Reboots have always been a dicey affair. Taking a fan classic from decades ago and revamping it for the modern day is a risk that has a chance to pay dividends.
Fans have always had a soft spot for these games, and when developers make announcements stating that a reboot or remake is in the works, it sends shockwaves throughout the industry.
Games do not usually have a particularly long shelf life, and there is always something new coming around the corner. Developers need to have cutting-edge gameplay mechanics or an impressive story to sell their game to the masses.
Most games that are fan classics have not aged well. With advancements in technology, these games are in dire need of a revamp. Some of the best titles available today have been rebooted from their original concepts and have recaptured the aura that made them special.
Some games have gone through the reboot phase and come out on the other side looking worse than before. Here are five reboots that have been a success and five that did not live up to the hype.
Five reboots that brought a breath of fresh air to a franchise
1) Resident Evil VII
The Resident Evil franchise was dead in the water. With its explosive set pieces and Hollywood action movie drama, the game series had become stale and had moved far away from its original ethos.
The horror game desperately needed a revive, and Capcom has provided one. Resident Evil VII has completely turned the franchise on its head and goes back to the horror-survival genre fans adore.
The story of Resident Evil VII follows Ethan Winters, who is searching for his estranged and missing wife. His search leads him to a decrepit house in rural Louisiana, where Ethan's horror journey begins.
Ethan's story has a more subtle approach, taking away hordes of zombies that players can gun down. The haunted house trope does the game incredible justice and works extremely well as an homage to the original game.
The game also features puzzles and boss encounters that will test and terrify players. Resident Evil VII is an excellent reboot by Capcom, and the sequel to the acclaimed title is also available on most platforms.
2) Doom (2016)
The big daddy of first-person shooters, Doom was a giant when it first came out in 1993. Every first-person shooter that followed was trying to emulate Doom.
Every developer at the time looked at Doom as a titan of industry. Doom was a brilliantly designed game for its time, and fans have always had a collective fondness for the franchise.
Doom has gone some major changes since its launch in 1993. The franchise has gone through several reboots in the past, but none have been more successful than Doom (2016).
Doom (2016) is a masterpiece. It is a heavy-metal, demon-killing game that unleashes Doom Guy’s fury. The soundtrack edges players on, enemies are fast, but Doom Guy is faster. Doom (2016) has so much going for it that players will be upset when the game inevitably ends.
Doom (2016) also has a sequel, Doom: Eternal, released in 2020 and expanded on all the ideas that its predecessor provided. Doom (2016) remains one of the best reboots of the modern-day, and fans cannot get enough of Doom Guy.
3) Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has single-handedly taught the entire industry how to make a good open-world game. Breath of the Wild takes that classic Zelda formula and turns it up to eleven.
With freedom being the name of the game, fans have gotten lost in the world of Breath of the Wild. Exploration has been given a lot of focus. Breath of the Wild provides that much-needed escape from reality as its immersive gameplay and mechanics are a treat to enjoy for all.
Breath of the Wild follows Link as he journeys through Hyrule. The story is a classic Zelda adventure updated for the modern-day. The game has a lot of unique mechanics that are exclusive to Breath of the Wild.
Interactable environments, multiple approaches to challenges, and design make it one of the best games to play in this generation. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fantastic reboot, and the sequel promises to be even better.
4) Marvel’s Spider-Man
When Spider-Man last came out, there was no real competition, and fans were excited to see Spidey in gaming. As Insomniac Studios announced their plans for a more modern-day approach to Spider-Man, fans were already on board.
With an open-world setting and the web-swinging antics of Spider-Man, there was a lot of hype aboard this train.
At launch, the game was a massive success. Ushering into this new era of gaming for the PlayStation with massively ambitious titles, Sony had cemented itself in history. With groundbreaking technical achievements, the team at Insomniac have realized their mission, and Marvel’s Spider-Man is a masterpiece of a game.
With a plethora of original comic book characters, Marvel’s Spider-Man has all the fan-favorite characters that fans love. Its attention to detail and seeming limitless content has had fans over the moon. Marvel’s Spider-Man could be called one of the most successful reboots of the generation.
5) God of War (2018)
A game and protagonist that needs no introduction, 2018’s God of War has reimagined Kratos for the modern world. Reboots are risky, especially if game developers take beloved IPs and want to provide a new experience for a new era.
Cory Balrog and his team at Santa Monica Studios have focused on the story rather than the hack and slash bits, and it has paid off extremely well. The story of God of War (2018) follows Kratos as he has escaped his violent past and is now living with his new family.
After his wife passes and leaves Kratos and his son Atreus to embark on a long and arduous journey to honor her last wishes, this journey takes the duo across the mythical Norse lands, and they encounter all manner of Norse monsters and gods.
