Video games evolve quickly (all technology does actually). We've seen genres branch off and mesh together hundreds of times before. As much as games designs evolve and expand, there are plenty of older design philosophies that have aged gracefully (Super Mario Bros. is STILL fun after 25 years). And contrary what our own retro-goggles show us, some simply have not. One of those was an action subgenre known as stealth-action.
last generation we saw an explosion of stealth action games where you had to sneak around the enemy rather than simply kill them. It was challenging and always intense. Now that games have more streamlined gameplay, stealth is seen as a hindrance. The trial-and-error design, the slow pace, and the fact that you just can't kill dudes make stealth frustrating and simply not fun. But in August 2009 there was a new standard by which all stealth games would now utilize, and that standard was set by Batman: Arkham Asylum. And That's why I've chosen it as number 8.
Before Arkham Asylum. Stealth games mostly consisted of infiltration. You had to sneak into a base undetected, you weren't equipped to take on an army of baddies. You were weak. And being silent was the only way to complete your mission. Batman took a different take on stealth. Instead of being a weakling trying to sneak past those big scary guards, you used stealth as a weapon. You were a predator, and those big scary guards you feared before were now just prey for you to toy with. This new predatory version of stealth makes you feel like a complete badass hunting instead of trying NOT to pick a fight. You weren't hiding from the enemy anymore, you were stalking the enemy.
Arkham Asylum also set a good precedent for licensed games as well. Most games based on movies/comic books/etc. tend to be of low quality. Publishers will rush them out in time for the accompanying film's theatrical release. As a result, these games are rushed and are being marketed solely on the strength of their license. If there were ever a licensed game that had legitimate effort put into its development, it tended not to sell very well (Escape from Butcher Bay, and the Bourne Conspiracy come to mind). Arkham Asylum proved that you can make not only a good, but Game-of-the-year caliber licensed game not tied to a big blockbuster film. And have it be successful.
Notable games influenced by Batman: Arkham Asylum
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Spider Man: Shattered Dimensions
Transformers: War for Cybertron
Arkham Asylum has been out for barely a year, but its influence is already growing. Conviction and Shattered Dimensions took cues from Arkham's predatory stealth gameplay. While Transformers (and also Shattered Dimensions) further proves the case of a solid licensed game doing well despite not being tied to a film. And I'm sure there is plenty more to come, and That's why Batman: Arkham Asylum is the 8th most influential game of this generation.
LOOK WHO CAME: