Over this week we’ve seen four games, all masterpieces in their own rights, all boasting different elements that make them great, enter the Thumbsticks.com games of the generation list. From stealth gems, to open world behemoths, and all of the games on our list are special in their own way, culminating in what has been a rather varied list. Todays choice is by Daniel New and is different to every game that came before it. Todays choice was in the running to be my game of the generation, before I finally decided on Dishonored and is a testament to a developer at the top of its game. Sit back, buckle up, and enjoy, as I present to you, todays choice, and latest addition to our games of the generation list.
1) What makes a game special in your eyes?
The reason I enjoy games over other art forms is that they can transport me to another place (real or imagined) and allow me to play and test the limits of that place. A game becomes special if it can do that consistently, and coherently. For that reason both Assassin’s Creed 2 and Peggle can work as special games in my eyes.
2) What is more important, great gameplay, or great story?
As Richard said, gameplay will always come first. Solid game mechanics can be elevated by a good story, but a game can’t succeed on story alone. For instance, I enjoy the narrative, mood, and cinematic storytelling of the Assassin’s Creed series but they would mean nothing without the core gameplay that I enjoy.
Conversely a game like Super Mario Galaxy can exist as an exhilarating gameplay experience without the need of any deep narrative or story, in fact it would be dragged down by one. No one has ever complained that the story in Tetris is bad. Games offer such a broad range of experiences that there is room for all.
There are still very few games that offer a fulfilling narrative, for me the best stories tend to be those that occur naturally, either through multiplayer experiences, or though games have scope for random events to occur such as Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto.
3) Which developer is your favourite in the industry today and why?
Despite the their current woes with the Wii U, I am always impressed by the output of Nintendo. This year alone I have really enjoyed Luigi’s Mansion 2, Super Luigi, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pikmin 3, and still have Super Mario 3D World and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to look forward to.
For me they still capture the exuberance and energy in a way few games do, and when at their best are unbeatable in terms of game design. That said Rockstar also operate at another level and run them very close.
4) What was your favourite game of the previous generation, and what made it so special for you?
With this generation being so long this is an incredibly tough question to answer. I have adored so many games, particular highlights have included Bioshock, Rock Band, Wii Sports, Burnout Paradise, Assassin’s Creed 2, Skyward Sword and Grand Theft Auto V, Mass Effect and so on. All things considered my top two games are Super Mario Galaxy 2 and………
5) If you could only play one game this generation, what would that game be?
Red Dead Redemption. It’s Rockstar at the top of their game. One of those few occasions where gameplay, story, ambience, and mood were perfectly balanced. The Wild West is a wonderful setting for an open world experience, its very nature means that there are fewer opportunities for the illusion to break. Red Dead Redemption feels consistent and whole from start to finish. It has fully rounded characters, can be tense, thrilling and funny and it lets you be a cowboy. What more could you want? It’s also very cinematic, but in a way that doesn’t cripple the gameplay.
6) What sticks in your head the game’s defining moment?
The ending to Red Dead Redemption was sublime, a complete change from the usual “Big Boss” endings that we are usually served.
For once you got to enjoy the fruits of your success, in this case the life John Marston always wanted. It was completely unexpected and felt so rewarding, even if it was short-lived.
It gave the characters a life beyond the main thrust of the game, and after spending 40 hours gunning down bandits and bad guys rustling cattle and fetching herbs may seem like a come down, but it really completed the experience for me.
7) What makes your chosen game so special?
Like most Rockstar games it was the collection of moments and memories the game provided that makes it so special. I have played Read Dead Redemption through a number of times. The main storyline offers plenty of great character beats and action set pieces, but surrounding those you also have a multitude of random moments that delight; an unexpected skirmish, a chance sighting of a beautiful sunset, a close call with snake, a duel at duck. For a game set in such a wild and desolate landscape it was rich with treasures.
So there you go. Red Dead Redemption is Daniels choice for game of the generation. Rockstar have been responsible for some of the most beautiful, emotional and thematically impressive games of the generation, and it’s the speed at which they make these games that’s impressive. In the time that it has taken Team ICO to make, Shadow of the Colossus and ICO, Rockstar have made, Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, and Grand Theft Auto V, as well as substantial pieces of story driven DLC. Tomorrow will be the last part of this feature. It will be slightly different to the parts that have come before it. Seeing as though tomorrows set of answers is shorter than the rest of the previous parts have been, I am going to take advantage of this to do a final, in-depth, round-up of our list. Keep your eyes on this website tomorrow in order to see our final contributors choice, as well as a final round-up of all the games included this week.