By Guest Blogger Ben Jacklin
Any type of game can be creative, and used as a platform for expression for all involved in creating it.
Games are collaborative works of art, and perhaps the genre that provides the best outlet for imagination and expression is sci-fi.
In a sci-fi game, not only are the developers having to build a world, they’re having to imagine the world too.
When sci-fi games go right, they can change the entire medium. When they go wrong, they can flop spectacularly - and it happens regularly.
In the modern age of capture cards, YouTubers, live streaming and gaming social networks, there is so much we can share we couldn’t have dreamed of years ago.
Because of this, retro games are being discovered by some for the first time. Classics from 20+ years ago are still being played and enjoyed around the world.
Which retro games were the most influential? We explore below.
Space Invaders (1978)
Well, we said retro! Space Invaders was sci-fi in the most basic way, in that the imagery was set in space.
Did it give you the realism and excitement of a modern sci-fi classic?
Perhaps not. Was it the first massive game to pave the way in this genre?
Many of us remember this as the first game we ever played, and our first awakening in the world of fantasy and sci-fi gaming.
Unreal Tournament (1999)
At a time when online gaming was something most of us stayed away from, the developers of Unreal Tournament saw its potential.
The gameplay was glitchy at times, and the connectivity was patchy at best, but the characters were awesome, and the concept showed us what online gaming could one day become.
Doom debuted in 1993. Though the storyline wasn’t the most amazing, and the graphics were primitive by today's standards, it was the dawn of the first person shooter (FPS) style of video game as we know it.
Doom was on millions of the first computers we ever had in our homes, and is remembered throughout the industry as one of the most influential games ever.
The developers went on to bring us the Wolfenstein games.
I couldn’t complete the list without including Halo. It may not have been the "first" of anything, but it was certainly one of the best.
To date, Halo is among the highest grossing game franchises of all time. Its influence has given rise to numerous copycats, and other sci-fi games made in a similar mold ever since its launch on Microsoft's Xbox console back in 2001.
The Halo games - which have now grossed over $5 billion - have changed the face of gaming.
We enjoy science fiction in so many different ways: in books, on television shows, in movies. However, the way we interact with video games gives a totally different experience.
If done right, it can be immersive and addictive. With the advent of VR and a huge amount of photorealism in modern technology, who knows where gaming will go?
What we do know is a debt of gratitude will always be owed to these retro titles.
About the Author
Ben is a blogger as well as technology and gaming enthusiast who writes about gaming capture and hardware at Captureway.com