Celebrate the first anniversary of Wild Hunt and wipe the dust off the best Xbox games and the first PlayStation.

You read “What We Played” – a monthly section where we remember exactly which games came out five, ten, fifteen and twenty years ago. In the May issue we dust off one of the best games for the first time Play station and return to the origin of the series Power. And at the same time, we visit the most recognizable heroes of two legendary universes: the nameless Persian thief and the gray-haired witch.

Il y a 5 ans – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (19 mai 2015)

It’s hard to believe, however “Wild hunt” first anniversary of this year: on May 19, the project turned five years. But that doesn’t even mean that his fame is a thing of the past. Fans of the game are still a crazy number, and recently they have only increased: in December 2019, when the series was released. NetflixThe Witcher 3 sales increased by 554%. And soon after CD Project RED reported that since the release of the third “The Witcher” and add-ons have been purchased twenty-eight million times. Moreover, just a few days ago, the Polish studio became the most expensive video game company in Europe and even surpassed it. Ubisoft – mistress Assassin’s Creed and Far cry. And while “The Witcher 3” is not the studio’s only source of income, it was he who gave Poland the status of industry giants.

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How did Wild Hunt become so popular? Perhaps for the twentieth time, there is no point in praising the intrigue, the quests, the humor and all the rest, for which she is usually praised. Ultimately, among Russian-speaking players, it’s hard to find someone who has never performed The Witcher 3. But now, five years after its release, it’s already possible to gauge the impact it has has had on the industry. When the project got the title of ‘Game of the Year’ with Power and Head in 2015, many were hoping that other big companies would take CD Projekt’s example: they would stop screwing multiplayer everywhere and go back to production. of story games to play. a player. Witcher’s example made it clear that there is still a great demand for such titles.

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Has this hope come true? Yes and no. In recent years, several more distinctive single-player RPGs have really come to fruition. Kingdom Come: Deliverance, The outer worlds or Disco elysium. And even in the latest versions of the same Assassin’s Creed, The Witcher’s influence is noticeable: the authors “Origin” and « Odysseys » clearly tried to fill the open world with side stories to bring it to life, like the Poles. But these unsuccessful attempts only prove that it is impossible to deliberately create a masterpiece: games like Wild Hunt or Disco Elysium appear only out of great love and not for a lot of money.

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Too rarely do the stars come together to produce a game of this size and a system of comparable complexity. For the third time, a dream game has come out of the hands of CD Projekt RED with all the obvious consequences – sleepless nights, fondness for geese, and a wolf chasing its tail (in Skyrim this role was played by a bear who was fishing).

In an interview with Gamespot, CD Projekt founder Marcin Ivinsky once said that it is not easy to estimate the amount of work in advance, usually the scale of the plan gets out of hand. According to him, the team has reached a new level with the third “The Witcher” and their talent and success cannot be rationally explained. “Magical people,” Marchin says.

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Of course, there is no magic – there is inhuman labor and a multi-year development story.

Il y a 10 ans – Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (18 mai 2010)

What we played 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago: The Witcher 3, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Forza Motorsport, Vagrant Story

The next game in the collection only confirms this rule – by the way, we are talking about the creation of Ubisoft again. She was released ten years ago Prince of Persia, the forgotten sands – the last part of the series at this time, except for mobile spin-offs and reprints.

Fans of the original Sands of Time trilogy eyed the project in disbelief. Two years earlier, in 2008, Ubisoft had tried to relaunch the series, but during this reboot, “Prince of Persia” had only one name. From there, the hardcore fighting was gone, including gaming over time, and the plot was in no way tied to the previous parts. Fans were outraged and Ubisoft quickly argued: They say, look, we’ve made up for our mistakes and back to the basics. Do you want the old way? It will be the same!

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Plot Forgotten Sands moved between events The sand of time and Warrior inside – and everything is officially back as it was: from oriental aesthetics and complex fights to Hollywood delusions. This is exactly what gamers admired in 2003, no one was impressed in 2010. Moreover, Ubisoft itself put a spoke in the wheels: by this time two parts of Assassin’s Creed had already been released. – there was also a historical setting and a parkour, but with a lot of new mechanics and ideas. Of course, the Forgotten Sands were compared to them primarily, and not at all in favor of the Prince’s adventures.

