Every week on our Facebook and Instagram, under the tag #GameFacts, we reveal little known or forgotten facts about well-known games — to let you see them in a new light or appreciate them even more. Here’s a selection of facts we’ve published in recent weeks. Follow us on socials for more.
1. Oblivion was supposed to be set in a jungle
As we read in The Elder Scrolls games released before Oblivion: “Cyrodiil is the largest region of the continent, and most is endless jungle. Its center, the grassland of the Nibenay Valley, is enclosed by an equatorial rain forest and broken up by rivers.”
The setting of Oblivion was changed due to engine limitations of the time. It simply couldn’t handle this much foliage.
This change had a couple of in-lore explanations. It was suggested that either Talos has changed the reality or the information about Cyrodiil was mistranslated or misinterpreted in other regions of Tamriel.
2. The underrated Command and Conquer: Renegade has a fan remake, and it is glorious
If you don’t remember Renegade, we won’t blame you. No many gamers do. The forgotten first person shooter let us take part in battles we used to experience from high above, as the commander in the real time strategy Command and Conquer.
The game was unpolished but certainly different than anything else at that time, offering huge open battlefields, vehicles and team combat back in 2002. Fans remade it as Renegade X using modern technology, and it’s an amazing effort: the game looks great and plays really well! Most of all, it’s free.
If you’re up for C&C action, don’t miss on C&C: The Ultimiate Collection, containing every game in the series, including Renegade.
3. Turok was groundbreaking while being only 8 MB in size
Turok was one of the most advanced 3D shooters of the time, but also… IT WAS 8 MB IN SIZE. Can you imagine? A game so long, so huge, so advanced, somehow released on a 8 MB Nintendo 64 cartridge. And later brought to PC.
The entire soundtrack – which is, by the way, OUTSTANDING – took 300 KB. Darren Mitchell, composer, called the work on the game “a pain” as even the slightest adjustment of the volume required transferring the data to a designated workstation and creating a new build to see how it sounds in the game.
The PC port had a reworked CD-quality soundtrack, and both versions are included in the recently released remaster. But if you ask us, the 300 KB original is better. It simply has more POWER.
Then, Turok 2 came, denoting the peak of the series, which went downhill afterwards. Fortunately, the two original games do hold up. Especially with FOV adjustment, new visual effects, navigation hints that you can freely turn on and off, and a lot of other quality of life improvements.
The remaster was handled by Nightdive Studios, the absolute masters of the craft, who brought back Sid Meier’s Pirates!, System Shock 2 or Shadow Man.
4. Ghost Recon predicted a real world conflict
Before Tom Clancy games went into the sci-fi territory with The Division and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, they were grounded and actually based on real-life political climate.
This is why Ghost Recon was able to predict the Russo-Georgian war, down to the year it took place in. The details weren’t 100% accurate, but let’s not require too much…
The newest Ghost Recon — Breakpoint — is about mercenaries taking over a scientific habitat on a remote island. Sounds pretty far out, but on the other hand, in 2001 so did Ghost Recon. Who knows what’s going to be built in the next 10 years?
5. Trespasser brought technology comparable to Half-Life 2 six years before it
Released in 1998, Trespasser pushed the limits of game engines so far that pretty much no PC at the time was able to run it smoothly.
Not only it had vast open forest areas, beaches and towns, but also featured advanced physics long before Half-Life 2. It was used to recreate the world of Jurassic Park — because in the game you played as a survivor of a plane crash with the goal of escaping the island.
Trespasser was one of the first games using a seamless HUD, where checking health required you to simply look down and see the color of your tattoo. To check the ammo count, you had to either listen to the characters’ comments (“It feels half-empty…”) or eject the magazine and inspect it. Since the game was about survival, it was very fitting.
The game also tried something innovative with the controls. You had full control over your arm, so you could twist the elbow, the wrist, and even tighten the grip of your fingers! It was interesting but convoluted and in the end deemed as a flaw of the game.
Despite its ambitions, innovative design and boldness, Trespasser was a flop, selling only ca. 50,000 copies. Still, it was insanely immersive and gathered a cult following, with a great and creative community. Unfortunately, as with most retro movie-based games, it’s not officially available anywhere.