Monday Impressions: Video Game Reboots Trending...
Do you feel it? The sudden shift of reboots being released and announced more frequently? Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Just like other entertainment media such as music and movies, this is inevitable, and some franchise or series must be repackaged for the current generation. Some are turned out really bad, but the recent ones show way more promise than their originals. This is a risk worth investing now. We are slowly moving to the next generation, and more reboots will actually help the industry in the long run...will it?
it's good to see reboots happen now in this industry. If you talked reboots 10 years ago, everybody would laugh at the idea since it seemed a bit early. Now, it's about right. We have crazy famous titles going past the number 5 mark already, and we have titles that come out yearly now like Assassin's Creed or Call of Duty. It's not a long wait anymore for the next release of your favorite title. It's a different time, and some games actually fall behind because publishers consider it a risk to release a new one, because again, its a different time. That's why reboots are now essential to bring great franchises back into the spotlight, with a fresh new coat of paint of course.
For the past 6 months, we get the taste of how effective reboots are right now. One example - XCOM, a game completely out of many gamer's comfort zone caught them by surprise how a turn-based strategy that punishes you with a single mistake could be fun. The 1994 original was a cult hit and I consider the old XCOM: Enemy Unknown to be one of the founding fathers of great turn-based strategy games. Thanks to efforts at Firaxis, a franchise was reborn.
But not all reboots are performed well. You wish for an example you say? Syndicate is the one game that only comes into mind. If you want to reboot something, the worst thing you can do, in my book, is change how it's played completely. The original Syndicate was actually a Real Time Strategy game, but thanks to EA being...EA, it converted a beloved title in the most generic form of gaming today, an FPS shooter. Was it a forgettable experience? Yea. sadly, it was. It had great potential, but it was poorly executed, and the push to convert it to FPS was the worst idea I've heard. What's the point of rebooting if you won't stay true to the original? Yes?
Reboots can be tricky, especially with a strong fan base. Let's put Tomb Raider at the spotlight shall we? Tomb Raider, which was released just last month got a lot of praise, but prior to the release of the game, everybody was nervous on how they would react to the final product. Even the developers were anxious to see if their years of commitment didn't just destroy the most iconic female protagonist in gaming history. It was bold of them to take a project like this, and the end result is quite impressive(working on the review right now, just bearing the MP). One way to notice if a reboot has succeeded is not by the sales, but if both the old and new fans are happy with the new version of the game, and Crystal Dynamics I believe hit that.
Tomb Raider is actually the best example of how a reboot should be. Mostly familiar, but updated in terms of mechanics and visual appearance. The classic Tomb Raider games were great in its time, but were restricted in really bring that Indiana Jones adventure. Now, rebooting the series since it's now possible just makes a lot of sense, and making an orgins story made it much sweeter. Thanks to Uncharted showing us that third person adventures can be just as big as a hollywood movie, their timing in bringing back Lara Croft was perfect. Of course, we all know Tomb Raider was actually the original Uncharted and that the Uncharted series was inspired by it, so it's kind of fitting for Lara to go through all those hollywood-like action scenes. Even though she was way more punished compared to Nathan Drake.
Another great reboot that showed up recently is the reboot to Devil May Cry called DmC" Devil May Cry(still have no idea why its called that). It got a bit of heat because of Ninja Theory's and Capcom's decision to make Dante more... emo.. But if you shake off the new look and just play the game, you'll quickly notice everything that makes Devil May Cry is intact. A bit more simplified, but definitely still fun to great to experiment different combos with Dante's arsenal. thanks to the whole look, I think I can say they created a divide, with people preferring the old to the new, which is not the best position Capcom was hoping for sure. Regardless, at least gameplay isn't messed.
Reboots are trending from the looks of things, and we will see more of them. If they do, they came at the right time since it's the right time for some franchises to get the recycle treatment. You shouldn't consider reboots a sign of the industry running out of idea, but consider it as keeping iconic franchises alive and providing different variations for the old and current generation. All forms of media do it, and the fact that we see more in video games means that the industry is moving forward. There's still a lot of series' that deserve a reboot, and I'm pretty excited what shows up in the future. Will this trend turn out good in the long run? Well, anything can happen but its off to a good start.
Since were talking reboots, got anything in mind?