Each week we will try to offer up suggestions on what you should be playing. There will be at least 2 game suggestions; something from the past and a recent release. When you play these games try to think about the design choices the developers and designers have made. Think about level creation, game flow, narrative beats, challenges, etc. Step away for awhile and analyze a recent scenario you encountered in the game; what were the level assets, what were the scripted events, did you learn anything new? By delving into the designer mindset, you'll start to appreciate some of the tough choices that game creators have to make.
Old: Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
BlizzCon was this past weekend and I thought it would be appropriate to revisit this RTS (Real Time Strategy). Blizzard does a fantastic job of blending strategy mechanics with a deep, rich narrative experience. One of the more compelling aspects of the game is the ability to play four different races throughout the campaign. Playing these different races, each with their unique unit set, offers great diversity and interesting gameplay. (Wikipedia Entry)
• 4 Unique Races with Diverse Units
• Confrontations driven by narrative
• Hero Class unit
• Combat Pacing (Slower than Starcraft)
New: Batman: Arkham City
The follow up to Rocksteady's 2009 smash hit, Arkham Asylum, Arkham City dishes out another helping of Batman. Easily a contender for GOTY, Arkham City has an incredible amount of content and better replay value than most other games. The" free flow" combat system is still one of the best brawling designs I've seen to date. This is how you make a comic book/super hero game. (Wikipedia Entry)
• "Open World"
• Side Mission Design
• Free Flow Combat and Upgrades
• Unique Boss Battles