Cult game series worth reviving
The era in which modern gamers live is quite unusual. Any major developer who manages to release a successful game immediately turns their creation into a franchise. Examples are not far to seek. Just remember GTA, Assassin’s Creed, Elder Scrolls, Far Cry, and others. Many already know in advance when the next installment of these projects will be released and what to expect from them.
Many gamers have grown tired of the serial nature of modern games and are looking for new experiences. Therefore, they prefer indie companies. But among popular gaming products, you can still find large gaming series that have ceased to exist by now. Nevertheless, they managed to leave a certain mark on the industry. Which franchises would be worth reviving?
Release years: 1989-2010. This game was developed by several companies: Brøderbund, Red Orb Entertainment, The Learning Company, Ubisoft.
Players were thrilled with the first “Prince of Persia.” They particularly appreciated the realistic character movement. While other game designers in the industry were using only primitive animation consisting of just a few frames, Jordan Mechner, who was involved in creating this game, took a more serious approach to the visual development process. He turned to his brother, David, to jump, run, and pull up in front of a camera. For him, this was not a problem, as Mechner’s brother was a professional acrobat. Afterward, Jordan simply digitized the recordings frame by frame and used them as sprites in this game. Thus, Jordan Mechner should be considered the first person to use rotoscoping technology in game design.
Speaking of this game in general, it is a platformer in which a prince, held captive by a vizier, must somehow escape from the dungeon. He needs to navigate through the labyrinth of the underground, filled with numerous traps and guards. Additionally, he has another mission – to save a princess who is the target of the main villain of the game. Moreover, there is a time limit for completing all these tasks. The character is given only 60 minutes. If the main character fails to complete the tasks within the allotted time, the princess, who defies the vizier’s demands, will be executed. She refuses to marry him to prevent his usurpation from gaining legitimate status. If the player failed to meet the deadline, the game ended with the main character’s defeat.
The successful start of this project led to the creation of a game series that, over time, was enriched with new details and eventually turned into an Eastern fairy tale. It featured not only an engaging storyline but also ancient treasures and cunning conspiracies. The storyline even included elements of magic and time travel.
Since 2003, this game has been owned by Ubisoft. However, no new installments of the franchise have been released since 2010. Occasionally, there are remakes, and sometimes the game receives reissues. There’s nothing surprising about that. This company already has a franchise with parkour and an alternate history. That game is called Assassin’s Creed. But why not give a gift to fans and gamers who have a special interest in the ongoing conflict between assassins and Templars? In the end, it would result in a great tale with an interesting plot and beautiful scenery.
This game was released from 1991 to 2016. It was developed by Apogee Software, later renamed to 3D Realms.
Gradually, gamers are beginning to forget the hero who, until recently, was one of the coolest characters in computer games. We’re talking about Duke Nukem. However, he absolutely doesn’t deserve this fate. In this game, he was the main character, portrayed as a fearless fighter against alien invaders who refused to compromise. He did horrible things to his enemies, easily dealt with them, and expressed his brutality while using explicit language.
The game also depicted the main character’s passion for tobacco. Although initially, the character’s behavior was entirely different. When the first game in this series, which developers turned into a platformer instead of a first-person shooter, was released, the main character was portrayed as a special agent working for the CIA. In the first episode, his main task was to fight against a mad scientist, Dr. Proton, who had gone insane. Duke also had to deal with robot invaders. However, it cannot be said that he actively fought in the game. Most of the time, he simply roamed through mazes and explored the villain’s laboratory to find another door to enter.
The image of a brutal comedian that became characteristic of him emerged in 1996. This transformation was possible thanks to the release of a new installment in the franchise called Duke Nukem 3D. After that, this character faced the same sad fate as action heroes from the 90s. With each new installment, the games in the series became progressively worse, disappointing fans. Critics wrote negative reviews and gave low ratings. By that time, the developers had no clear idea of what to do with the game’s hero, who had been very successful until recently. To this day, this game is stuck somewhere in the realm of mobile platforms, and 3D Realms itself is doing nothing to revive their hero and make him popular again.
This game series was released from 2001 to 2011. It was developed by Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Vancouver.