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It’s funny that the same month the movie “Prince of Persia” was released with Jake Gyllenhaal. Even though officially Forgotten Sands has nothing to do with it, it turned out to look surprisingly like a typical movie game: short, monotonous, and high. Unsurprisingly, the franchise was finally frozen after that.

What we played 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago: The Witcher 3, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Forza Motorsport, Vagrant Story

The first hours of running on the walls, studying gymnastics, the aisles between the sharp pillars are exciting – almost like in 2003. But then they are more bored than the bitter radishes. Endless jumps, endless swings, endless levers, endless enemies … even the landscape repeats itself periodically one by one. It looks like the game has been forcibly dragged into the upcoming premiere of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”, despite all the developers’ assurances to the contrary. Hence an unpleasantly predictable plot, low-fat gameplay and stereotypical imagery, and in other words, attractive but superficially implemented “element handling”. I wouldn’t admit it, but it seems Ubisoft Montreal still managed to kill its inner Scheherazade. This is where the fairy tale ends.

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15 years ago – Forza Motorsport (May 3, 2005)

But in 2005 she didn’t die and another famous series was born – Power. Fifteen years ago, almost all serious console racing – and in particular Great tourism – went to Playstation 2. Microsoft with her Xbox urgently need my own exclusive alternative. Thus was born Forza motorsport – a game which, if it did not exceed the GT, was at least on the same board.

The makers of Forza didn’t try to invent a bike, on the contrary, they were honestly inspired by Gran Turismo. They’ve also built a fleet of hundreds of licensed cars, added real race tracks and realistic handling. Still, they didn’t turn the game into too serious a simulator. Manage 10 studios managed to find common ground while simultaneously satisfying two broad categories of players. Forza Motorsport was sophisticated and detailed enough to captivate fans of the genre who have long been clamoring for “their Gran Turismo” for the Xbox. But at the same time there were several auxiliary mechanics at the same time which made the game easier for those who just wanted to ride for fun.

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For example, you can hire an assistant to show you exactly how to adjust the corners. Or delete it altogether – and only learn from your mistakes. Additionally, Forza has its own features that GT fans have yet to see. For example, the surveyors of the time liked the fact that you could see the drivers behind the wheel in the cars on the track. And the damage didn’t just become decorative – it really affected the speed and handling of the car.

Of course, there were things in which Motorsport was inferior to Gran Turismo – at least in the size of the fleet. But as time shows, that was just the start of the series.

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20 Years Ago – Vagrant Story (15 mai 2000)

What we played 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago: The Witcher 3, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Forza Motorsport, Vagrant Story

And twenty years ago, in the sunset of the era of the first PlayStation, one of the best – and undeserved – games came out for this console. Vagabond story developed by manufacturers Final fantasy tacticalthough at the time of its release it was much more often compared to the “final”, but with Solid metal gear. But not for stealth, but for great script and great photography. It was a dark, famous story in a dark, fantasy setting, where the characters change sides and faces and the main character tries to figure it out for himself: is he really a villain?

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As for the gameplay, formally in Vagrant Story you can find JRPG elements, but in general, it does not look like typical representatives of the glorified genre at all. Squaresoft. There are no known NPCs, no traders, and no lengthy dialogues and relationship building with party members. The hero walks on his own and the plot is completely linear. The whole gameplay focuses on crafting, puzzles and real-time combat, where you have to use your skills in time and come up with attack packs. And that’s not where Metal Gear comes to mind, but much later Fallout 3 with VATS .: Even eight years before it appeared, something similar was also in Vagrant Story. Here, during the attack, a “tactical sphere” appears around the hero – and if the enemy has entered it, you can choose which part of the body to hit him to inflict maximum damage. Although Vagrant Story is also not the first project where a comparable opportunity presents itself. Something similar was still there Parasitic night – Another Square Square Action RPG released two years earlier in 1998.

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Such a hodgepodge of different genres and mechanics might at least seem odd, but Vagrant Story has proven to be surprisingly harmonious – both in gameplay and storyline. And the “drawn” visual style, on the other hand, only amplified the feeling of playing something really special.

By the way, ten years ago the project was adapted for PS3, PSP and Vita – and it can still be bought for a penny from the PlayStation Store. So if your old console is not active at home, there is still a chance to join the classics

Our retrospective ends here. And what did you play five, ten, fifteen and twenty May? Make sure you say so in the comments.

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Source: Game Informer