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.
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.