Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Every now and again video game developers manage to create captivating and original game properties – sometimes involving a beautifully designed environment, unique and fun gameplay, or thought-provoking storyline, or in some rare cases, all of the above. All too often however, because of creative differences, budgetary problems, conflicting egos, or some other problem, these fun to play, compelling game properties fade into the background, never to be expanded or developed further.

We get a brief taste of something really good and that’s it – nothing more happens. Unfortunately, video game history is littered with many titles that got something cool started and deserve to be updated or receive a sequel. So here is my list of some terrific game franchises that need to be revisited to further develop them into something truly great.

Freedom Fighters

Freedom Fighters is a 2003 third-person shooter video game developed by IO Interactive, using a modified version of the Hitman 2: Silent Assassin game engine, and published by Electronic Arts.  The game is set in an alternate history where the Soviet Union ended World War II with a nuke and has subsequently invaded and occupied New York City. The player takes the role of Christopher Stone, a plumber turned American Resistance movement leader, fighting against the invading Red army.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
Because this is such a neat, dystopian re-imagining of our history, taking it from Cold War to a very HOT war. Who doesn’t love the idea of scraping yourself and team from building to building, objective to objective all across sovereign US soil in a desperate attempt to fight off an invading Soviet army? The idea is great and there’s a tremendous amount of room to develop a compelling story, incorporate additional units and better enemy AI, expand into different areas of NYC or even move into different US cities – all of which makes it mystifying why the original game developer didn’t think to incorporate any of this into the original title which was too short, lacked a true storyline, and had predictable enemies.

War of the Monsters

War of the Monsters is a 2003 3D fighting game developed by Incognito Entertainment and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game is set in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth where their hazardous extraterrestrial fuels have spawned giant monsters that battle one another in city environments. Players take on the role of one of ten movie-inspired giant monsters to slug it out against other giant monsters in city environments. Battles can include up to four player monsters and the city is fully explorable, destructible, and parts of which can be used against other monsters as weapons such as steel girders and radio antennae.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
It’s giant monsters fighting giant monsters – need I say more? I will anyway. The game pays homage to Kaiju and 1950s Science fiction and it’s kind of like playing the spiritual successor to 1986’s Rampage – a game I played for countless hours in the arcade when it came out.

Jet Force Gemini

Jet Force Gemini is a 1999 third-person shooter video game developed and published by Rare for the Nintendo 64 video game console. Players assume the role of three members of Jet Force Gemini, a last remaining squad of the once fierce Jet Force military organization. The main story involves the player’s squad trying to stop the army of a tyrannical insect overlord called Mizar and ultimately Mizar himself. The gameplay shares elements with platform, action-adventure, and run and gun games. Players control their character from a third-person perspective in an open 3D environment. The game features extensive levels to explore, items to collect, power-ups that enhance characters health and weaponry, towering bosses to defeat, and devastation on a massive scale.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
The premise, while not totally unique, was still refreshing and the gameplay which involved tearing through huge levels ripping through bugs with lasers was quite satisfying and worthy of revisiting. There is a lot to build on from the original title such as excellent level design, great graphics, and some of the best sound and music ever developed for a Nintendo 64 title. Some of the original’s more tedious gameplay elements such as having to replay an entire level if a Tribal was accidentally killed and a mediocre multiplayer mode could all be easily remedied in an sequel.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer

Star Wars Episode I: Racer is a 1999 racing video game developed and published by LucasArts based on the pod race featured in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace movie. As of 2011, the game holds the Guinness record as the best-selling sci-fi racing game, having worldwide sales of 3.12 million and beating other series like Wipeout and F-Zero. Players can choose one of several movie-based characters to play and can race on challenging and imaginative tracks across various worlds within the Star Wars canon.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
It’s Star Wars and the original title was actually quite fun and entertaining, unlike much of the movie it is based on. Seriously, the gameplay is quite fun and the spectacular crashes exciting to watch. Games that are actually well done and fun to play that are based on the Star Wars universe are somewhat rare and ALWAYS deserve an additional look. There are so many ways this title could be improved successfully in a follow up title – new worlds to race on, bigger tracks with new and more difficult challenges, new opponents from the canon, new racers, additional gameplay mechanics such as cheating with Jedi powers or using accomplices in the crowds, a career mode with some RPG elements added, and a multiplayer mode that incorporates more than two players are all excellent places to start.

Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus is a 2002 video game developed by Kodiak Interactive set in Ancient Rome and features a highly unique combination of gladiator combat and chariot racing. Players race against other chariots, each with a horse and a gladiator, and compete in death matches where players use their gladiator to fight others to the death. The game takes its name from the historical outdoor race track constructed in Rome in the 6th century BCE. Circus Maximus is best remembered for its highly original and frenetic game play that offered a combination of realistic Roman history, chariot racing, and riveting gladiator combat sequences.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
Because it stands as the lone title in video game history to combine historical elements of Roman chariot racing and gladiator combat – it’s THAT unique. It was a white-knuckle racing fighting game that was challenging and tons of fun to play. There is nearly all of Roman history and all of the ancient Roman empire to exploit for material for a follow up title – additional Roman territories and their unique tracks (indoor and outdoor) could be added, additional combat and racing mechanics could be incorporated such as upgradeable chariots and gladiator weapons, weather effects, career mode, challenge modes, etc… There’s plenty of room for expansion and to come up with ways to eliminate the usually monotony that comes with racing games after a while.

Jade Empire

Jade Empire is a 2005 action role-playing game developed by BioWare. The Xbox version of Jade Empire received very positive reviews from most critics. The player can choose to play as either a male or female character and progress through an adventure based on traditional martial arts and two major philosophies in the world of the Jade Empire the Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist. Along the way, the character can discover and develop new fighting styles, weapons, magic spells, and transformation styles.

Game Franchises That Need to Be Revisited

Why It Deserves to Be Revisited?
Because it has such a richly developed and highly detailed original universe and compelling story to go along with an engaging and accessible role playing component and hard hitting combat mechanics. With such a beautiful and compelling world and detailed story to draw on there’s no reason NOT to develop a follow up title. There’s literally tons of room to expand the player character roster, add additional environments, new weapons and spells, new enemies, and more.



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