Think adventure games are dead? Think again. During the past couple of years we have seen some of the best graphically structured, psychological adventure games to date. For a good period of time, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, adventure games seemed to fall at the feet of more graphically appealing and fast paced gaming titles like Quake, Doom and Half Life. As emphasis on games became more focused on flashy art, large scale animation, and bigger than life game mechanics, the depth of the stories behind the games became shallower. Titles like Activision's Call of Duty, Ubisoft's Ghost Recon, and 2k's Spec Ops, began to flood the video game stores with their first person shooter warfare game play. It was simple, yet addictive. After years of mindless shooting, and endless battles, gamers are realizing they are yearning for depth, thought, and interactions with their games. Luckily for us, adventure gamers have been awaiting this day and are fighting to bring this forgotten genre back to the spotlight.
Adventure games are defined as "a type of role-palying computer game involving fantasy, risks, and danger" (dictionary.com). To clarify, the risks and danger associated with traditional adventure games are not based on a persons hand eye coordination, yet on a persons ability to think and problem solve to create the best outcome.These games are also not solely based on PC's anymore either(Seems the dictionary needs an update). We have seen a lot of these mechanics in recent years through RPG games like Fable, and Elder Scrolls, or the popular MMORPG's like Diablo and World of Warcraft which have all appeared on different consoles including the PC. These games are excellent examples of how adventure gaming has adapted to survive, but they do not do justice to the psychological struggle and triumph that adventure gamer's yearn for. For years these devoted gamers have been banished to independent game developers and forced to play through hundreds if not thousands of low budget games. Not to say these developers are anything less than the geniuses they are, but a couple people can only do so much in an allotted amount of time.
Not all big game publishers have forgotten though. Publishers like Kanomi, Telltale, and Sony Entertainment have stepped up the adventure with graphically appealing, mind twisting, adrenaline boosting titles. There is still something missing though, a group of the audience still wants that fast paced, bigger than life game that strains every inch of your thumbs dexterity.Adventure mechanics can be elegantly inserted into most action or RPG games, turning their already spectacular games into mind blowing experiences. Stay with me as I review these new titles, and compare them with the adventure mechanics I find suits the game play best.
Until next time, read on.