The biggest year for zombie games by far was 2008 when they were made terrifying in all new ways in Left 4 Dead and World at War’s added Zombie Mode. A whole new generation were screaming at the sight of zombies and they couldn’t get enough. Luckily, developers of all sizes caught on to this and were quite happy to meet the demand. Many smaller games were simply ‘mow the zombies down’ games, with I Maed A Gam3 W1th Z0mbies 1n It epitomising this trend with its simple concept that has proven to be extremely popular. Zombie games have proven so popular that Popcap have even managed to make a fortune by selling a tower defence game to the casual market. Who would have thought it?! The latest game fuelling the zombie hype is Dead Island; a game that was announced in 2007, but lacking a developer has meant that it will be prolonging the life of the zombie craze. Nevertheless, I see this as possibly the last ‘big’ zombie game for a while and one that I hope will put the undead to rest for a while.
“My Spider Senses Are Tingling”: Superheroes
Superheroes have once again become a cultural phenomenon. The comic book, film and game industries have been producing plenty of superhero-based content for the last decade, and I do not see it stopping anytime soon. This year gamers have Infamous 2 and Batman: Arkham City to look forward to, and DC Universe Online has proven to be a successful superhero (and villain) MMO. It seems to me that the superhero trend is only just starting to pick up pace with video games and the subgenre still has a lot left to show us. Perhaps the most promising example of the possibility of superpowers in video games is Awakened. When this game gets a release we could see an explosion of games being produced by developers jumping on the band wagon…that is, of course, if the game lives up to our hopes.
If the next generation of consoles is delivered unto us halfway through this decade, the superhero genre of games could be the one that impresses the most at first. Giving us a number of insane abilities to be used at will in a fully destructible city sounds like a good demonstration of next-gen capabilities. On top of this you also have all the inevitable movie tie-in games, which actually prove to not be so bad. So as long as there are boundaries to push, and superhero movies, there will be superhero games.
“Clear The Basement Of Rats”: Action RPG’s
As gaming becomes broader in every way, we start to see games become more accessible in places. As consoles are proving to be the most fluid source of profit, developers cannot but help to provide more and more games for console gamers. The RPG genre is always popular and the most accessible variation is the action RPG. This has meant that developers are focusing more on providing RPG’s with a little more, well, action. The Mass Effect series has proven to be very popular recently, Diablo III is to be released shortly and that means a whole load of copycat titles, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will no doubt be a massive hit.
More and more we see cases of RPG’s being made more accessible and action-based, with Dragon Age II being the most obvious recent example. It seems that if RPG’s are going to exist in the future, they are going to exist as action RPG’s. With the rise of MMORPG’s and many free-to-play titles, the action RPG is set to be a huge part of gaming in the next decade, just as it was in the previous one…or is that action adventure games? I get confused.