon. It’s still completely enjoyable and innovative despite its lack of structure and that is why I chose to name it as revolutionary.
Personally though, I had a rather bad initial experience with the game. I ended up unable to move or see after digging straight down into nothingness. Yes. I am an idiot.
The Walking Dead
Telltale’s point and click adventure game based on the popular comic books took the gaming world by storm when it was released last year. The concept is hardly original, the earliest point and click adventures emerged in the 1980’s, but it is revolutionary in that it managed to combine an engaging storyline, heart racing action and memorable characters all within the point and click frame. Players take on the role of Lee Everett, an ordinary man who is struggling to protect eight year old Clementine during the zombie apocalypse.
The game works almost like an interactive story, with the core element being personal choice. The player is forced to make tough choices throughout the game, including what Lee says to his fellow survivors and these decisions are always remembered. No matter what you do, it’s gonna come back to haunt you at some point. The brilliant storytelling, in-depth characters and raw emotion proved that big guns and fast cars are not always necessary factors of an exhilarating and exciting game. The games second series will be released soon and will no doubt be equally revolutionary as the player will take on the role of Clementine. How will Telltale tackle the dark themes of The Walking Dead universe through the eyes of a child? Only time will tell.