5 franchises that need facelifts

Guns, lots of guns. Bullet-time. Flying/zero G fights. Kung-Fu. Deadpan acting,  “Whoa.”

Copy Mirror’s Edge.

Above: Actual screen from Mirror’s Edge – fits perfectly!

Give us a chance to steer this ship around. The Matrix trilogy/franchise/whatever was considered awesome when it played homage to cyberpunk novels and existential anime. Why not return to the first film’s insanely cool, yet easily digestible formula without being bogged down in religious/Big Brother Psychobabble? Here’s what should happen first: restart the Matrix. Remember the Architect? The Col Sanders-looking fella who explained the multiple versions of the Matrix in Reloaded?

Above: What a kindly old man

In short, he boringly explained the Matrix of the films as the latest version or construct of the program that enslaved the human race. The One (played by wooden mannequin Keanu Reeves) was an anomaly of said Matrix program. WAKE UP, READER! Essentially Neo was prophesized to return to the program source to “further perfect the code,” so the machines could release a newer, better Matrix.

Let this new game take place in the newest version of the Matrix, with you controlling the new “One.” Follow the same revelations and twists from the franchise (they’re all roughly the same if the characters are following a prophecy, right?) This way you can relive and relearn everything that made the Matrix cool in the first place. Perform balletic bullet time, hyper-choreographed martial arts, weapons expertise, driving, flying, CALM LIKE A BOMB - and do it all like Mirror’s Edge. ME is about getting from point A to point B quickly. Edge already has bullet time and disarms in place. Just take it a few steps further.

How do you evade your first Agent? Bolt at super speeds along the rooftops of a pristine city to an exit (phone). How do you get to that building across the street? Leap 200 feet. And so on. Soon you’ll fly to new cityscapes and free more humans. Basically, just take the Matrix back to its roots, while slowly peeling back the layers for the inevitable twists. Just make it way cooler this time.

Combat system, magic upgrades, um…

Nuanced environments worth exploring

The quest for a “good” three-dimensional Castlevania has eluded Konami for years. Unlike Retro Studio’s masterful Metroid Prime series, translating the Dracula-hunting, castle-exploring franchise for the Z-axis has met the player with a mixture of wonky gameplay and great ambition. Even if Castlevania 64 was trash and the PS2 titles were relatively okay, they were considered missteps towards a potentially worthy successor.

Above: Good start

Translating what works amazingly well with the 2D series (classic, GBA, DS or whatever) to 3D is easier said than done, but here’s what we know: the game has progressed from linear level progression to large, explorable environments (usually involving a castle, har har). Combat is a mixture of whip/sword based melee combat, mixed with good ol’ magic and light RPG essentials (armor, perks). Here’s what Konami should do: keep all that. The only decent element kept in the shift was combat. Here’s what you ditch: monotonous environments, which are the most noted failure.

Granted, when we think about castles, our eyes glaze over and we strain to keep consciousness. We’re not bored of the 2D DS games, and those are released almost annually. Think BioShock or to an extent, Metal Gear Solid: a completely nuanced world that you want to explore every nook and cranny of. Keep the third-person perspective, but give us large, themed sub-levels and not the same ol’ concrete corridors and library interiors.

Above: It’s in the details

Of course these levels would have to be slightly larger to account for the action, but the other 3D Castlevanias never really suffered from terrible combat (except Judgment… eesh). Oh, and we could totally do without terrible platforming segments. Even though Capcom’s Devil May Cry series stole Castlevania’s 3D thunder, we’re sure Konami can steal away the former’s fanbase now that DMC has gotten a bit stale.


  • Blackviperr - January 22, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    I would have to tottally disagree with making silent hill 1st person. Me being a long time fan of the series, has enjoyed its loomy darkness and bad controls.. Its what makes the players somewhat scared.. Once you make it 1st person the old charm is lost and it would be a forgotten title.. The laggy controls and dark atmosphere is what makes silent hill SILENT HILL.. and i doubt i would like it if it went FP cuz i didnt enjoy condemned or bioshock much at all. Except the storylines of both
  • FanofSaiyan - December 7, 2009 2:58 a.m.

