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Has a game ever truly switched genres?

tassletine

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I know there have been games that have pretty big surprises in them, but has game ever truly switched genres?
Not just playstyles or different minigames, more the entire thing. Something that would get people talking.

For example, imagine playing Truck Simulator but after an hour or so, your truck breaks down and you have to walk to the nearest town. You shortcut through some woods and find yourself at an old mansion, where the game turns into Resident Evil.

I'm almost positive nothing that extreme has been done, but what's the closest it's come?

--

Edit (repeated later down as well).

Just to clarify I'm not exactly talking about different styles of gameplay. GTA does that. But a completely different feel and expectation. Breaking the forth wall.
Imagine thinking you're getting one type of game only for it to become another -- or a game that when you start is just a button mashing hack and slash but by the end it's managed to teach you chess.

Platinum games switch genres all the time, in quite extreme ways, but you always know that is going to happen going in. It's expected because of the presentation and style of the game.
Having said that I may need to look into Neir again as I gave up halfway through.
Kojima's games are pretty extreme. Also No More Hero's with it's ultra fun waggle combat vs the stilted tank controls of the 'main game'. I always found that funny and daring.

The question might be unanswerable as there are so many different opinions as to what makes a game, gameplay or experience etc. But I'm wondering what the hardest 'genre switch' is.
I'm not talking about this happening as a series evolves, but in a single game. Something that has the potential to anger as many people as it delights.
 
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kruis

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haven't played it yet, but nier automata switches between 3d action, 2d action, twin stick shooter and shoot em up.

The first Nier game even had a text adventure section.

 

Daymos

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I want to change the word 'genre' to gameplay styles or something else, the word 'genre' seems to have become a marketing strategy. Banjo Tooie on N64 is a (3rd person) 3d platformer with first person shooter sections.

Grand theft auto 5 is basically a racing game, a 3rd person shooter, and a flight simulator all in one.
 

Bo_Hazem

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Yes, Yakuza from action, beat em up to BS, cellphone-level turn-based combat:

 
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BadBurger

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Final Fantasy went from basic turn-based to a kind of action unique into itself. It's not turn based, it isn't exactly strategy, and it's definitely not full-on action.
 
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OrionNebula

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We’ll probably have to add Returnal to the list, with those inside-house first person PT segments (although it’s still unclear just how deep these will go)
 

engstra

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Shadow of Rome was half gory gladiator action game and half Hitmanesque stealth sections
 

tassletine

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Just to clarify I'm not exactly talking about different styles of gameplay. GTA does that. But a completely different feel and expectation. Breaking the forth wall.
Imagine thinking you're getting one type of game only for it to become another -- or a game that when you start is just a button mashing hack and slash but by the end it's managed to teach you chess.

Platinum games switch genres all the time, in quite extreme ways, but you always know that is going to happen going in. It's expected because of the presentation and style of the game.
Having said that I may need to look into Neir again as I gave up halfway through.
Kojima's games are pretty extreme. Also No More Hero's with it's ultra fun waggle combat vs the stilted tank controls of the 'main game'. I always found that funny and daring.

The question might be unanswerable as there are so many different opinions as to what makes a game, gameplay or experience etc. But I'm wondering what the hardest 'genre switch' is.
I'm not talking about this happening as a series evolves, but in a single game. Something that has the potential to anger as many people as it delights.
 
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Bramble

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It Takes Two does some wonderful stuff, but I won't go into it to avoid spoilers. It's the best game of 2021 at this point, in my opinion.
 

Diddy X

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Brutal Legend, you start hack n slashing enemies at the begining of the game and finish RTSing 'em down.
 
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tassletine

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It Takes Two does some wonderful stuff, but I won't go into it to avoid spoilers. It's the best game of 2021 at this point, in my opinion.
Thanks I've heard good things about that title. I just lack someone to play it with, well not exactly, but I'd probably have to force her.
 

Husky

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Afterfall InSanity has a sort of three act structure using three vastly different settings, so different that they almost feel like different games, using different gameplay mechanics. The second setting's where the game shines. I remember hating the first, and not feeling so hot on the third either.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons turned out to be not at all what the opening had me expecting.

