A few days ago, Arkane Studio’s Prey released to critical acclaim, and although it was touted as a reboot of a 2006 game of the same name, you would be hard-pressed to understand why it’s not considered its own unrelated game. The 2006 game starred a Native American man who was kidnapped by aliens and fought his way through the mothership to defeat the alien queen, while the 2017 version stars an amnesiac, Chinese/German man or woman who lives on a space station and needs to prevent shapeshifting aliens from invading Earth. To call one a far cry from the other would be an understatement, yet Arkane’s Prey is still considered a reboot, one that is actually polished and enjoyable, which raises the question: what old video games should receive their own reboots? Here are ten games I think should be rebooted, or at the very least need a new sequel.
10. Duke Nukem
We waited forever for Duke Nukem Forever and it sucked. Once, Duke stood for something, and that something was kicking alien butt while spouting one-liners. The original Duke Nukem games — well, the Duke Nukem 3D games, anyway — were the epitome of fast-paced FPS games in the 90s; Duke Nukem 3D had a plethora of guns, only let players heal with limited health packs, and punished players who stood still. Modern FPS games limit players to two weapons, heal players after a few seconds of dodging bullets, and reward players who try to stay in one place. Duke Nukem Forever adopted modern FPS mechanics and suffered for it; it’s high time Duke Nukem returned to his roots with a reboot that plays the way a Duke Nukem game should play: old school.
9. Prince of Persia
Back in 1989, the first Prince of Persia game was a methodical platformer that required players to both take their time and run/jump as quickly as possible, while occasionally having to duel a guard. The first several Prince of Persia games were fairly popular, but the Sands of Time trilogy was the franchise’s magnum opus. The last Prince of Persia game, which took place in its own canon, was released back in 2008 and tried to combine the Sands of Time’s fluid and gravity-defying level exploration with the original’s one-on-one combat. Technology has improved since the the last several Prince of Persia games, which means that any Prince of Persia reboot would likely include beautiful and expansive levels that bends minds in creative ways.
The first BloodRayne game had a simple premise: the femme fatale dhampir (half human, half vampire), Rayne, stopped Nazis from using a mystic artifact to win WW2, and the sequels continued Rayne’s story as she hunted down her fully-vampiric family. The plot of the BloodRayne franchise was ludicrous and would work well in a modern game, as the plot would help set it apart from games that try to be serious when they don’t need to be. The first two BloodRayne games were fancy hack and slash affairs that, while fun for their time, are slow by modern standards. Nowadays, hack and slash are fast and flashy, and few companies make hack and slash games better than PlatinumGames. The company’s experience in the hack and slash genre, especially with games that star femme fatales (e.g., Bayonetta’s Bayonetta, NieR: Automata’s 2B, etc.) in ludicrous stories, would it the ideal company to make a reboot.
7. Parasite Eve
Nobody expected Squaresoft, the king of the turn-based RPG, to create a survival horror game, let alone one with a novel premise, pun intended. Furthermore, Squaresoft organically implemented various RPG mechanics to set it apart from other survival horror games. Granted, the Parasite Eve franchise was light on scares, but its gameplay and story were second only to the kings of survival horror, Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 2. If Square Enix were to reboot the franchise, it could probably create a truly terrifying experience, especially if it receives help from one of its subsidiary development studios.
6. Jade Empire
BioWare’s recent games haven’t really wowed audiences. Maybe the company lost a bit of creativity after focusing on too many Mass Effect and Dragon Age sequels; perhaps it’s time BioWare returned to one of its older titles, say, Jade Empire. The game was truly unique, as it was an action RPG that took place in a fantasy world inspired by ancient China and Chinese mythology. Well, ok, the game was also well realized and had fantastic writing and characters. The world of Jade Empire just begs to be explored, and thanks to modern technology, BioWare can make a reboot that is far more expansive and beautiful than the original version, but I would be happy with just a sequel.
DOOM inspired many FPS games, but back in the 90s, three games stood out among the rest: Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, and Blood. Each was influenced by a different genre of movie. Duke Nukem aped big-budged AAA action movies; Shadow Warrior was an homage kung-fu movies (although you probably never would have guessed given the copious amounts of guns), and Blood paid respects to slasher/horror films. Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior have survived to the present day, but Blood has been left by the wayside, which is a shame since it was just as good as the others. If anything, Blood was actually stronger due to its higher difficulty level and a decent story that revolved around betrayal and revenge, which makes its lack of sequels all the more disappointing. With the right studio — preferably its original developer Monolith and/or current Shadow Warrior developer Flying Wild Hog — a Blood reboot could give the franchise the attention it deserves and remake it into the new king of FPS.
(All credit goes to GGGmanlives for making a video that introduced me to this game.)
The Siren franchise is a lost gem of a survival horror, as it is one of the most terrifying and disturbing games I have ever seen. The various Siren games took place in poorly lit, derelict Japanese villages, each overrun with insane, zombie-like creatures that used to be human. At first, they only looked like pale humans who bleed out of every orifice, but as the games progressed, they mutated into horrific shapes that resembled their previous selves enough to make them even creepier than a monster that never was human. Furthermore, these creatures couldn’t be killed, only stunned, so players were encouraged to hide. Siren also let players see from the monsters’ perspective, which helped them hide but also terrified them whenever a monster so much as looked at their hiding spot. Since survival horror games are making a comeback, gamers would likely welcome a reboot of Siren with open arms.
3. Sam & Max
The Sam & Max games helped put Telltale Games on the map. Lately, Telltale has focused licensed story-driven games, and while they range from decent to great, they do not measure up from the sheer comedic brilliance that is Sam & Max. While a Sam & Max reboot could be a point and click adventure that hearkens back to the original Sam & Max games, including LucasArts’ Sam & Max: Hit the Road, Telltale’s current style would also work well and might even help tell a different kind of Sam & Max story, one that retains the comedy that made the franchise popular to begin with but balances it out with a seriousness that is synonymous with modern-day Telltale Games’s games.
2. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
These days, action RPGs are extremely popular, thanks in no small part to games such as The Witcher and Deus Ex. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was based the tabletop RPG Vampire: The Masquerade and was praised for its writing and its plot. The game was released in an unfinished state, yet it still retains a cult following that has helped fix many of the glitches and bugs that were never ironed out during development. The rich lore of the Vampire: The Masquerade world begs for another game, and if a reboot is ever made, maybe this time the developers will be granted all the time they need.
1. Legacy of Kain
The Legacy of Kain franchise is one of the best game franchises ever, bar none. Its story, world, music, and characters were extraordinarily memorable, and the plot even delved into convoluted time-travel shenanigans without becoming overly confusing. Square Enix hired Climax Studios to work on a new entry in the franchise, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, but that game was cancelled before it was ever announced and was salvaged to make the now-defunct Nosgoth. The Legacy of Kain has an extremely large and devoted cult following, and to this day rumors of reboots, remakes, and remasters abound on the Internet. I have no doubt that a reboot of The Legacy of Kain will be critically acclaimed and well sell extremely well.
So, what games do you think need to receive reboots? Comment down below.