If you could take your favorite game elements of all time and combine them into the ultimate digital experience – the one game to rule them all – what would it be? How would it work? Describe your digital nirvana, build your ultimate game from the still twitching parts salvaged from other titles.
One game to rule them all… How ironic that there aren’t any Lord of the Rings games I’d include in this kind of mash-up. Let’s combine…
- The map and empire-building of Civilization V
- The setting and races of The Elder Scrolls
- The RPG aspects and character development from Dragon Age 2
- The massed combat from Shogun 2 Total War
This game will play, for the most part, similarly to Civilization games. Pick your starting Elder Scrolls race, found cities, spread out over the world, research new technologies and magic, and prosper. The combat comes into play, obviously, when wars start happening, with the Total War model allowing massed armies of Orcs to charge at waves of Argonian skirmishers or whatever mix of races is involved, with each race having their own natural advantages and unique units.
To further add to the control over combat, each army would be led by a general, and these generals would grow and develop using the RPG mechanics from Dragon Age 2. Some basic traits and combat capabilities, some to make them monstrously strong on the battlefield, some to support their armies, and some to grant other benefits such as extra resources each turn or improved sight ranges. These generals would have a chance of dying when beaten in battle, a chance of being captured to be held for ransom, and a chance to simply escape.
These generals would also be actual characters, with personalities and pasts, complex people that your avatar-emperor-king would be able to interact with directly when they weren’t in the field. You could help them develop as characters, granting them extra abilities or potentially even granting romance side-quest options that could offer extra benefits if, for example, one general came from a rival province or a background training a specific soldier type.
This is a game I would play, a game I would enjoy, a game with replayability, and one that I feel comfortable calling my Ultimate Mash-Up.