The gameplay has also been praised. On a technical level, the game looks stunning, and the combat feels well-designed. Players can utilize Atreus’s skills with the bow in combat, and working in tandem with Kratos adds so much flavor to the game.
Enemy encounters can be challenging at times but can be overcome with enough practice. There are also a ton of puzzles and side missions that will keep players busy for a long time.
God of War (2018) has successfully brought the game to a newer audience, and its awaited sequel is sure to send ripples throughout the industry.
Five reboots that were disappointing
1) Thief (2014)
When it was first announced, players and fans were excited to get a reboot for a beloved classic. As FPS games dominated the market, Thief provided an excellent choice for someone who does not like to go in guns-blazing.
Thief was marketed as a stealth-based action game where players have to stick to the shadows and try not to engage in combat.
Thief was not well received by the community. With its lack of ambition and story, the game fell short of expectations. The genre had been overshadowed by better games. With Thief having no concrete identity besides the name, it was destined to fail.
The game needed a lot more work to make it stand out from the competition, and it does nothing to address this. Thief (2014) is a moderately average game and an okay reboot when looking at the original.
2) Doom 3
This article mentions the classic Doom games, but this one, fans do not remember fondly. Taking most of the charisma out of the game, Doom 3 is a shallow attempt at making Doom into a horror series.
Its bland portrayal of characters and lack of narrative plot make it a bad reboot, and fans have suffered for it.
The story is lackluster and is quite linear. Players will not be too impressed by the gameplay as it’s reminiscent of any other FPS shooter. The horror section is extremely gimmicky and hilarious at times.
The challenge of the original is more or less not present in Doom 3. Players have to make their way through the Mars base and into the depths of hell. Doom 3 was heralded as the next chapter of the Doom franchise. However, it did not do well, and fans have a much better Doom game because of it.
3) Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
EA has been responsible for destroying some of the best video game studios and developers. Westwood Studios was just another casualty in the quest to become the biggest video game publisher of all time.
Fans will fondly remember the original Command and Conquer games that feature impressive gameplay mechanics for their time. Riding high on the success of the originals, Westwood Studios expanded by releasing Red Alert, set in the backdrop of the Cold War.
These games were praised for their challenge, attention to detail, and stunning work for the real-time strategy genre.
After the acquisition by EA, Westwood Studios seemed to have lost the thing that made them special. EA gutted the creativity out of the games and added their own brand of bland gameplay and unimaginative design. The Command and Conquer series was a fan favorite, but the games rarely get traction these days.
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars was a cash-grab and is a poorly made reboot that ultimately buried the franchise.
4) Prince of Persia (2008)
If there was ever an example of messing up a classic game, the 2008 reboot of Prince of Persia takes the cake. Prince of Persia has always been a fan-favorite game series.
Its imaginative story and ancient roots in gaming have earned it a fabulous reputation. The series has seen some success and fame with its unique gameplay loop and fun mechanics. Prince of Persia (2008) feels the opposite of what the games were about.
Ubisoft has made a soulless project riding on the coattails of its predecessors. The game has no charm and no ambition. It does very little to justify its price tag with a clunky art style. Gameplay is not even remotely challenging, and level design leaves a lot to be desired.
The main idea behind the Prince of Persia games was the adrenaline-pumping parkour sequences and the well-designed combat. Tying into the whole time rewind mechanic, players had this sense of control when fighting enemies and always had to look out for attacks that could spell the end.
Prince of Persia (2008) does none of the above and does not respect its original fan base. This is one of the worst reboots available, and Ubisoft had completely dropped the ball on this one.
5) DMC: Devil May Cry (2013)
One of the best-worst reboots to ever exist, the 2013 reboot for the franchise has a lot going for it. This is one of the best games on this list and one that fans abhor. Devil May Cry (2013) is an exciting game. It feels like a wonderfully designed Hack and Slash with combos and weapons that will delight.
Enemy and level design feel incredibly polished, and the game does feel challenging at times. Players can change weapons on the fly and will have to come up against some uniquely designed bosses that will test players.
Ninja Theory’s reboot completely missed the mark in everything besides gameplay. Contrary to the name, its edgy and crass nature was never what the Devil May Cry series was about.
The original games had a modicum of respect for the fan base as characters were not caricatures of themselves and had actual stories and ambitions.
The 2013 reboot fails to address any of these problems. It poses itself as a standalone title but also does not do much to separate itself from the original.
DMC: Devil May Cry (2013) is a brilliant hack and slash game but a bad reboot. Ninja Theory’s biggest mistake was naming the main character Dante. If not, this game would not have fallen into this category.