With Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus releasing this week, it got me thinking of other video game reboots over the recent years that just worked extremely well.
These games include some of gaming’s biggest series that were in dire need of a new and refreshing direction for the series. Some of these games prove that sometimes going back to the drawing board is often the best thing you can do.
If you have been gaming since the original PlayStation days you would know that Lara has been through some rather dramatic changes through her 25 years of gaming. She was the dual-pistol bombshell that explored ruins, killed blood-hungry tigers, and locked her butler in the fridge. Fast forward a few years and we met the younger, yes younger, Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider Legend trilogy. This version of Lara was true to the classic game’s mechanics and gameplay but was modernized for a new audience.
The Legends series took us right through until the PS3 days but after the drawn-out story and rinse and repeat of the same mechanics, the series ended with a sigh of relief from its fans. Little did we know that one day we would be playing the third reboot in the series starring a younger Lara who is not only learning her way up the Tomb Raider ranks but is one of the strongest leads we have seen in the series. The Tomb Raider 2013 reboot was the best thing to happen to the series as it has taken us on exhilarating experiences all while watching Lara grow into the strong female lead we met back in the 90s.
Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank is another series that has been through a few reboots already. The original trilogy on the PS2 as a huge success and introduced our favourite furry PlayStation mascot to the world. Starring Captain Quark, and the hilarious Dr Naferious, it was a typical intergalactic good versus evil battle and everyone loved it.
Enter the PS3 and which it came with a rather strange mixture of Ratchet and Clank games. Tools of Destruction was a refreshing take on the series that introduced a new villain Emperor Percival Tachyon, while at the same time keeping the game focused on the things we loved from the series. Unfortunately, the series was not strong enough to keep gamers interested as the later games mainly A Crack in Time, and Nexus were criticized for its confusing story and shorter experience. While all this was happening we also had to deal with two spin-off games in the series Q-Force and All 4 One. These games also felt very far from what made the series so great.
Devil May Cry
The Devil May Cry series could be one of the very few games on this list that received a reboot when there was very little reason to reboot it in the first place. The original Devil May Cry all the way to the fourth instalment were actually really good, so much so that when DMC: Devil May Cry released back in 2012, the game actually got some harsh feedback from fans due to its huge step away from the main series.
While this was the case, I truly believe that while it was not as good as the original series, DMC: Devil May Cry delivered a great take on the heaven versus hell genre and managed to tap into the mechanics that made the original series great like its hardcore button mashing combo system, fantastic action set pieces, and of course the great synopsis that revolved around Dante and his journey for vengeance. I hope we see a sequel to this title very soon.
DOOM is one of the fine examples of how to modernize a video game series while still keeping it fresh and relevant for gamers who grew up with the series and those who are playing it for the first time. DOOM is every gamer’s childhood FPS. The game that introduced us all to those pink demon goat things that shoot green fireballs and those damn floating heads that smile like they want to eat you alive.
If you consider DOOM 3 as a reboot, which is actually is due to the way it handles many of its mechanics, DOOM has been rebooted three times now and the third time is a sure charm. Everything that made the original DOS series great like enemies, creatively-designed levels, and of course the epic weapons, were all included in DOOM 2016 and they felt so nostalgic and the development team put so much effort into making the game feel so classicly authentic, that it was an instant hit.
Need for Speed
Ah, the Need for Speed series. This is a perfect example of a studio trying to find its roots with a series that was once the best racing experience in gaming. The franchise has been rebooted so many times that no one really knows what they are getting themselves into when a Need for Speed comes their way, and secretly they all want to just go back to the Underground 2 days.
Need for Speed, then Underground, Hot Pursuit, Shift, Undercover, Rivals, Carbon, and no Rivals. These are just a few examples of where the Need for Speed series has gone and every name on that list has seen a new gameplay transition from the past game. Why is this on this list you ask? Well, many of these entries were actually really good, so good that a reboot was not actually necessary. Could Need for Speed: Rivals finally be the garage that the series decides to park in and stay in for good? Who knows?