Do Games Need A Reboot?

The 'next gen' Mr Muscle. Yep, he sucks.

In the past few months there have been an absolute load of announcements for games coming out in 2011 and beyond, but there has been something niggling me about some of the latest ones, which makes me think that game developers are fixing things before they are broken, i.e. rebooting game franchises. In some respects there are games that need it, but most of the time games don’t need a reboot. It’s like turning Mr Muscle in those cleaner ads from a scrawny geek to a CGI Superhero. It’s not necessary and it’s not cool.

So far there are only two games coming out in 2011 that have been rebooted for no reason.  These are two games franchises that I really have a lot of love for; I grew up with them and they have made for some fantastic gameplay. So… I present to you the two games of 2011 that shouldn’t be rebooted.

Devil May Cry
I know I have complained about this before, but for this article I am going to complain again. Why, oh why, would you want to take an awesome character like Dante and totally change him?! What I loved about Dante was the fact that he was a kick arse half-demon with a bad ass attitude. He loved the fact that he was a demon hunter, and a highly skilled one at that. He also didn’t really give a crap what people though of him and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.   Not only that, but he had a cool hair style and awesome dress sense (even though he only had a long red coat on in Devil May Cry 3 – but it was an awesome long red coat).

Last year, we saw the trailer for the next Devil May Cry game. I was personally excited about the announcement and couldn’t wait to see what Dante was going to do next. Well, I was stupidly excited until I actually saw the teaser trailer. Upon watching it, I was left staring at the screen for a good five minutes. To quote Wayne’s World: “You know that scene in scanners where the guy’s head is just about to explode?”  That was the look of fear I had across my face. What the hell did they do to Dante?!

DMC4: all you need to look kick arse is a fucking awesome coat and a big sword. A good smirk also helps.

You know how much I said he was cool and bad arse? Yeah… well they’ve scrapped that and have pretty much turned him into the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. He is now an Emo kid, a teenager with obvious prepubescent problems, and who isn’t cool at all. You can imagine this rebooted Dante telling his mum to stuff it because he doesn’t want to come home when tea is ready. Sure, ok, he looks like he is kicking some demon butt, but having him strapped up in what looks like an insane asylum? That doesn’t bode well for his image either.

Basically, why did they have to change Dante? Ninja Theory, the guys behind this bold move, said that the old school Dante ‘wasn’t cool anymore’ and people were getting bored of him. Of course, that makes sense, I mean look at Marvel Vs Capcom 3; Capcom put the Devil May Cry 3 version of Dante into the roster for exactly those reasons. Well spotted there Ninja Theory, well done.

This lady doesn't need a reboot...

Tomb Raider
Ok, before I start this one off I can tell you know that I am not going to go on as much of  rant as I did with Devil May Cry, but again, with the new Tomb Raider, it seems like they have gone backward with the main protagonist’s age. No, before you ask I am not going to give you a whole paragraph about how her boobs have shrunk, I am not like that. It’s more due to the fact that, again, Lara Croft was pretty kick ass when it came to scaling terrain and getting to unreachable places. Turns out this is going to be a ‘younger and inexperienced’ Lara. Does this mean that we are going to be limited when it comes to scaling walls etc? Are we going to get next to no weapons? What does this actually mean?

Not only that, but it would appear that this game is going to be a hell of a lot darker, which, again, is not what Lara Croft is about. I always saw Tomb Raider as a franchise much like Indiana Jones -  something fun for all the family that could have dark undertones if needed, not a dark and quite horrific game, which may well get an 18 rating. According to Game Informer, a couple of examples of ways Lara can die on the island that she has been stranded on include being stabbed in the chest by a “deranged” knife-wielding man; another is having a boulder land on Lara’s leg to trap her, followed by another boulder landing on and crushing her head. I mean what the hell? I know her quests were dangerous, but the beauty of Tomb Raider is that you don’t have to go into gruesome detail.

From those two examples, it would appear that rebooting franchises these days involves making your protagonists younger, possibly to relate to the younger gaming demographic, which in turn leaves us older guys just not interested or annoyed. Another way would be making a game darker than it needs to be, i.e. Tomb Raider sounds like more of a survival game than just a simple awesome relic hunting title. Finally, to make a reboot these days you need to slap probably at least a 18 rated sticker on it to make it ‘cool’, which in turn defeats the point of even making the protagonist younger to suit the younger gaming demographic… FACEPALM.

Last five articles by Rob



  1. Michael Author says:

    I loved the DMC series, and I was face palming over the newest trailer too. I couldn’t believe what they did to our beloved Dante. He’s in every roster I use on MvC3 just so I can continue to look at the original, kick ass, version.
    Lara does indeed seem to be getting younger. I don’t think she really needs as reboot. All the tomb raider games happen at indeterminate times, so a prequel could have happened. In fact, in Chronicles, it goes back to her childhood, going against the devil… Or something. That game really sucked. Although not as much as the PS2 open world one did. But the less said about that, the better!

  2. Edward Edward says:

    Rob my boy, there’s one reason they’d do such a thing:

    Once they know they can get it, of course they’ll do it, and they’ll keep doing it to the point it’s no longer economically viable to do so.

    Good work :)

  3. Richie rich says:

    DMC and Tomb Raider can both get to fucking fuck.

    This all depends on what you mean by reboot? Is the Mortal Kombat a reboot or just another sequel? The fact that it’s bringing back gameplay elements last seen in MK3 kind of makes it a reboot I guess.

    Oh I don’t know.

    I know this though. If they announced another Tenchu, all I’d want would be a remake of Tenchu 1 with better graphics.

  4. Ben Ben says:

    Turok – reboot it!

  5. Kat says:

    New Mr Muscle gave me a sadface the first time I saw him :(

    I’m not sure about this rebooting malarky. I don’t think any of my fave games have been rebooted. If I could pick one then I’d briefly like to see the Prince from the Katamari games as a self-confident beast of a guy built like a brick shithouse. Purely so he could lay into his arsehole of a Dad.

  6. Rook says:

    I’m interested to see what they do with Tomb Raider as I have always been a fan of that series and I was glas when Crystal Dynamics took over the series after the much delayed but still bug ridden Angel Of Darkness that was Core Design’s last effort. However, I have feel like the series has lost it’s way a bit, as the games feel shorter now and have less exploration than before; part of the charm of Tomb Raider was having massive areas to explore and having to work out how to traverse the areas.

    Uncharted was being called Dude Raider when it was leading up to the release of the first game and Uncharted 2 won many awards for it’s story and gameplay that I hope it has also inspired positive changes to Tomb Raider. All I can do is wait and see how the game plays when it eventually releases.

    If it makes the game more enjoyable then I am happy for a reboot.

  7. Lorna Lorna says:

    Never played DMC but searching for the screenies for this one had me impressed with Dante. Anyone who wears a coat that fucking good is top. I can feel your pain at the reboots and it is pretty shitty when something that you hold dear is pulled apart and altered for no reason. If there is nothing basically wrong with it, then why enrage core fans? As for de-aging many characters, this is something that especially irks me, not just in games. Considering that my generation grew up with consoles and gaming from the get go, it is pretty insulting that, as the demographic with the most disposable cash, we are being shoved out into the cold – or at least, that is how it feels *Werthers moment*. Same with TV really; when you see them shove an embryo into a boob tube and stick them into a TV show, makes you wonder when they’ll knock on your door and cart you off to the oven for being over the age of twenty.

    One game that I think needed shaken up though was Mortal Kombat and it seems to have done it the world of good, dragging it back to what made it great. Totally agree with you on Mr Muscle.

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