One of the reasons I love Thatgamecompany is that they create games that are absolutely different than anything else out there. This a company that has an obvious creative vision. That’s also why I admire Amplitude Studios, the creator of Endless Space, which basically turned over its design documents to fans before release so future players could provide valuable input on what they wanted to see in the game. It was a new way to go about making a game.
Some of the most memorable games are those with unique settings and a depth of storytelling. Recently I enjoyed the original steampunk world of Dishonored, and Bioshock is a classic more for its setting and underlying philosophy than its action, it seems. The fact that so many shooters are incorporating RPG elements these days seems to show that players crave more than just shoot ’em up action/unabashed violence in their games. To be honest, I wouldn’t have touched shooters like Mass Effect or Borderlands 2 if it weren’t for their storytelling, characters, and gorgeous settings.
That’s also why I’m so excited about the upcoming video game Remember Me; it’s not afraid to break the mold. Besides featuring a female protagonist (yay!), it’s foundation is an original premise involving a memory hunter fighting through a dystopian world (set in 2084… 100 years after 1984, naturally). The gameplay looks inventive on its own, but the interesting story and world make it even more inviting as a game that makes you think.
Check out this CVG interview with creative director Jean-Maxime Moris if you want to learn more about some of the game’s offbeat elements. It’s an awesome (and quick) read.