Whether you’re after PlayStation trophies or Xbox achievements, we’re constantly getting set targets by our games. There is something nice about the comforting pat-on-back from developers telling us we’ve been a good little player. But what if we could turn the tables and set achievements for the games industry itself? Plenty of forums buzz with demands for remakes, moans at delays in the release schedule and, very occasionally, praise for games that strike a chord. What do we really want from the industry and what targets could they realistically achieve? Ok, if there’s no money in it then they probably won’t care, but wouldn’t it be great to unleash their inner score whore? Surely they wouldn’t be able to resist listening to our demands if there were a few extra Gs in it for them? Here are ten achievements we’d like to see the industry – er – achieve in 2010.
Release ten original intellectual properties (IP)
Being the new guy is never easy, especially in the games industry. As development costs have sky-rocketed and the industry has become increasingly risk-adverse, publishers have become less willing to invest in original IPs, knowing full well a sequel has more of a guaranteed return. This trend looks to continue for the foreseeable future, so we will count ourselves lucky if we see ten original big-budget releases in 2010. Have a look at our most hotly anticipated original titles here.
Mario sequel on one console that lives up to expectations
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of 2010’s most anticipated games, but the hype machine is yet to get going. Despite seemingly endless love for the world’s most famous game character, it will be the first time since Super Mario 3 that Nintendo have managed to release a true Mario sequel within one generation of platforms. If it’s nearly as good as its predecessor then Wii owners are in for a much-needed Nintendo treat.
Project Natal is actually good
This year’s biggest development in the console war will be Microsoft and Sony’s attempts to pierce the motion-sensitive market. Nintendo’s Wii brought a new demographic to gaming and both Microsoft and Sony want a piece of the casual pie. Due for a 2010 release is the controller-lacking, wireless Project Natal for Xbox 360. Exactly how or even if it will work with games as we know them remains to be seen. Having good enough first and third-party software support to justify consumers buying it will surely be a real achievement.
Blizzard actually release StarCraft II
Played as a professional sport in South Korea, the original StarCraft is considered by many to be the pinnacle in real-time strategy (RTS) gameplay. Others just call it that thing that came out before I was born. It’s been over ten years since the original’s release, so the sequel has been more than a long time coming. Could it provide a much needed boost for the RTS genre?
BioShock 2 is better than BioShock
Improving on one of the most talked about, respected and highly rated games of the last five years is a huge ask of developer 2K. The feedback from hands-on experience has been excellent, but the addition of multiplayer has raised a few eyebrows and many are still cynical – me included. Bettering a Metacritic score of 96 would be a colossal achievement, but in truth getting close will still be a cause for celebration.
Someone announces a release date for Duke Nukem Forever
Can they industry provide us this year with another release date for Duke Nukem Forever? They might as well, if only for a laugh.
Develop two more [redundant] peripherals
If you thought your room couldn’t get any more cluttered, think again. Enthusiasm may be waning from some quarters, but peripheral gadgets are still big, shiny and profitable, with certain publishers still making a killing from them. Rock music, DJ-ing, weight watching and skateboarding have been covered over the years – with varying degrees of success. Who knows what plastic devices will be released or announced in 2010? A keyboard with only five notes? Bassoon Hero?
Complete the year without killing anyone
In 2009, the UK government-funded ’Change 4 life’ campaign presented a pretty blunt warning of the link between leading a physically inactive lifestyle and early death – sorry – D E A T H. The stark image they used was of a miserable looking child clutching something that heavily resembled a PlayStation controller. After the industry went up in arms and Sony threatened legal action, that particular advert was withdrawn. What an utter waste of money. Anyway, here is hoping we don’t all die prematurely in 2010 due to games related inactivity – it’s just something to aim for.
Sonic returns to form
Too many below-par Sonic games have left even hardened SEGA fans dejected. At time of writing not much is known about Sega’s Project Needlemouse other than its aim to bring Sonic back to its roots in a 2D side-scrolling game that focuses on speed – and that it has a funny name. Sounds good on paper – not the name, the concept. If they pull it off then it could be a hit with retro fans and a new generation of gamers (or it could be crap again and we’ll all wonder why we still care – Ed).
Ten games with 2 in the title
This achievement has got to be a sitter as 2010 is due to have a prolific output of sequels. Plenty of critics will mention things like how financial pressures are stopping innovation, but a look at some of 2010’s expected 2s proves to actually be quite exciting: BioShock 2, Mass Effect 2, StarCraft 2, Just Cause 2, Crackdown 2, No More Heroes 2, Dead Space 2 , Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Kane and Lynch 2, Sin and Punishment 2, Red Steel 2, Supreme Commander 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mafia 2, Crysis 2… the list could go on and on. Most of us will find something to like here, God knows how we are going to play them all.