They say the original sinners never felt a drop of pain
We all hope to grow. Humanity thrives on forward momentum, on the sense that we are improving, and game makers are no exception. Any creator hopes that their next game will be better received, and more successful, than their previous one. That desire is the game industry in microcosm, a place where games get bigger, broader, deeper and theoretically better over time.
There’s plenty of that on show this issue – no surprise given the time of year, now the clocks have gone back and the sequel season is in full swing. Assassin’s Creed is back after a year’s hiatus and continues to be the archetypal videogame series, its seemingly endless sprawl stretched still further, fresh ideas sprinkled in with the hoary old ones, a game that is huger than ever and just about new enough to pass muster. Forgive us the spoiler, but we’re not exactly bowled over by Origins.
Yet the real story of this issue is in two games with very similar goals; games which seek to appeal to two very different audiences, and face staggering success if they pull it off. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a deep, technical fighting game based on an IP known the world over. Developer Arc System Works must please two camps: genre veterans who know the studio for its work on such series as Blazblue and Guilty Gear, and expect more of the same; and fans of the source material who may never have played a fighting game in their lives, and think a super combo is something you order at a fast-food joint. That is no small task. Beginning on p70, we discover how the developer is going about it.
Capcom knows a thing or two about turning niche games into hits, but it’s been a while since the publisher took a Street Fighter or a Resident Evil and turned it into a worldwide smash. Monster Hunter: World looks like its most successful tilt at the mainstream in years – yet it has done so, somehow, without short-changing its most passionate fans, the game meeting two different audience needs in style. Our story begins on p60.
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