15 PC games from the 1980s that were way ahead of their time
15. The Story of the Bard
Most of the games on this list offered more revolutionary innovations. The Bard’s Story, true to its humble namesake, was more about small steps that eventually had a big impact. Also, the game’s graphics were a little better than most other early dungeon crawlers, although not big enough to make any “best of” lists just for that.
What really set the game apart from other similar titles was the bard himself, using songs to debuff enemies or boost his party. Some of these songs were even required to solve the game’s puzzles. It was a fine early example that RPGs didn’t have to be just turn-based grind-fests that live on in some of the best modern RPGs with complex character-building options.
14. Wolfenstein Castle
Long before the zombies, Mecha-Hitler appearances, trips to Venus and the unlikely survival of a protagonist by decapitation, Wolfstein was an early pioneer in more realistic stealth games. yes, the first Wolfstein The game looked incredibly simple, but the actual gameplay was surprisingly deep.
As an Allied prisoner, you must navigate dozens of procedurally generated rooms to escape the Nazis. But instead of simply dodging guards, you can make them surrender (even if your gun is out of ammo) or sneak past them with stolen uniforms. Although Wolfstein dramatically changed gears and became an immensely successful first-person shooter series, the influence of that first game in the series can still be seen in series like Solid metal gear And Assassin’s Creedas well as pretty much every annoying, unnecessary stealth section in games of other genres.
13th Prince of Persia
In the late ’80s, the video game market was saturated with platform games. The genre was so big that pretty much every semi-popular movie, TV show, comic book, or toy line ended up with a platformer. And as you’d expect, most were pretty awful. But in 1989, Prince of Persia came up with little fanfare with several new ideas that actually advanced the genre.
First, there was the Persian aesthetic, which had rarely been seen in games up to that point. And combat, which emphasized strategic swordplay, was unheard of at a time when most platforming protagonists were still jumping on enemies and hurling fireballs (regardless of how much sense that made in the context). But what most people remember Prince of Persia is rotoscoping: an animation style that traces live footage for super-smooth animation. And while this rotoscoping never really caught on in video games, it showed gamers that they don’t have to settle for jerky slideshow animations.
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