Welcome to the inaugural post of CelJaded Most Wanted; a new semi-regular feature of the blog where I (as well as any potential contributors) will share an idea they’ve always had that might make a good concept for an actual video, board or card game or perhaps something else entirely.
I think everyone has been in that situation: you think up something original, earth-shattering or otherwise significant to you and then say “I better write that down” only to never do so.
Finding a pen is usually the first hurdle I fall at, anyway.
But starting now, I am going to start writing that down and never again shall a potentially mind-blowing (or even terrible) idea be lost to the ether.
And I’m not just looking to entertain ideas that might be great now, but also ideas that perhaps could have been good in previous years; concepts that have maybe now been eclipsed by technology or the overall state of the industry in question.
Granted, it won’t always be a case of “OMG, someone should make this a reality right now!” but perhaps something that threatens to be an interesting premise nonetheless.
I’ve been revisiting Koei‘s Dynasty Warriors series lately; a 3D action/sometimes strategy series of games that’s rather heavy on the action and rather light on the strategy.
Taking its setup from Luo Guanzhong’s 14th century historical novel Romance of Three Kingdoms, the Dynasty Warriors games depict exaggerated avatars of the real life soldiers, generals and strategists from the novel as they embark on an exaggerated retelling of the war to unite China.
The core franchise, now in its 8th iteration and counting, has proved massively popular despite its often simple (not to mention highly repetitive) gameplay and the various spin offs which behave very similar to each other. But the game ultimately succeeds by providing immediate combat thrills with ample room to upgrade and improve a massive roster of playable characters with a nice little touch of history (however many liberties are taken) thrown in to bring everything together.
We’ve seen Omega Force develop various other titles under the Warriors label that have actually blossomed into their own regular series. There are the big names: Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors Gundam and Warriors Orochi as well as others including Bladestorm, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage and most recently Hyrule Warriors; a Nintendo Wii U title featuring characters from The Legend of Zelda franchise.
Each one of these releases, however different on a visual stand point, still work on the same core engine where melee combat is the overall focus. I don’t think we’ve yet seen a dedicated ranged combat build of the games and this is where my idea really comes in: a modern day (I really don’t want to use the term “modern warfare” if I can help it) Warriors title that trades in muskets for assault rifles and cavalry for command jeeps.
Bladestorm proves that the core formula of Dynasty Warriors isn’t resistant to change and I think you could do a similar thing with a more modern scenario; focus on squad based movement and tactics rather than the one-against-many presentation that we’re most used to.
But then even with the traditional approach, I still think this setup would prove interesting and considering the series’ total disregard for that pesky little thing called realism it wouldn’t be a hard sell to me at the very least.
And who’s not to say that the historical context of perhaps WWI or WWII wouldn’t be a good fit either? I suppose there’s more of a sensitivity issue there seeing as how much closer these wars are to present day but then so many other games, movies and books have presented something similar, often to major success.
I would enjoy a more strategic game similar to Dynasty Warriors: Empires with a world map and tactical troop deployments with squads ranging from snipers, demolition units and such, with your powered-up honcho from history leading as the point man. With a multiplayer focus especially, I think it could be a really fun time.
There’s also the off-shoot idea of a persistent online battlefield that players contribute to by undertaking missions against other online players. In a similar vein to From Software‘s late Chromehounds, each individual battle could change the course of an entire digital war. A nice idea I think, but one that probably wouldn’t make it to market now due to the short lifespan of the similar Dynasty Warriors Online. I think a revival for consoles could still work though, especially when you consider the state of online gaming now as opposed to 2010.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is also proof that a more futuristic setting can certainly work for the engine. If modern warfare (gah, didn’t catch it in time!) isn’t quite the ideal setting then a future war or “weird war” setting certainly could be. Why just be content with rocket launchers and Shermans when jet boots and stompy robots are also on offer? What worked for Titanfall could certainly work here.
In short: A Dynasty Warriors game set on a modern battlefield featuring squad based tactics combined with lots of classic over-the-top-action would surely be a recipe for success in my gaming cookbook.