Canada has always had a hand in the video game industry. Some of the world’s best-known franchises such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise and the Dragon Age series were developed right here in Canada. As the rest of the nation celebrates Canada Day, we at CGMagazine thought it would be good to look back on a few of our favourite titles developed by Canadian studios. This is our list of five Canadian-made games that we loved.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution brought new life to the Deus Ex series. Developed by Eidos Montréal, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third entry in the Deus Ex series and serves as a prequel to the first game. Players take on the role of Adam Jensen, a security consultant employed to protect a research lab in Detroit.de Deus Ex: Human Revolution carried strong themes through its narrative, along with the pace of technological development and human augmentation. This was joined by great first-person combat and stealth gameplay. A direct sequel was released in 2016, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Super Mario Strikers
The Mario franchise has done Mushroom Kingdom style interpretation of many different real-life sports, Mario’s first-ever soccer title is easily one of the best. Super Mario Strikers was developed by Next Level Games, the same team behind the Wii version of Punch-Out!! and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. On the surface, Super Mario Strikers appears as a smaller version of a regular soccer game. Teams are made up of five players, including a captain and a handful of classic Mario sidekicks such as Toads or Koopas. What makes Super Mario Strikers so great, however, is the inherently aggressive additions the game features. Each featured soccer field is surrounded by an electric fence, which players are free to slam their opponents into. Add in a variety of Mario Kart-styled power-up items and you’ve got one of the most chaotic four player soccer games ever created. Super Mario Strikers was also the final Mario title to release on the Nintendo Gamecube in Japan and North America, releasing in late 2005.
Mass Effect Trilogy
We couldn’t decide which title in the Mass Effect series should be on here, so we threw in the compilation (which released in November 2012 on the Xbox 360 and PC, then a month later on the PlayStation 3). There isn’t much to say about the Mass Effect Trilogy that hasn’t been said before. The first entry of BioWare’s science fiction journey released in 2007. The games follow Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier tasked with leading an intergalactic squadron in order to defend the galaxy from an incoming alien threat. What made Mass Effect so unique was its new form of interactive storytelling. Players were free to customize Commander Shepard’s gender, looks and voice. Dialogue responses and decisions made during the game’s plot affected not only the direction of the story but also the personality of Commander Shepard. Mass Effect is also one of the first video game series to feature optional same-sex relationships, a major change in the video game industry.
For those who don’t know, Canada has a very strong independent game development scene, and one of the very best out of the great white north is TowerFall. Starting its life on the ill-fated Ouya console back in 2013, Towerfall quickly became one of the most notable titles on the Android-based micro-console. Developed solely by a Canadian by the name of Matt Thorson, it’s an archery combat arena game that allows up to four players. Starting with a limited supply of arrows, players are able to fire in eight directions, leap off walls, collect power-ups or simply stomp on their opponents, TowerFall is one of those games that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. Getting hit once equals death so there’s a constant fear even when going in for the kill. TowrFall was later ported to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with a Nintendo Switch version on the way.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a special game. In 2010, Ubisoft Montreal developed the side-scrolling beat’em up based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. Players can play as Scott Pilgrim and his close friends from the series, traversing a number of levels that loosely go through the plot of the original series. There’s a lot to love about this game. The excellent retro style art and animation created by Paul Robertson fits the overall aesthetic of Scott Pilgrim perfectly, even more so when accompanied by chiptune punk band Anamanaguchi’s soundtrack created exclusively for this game. What’s even better is that the game is packed with references to its source material, which is especially Canadian since this is a series that happens to take place in Toronto, ON. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was also developed to tie-in with the movie of the same name, making it one of the few good games made to promote a theatrical film.