Gears of War surprised many of us when it turned out to make a fine backdrop for a turn-based tactics game. Also this year, Pong became a roleplaying game somehow, and the next Yakuza game is a JRPG? Going a bit further back we've seen Assassin's Creed try being 2D, Halo become an RTS, Spore evolve into an action-RPG, WarCraft become an MMO, and Syndicate try being an FPS thought not for long. Going way back, who else remembers that the original Castle Wolfenstein was a top-down stealth game?
Our weekend question is this: What game would you like to see tackle a different genre?
Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.
James Davenport: A Dark Souls walking sim.
Here I am once again in my little Dark Souls Boy suit, a little too primed to talk about the only game I talk about and probably will ever want to talk about for the rest of my life. Anyway, give me a VR-compatible Dark Souls walking simulator. From Software has the chops to tell extravagant stories implicitly stories through architecture and art within its fictional worlds. You don't need to read anything in Dark Souls for the mood and symbolism to smear something like a narrative arc across your brain. From comes from a long lineage of first-person games anyway, and I'd love to explore a small section of Lordran, maybe at the height of the Age of Fire just before the fading of the flame. What did those ruins look like when they were full of merchants and artists and commoners? I realize this is some Monkey's Paw shit and we absolutely definitely don't need any more light shed on Dark Souls lore, especially because so much of my affection for it is attached to mood rather than the mundane details, but—but I like it there, in the grimdark fantasy playplace. I want to go back, please.
Dave James: XCOM as an RPG. As much as I've loved the turn-based strategy of XCOM since Enemy Unknown, there's a huge amount of lore baked into the gameworld from years of sequels and reboots. A proper RPG set in that world—potentially starting in the resistance, carrying out espionage missions under the gaze of the Advent, to maybe being part of the actual XCOM group as an inducted soldier fighting overtly—would really sing to me.
Andy Chalk: Shadow Warrior as a third-person RPG.
Imagine The Witcher, except instead of Geralt, you're Lo Wang, and instead of two swords and Roach, you've got one sword, a ton of guns, and a Datsun. Otherwise, it's basically the same game. You roam a foreign yet familiar land, kicking ass for money and spending your downtime hanging around with a bunch of lowbrow goofs and a grizzled old man who puts up with your crap because you're handy in a fight. You're not hero, no saviour—you're just a guy who wants to get paid.
Man, this could really work.
Jody Macgregor: Vermintide, but a single-player RPG. I love the heroes of the Vermintide games, the Ubersreik Four—no wait, Five—but there's a limit to the amount of character progress you can squeeze into a frenetic co-op stab-em-up. Give me sole control of the full party and some gigantic dialogue trees, I'll get to the bottom of Bardin's dark secrets and unearth Sienna's past.
From our forum
Pifanjr: I think Mass Effect would be perfect as a turn-based tactics game or cRPG as well. The squad based combat with complementary abilities would be great in a Dragon Age like game for example.
OsaX Nymloth: StarCraft's universe is rich enough to make an FPS/TPP action game viable. Oh wait....
Frindis: I would not mind seeing the game DuckTales transformed into an RPG. Perhaps the location could be Duckberg and you could play as Scrooge McDuck trying to build up his economy.
Rensje: I wouldn't mind seeing an official entry in the Diablo franchise done in a Souls-like style. Imagine the iconic gothic imagery and the timeless tale of good versus evil playing out in an over-the-shoulder perspective as your avatar treks across the world of Sanctuary, hitting up such iconic locations as the Monastery, Tristram, Lut Gholein, Travincal, Pandemonium Fortress and Hell itself. Imagine taking the fight to hellish fiends and epic bosses in very deliberate, difficult combat encounters. The entire setting of the Diablo franchise lends itself PERFECTLY to the Souls-like genre.
There could be room for some elements from the action RPG genre, too. Dark Souls has very deliberately placed loot (and that loot often tells a story through its item descriptions), but an element of randomness could be introduced without too much issue. There could also be a mix between handcrafted and procedurally generated dungeons. Bloodborne has proven with its Chalice dungeons that randomisation can work in a Souls game and I'm sure that system could be improved upon further.
The more I think about it, the more I feel like it should work. Diablo could do with a spinoff that really shakes up the formula and I can't think of a better genre to marry it off to.
Spaceflaffy: Battlefield but it's a versus RTS game
Pifanjr: You're thinking of Company of Heroes.
Zloth: Kerbal Space Program - the 4X game would be fun. Also, while I personally wouldn't be too interested in it, how do we not have a Bioshock city builder game yet??
XoRn: I think the brutal, militaristic universe of Warhammer 40k possesses all the necessary qualities to create a relationship destroying go-cart racer. A grinning Tyranid Hive Tyrant unleashes a ripper brood swarm on the first place racer. A single macrostub shot vaprizes Monty Mole into a pink mist. Tires sequelch cross a pool of blood as you round the corner. The finishline is in sight. You think you're going to win! But then you hear it... "WAAAGH!"
Honestly I cannot think of a more appropriate conduit of the Grimdark.
Sarafan: The Elder Scrolls as a strategy game with some online features. Imagine leading Imperial or Aldmeri troops in the war between Tamrielic Empire and Aldmeri Dominion. Or the game could be less lore dependent and forge a new path. For example you would have access to different fractions defined by Tamriel provinces. Your ultimate goal would be to conquer all of them using a chosen side of conflict. The game would resemble Total War and Europa Universalis series with historic events based on the TES rich timeline.