Like any Saints Row fan, I’ve been eagerly awaiting any news on Deep Silver’s in universe, spiritual successor, Agents Of Mayhem. I might bemoan the lack of character creation, but what with Gat Out Of Hell jettisoning the boss for a Johnny centered game, the writing was on the wall for that feature.
Agents of Overwatch
Instead Agents of Mayhem is going to give us 12 characters to switch out as the situation dictates and it’s with a sign of relief that the progenitor series’ trade mark humor seems to have survived the process.
What’s slightly more worrying is the suggestion for early game play tests, that this is Overwatch garbed in Saints Row purple. Admittedly, when you’ve given The Boss god-like matrix powers, used Jane Austen as a narrator and thrown a sentient race of Velociraptors into your series, the wackiness had somewhat backed the story into a corner. So I’m happy that previous settings (largely a palette swap) have been changed for a futuristic Seoul.
The same but different
But why Overwatch? The answers probably in the wonga. It was clear that the Blizzard behemoth was going to be huge, Battleborn tried to get out in front and fell flat. But much like the wave of MMORPGs in World of Warcraft’s wake – success breeds emulation.
Trying to look at the market forces side of things, gaming particularly in the AAA space has seen convergence in recent years. This goes beyond technology, game styles are being concatenated. Ubisoft is turning everything open world and the influence of League of Legends even impacts Overwatch. So I might miss it, but Saints Row is only following the market.
Here’s to the little guy
The problem is whether we are at risk of saturation. If this is the case, indie games, like their cinema counterpart, is going to be crucial in keeping some innovation in the mainstream space. There’s nothing wrong with popcorn cinema, or AAA gaming but one
only needs to look at Call of Duty or Transformers to see what happens.
The convergence of many game styles will mean Ubisoft, Electronic Arts et al can centralise talent and make games as broad as possible, meaning profit as costs decrease and sales increase.
It is the Indie space where gamers currently and increasingly will have to populate for innovation, Nintendo aside. And for the games industry, if like tech they can catch this talent early they ll be life in the old girl yet.
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