The mega budget of AAA video game development has afforded developers a level polish and sheen that would probably have surprised even the industry’s most forward thinkers twenty years ago. Similarly to how other technologies such as the mobile phone have seen rapid progression, the advancement of video game cinematography, scale and aesthetic that we take for norm today has evolved at warp-like speed. So much so, in fact, that retrospectively playing some of yesteryear’s greatest hits is much more of a chore than it should be, such is the shock of their low fidelity visuals and comparatively B grade production quality.
The dazzle of modern games often makes them feel far removed from the now retro PC classics of the 1990s, but the inspiration behind many of today’s most popular titles is still quite evident. And while some of these have improved and built of the foundations of that insight, in other cases their premise is actually less ambitious in design, and certainly less innovative in execution.
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2016, of course, had been billed as a big year in the video game industry, especially on the hugely successful current home console generation after the previous E3 stage presentations have painted a bright future for both systems. Strangely, though, the majority of the titles destined for release this year are either long awaited sequels or rebooted franchises, and even these hallmark franchise themselves are expansions on even older game design. Indeed, it’s strange to think that in an industry that has so hastily progressed in some aspects, it has remained quite stationary in others.
In light of that notion, we thought it would be interesting to shed some light on the seminal PC games that have served as inspiration for 2016’s biggest hits….