Bullfrog Entertainment isn’t around anymore, but if XCOM can get an isometric action-strategy remake, why can’t Syndicate?
When the rumors of a Syndicate remake was officially announced, I was absolutely thrilled. It was one of my favorite PC games from the 90s, and it didn’t matter if the game might eventually turn out to be terrible, I was just beside myself with happiness that somebody was bringing back one of my favorite games. (For the record, I actually quite enjoyed the Starbreeze’s first-person take on the Bullfrog Entertainment action-strategy darling.)
XCOM was another action-strategy title from the 90s that I was happy to hear get the reboot confirmation, also created as a first-person shooter, with 2K Games leading the development. However, with the recent news of it not coming out until the fiscal year 2014, it’s release date is a long way off, with March 31 being the earliest date we could possibly anticipate it’s arrival.
Thankfully, 2K’s XCOM FPS isn’t the only XCOM game that is in development. XCOM: Enemy Unknown, being developed by Firaxis, is more of a faithful modernization of the PC franchise, with a focus on turn-based action-strategy gameplay. And it’s going to be out this October. To be quite honest, being somebody who played the original games in the 90s, I am more excited about the Firaxis reboot than 2K title.
The fact that XCOM can be rebooted, not once, but twice with two different gameplay styles, has me thinking, what other titles would I like to see get a fresh coat of paint with a modern gameplay redesign? For one, if XCOM is being developed with a gameplay style similar to the original action-strategy PC game, why can’t Syndicate get the third-person isometric strategy reboot as well?
Seriously, I’d love to see more faithful re-envisioning of the original franchises! I understand that it’s a tough time in the video game industry, and with major studios crumbling under the pressure to deliver a good title that sells millions of copies, it’s hard to take a chance with a truly original game when you’re up against proven series like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty which not only guarantee millions of copies sold, but do so consecutively every year.
Rather than taking the risk of starting with an original idea and trying to turn it into a new multi-million selling title, why not get the rights to redesign an older game?
I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bullfrog games, and I would love to see any studio try and tackle Bullfrog’s awesome line of work.
Populous, one of the original god games, would be a fantastic remake. Last summer, we all had a glimpse of what a modern version of Populous might be like with Ubisoft’s amazing spiritual successor From Dust. While it didn’t feature the same rule-the-world, tribe-vs-tribe gameplay mode that Populous did, From Dust did satiate my appetite for a modern take on leading your faithful followers to success. Still, I’d like to see either a sequel to From Dust or another faithful attempt at the Populous style game.
Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper series, is also a classic game that I’d like to play with a modern spin. There was a PC title called Dungeons which came out at the beginning of 2011, which looked like it would be the answer to my prayers. It looked a lot like the Dungeon Keeper of yesteryear, but Dungeons didn’t end up playing much like like the Bullfrog title. Dungeons wasn’t a bad game, in fact, I rather liked it, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, and still had me yearning for more. Even the console franchise Overlord felt like the developers had Dungeon Keeper in mind, with you playing the villain, where the heroes were the enemies, but the games went into a different direction with the gameplay styles.
These reboots don’t even need to be console or PC-based remakes, I think there is nothing wrong with designed with popular mobile systems like the iPhone, iPad or Android devices in mind.
Now that Peter Molyneux, who was involved with a lot of the Bullfrog games that I loved, has left Lionhead Studios for a smaller studio, maybe there’s some hope that one of his new studio’s title will be a new take on a classic Bullfrog style game.
As far as I’m concerned, after bearing witness to the day when a Sega game graces the disc drive of a Nintendo console, I figure anything in the gaming industry is possible. So how ’bout it game dev? When am I going to see some Bullfrog remakes?