    Resident Evil... can't really say, looks scary, feels creepy, seems like a perfect balance if you ask me.
  • PyramidHead316 - November 8, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    First person would kill the Silent Hill series, and it's already dead in some people's eyes right now. No, just no. Let Condemned be what it is, and let a horror series like this find its own path. I would never touch another Silent Hill game if the series went first person, and I'm a big fan of SH ever since I played the first game back in 1999. The over-the-shoulder perspective is one of the most overrated things in games to me. I hate the over the shoulder perspective - hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate to restate that choice of words so many times, but it bears repeating that this not one of my favorite things from RE4. I hate how Alex can't turn in every direction in Silent Hill: Homecoming, when Double Helix tried to ape this camera mode. Slap a camera over a guy's shoulders and call it a new control scheme. Yeah, that's it. >_> And it's not even that good. Metal Gear Solid 2 perfected first person aiming in one try, and it does nothing to detract from the experience. Unlike RE4's camera, which looks awkward and strange still to this day. One of the things that took the creepy factor out of SH: Homecoming was the way that you can see everything at once. There are no unique angles; none of the disorientation you would find even in real life. It's simply a generic adventure game. One of the things that has been confirmed to me by playing Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is the lack of available movement in first person shooters. One of the worst things in Silent Hill: Homecoming is how Alex can't even turn 180 degrees to face back. This is a letdown compared to the earlier games. Heather controlled perfectly in SH3 with the 2D controls - well, almost perfect. :) But it seems that after that game, developers took two steps back with regard to this. Alex can't even turn in a quick fashion, and maneuvers roughly in combat situations against monsters. And first person would compound this. Rather than making things more scary, it would remind me that I'm playing a game: over, and over, and over, and over, and over - exactly as Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles does now. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is unique is that in that it's a good game to play for blasting monsters and arcade-style action...but it's not an optimal presentation for the Resident Evil story and its horror setting. And it's jarring when you're almost thinking of yourself as being the one battling the monsters, and then you come out of it and see Chris and Jill in the cut-scenes. As I learned from another user on the IGN boards, I think this depends on the perspective you have about horror games. Do you want to imagine yourself in the horror, or do you want to see someone else in a perilous situation? For me, the answer is simple. I don't WANT to imagine myself in the horror. I want to see someone that I care for, after getting to know them - someone I can root for, loathe, or question based on their decisions. The reason you grow tense in good horror films is because you grow to like the characters and get attached to them, and you fear for their safety later on. You want to see them get a happy ending, or get some kind of resolution. That's the way my like of horror games works - I like Heather and James, and Claire and Jill in Resident Evil, because they're not just faceless characters with limbs that appear occasionally on the screen. They're fully realized characters, and are always present on the screen. Not everything has to be first person! Even with Mario, which has nothing to do with horror, I've seen comments from people here saying they want their children to only play first person shooters like Call of Duty, and Jericho, etc; and they want them to shoot everyone who plays a Mario game. Of course, they are trolls who would get stomped by real gamers in real life. But I think it's disturbing that some people want everything to be a first person shooter, or in first person view. The new overhaul of the series is looking promising, but the developers are still not getting it. The way to keep a series going is not to overhaul it with every new entry, but to add lots of little things to it over time. The basic gameplay of SH still works. Why does Metal Gear Solid survive for so long with consistently high scores? Regardless of what you think of the story, it's because they add more and more new features to the game with each new entry, and that's what keeps the gameplay fresh, but the core gameplay remains the same. Of course, others series like Mario and Halo do the same thing. The goal of every horror series should always be to get the protagonist as close in movement to a real life person as possible, while coming up with new things to scare us and disturb us. What Climax should be doing is taking the formula of SH and taking it to its ultimate extreme, making it as enjoyable and disturbing as humanly possible. That's the way to improve things! Of course, this is only my opinion. >_>
  • PyramidHead316 - November 10, 2009 2:53 a.m.

