Old Dante, New Dante

Reboots Are Good For Gaming

Reboot. The word alone can send the Internet into a tizzy. Numerous reboots, sequels and remakes have been cranked out year after year by the video game industry, and it doesn’t look like that will end anytime soon. Some of this is understandable, as producing a new IP can prove to be a risky experiment and could wind up costing publishers millions. However, business is all about taking risks and one would think that more publishers would be interested in pursuing new properties since so many gamers clamor for them. However, despite the fact that these constant rehashes grow tiresome, there is reason to be optimistic. In fact, I’ve come up with four reasons that explain why reboots can be a good thing.

Lords of Shadow brought modern game design to the classic Castlevania series.


Nintendo is probably the best company that does this as they seem to have a knack for keeping their properties fresh. They do this simply by using modern game mechanics on their 30-year-old franchises to provide unique experiences for gamers. Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country Returns are perhaps the most recent examples, but Nintendo has consistently done this with every new console and they’ll more than likely do it again with the Wii U. It’s not just Nintendo, either. Ubisoft has managed to keep Rayman around with stellar games like Rayman Origins, and their future plans for overhauling Assassin’s Creed will hopefully yield favorable results. Konami, meanwhile, successfully rebooted Castlevania for home consoles with Lords of Shadow, and Metal Gear Solid Rising and Ground Zeroes should add exciting new twists to the immensely popular franchise.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution stayed true to the game’s roots, but with a modern twist.


Fallout. Deus Ex. Ninja Gaiden. These are just a few examples of games that were popular in their prime, but didn’t receive new releases until years later when new developers ushered these titles into the modern era. Fallout 3 was a huge overhaul for the series, yet it still kept the spirit of the original games and is perhaps one of the best games this generation. The original Deus Ex was ahead of its time when it was originally released in 2000, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution stayed true to the franchise while at the same time improving on the gameplay. Team Ninja’s 2004 reboot of Ninja Gaiden, which at that time hadn’t seen a new release in over a decade, brought the series into the 3D era and, until recently, managed to continue the franchise’s tendency to be very difficult.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – a classic franchise reborn thanks to some savvy developers.


DmC is perhaps the most controversial reboot in recent years, and I’m sure the Tomb Raider reboot might receive a similar backlash (it kinda has, already). Regardless, Ninja Theory’s take on Devil May Cry made the game feel new again, not to mention more accessible. It isn’t as hard as the other games, but the gameplay is still incredibly stylish and fun. DmC also contains socially relevant writing, is filled with topical humor and provides enough of a challenge on the higher difficulty levels for those wanting a “true” Devil May Cry experience. Firaxis, creators of some brilliant Sid Meier games like Alpha Centauri, did the same thing with their reboot of XCOM – XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Not only did they create one of the best real-time strategy games in years, but they proved that the genre can perform just as well on consoles as they do on PCs.


Sleeping Dogs successfully swept the True Crime series under the rug.


Two reboots released last year fall into this category: Spec Ops: The Line and Sleeping Dogs. Technically Sleeping Dogs is a new IP, but let’s not forget it was originally going to be the third installment in the woeful True Crime franchise. United Front Games and Square Enix were very successful in turning a mediocre property that everyone forgot about into an absolutely wonderful experience with Sleeping Dogs. The melee combat is some of the best you’ll find, and the slick visuals and well-paced story help made Sleeping Dogs when of the biggest surprises of 2012. The story behind the creation of Spec Ops: The Line is fairly similar to that of Sleeping Dogs, and it was also a welcome addition to the world of reboots. The Spec Ops series was bargain-bin quality at best, yet Yager Entertainment crafted a near-masterpiece that served as a commentary on the shooter genre as a whole.

Spec Ops went from a generic, boring video game series to a game with great storytelling and commentary.

It’s always nice to see developers create a new IP, but reboots can effectively serve the same purpose. You won’t always get great results, and a Duke Nukem Forever or Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) might appear now and again, but some great games have surfaced due to publishers obsessing over reboots. We’re going to see a lot of them this year and the next, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the ride.

There are 4 comments

Add yours
  1. wishingW3L

    No they aren’t because the point of a reboot is not kill a franchise with potential to use its name on a completely new game like Capcom did with DmC. Just kill the franchise and start a new one you lazy ass coward. They just wanted to cash-in on the name to draw-in old fans while trying to attract a new audience with the completely new style.

  2. wishingW3L

    No they aren’t because the point of a reboot is not kill a franchise with potential to use its name on a completely new game like Capcom did with DmC. Just kill the franchise and start a new one you lazy ass coward. They just wanted to cash-in on the name to draw-in old fans while trying to attract a new audience with the completely new style.
    So sorry but if I don’t give a crap about DmC reboot and I didn’t buy it because they butchered the franchise with the scrubby ass combat and more serious, angsty, prententious story-line. They ruined all the stuff that made me like the franchise.

  3. Mallaced

    reboots aren’t necessarily good or bad, but from a business perspective I believe most reboots do not want to alienate their core audience.  Something that DmC: Devil May Cry did to an insurmountable degree.  A much better reboot, in my opinion, was X com enemy unknown; proving both that the series could still be updated with a modern take without sacrificing the core audience.

  4. ClapperX

    I seriously do not understand why nearly every journalist gaming site has decide that anyone who dislikes something that a developer or publisher decides to push, is either entitled or childish.
    At any rate, back to the subject at hand the new Devil May Cry title.
    While, the new look of Dante is purley asthetic, it lies at th heart of a much larger problem. I belive at the core, the newanuces that the orginal fanbase came to know and love from the pre-reboot series have changed the game enough so that one could arguably no longer even call it a Devil May Cry game.
    Sure subtleties like the new hair color, re-design of the character, varied music choices, and new voice actors were annoying at first, but the fans could get over them if the rest of the game was well grounded in the series. The much larger problem lies in core changes; to the combat system, to the difficulty of the game, to the dropping frame rate etc. . .
    These changes were certainly interesting ideas, but really did not seem to work well in the game series and it is because of this that I believe the fans of the original series dislike the reboot.
    I would have been much more keen on seeing Ninja Theory create their own series with new characters, rather attempt, yet fail miserably at recreating pre-exsiting ones.
    Personally, after playing the demo I decided that the game that was created no longer appeals to me but of course I am just one person.

Post a new comment