While returning franchises like Halo, Call of Duty, Madden, and Grand Theft Auto were burning up the sales charts, this generation also managed to have its fair share of amazing new intellectual properties. This generation saw players free running across the roofs of ancient Rome, treasure hunting in lush jungles and barren deserts, questioning their own morality while fighting unimaginable odds, and just hoping for a damned slice of cake. Today, Stealthy Box counts down five of the best new IPs of the seventh generation of gaming.
Note, these are only our opinions. There are many great franchises that could have easily made this list. It was only after careful thought and debate that this list was compiled. If your favorite new IP is missing, please feel free to share why you think it is deserving in the comments.
We’ve have all heard the criticisms thrown at Assassin’s Creed since it first debuted way back in 2007: Ubisoft waters down the franchise by releasing one a year, the science fiction future story is stupid, Desmond is a completely unlikable character, or the games just don’t make sense. However, no one can argue that when we actually play as one of the assassins, we have so much fun.
Ubisoft dared to do something different with Assassin’s Creed, taking us to settings and eras that were unexplored in gaming. We terrorized the Templars in the Holy Land during the Crusades, drowned guards in the waters of Venice in the time of the Borgias, and stalked the British in Revolutionary War-era Boston.
It is hard to argue the quality of the Assassin’s Creed franchise when you consider that the lowest rated game on Metacritic is Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines with a 63, and that was a PSP game! No console Assassin’s Creed game has lower than an 80 average, with Assassin’s Creed II coming at over 90. Assassin’s Creed was an IP with a lot of question marks at the beginning of this generation, but it enters the next as one of the strongest.
On paper, Portal should not have been as great as it was. Think about it: A first-person shooter where you get to use a gun, but it doesn’t shoot bullets. Instead, you shoot holes that you jump through to get to other side of room, so you can go to the next room and do it again, all at the bidding of this evil computer program that promises you cake if you do well.
Actually, how Portal works isn’t much of a secret. The rooms, or “test chambers,” are well designed and fun to figure out. It made us feel like we were a rat in the maze, trying to figure out the right lever or button to push to get a piece of cheese. Instead of having the stereotypical scientist watch over us as we wander through our maze, we have a homicidal AI dishing out cutting humor and promising us cakey goodness. Then came Portal 2. Portal 2 wasn’t just more of the same, but just more: More humor, more AIs, more environments, more toys, and more fun. Having GlaDOS as an ally rather than an adversary added an unexpected dynamic, and it led to some very funny moments.
The Portal franchise is all about puzzles being done in unconventional ways, witty humor, tight gameplay, and a wacky story that is somehow still touching. Both games have an over 90 Metacritic rating, attesting to the strength of this franchise. We would all welcome another entry in the franchise, but Valve (developer of the Portal franchise) has a problem counting to three.
No matter what anyone thinks about the ending of this trilogy, Mass Effect was one the most important IPs of this generation. BioWare managed to create three solid action RPGs that stand among the best of this generation. However, it is the story of Mass Effect that makes the franchise so important.
BioWare crafted a story that adapted and changed to how each of us played and the choices we made. Just the idea that a decision someone made in a game back in 2007 could have a major effect on a game they’re playing in 2012 is mind boggling. That one bad guy that got away in the first game? Here he is with a gun to your head in the third!
Then there are the characters. These were men, women, and aliens that we were able to get to know and help out over the course of about 100 hours of gameplay. The characters of Mass Effect were well written and expertly acted. They will never be forgotten.
Even if you didn’t like how the first trilogy ended or you thought EA put out way too much DLC, Mass Effect was still a great IP of this gen. Each game in the series has at least a 90 rating on Metacritic and they have almost-infinite replay value. We will have to wait and see what comes next for the Mass Effect franchise in this coming generation.