    To be clear, it's not like I want the series to stand still, and never improve. But completely overhauling a system doesn't always yield a success. And first person leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think it's different when a series starts out a certain way. If a series starts out in first person, then people are used to playing it that way. That's why Condemned was so successful, probably - because it was a brand new series and there were no expectations as to how it should play. It's an entirely clean slate - the developers can do what they want. But a series transitioning to first person view after years of being a third is going to have a hard time selling itself to its fans. Some people may go for it, but it's probably going to alienate a lot of other people who were huge followers of the series. And what is it with melee combat?! Am I the only one who doesn't enjoy it that much compared to the gun play in the games? I hated it in SH4. I eventually got used to it, and it's fun having Henry whack enemies with an axe, but I never really went for the steel pipe and other weapon bashing that some of the fans adore. It's true finding a gun laying around somewhere can be strange, but there are other ways to introduce a weapon. If I were trapped in a city teeming with strange monsters, the first thing I would do is go to a place like a gun store or somewhere that I suspected of having firearms. Some people say it makes the experience far scarier by "putting you in the game". But since I'm only seeing occasional limbs and the movement is limited severely, I'm always going to be slightly removed from the game. I'm in the real world, where the monsters can't get me, and I'm simply fighting against polygonal images on screen. Whereas if I see the character on screen, I grow to care about them, because it's story I'm invested in and I want to see the character through to the end. And SH tried first person already! It was a little interesting at first, but try to deny you weren't itching to go back to first person after a few minutes of playing through the apartment. Some people weren't, but I've seen many people who were. Why? Because you could see more of the settings, run, walk more freely, and do a number of other things Henry could only do while he was in third person! First person was a good gimmick, but it wasn't one I wanted to be stuck with for the whole game. That also ties into what I was saying about the camera. Seeing too much can spoil the mood of the atmosphere, but seeing too little can also be a bad thing. It can make the game feel confined and underwhelming, and not in a claustrophobic way. You need to find the perfect balance between the two, in having the camera follow the character, but not having anything look like a wide open place with nothing unique about it. Silent Hill 3 had this right balance, and so does Eternal Darkness. They also had some pretty good controls, give or take Heather's limited moveset. Eternal Darkness still has one of the most impressive control schemes I have ever seen. Here's an example of what I'm saying about first person view. In RE: The Umbrella Chronicles, Wesker confronts a new type of Tyrant early in the game. Here you have a character who is a match for him. He may not have his super strength yet, but Wesker is a skilled veteran, he has intelligence, and he has years of training under Umbrella's training regimen. Yet when you enter first person view, you get brutalized by the Tyrant because you can't run or avoid attacks. You can't even dodge a simple punch; you can only dodge when the game allows you to, and it's obvious Wesker has none of the usual agility while in this state. It makes Wesker look stupid, and it frustrates the player to the point of not wanting to play the game. First person may be more "realistic and scary" for some, but for those of us who like to move our characters in all directions, it can be a nightmare to control. So no, keep first person view out of Silent Hill, unless it's for momentary bursts for aiming or solving puzzles. I don't know if I'm making sense or not, because this is a hard thing to explain. I just think there is a difference in the type of experience first person provides, and there are some of us for whom first person will never provide a fully maximized experience. No matter how many people say it's awesome, no matter how many people are convinced it's the future and that everything else should go (especially if they're family friend games >_>), some of us will never click with it. And from what I've, most SH fans are of this variety. It's a different market for Condemned, it's a different market for Doom 3 and other games. Some of us can cross over and enjoy these games, but others can't, and I don't think it's fair to take the series in a direction that might end up alienating most of its fanbase, all to make a buck. After all, what good is breathing new life into the series if it's no longer SH? o_O
  • kyle2 - October 18, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    i agree there needs to be something done about the gta franchise i want a new city and some better character customization
  • wiitard07 - September 22, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    Silent Hill Shattered Memories looks pretty freakin amazing to me
  • EvilInkarnate - January 11, 2009 9:57 a.m.

    It's all good mcdukefan, I got ya. I'm still wondering about my Wii Pikmin though...
  • NelosAngelos - December 23, 2008 1:27 a.m.

    What smells like bacon? [Shoot to Kill] Every time
  • somebodyisnt10 - December 18, 2008 10:29 p.m.

    i agree with the grand theft auto they should bring the getting assest part from san andreas where you can make money and hire people you meet to work in buissness you own but also give you stuff to spen the money on like paying rent of buying cars and tricking them out and buying buildings and furniture and stuff i think that that would be a awesome game for this organization to come out with.
  • HotSht95 - December 18, 2008 9:36 p.m.

    live sucks hahahah
  • TheWebSwinger - December 18, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    The GTA one is both hilarious and a good idea. "I love The Shield", hahaha. However, I think such strong RPG choices would loosen the stranglehold GTA has on the more casual market.
  • TastyCakesMcgee - December 18, 2008 6:23 p.m.

    I liked the last pic for GAT. "Don't hurt me. I love the shield." or "What smells like bacon." [shoot to kill] Classic!
  • El_Hombre11 - December 18, 2008 6:02 p.m.

    I was one of the few people i know who played Enter the Matrix, and i loved it. If you add Mirror's Edge gameplay to that, it would be so much better, i've had that idea ever since ME hit the radar. And oh man if they made a RPG GTA, i wouldnt be able to put that controller down haha another great article GR
  • Bronxx - December 18, 2008 11:18 a.m.

    What smell like bacon?
  • Bronzus - December 18, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    Mcdukefan823=ji msondanet, you WIN a face palm! And make that matrix game, NOW. GamesRadar Petiton!
  • DeadGirls - December 18, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    People get pop-ups on this site? I use firefox and AdBlockPlus and I have never had one. The only annoyance I have is videos playing automatically.
  • sage62 - December 18, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    They are giving something to compare to, they could just use words, but then people will take thigns differently and nobody can no for sure what they mean, but by making a comparison like " game x should do something like gameplay mechanic x from game y"
  • mcdukefan823 - December 18, 2008 4:40 a.m.

    uuummm good ideas just too bad they are already taken, gamesradar is a site that gives developers crap for being unoriginal but this is really hypocritical. All the ideas you have are stolen from other games save for tony hawk which you said the remedy was to stop releasing them. Silent Hill=condemned, Matrix=mirrors edge, GTA=Mass Effect and castlevania=bioshock in a castle w/ swords. what gives?
  • Sly_Fox - December 18, 2008 4:04 a.m.

    lol @ the gta4 pictures
  • crazytar - December 18, 2008 12:19 a.m.

    i also got a bored with GTA IV faster than previous ones but it was because it stripped out some of the activities you could do, like run errands and taxi submissions (i mean for the entirety of the game, you get the option to drive people around for a little extra cash in the beginning but later on you cant because of what happened with Roman's taxi service *ahem*). maybe the new dlc will fix this. lol my recaptha fits in perfectly with this article. its "ddefective games"

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