FFD: Is it homage, or a blatant rip off?

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Games regularly borrow elements from each other. Other forms of entertainment do too – but games are always seemingly held under a finer microscope; where the elements they “borrow” from other games are scrutinised to a fine point. Where does homage end, and plagiarism begin?

It’s something we saw with Dante’s Inferno, which was criticised for being little more than a soulless God of War clone. That may well be true. It’s the same sort of criticism levied against Darksiders, which is a mixture of God of War, the Legend of Zelda, with sprinklings of Diablo and a tiny hint of Prince of Persia. While it wore its influences on its sleeve, many felt the game played a little too much like the games that inspired it.

The same now, is being said for Shadow of Mordor. When it was first announced it was branded (hurhhhh) as an Assassin’s Creed clone, and when its combat was shown off, it was criticised of essentially copying Arkham Asylum’s rhythmic pugilism; Batman’s Creed: Mordor. Thing is, in spite of its derivative nature it has its own feel to it, and is a rather good game. As far as I’m concerned – feel free to steal ideas, just use them well.

What do you think? Should developers be allowed to pay homage to games that have inspired then – or do you see it as them uncreatively ripping things off?

Last Updated: October 24, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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