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The Fast Five: Unexpected spin-offs we’d like to see

Posted on February 21, 2014 AT 05:34pm

Each week, the EGM Staff bring you The Fast Five—in which we choose a topic related in some way to the week’s news, and five editors pick their top answer to the question.

The Setup

Next week brings Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a new third-person shooter slash tower defense game based on PopCap’s mega popular Plants vs. Zombies world. It’s a spin-off title that none of us could have ever expected—but it’s far from the first time such a project has come up in the games industry.

The Question

If we could develop an unexpected spin-off to any existing game or game franchise, what would we want to see and why? Once you’ve read our responses, let us know your answer in the comments below.

Silent Hill Town Sim

What would I want? A 2D fighting game based on Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei universe!

…wait, we already got that? Really? Wow, okay. Then how about a Shin Megami Tensei music/rhythm game?

…son of a bitch.

Fine, how about this: a Silent Hill town management sim. With all of the people that end up in the city, finding themselves lost in the damnation of the abyss and forced to face their darkest fears, making sure all of that happens in a smooth and efficient manner can’t be easy. As the demonic mayor of the town of Silent Hill, you’d be in charge of deciding what other-worldy forms of punishment go where, which streets to turn into impassable rubble, keeping your resident mid- and end-bosses happy and enthusiastic about their jobs, and making sure that the health-item-to-monster ratio is challenging, but fair.

Ahh, but there’s a catch! Not only are you running nightmare Silent Hill, but also foggy Silent Hill, real-world deserted Silent Hill, and there other-realm Silent Hill where it’s still a bustling and populated small-town America community. It’d be four times the challenge, and four times the fun!

Final Fantasy Dating Sim

Look, Square Enix, you’ve spent the past four years trying to get us to fall in love with Lightning, and it clearly hasn’t worked. But maybe you just need to change your game up. What if the entire goal was to fall in love with Lightning…or Rydia, or Rinoa, or Faris, or Garnet? Or, hell, let’s be open-minded: How about an amorous tryst between Cecil Harvey and Quina Quen? In 2012, Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata jokingly announced that he was creating a dating sim set in that game’s universe, but I don’t think that idea should’ve been so easily dismissed. Many longtime Final Fantasy fans—myself included—have flocked to Atlus’ Persona series to get our RPG fix these days. To win us back, why not incorporate elements of our new role-playing love into your long-in-the-tooth franchise? And, hey, if we wanna keep it platonic and just play blitzball with Yuna, that’s cool, too.

TF2 Turn-Based Tactics

I’ve spent considerably more hours playing Team Fortress 2 than any other game, and there’s a good reason for that. The balance and variety between the classes are meticulous—or at least they were until Valve started throwing every weapon idea they thought of into the game. I’d love to see someone take that same formula and apply it to an XCOM-style turn-based tactics game. Snipers could lay down cover fire from across the battlefield. Demos could lay sticky bomb traps that would be invisible to the other team. Engineers could build sentry guns to lock off certain pathways. Medics could uber other units to make them invincible for two rounds. Scouts could waste an entire turn by shouting “Need a teleporter here.” Tell me you wouldn’t play that in a heartbeat.

Mass Effect Space Combat Game
Some of my favorite games growing up were space combat sims like X-Wing vs. TIE FighterWing Commander, and the Rogue Squadron console games. So, why not expand on the huge Mass Effect universe and give us a game that focuses on the space combat side of the events that happened during all the battles we fought on the ground. Or, give us a new threat–like a Turian civil war or something–and move past the Shepard stories. For some missions, you could even expand it to the ground battles and break the Mako out of retirement. There is clearly room for some futuristic vehicular combat in this universe’s lore so why not take advantage of it and deliver a game in a genre that is in desperate need of a new entry.

Shadowrun FPS

I realize I’m going to sound like I’ve lost it by suggesting a Shadowrun first-person shooter spinoff, but wait—hear me out. I know that the Xbox 360 game was a hot mess, but that’s because it stripped out single-player altogether to create a multiplayer-only experience. It’s competitive multiplayer that has nothing in line with what Shadowrun is all about. A first-person shooter that minimizes the amount of shooting in favor of whiskey-soaked noir and exploration, however, would. Think Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but with cybernetically enhanced elves and dwarves and all the fantasy elements thrust into science fiction that define Shadowrun.

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