3 Up, 3 Down: Video game genres
When it comes to video games, genres come and go, rise and fall in popularity, disappear for a while and then resurface. Lately, the genre mashup has blurred the inconspicuous lines between game types, and while a salad of mechanics is sometimes a telling treat, it more often than not creates an unpleasant and confusing mess. So listen to the devs, here are three genres you’ve overlooked, and three that should be shelved for the foreseeable future. Oh, what if you’re about to release this awesome genre mashup? Only. No.
3 genres we need to see more of
I just played an upcoming adventure game, and the “fight” mechanic was a Simon-style mini-game of matching musical pitches in sequence. It was a refreshing and underused idea, and it reminded me that we just haven’t had mainstream music games in a long time. Is it time for Guitar Hero to make a comeback? (I understand, it might be difficult to organize a Rock Band party during quarantine). I say “mainstream” because in the VR space there are a lot of great music games like Beat Saber. But not everyone wants, or can afford, to strap on to an alien-like device just to play music.
Real time strategy
While Age of Empires 4 is just around the corner, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a (good) full-featured real-time strategy game that wasn’t an afterthought mechanic in another genre, or itself didn’t include other superfluous mechanics like collectible card battles. Granted, the Total War series continues, but it really only has one foot in the genre at best. It’s definitely time for some good old-fashioned base building, Zerg Rush, and Turtle action.
Games with wit and humor
Is it a genre? Maybe, maybe not. Psychonauts 2 reminded me that it’s been a while since a developer released a game with genuine wit, humor, and intelligence. Humor that wasn’t crass or just mean, or self-referencing fruit (yeah, I’m looking at you, Rustler), but smart and funny at the same time. Of all the things to do right in a game, this could be the most difficult as the team has to hire a real writer with comedic chops and the voice acting has to be perfect.
For the three genres we’d love to see disappear, read on after the break!