Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Perfect Xbox 360 Game

At long last, I've got enough time to sit down and write the special topic I've wanted to, about what I would consider to be the PERFECT xbox 360 game. Everyone, I'm sure, has some notion of what their perfect game would be, and I'm interested in hearing about what that game would be for others. So, if you decide to blog about your own Perfect game, let me know, and I'll check it out. I challenge you to be as detailed as you possible can =)

My Perfect Game

Genre: FPS and RPG hybrid
The FPS is listed first for a reason. Gunplay in my Perfect game has to be stellar, which means probably designing the game as a shooter first, and then integrating the RPG elements. The FPS/RPG combo has been done before in Deus Ex (which a key model for my Perfect game), and Mass Effect (that was 3rd-person, but whatever), to name a few.

Setting: Epic Sci-fi Universe
The setting for this game has to be a universe as richly detailed as the Star Wars or Mass Effect universes. I want aliens of a dozen different species, multiple planets, and a variety of weapons. Like Deus Ex or Mass Effect, the character should be an agent of an organization, tasked with hunting down and eliminating a massive evil. If players start out feeling as helpless against the odds as they do in Prey, that would be a huge plus. In addition to the main quest line, I want plenty of quality side-quests, each of which provides its own mini-story. Mass Effect's only major failure was its inability to provide interesting side-quests (only a few exceptions). Length similar to Deus Ex ideal (that was a loooooong game for an FPS) I would like some large and dynamic bosses that require more than pattern memorization to defeat. The ability to openly explore worlds, like the wastelands of DC in Fallout 3, is a must. Both Deus Ex and Mass Effect were too linear. Mass Effect's "exploration" consisted of traversing barren worlds, and just wasn't very interesting.

Level-Up Mechanics
Like Fallout 3 or Mass Effect, you gain XP for every enemy killed, with some enemies being worth more than others. Completing missions would also provide XP. When you level up, you would have options similar to Fallout 3, where different perks can be selected. I liked this system better than how Mass Effect or Deus Ex handled it.

Players should have the ability to customize how they look, on a level similar to Fallout 3.


Like in Mass Effect, holding down a bumper would freeze time, and allow you to choose a special ability to use. There's a lot of options for powers, depending on the sci-fi universe and how it's set up, but I would start by looking at Force powers from Star Wars, some of the psyonic abilities of Mass Effect, and even a few Dragonball-esque energy attacks.


I'd want a more stripped-down system what we've seen in other FPS/RPG hybrids. I don't want to have to dig through a lot of crap. Weapons would be classified into certain types, and players could purchase permanent ability mods that will factor into every weapon of that type (rifle, SMG, sniper, etc.). The player would make upgrades, while the roster of weapons would remain unchanged. No looking for a +5 blaster rifle, or anything like that. Health would auto-regenerate after a while, so there's no messing with medkits. Players would only be able to carry 2 guns and a sidearm on them at a time, but enemies would drop their weapons and ammo, making switching weapons easy. Since upgrades are applied to all weapons of a class, switching weapons wouldn't hurt you.

I want a Mass Effect style conversation wheel. That system was perfect and I don't want to change it.

The Role of Choice:

Deus Ex succeeded by letting players finish missions in multiple different ways. While players could change their skills in Fallout 3 or Mass Effect, the path was always the same. Deus Ex is thus the model of my ideal, as every mission should be able to be completed in at least 2, preferably 3, different ways, that are more involved than simply a matter of what weapons or perks you have.

Like Mass Effect, choices made in conversation would have a direct impact on the story, sending it off in multiple directions.

As you can see, my Perfect game is largely a fusion of aspects from Deus Ex, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, and all three of these games were excellent experiences. For me, the perfect balance of ideas from each of these games exists, and is completely possible with current technology (though I admit the game I want would be very expensive to create), it simply hasn't happened yet. For now, my best bet is to hope Deus Ex 3 and Mass Effect 2 continue to inch in the right direction.



  1. I want to play your game and I want to play it now.

    I could leave the comment simply as that, but no I will say that you have a very awesome idea for a game. The fusion of those 3 games' elements to form your ideal one is interesting and I admire the thought you have put into it. The simple fact that it is set in a Sci-Fi universe would be enough to pique my interest, but to include those elements as well makes it a game that would be very high on my radar if real. Obviously it's not though, so let's continue to dream about it happening one day and hope for the best. Or something.

    To go on a slight tangent, have you read the Mass Effect books? If no, do you plan to? I have them sitting on my shelf and plan on reading them as I play through the game again in the near future. Should be an interesting experience.

  2. Give it the expansiveness that made me sink 400hrs into Morrowind over a 2.5 yr period, and I'm sold.

    Now I want to play Deus Ex, but lack a mouse...the world can be oh so cruel.

    As an aside, the anti-bot thing wanted me to type in "anuseses." I probably shouldn't find that funny but I do.

  3. @ Steven: I've read the first one, which takes place before the game. I have not yet read the one that takes place after. The book was good by the standards of videogame books, but it's not that great compared to the sci-fi I regularly read. His first Darth Bane Star Wars novel was much better (I have not read the 2nd yet)

    I'm glad you like the idea for this game as much as I do. Let's hope such a game comes to pass. Or, let's hope I suddenly inherit the millions upon millions necessary to hire the people and capital needed to form my own game studio, and design the game myself =P...

    @Evan: I'm sure I live in a fantasy land, but I'd want at least 2 areas as righly detailed and big as the DC wastelands, plus a few smaller side planets. If you throw in some randomly generated dungeons as one type of side-quest, the replay value could go on forever.

  4. Fantastic post! The only thing I'd add to that particular game would be numerous armor sets (which is something I enjoy from Too Human). I don't like it when everyones character looks the same, or just a different color/pattern variation of the same thing.

    I will try to post about my own perfect game (as I probably prefer a more old style fantasy game) next week if I get the time.

    Great idea/reading :)

  5. I forgot about armor. Armors could be purchases from vendors, with different looks and abilities for different perk styles, and the ability to further refine them to tailor individual needs would be great, if possible. In keeping with my desire for minimal inventory management, I would not want armor to be an item drop from enemies, except maybe in a few rare instances (such as stealing a boss's armor).