Codex Gamicus

3D platform video games
Basic Information

3D platform video games are based on the principles of 2D platformer, but instead of going with a side-scrolling or vertical-scrolling view, the 2D environment is replaced with a 3D environment.

The Nintendo 64 and original PlayStation are known for having many 3D platformers, ushering in a change in gaming which saw many franchises move from 2D to 3D. 3D Platformers continued as one of the dominant genres through the fifth and sixth console generations until first-person shooters eclipsed it mid-way through the sixth generation, at which point there was a steep decline. Super Mario 64 is considered by many to be the game that revolutionized 3D platformers, and encouraged the move for many to 3D though it was not the first. Before the 3D platformer was truly realised, there was a minor flirtation with isometric platformers, which to this day has remained a niche genre, with very few games; notable examples include Sonic 3D Blast, and Spot Goes To Hollywood.

3D platfomers come in many forms, the most common are linear, collect-a-thon, and open world; though some games may mix and match some or all of these styles at times, and many 3D platformers take elements from other genres, such as Hack & Slash or Third Person Shooters.

Some of the most notable 3D platformers include franchise such as Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and more. Individual games that haven't yet become franchises have occasionally shown to be notable such as Psychonauts and Vexx, though while well received critically, they rarely do well financially.

Some unconventional games of note do exist amongst 3D platformers, such as Mirrors Edge and the far earlier Jumping Flash, games that attempted a first person perspective within the genre. Others such as Alice: Madness Returns have attempted darker themes not normally associated with the genre. Still, to this day, mascots and family friendly entertainment as presented by companies such as Disney or Nintendo are still considered the norm for this genre.