This game series, created in a noir atmosphere, features a hero who doesn’t joke around. And he has very good reasons for that. A gang of drug addicts attacked Max Payne’s family, who was just an ordinary cop, and killed his wife and daughter. This tragedy shattered his life. He has only one desire – to find those who killed his wife and child and bring them to justice. However, circumstances force the main character onto a slippery slope, turning him into a vigilante.
The first two parts of the game were developed by the company Remedy Entertainment. The third part was worked on by specialists from Rockstar. Although making a direct sequel to Max’s story doesn’t make much sense, they could create a spin-off and cast Wilson Da Silva in the main role. He is a noble character who cannot be bribed. Such a decision would be much better than the movie adaptation with Mark Wahlberg, in which the entire plot is turned upside down.
This game was released from 1991 to 2009. It was created by Electronic Arts.
Back in the 90s, on consoles, the favorite games of many gamers were brutal survival motorcycle races. And it’s no wonder. Attempts to be the first to cross the finish line without thinking about obeying traffic rules or respecting opponents were destined for success. To win in Road Rash, you had to use bats, chains, pieces of reinforcement, and other items that were at hand to fight against opponents. You could knock your opponents off their motorcycles or simply hit them on the head. In the end, all methods were good against your competitors.
Over time, this franchise was transferred to mobile platforms, where it ended its existence in 2009. However, a completely different fate could have awaited it. Everything could have been easily changed by the leaders of EA Games if they had closely examined this game and noticed its potential. This game could easily have been turned into a royal battle where all battles take place on motorcycles. In such a project, the main goal could have been to reach the end of the track. Many gamers would probably have been delighted with such a game, especially since there has been no such combination of genres so far.
This game was released from 1997 to 2015. It was created by studios Stainless Games and Torus Games.
In this game, the plot is also based on survival racing. However, the hero moves on four wheels. In this game, the racer is not penalized for traffic violations or property damage. Additionally, they receive rewards in the form of various bonuses. One way to win the race is to run over all pedestrians on your level.
Not surprisingly, this game shocked many politicians in various countries around the world. They were convinced that gamers, after the mayhem in the game, would start running over pedestrians they saw on the streets in real life once they got behind the wheel. Due to censorship considerations, in some countries, people were REPLACED with zombies and even robots in this game.
After its debut, the game had several sequels. However, the new series could not achieve the success of the original. One of the latest attempts to revive this series was the release of Carmageddon: Reincarnation. However, even this telling title did not help avoid criticism from gamers of the new game. It received low ratings from players. Hopefully, the owners of this franchise will be able to find good developers who will help bring back the bloody fun that ruled in the ’90s to PC and consoles.
Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander
This game was released from 1997 to 2010 (including Supreme Commander). The game was developed by Cavedog Entertainment and Gas Powered Games.
This game is a product created by Chris Taylor, who has had a complex career. This project was started in 1997 and became a product ahead of its time. The game is a real-time strategy with a unique set of mechanics and impressive physics, which attracted the attention of computer game enthusiasts. As a result, its fan base grew rapidly.
In the end, this product received numerous awards in the gaming industry. Although StarCraft dominated the real-time strategy genre at the time, Total Annihilation managed to acquire cult status. There was also a chance that it would receive a sequel. However, for some inexplicable reasons, the second part moved from a science-fiction setting to a fantasy one, featuring kings, dragons, and magic.
The release of Total Annihilation: Kingdoms was a failure for the developers. Perhaps this was due to the fact that “Game of Thrones” had not yet been released, and the physical engine, well-adapted for calculating tank braking distances and ballistic trajectories, turned out to be utterly useless in battles dominated by knights and wizards.
However, despite this setback, Canadian Chris Taylor did not give up. He eventually created a personal campaign called Gas Powered Games and later released Supreme Commander. Fans of Total Annihilation perceived this game as a spiritual successor. However, from a technical standpoint, the project was not the same. Supreme Commander has a dedicated fan base, and fans of the game still exist today.
With the help of the Forged Alliance Forever application created by fans, you can easily find a company for online play in just a minute. However, the second part of this game, which gamers had high hopes for, did not meet expectations. Chris Taylor later worked at Wargaming.net for a while and then ventured into independent game development. But he promised that he would return at some point. Now, fans of Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander have only one hope left – the return of the Canadian who can create something new and original.
