A lot of us in Enthusiast Towers are neck deep in Rage 2 right now. It may not be one of the greatest games ever made but most of us are having an absolute blast playing through it. One of the things we like most is the way that it combines the shooting gameplay of Doom with the open world of Mad Max or Just Cause. The two development teams have played to their strengths and the result is something that consistently brings a smile to our faces. It got us thinking. What developer team-ups would we like to see? We fully expect none of these to ever happen, however, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional flight of fancy.
Fantasy pick: Rockstar North and StudioMDHR
We told you that none of these was likely to happen. So, let’s start with possibly the most far-fetched. Arguably one of the best developers we have ever seen is Rockstar North. This is the team behind Grand Theft Auto. They sent a shockwave through the games industry when they made Grand Theft Auto III. It showed everyone what could be done with an open-world game. With Grand Theft Auto V, they made what many consider to be a masterpiece. It was a game that managed to produce almost next-gen looking graphics on a current-gen system. Add to that a gripping storyline, some truly bonkers missions, and a living, breathing, open-world. It was incredible. So, how do you add something to the Rockstar mix to make it even better? Well, you add the visuals of Cuphead, of course!
StudioMDHR is the opposite of Rockstar North in many ways. They are a very small team. Their entire library of games consists of just one title. However, there is one important thing they share. Both studios refuse to compromise on their vision. It would have been very easy for Cuphead to have been made with traditional gaming techniques. The game would still have been pretty good. What sets it apart, though, are those amazing hand-drawn visuals. Every single frame of animation in Cuphead is drawn and painted by hand. This is what gives it that unique 30’s cartoon look. Imagine if they did a team-up with Rockstar North and created an open-world title that looked like that! Add in their knack for a tight control system with Rockstar’s storytelling chops and you could have something truly special. It’s just a shame that it would take about 15 years to make!
Personal Pick: Turn 10 Studios and RageSquid
I love racing games. It’s one of my favourite genres and I play more racers than anything else. In my opinion, the best racing game developer in the world right now is Turn 10 studios. They may have only been created to make an Xbox exclusive that was comparable with Gran Turismo but they have now far exceeded that high benchmark. Forza Motorsport 6 and 7 are the best racing games I have ever played. Their amazing visuals teamed with the best racing physics system around have put them in pole position. Turn 10 are also a team who work well in collaboration with other developers. Just look at the amazing Forza Horizon franchise that combines the technical know-how of Turn 10 with the imagination of Playground Games.
Turn 10 Studios may be known for their collaboration with Playground games but I’d love to see what they could cook up in a team-up with Dutch developer, RageSquid. I’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of RageSquid but they’re the geniuses behind Action Henk! and Descenders. Action Henk!is a racing game where you have to run, jump, and butt-slide your way to the finishing line. It scratches a similar itch to the Trials games where you are constantly trying to beat your previous time. The multiplayer mode has consumed days of mine and my friends time. Descendershas just arrived on Xbox Game Pass and is a downhill mountain biking game. It features procedurally generated tracks and allows you play however you like. The idea of teaming RageSquid’s ingenuity and creativity with Turn 10 Studios technical know-how is something that I just find incredibly exciting.
Most realistic: Volition and Rare to make a new Conker
For my last pick, I thought I’d change things up a little by suggesting what they should work on. One franchise that a lot of us in Enthusiast Towers would love to see return is Conker. The titular Squirrel was such a great contradiction of adorable visuals teamed with foul language and lewd behaviour. Recently, the Deadpool movies have shown us how a bit of bad language, self-deprecation, and ultra-violence can shake up the superhero genre. Well, Conker did that to mascot platformers back on the N64. With his appearance on the original Xbox, he showed how he could straddle genres. We would love to see the furry critter make a return and we know just the people to team-up for it.
Obviously, Rare would need to be involved. They created Conker so it would only be right that they ushered in his return. Sea of Thieves may have been short on content at launch but there’s no denying it’s uniquely Rare visual style. The developer has a particular way of creating characters. This makes it essential that any revival of the Conker franchise would require their creative eye. However, when it comes to the story and humour, I would love to see Volition involved. This is the team behind the Saints Row franchise and Agents of Mayhem. These games show a great tongue-in-cheek style with some very adult humour. I think it would be really interesting to see them lampoon the mascot platformer genre.
Well, those are my picks. What do you think of my choices? What studios would you like to see team-up on a game? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?