Legend of Grimrock actually has a really terrifying twist. After about three hours of playing, you run into spiders, at which point you can't continue playing the game, because you're terrified of spiders. I suppose it's unlikely the devs finished any content beyond that point, since I've never seen it, and I've tried playing through the game twice. Maybe they were afraid of the spiders too.

Oh hey hey hey, Spore! That one sure changes a bunch.

Little Inferno has a change in gameplay at the end. Goes from focusing on one screen to using side-scrolling gameplay.
(lmao i marked that as a spoiler, as if anyone cares)
 
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turtlepowa

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God of War 2018 turns right after the start into The Last of Us *scnr*
I don't think we will ever see such an extrem example like truck simulator turning into Resident Evil, because i think there would be a problem with advertising the game and disappointed or angry customers. But there are many games out there that have different levels and mingames. I can even remember some 80s games like Battletoads and Bayou Billy.
 
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tassletine

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I don't know what you mean, but in the Amiga era, multi genre games were common, something like Back to The future 3 for example.
Yes. That's true. I had an Amiga and C64. Putting that last tape in knowing that you were never going to go back....

Actually, thanks to you, I'm reminded of this, which was incredible at the time as you couldn't restart your game (you had to reload) so it was doubly terrifying. Probably the first instance of permadeath.

THE RATS A realtime strategy / text adventure title based on the James Hebert book. Very unique. If you were too slow, the rats would eat through the writing so you couldn't work out what was going on.

 
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Postal: A top down shooter with a serious dark tone
Postal 2: An sandbox FPS shooter that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Postal 3: There is no Postal 3...
 

Bo_Hazem

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Oh look. Another person shitting on a game that they haven't even played.

Talking about Turn-based BS here, the story as I heard is excellent, and loved all Yakuza remasters with 0 being the best. Beat em up mechanics were fun and funny. This is just regressive going to turn-based, probably to appeal to more Japanese audience.

Bought Persona 5 and barely went through the first level, and it's a game that's much highly appreciated than Yakuza but turn-based combat is the redline here.
 
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Roufianos

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Yes, Yakuza from action, beat em up to BS, cellphone-level turn-based combat:


Came to post this. God I loved the story and was willing to put up with the boring turn-based combat but I hit a wall and couldn't be bothered to spend hours grinding.

Hope the next one's a beat em up.
 
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Elysion

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I remember a TV report from many years ago (at least 10 years), which was about a German RTS game that was still in development, where you can take control of an individual soldier or general whenever you want, and play the game as an action game or a tactical shooter or something. I have no idea what the game was called, or if it ever came out, but I’ve always liked the idea.

It could work in fantasy/medieval settings too: Imagine you have a map with two armies across each other, and you can either direct your forces from the birds-eye view, or take control of the leader of your army directly and epically ride toward the enemy, with your army following behind you, like Theoden in Return of the King. You can then fight the enemy forces like in a hack and slash game, while still being able to give some commands to nearby allied forces, or, if you‘re overwhelmed, you can switch back to a top-down RTS view, which gives you more intricate control options for your army.

Honestly, I‘m surprised something like this hasn‘t been done before. Unless it has, which is entirely possible, since I‘m not familiar with contemporary strategy games.
 

Bo_Hazem

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Came to post this. God I loved the story and was willing to put up with the boring turn-based combat but I hit a wall and couldn't be bothered to spend hours grinding.

Hope the next one's a beat em up.

Yakuza games are one of my favorites sense Yakuza 0 on PS4 I've played all of them. This one is a hard pass because gameplay feels too regressive. It's not just combat, but chase sequences are simply running on rails. I'm really sad with this BS direction it took.
 
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Vae_Victis

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Baldi's Basics, I guess? Starts off as a math quiz, less than 2 minutes in it becomes a survival horror.

I remember a TV report from many years ago (at least 10 years), which was about a German RTS game that was still in development, where you can take control of an individual soldier or general whenever you want, and play the game as an action game or a tactical shooter or something. I have no idea what the game was called, or if it ever came out, but I’ve always liked the idea.

Maybe you are talking about this:

You can do a similar thing a few other games too - Dungeon Keeper 2 comes to mind, even though it's much less developed feature there.
 
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SSfox

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Tekken 3 was fighting game, but also have bta move and volleyball mode.

In MGS1 and 4 had some fighting game feeling.

Some shooter like feeling in some Bayonetta moments.
 
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