Valve isn’t taking any chances with its first blockbuster VR title, Half-Life: Alyx. Given the fact that Half-Life: Alyx is a virtual reality game where your physical …
What video games changed the industry over gaming history?
Hey Jeremy, that’s a tough one, and it’s gonna be long winded as well, so prepare thyself.
Also, I’m gonna answer this from my own experiences so it will be heavily biased but I’ll do my best to try and capture as many of the big ones. ALSO, PLEASE CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG ON ANY OF THESE POINTS. I care more about facts than my ego, and that’s a fact.
My first game ever was Pong. My dad was a developer in Dubai at the time and he had a 486 (its a computer) and to improve his coding skills (and also cus we were broke as, no joke he spent YEARS saving up for that 486 from what I’m told) he coded Pong for me to play. Didn’t understand the effort that was required to do what he did for me, but that man is a legend. To me at least. But Pong is a big one because it showed that computers could be used for things other than word processing.
Anyway, I got bored pretty quick of Pong and MS-DOS rolled around and that was when games really got me hooked. Dad would bring me floppy disks of games and I would trade for some at school. I think Pac man was first, then it was the Prehistorik series, Dangerous Dave as far as my memory serves. These defined my childhood. I still have these games saved in a data vault somewhere. As far as the industry goes these games introduced (if I’m not mistaken) 8 bit sound and tricolour. Some of the first colour games on PC. I eventually improved my grades and I got an ATARI as a gift for the achievement, and I think I played way too much Frogger for it to be considered healthy. This console was a big one in the history of video games as well, because AFAIK, this was the last ATARI consumer game console that ever came out (the game cabinets arcades went on much longer). Cartridge support, analog controller, top of the line bit of kit.
Then we had to move country and we had to sell everything, and we were back in Sri Lanka where our lifestyle was even worse off, so I was gameless for many years. But thankfully, I was blessed with loaded cousins, and they had a SEGA MegaDrive 2. I played Golden Axe and Streets of Rage ONCE and that was it. My mother wouldn’t hear the end of this whiny ass kid going “I wanna go to my cousins!”. Those two games and the console was a big leap ahead. These SEGA consoles were the first to release proprietary titles, better sound, resolution, graphics, probably the first company to PARTNER with a standalone development studio (CAPCOM) whose purpose was to make games and, last but not least new controllers! The d-pad and button system is a big one. It was probably the birthplace of modern controller layouts. It shows how much they got right on such an early iteration (2nd gen console of ALL TIME).
Fast forward a few more years, and I get my own computer. We are in the Win95/98 era now. Went nuts on the games, the most memorable games are Doom 3d, Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem. These three games literally caved in my mind. It’s like the first time you see James Cameron’s Avatar in IMAX3d. Like, you wanna low-key throw up, but you also just wanna keep at it cus its just soo good. Same thing. These were the first games to render a world in 3D and this is probably considered the real starting point of the gaming revolution; i.e. easily accessible games to many consumers as opposed to arcades. Played many others during this time though, but nothing stays as tack sharp in my memories as the three I’ve mentioned above. Got a hand me down N64 and played Donkey Kong on there, but I was already shifting towards PC since we didn’t get much access to cartridges where I lived.
From here on, A PC has been a staple and played thousands of games until the present where I own a PC, XB, and PS. So I’m not gonna dive into the backstory, but I’ll just list the games that come to mind. Might not be in any chronological order:
GTA 2 – I was just blown away by the top down gameplay and this massive map.
Unreal Tournament – Won a few competitions and that was my first foray into multiplayer
Half-Life series – These games just are impossible to discount. You can download and play HL2 even today, and you will no doubt be impressed at the sheer scalability of the Source Engine. This is, in my eyes, probably one of the games that were responsible for sending game developers into a craze in building newer, more powerful game engines. The stuff these games did for story-telling is just next level. By the end of the series, I’m pretty certain I was in an imaginary relationship with Alyx Vance. It was that good.
Black and White – Before I played the SIMS, I played Black and White. And that game opened my eyes to the limitless potential of the experiences games could bring. Probably the second God game ever created after the SIMS
Fable – Another great game, and probably my first ever (kinda) RPG. FYI, my favourite genre is RPG. That’s how good Fable was. Play the remastered one on steam and tell me if you aren’t hooked from the very first “Chicken Chaser”.
I have a few blank years from here – got diagnosed with epilepsy, and also had the unfortunate experience of going through puberty. LOL! So ignore the jump in years.
NFS: Most Wanted – One of the best car games I have ever had the honour of playing. Redefined the driving genre from simulator focus to experience focus IMO.
Prince of Persia Warrior Within – This game took me by surprise. I was strongly against consoles during this time, simply cus I couldn’t afford it where I was but, when I saw this game, I lost it. PCs were running much higher resolutions at this time so anti-aliasing was the holy grail in PC, but not everyone had the hardware to run AA. So everything was very… jaggy. Consoles were still on analog TVs and those were much lower res, but because they didn’t have such defined pixels, some games LOOKED like they were running AA. This and the PoP:WW being such a brilliant bit of storytelling, I was hooked. Friends that had PS2’s had to kick me out of their houses.
Farcry – Blew every other game’s graphics out of the water, and remained the ultimate benchmark for killing PC graphics cards for at least 4 graphics card iterations (generations)
Borderlands – My most favourite game of all time. I fell in love with the the quirky IDGAF attitude that Gearbox went with this one, and showed that you could have a decent RPG lootfest mixed with FPS twitch skill. I think I spent over 2000 hours on just this game series collectively on various platforms. Yup, still play it once in a while. It was also, the first game my wife and I played together and fell in love with.
Elite: Dangerous – One of the best space simulators. Supported VR so it was my first game that I played for a significant amount of time in VR. This is one of those leaps like from 2d to 3d. Being able to gauge depth is something else.
The Witcher 3 – The witcher 3 just blows every other RPG out of the water in my opinion. I loved games like Deus Ex, Elder scrolls, Dragon Age, etc but The witcher did it. It made RPGs accessible to many players around the world and that is one hell of a milestone. RPGs are not the easiest games to understand but once you get it, the deal it done.
Dying Light – The best zombie game of all time. I would say Dead Island was the best, but since its the same dev, I opt for the more polished variant. Im a design and UX snob like that.
Horizon Zero Dawn – One of the best action/adventure games so far that have gone an unthinkable extent in world building. Most people who played through the main story of (SPOILERS) ‘girl meets world’, wouldve missed it. But if you 100% that game, the bit of extra information about the prior world is detailed, you can almost say they built that previous world before suddenly changing their minds to the world that you play HZD. It’s amazing.
Hope that is, at the very least an interesting read – if not at all to the point or answers your question.