Written by Rick Warren / Gfn2112
There are so many development studios that I love, and this second Top 5 is proof of that. Once again, here are some video game developers that I have an incredible amount of respect for. Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments!
Ratchet and Clank was (and is) a phenomenal series. Resistance is under-appreciated. The Spyro series is classic. Sunset Overdrive is my favorite Xbox One exclusive by far. Yet, it’s their upcoming project that has made me such a fan of this studio. As a die-hard Spider-Man fan, it has felt so good to see the passion the writers and developers have been putting into their game. They’re treating the web-slinger with care and are working to get him right in both the gameplay and story. I cannot wait to play this game for hours on end, as everything that’s been shown makes it seem like a dream come true.
Next up... another studio working on a superhero game!
As for my second favorite hero, Batman has already received his share of great video games thanks to this studio. Simply put, Rocksteady nailed the feeling of being Batman. The combat was incredibly smooth and was so strong that it inspired similar systems in games like Mad Max and the Middle-Earth series. The voice acting was on point, bringing back iconic actors like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Batman’s rogues’ gallery was perfectly designed and offered a series of great boss fights. The story became better and better as the games went along. Even Arkham Knight’s Batmobile, though overused, felt great to control. I highly doubt that there will ever be a Batman series as great as this one, and I can’t wait to see what DC property this studio perfects next.
Next up, a studio that took a huge risk and found success...
3.) Guerilla Games
Believe it or not, Killzone is one of my all-time favorite FPS series. I played a tremendous amount of multiplayer in Killzone 2, pouring hours of my life into intense matches of Radec Academy and Blood Gracht. I loved the campaign of Killzone 3 and put quite a bit of time into the multiplayer as well. Yet, what is truly impressive about this studio is the jump that they made. They went from making first person shooters and nothing else to creating a gorgeous open world RPG with Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s amazing that the studio made such a great game and succeeded at making something wildly different from their normal projects on their first try. On top of that, the Decima Engine is a powerhouse and Hermen Hulst is an awesome guy.
In the second spot, a studio that has made quite a few games in a somewhat popular series...
This is a studio that I’ve loved since I was a kid. They released one of the absolute best Spider-Man games ever with Spider-Man 2, and then went on to become my favorite Call of Duty developer by far. Their focus on storytelling is something that’s rare to see in the FPS genre and even more rare to see in the Call of Duty series, but I’m thankful for it. To this day the original Black Ops has one my favorite FPS campaigns, boasting a strong story and wildly talented voice cast. It’s an absolute shame that this campaign and Treyarch’s other stories were shrugged off due to the multiplayer focus of the series. Even then, though, Treyarch excelled. From the COD Points system to the Specialist system, Treyarch innovates with every entry they release. Best of all, though, is Treyarch’s original zombie mode. Here more than anywhere else their passion shines through. The way they play around with the community makes every new piece of info about the mode exciting, and every map has a unique feel that helps make Treyarch Zombies so replayable. Though Activision has tried to have other COD studios replicate Treyarch’s success, their love and passion for the Zombies community puts their mode in a tier of its own.
Now, in the top spot...
Blizzard is the perfect example of what a great studio should look like. Whether it’s World of Warcraft, Starcraft or Diablo, the amount of support that they give their games after launch is unmatched. No other big, multiplayer-focused developer offers the amount of free content that Blizzard does, and it pays off. A perfect example of this is one of my favorite games: Overwatch. The amount of content updates has been staggering, with new skins, maps, modes, and heroes coming every single month. Blizzard truly cares about the massive community they’ve built and have focused on making fans happy. They listen to feedback, interact with the players, and fully embrace jokes and memes that the community comes up with. Jeff Kaplan has been the perfect example of this and deserves every bit of praise and love he’s received from the community. Jeff and the entire team at Blizzard turned a dead project into one of the finest multiplayer games ever, which is just one of the many success stories for this tremendous studio.
That’s all (for real this time) I’ve got for you this week! Who are your favorite developers? Let me know in the comments below!