Monday, December 6, 2010

2010-2011 - Rebooting season?

So Square Enix just announced recently that Tomb Raider is getting a reboot. She has a new look, new personality and gameplay that sounds like it's nothing like Tomb Rider.
 “You can literally go any direction that you see and carve your own way to the finish line instead of being guided.”
"Lara will become a “hardened survivor,” says director Noah Hughes. She’ll pick up various talents, tools, and supplies as the player progresses through the game, opening new paths previously inaccessible due to Lara’s lack of skill or equipment.
And Lara sounds like she’s getting some skill system, too. The game will feature base camps where the player can combine and create items or upgrade Lara’s skill-set. These camps can also be used for fast travel, saving the player precious time and effort.
Survival isn’t all easy, though. Lara will have to stock up on food and water in order to survive. She’ll have to defend her life in other ways, too. I’m talking about firearms. Crystal Dynamics wouldn’t say much on what types of weapons we’ll see, but a piece of concept art in the magazine clearly reveals a pistol, shotgun, and bow. Lara will utilize weapons like these in the game’s new free-aim system, whereas the old games had a lock-on system. Crystal Dynamics says it can now compete with its competitors." -
 So why is it still called Tomb Raider when it has nothing to do with raiding tombs?

Old Lara
New Lara

Same deal is happening with Devil My Cry (or DmC as they're calling it) and Max Payne 3, plus the same has already happened to CastleVania, Resident Evil and a couple others. Now rebooting is fine for some games that really need them, but only if they stay true to the original titles, otherwise why bother calling them after these established names? With all the games I've just mention, there's barely any hints that these new forays into each respective series came from the games that preceded them.

Current details on "DmC" show that it has almost nothing to do with Devil May Cry; almost nothing recognizable to the brand, including the main character. 

When I see these kinds of games, I see that developers generally had a good idea for a new game, but see it as a risk to create it as a IP because people only buy Call of Duty or sports games like Madden every year, so they tack on a known series name and call it a reboot, which ends up be worse in perspective to series because they have to be somewhat similar to the old games. 

 "Well, let's just take this game, give it a little twist, update the graphics and call it a reboot.", like some piece of fanficton.

Are we reaching the point where game developers just don't have enough faith to work with new IPs? Or maybe gamers are becoming more and more jaded, unwilling to try new IPs so game publishers and devs are taking a safer route by retooling recognizable brands?

Either way, it seems to me that 2010 and 2011 is the season of  "We're too sacred to take risks with our ideas so lets just pull everything we've made from 1996-onwards and start over."

Info on the new Tomb Raider:


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