Heroes of Might and Magic
This game was released from 1995 to 2015. It was developed by three companies: 3DO Company and Ubisoft.
This turn-based strategy game quickly gained a cult status. If you ask any fan of the game which part of the franchise is the best, many will probably say the third one. It was released a long time ago, in 1999. After its release, the subsequent series of this franchise were inconsistent in quality. Only the fifth part attempted to follow the spirit of the original. In the end, a united group of fans created an unofficial expansion called “Horn of the Abyss,” which is now considered by newcomers as a canonical part of the series, while the official remaster released by Ubisoft is not well-received.
It’s worth noting that HotA is truly a high-quality work. During its creation, developers carefully respected the original game and introduced new heroes. They also added a whole pirate castle and created a delightful campaign with maritime adventures separate from the main storyline of the franchise.
The creators did make a few mistakes when attempting to rebalance Heroes III. On average, they created two new problems while only solving one. However, fans of this game should definitely try Horn of the Abyss. Many fans approve of and have a positive attitude towards this unofficial expansion. Ubisoft is left with one question: if the management has no ideas on how to revive this franchise, why not hand it over to the people who can relaunch this unique gaming project?
This game was released from 1996 to 2003. The developers of this project were the following studios: Silicon Knights, Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix.
This game represents a dark and brutal fantasy that emerged many years before the popular Dark Souls among gamers today. The game had a fantastic atmosphere, and the character design was simply stunning. The story at its core was very intriguing. The protagonist of the game is a hero who embodies evil and fights against an even greater evil. In many games of this series, the main character is Kain, who appears as a vampire and has decided to defy his cursed destiny.
Critics, upon reviewing this game, often drew parallels with Shakespeare, biblical narratives, and certain works of ancient philosophy. However, when 2015 arrived, the owner of the company that held the franchise decided to turn this game into a third-person MMO shooter. However, the project was eventually canceled and never released.
The events in this game take place in the world of Nosgoth. The developers managed to make it coherent and beautiful. Many young gamers today may not have heard of this game. After all, the last part of the series, titled Legacy of Kain: Defiance, was released way back in 2003. Since then, it seems like a dark fate has hung over this project. Can Kain not overcome the curse that befell him? After all, he had no trouble solving other, more challenging tasks.
This game was released from 1998 to 2007. The developer of this product was Epic Games.
Among contemporary gamers, not many have played this game. However, everyone has likely heard of the existence of the Unreal Engine. The first game created with it became a true revolution in the gaming industry. After its release, it quickly made its way into every gaming club. Following the single-player Unreal, another project was launched, this time focused on multiplayer. It was called Unreal Tournament. This marked the beginning of a rivalry between Epic Games and id Software, which became legendary.
Eventually, Epic Games Abandoned its game and canceled Unreal Tournament 4. Why did they do this? The answer to this question is known. Most likely, the culprit was the game Fortnite, for which all of the company’s resources were redirected. Young gamers are pleased with this, but the old fans of the game will not easily forgive the studio for this change in direction. The trend of battle royales in games, which emerged a few years ago, is gradually becoming less fashionable and will soon fade away completely. And every user understands what this means.
This game was released from 2008 to 2013. It was developed by Visceral Games.
At the end of this selection, it’s worth talking about a game series that is long overdue for a revival. This is a space horror game that easily rivals even the popular Resident Evil series. When you find yourself in the gaming world of this game, you’ll remember your encounters with necromorphs for life. Dead Space is a game that has become as iconic for horror gaming as the movie “Alien” is for the horror genre in cinema. The contribution of this product to the gaming industry cannot be overstated. However, towards the end of its existence, the franchise took a wrong turn, and the developers are to “thank” for that. Bringing this game back to life is not such a difficult task. Moreover, the game’s creator, Glen Schofield, has often expressed his desire to create a sequel to the first game, ignoring the events of all subsequent ones.
This game is at the end of our list for a reason. The reason is that on July 22, 2021, a sequel to this series will be released. The announcement of the release of the new installment was made during the EA Play Live conference. Whether the new product will be a masterpiece or another disappointment for fans is still uncertain. At the moment, fans of this game and gamers can only hope for the best.
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