The upcoming God of War PS4 reboot set in Norse mythology is something most people probably weren’t expecting, since God of War 3 ended on a note of pretty clear finality. And while the new God of War (God of War 4?) seems to be following up on those events, it’s very obvious that it is its own thing. In fact, because of the introduction of a new child character for Kratos to look after, some have taken to calling the game “Dad of War,” highlighting its apparent The Last of Us influences. Reactions to this have been mixed, and so here at Game Revolution we’ve decided to take a look at five other reboots of varying successes.
DmC: Devil May Cry
This one was divisive right from the start. Changing Dante’s iconic white head of hair proved to be immensely polarizing, and things only got more heated from there on out.
From the change in characterization of Dante to being kind of a jerk to the change in setting, everything about this reboot seemed to spark endless debate. Fans still aren’t completely settled on these matters either, as some are glad that a rumored Devil May Cry 5 will be going back to the original style, while others want the saga started in DmC to be continued instead.
Bomberman Act: Zero
If DmC was the topic of countless arguments, then Bomberman Act: Zero was the opposite of that, as it was pretty much universally loathed. Instead of playing as a cute bomber robot, Zero put players in the metal shoes of a machine made for destruction — literally. The story involved the Bombermen being a bunch of robotic weapons made in an underground facility, and forced to fight to the death in order to win the right to escape to the surface in order to presumably blow stuff up there. Not only was this new grim direction hated by nearly everyone right off the bat, the gameplay wasn’t any better because it involved getting through 99 levels with no extra lives or continues, or checkpoints at all. Also, for some reason, the bomber robots had different models for each sex, and the “female” model had bouncing boobies despite being a walking WMD? Why would the creator even do that?
Anyway, it was absolutely ridiculous in every respect, and it’s often considered one of the worst reboots ever.
It’s hard to make a “surprising reboot” feature without mentioning Sega’s mascot, and this brings us to the Sonic series, which has had its share of soaring heights and miserably dragging lows in the past couple of decades. Technically, it has yet to be fully rebooted in terms for continuity much like God of War, but there have been a few points at which the series has seriously attempted to re-brand itself to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.
Take Sonic Adventure, for instance, which mostly abandoned the surreal landscapes of classic Sonic’s world for more realistic human civilizations with grounded government organizations, and gritty accidental child murder plots. That’s not a joke either, it happened. Then came Sonic The Hedgehog, more commonly referred to as Sonic 06, which might actually be the single worst attempt at a reboot of all time, being a rushed, glitchy mess that took Sonic’s world even further into the “inappropriately realistic” direction, and included a hedgehog/human romance at the same time, which was really uncomfortable.
Seeing as how that failed, Sega then tried to take Sonic back into being cartoony once more by placing Sonic alongside humans yet again. But this time they were much more stylized as a compromise, and Sonic didn’t kiss any of them, thankfully. Things seemed decently stable from there to Generations two games later, but unfortunately, this was when Sonic Team announced the Sonic Boom spin-off which would go on to be almost as bad as Sonic 06.
Sonic Forces would come out four years after Generations, and in spite being in the mainline Sonic games, its world once again looks completely different, because now instead of humans populating the globe there’s a bunch of random anthropomorphic animal people everywhere with no trace of humanity in sight outside of Dr. Eggman as a weird anomaly. Adding to the confusion to this is the fact that Sonic Mania, the critically adored return to Sonic’s classic roots, is supposed to tie into Forces, but the connection is tangential at best, and downright nonsensical at worst. Will Sonic try and switch things up again next time, or will it finally settle in as a franchise? At this point, who knows?
Prince of Persia (2008)
Prince of Persia was similar to DmC in the sense that much of its characters had changed in 2008, and nobody could really agree on what to make of this. Some adored the cel-shaded beauty of the Prince’s new world and found his relationship with the fiery Princess Elika (both in gameplay and in dialogue) to be extremely endearing, while others found the changes distasteful, and wanted the old Prince back. It seems the latter group got their way, but at the expense of leaving fans of the 2008 version at a serious loss on a massive cliffhanger. Ouch!
Saving possibly the weirdest for last, this game was a reboot of the arcade classic Space Invaders. Like Bomberman: Act Zero, it took the franchise in a really strange direction by trying to add realism. Three playable characters were present each with their own backstories, and the invasion was detailed in cinematics. The levels themselves took place on ruined urban streets where the protagonists blasted away at creepy alien bugs using semi-realistic weaponry, the game featured swearing and even a shower scene, and the whole thing was simply bizarre.