5. Sheep, Dog ‘n’ Wolf – Time Manipulation
Sheep, Dog ‘n’ Wolf was a fun puzzle game from Infogrames that featured Ralph The Wolf and Sam The Sheepdog from the Looney Tunes universe. The goal of every level was to outwit Sam and steal one of the sheep he guards. Every level featured a number of gadgets and devices to help you steal the sheep and one of those devices was a magical chronometer. The magical chronometer allowed Ralph to travel back in time to the prehistoric age where dinosaurs roam and lava flows and your goal was to plant a seed in some fresh soil. Fast forward to the present day and a huge tree is now in place where the old seed was planted. Sheep, Dog ‘n’ Wolf’s use of time manipulation to progress through a puzzle was fun, extremely clever and certainly ahead of the curve of other puzzle games back in 2001.
4. Kill Switch – Cover Shooting
Kill Switch was developed by Namco and released in 2003 for the PS2, PC and Xbox. It can be fair to say that this game could be called the predecessor of Gears Of War as Kill Switch had an excellent cover system, almost identical to Gears Of War’s style. Kill Switch was the first 3rd person shooter to feature a cover system as the main mechanic and also implemented a “blind fire” system into the game, years before the mechanic became a normal occurrence in most 3rd person shooters.
3. Call Of Duty 4 – Kill Streaks
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the first game in the Call Of Duty series to implement a multiplayer “kill streak” feature. When a player reached 3,5,or 7 kills in a row, the game would reward the player with a UAV, Airstrike and Helicopter respectively. The use of these rewards made the game a lot more tense as you try your best to get the highest streak possible. The trend to reward players for getting consecutive kills became extremely popular thanks to COD 4 and the Call Of Duty series expanded on the killstreaks with new rewards and deathstreaks where a player is given a boost if they die multiple times consecutively in a match.
2. GTA III – 3D Open World City
Back in 2001, GTA III was the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series to make the huge leap forward from top down 2D to an open world 3D plain for players to explore. Fully stocked with cars, helicopters and police officers, GTA III really set the bar for open world games. Open world games from 2001 onwards have been touched by the influence and popularity of GTA III’s huge 3D world. The game certainly pioneered the use of a fully realised 3D living and breathing city in the game industry.
1. Mirror’s Edge – First Person Parkour
Love it or hate it, Mirror’s Edge pioneered the use of first person parkour in such a stylish and exhilarating way that it will (eventually) have a sequel for next-gen. The game focuses on Faith, a courier in a dystopian future who must clear her sister’s name for a crime she didn’t commit. Mirror’s Edge featured a lot of interesting and exciting new mechanics and was certainly a game that had a truly unique premise. The game allowed the player to do wall runs, jump off cranes, wall jump from floor to vent; all in a matter of seconds with speed and precision. Couple with the Oculus Rift, the game has found a rebirth in popularity and is more immersive and motion sickness inducing than ever before! Mirror’s Edge and its first person parkour is a mechanic that has been praised but has never been utilised since.