Almost everybody must have started their motorised career with toy cars, i.e. bigger or smaller models of the real ones. Names like Matchbox, Majorette or Hot Wheels will sound familiar to most. All of these cars come approximately at the same size, approximately that of a matchbox, but still, there are a couple of exceptions, like the Micro Machines: Cars specialising in extreme miniaturisation.
In the old, golden days, video games where thematically almost exclusively catering for a single target audience: male adolescents. Logically, some fantasy themes were recurrent: saving the earth and all of humanity or even the whole universe. Those were the goals and challenges of tomorrow's family men. Gaming having grown up, yesterday's youths are now confronted with reality. Those old dreams have been tainted as childish and the games industry now also delivers realism into the formerly well kept play rooms of today. One way of doing this apparently involves simulating every single job, no matter how absurd, and also every single every day activity, no matter how trivial, in a game. Resulting in increasingly obscure products in which the original ideas can hardly be recognized anymomre. Though even in the good old days, us heroes had to take a couple of collateral damage hits and, for example, resign ourselves to the role of a simple taxi driver. The implication being boring drives from A to B, where the highlight of the day is exchanging some gossip with the passengers. Unless, of course, it was Space Taxi.
There are only very few games out there which actually deserve the over-used label 'epic'. Usually, games called 'epic' just go for broadness, i.e. they offer lots of stuff of the same kind. For example, such a game would have lots of levels, but all those levels require the same few activities and strategies.
Mike Singleton is one of the few game designers who tried to work around the usual limitations of the genres and fixed player expectations, and in that process, he created some of the very few truely 'epic' games in gaming history. The prime example in the area of classic games would be his Lords of Midnight, for younger players, it is Midwinter.