Easter Special: Gaming's Greatest Resurrections

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Apr 16, 2017 12:00 PM

Last year we sort of rinsed out the Easter Egg idea as far as it would go, so this time we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of gaming’s greatest resurrections from years gone by. The awesomely successful sequels to bad games which rescued franchises from an eternity of obscurity. They’re a much rarer breed than a bad sequel to a great game, chiefly because, well, no publisher wants to back a sequel to a bad game. Still, there are few gems that have risen like phoenixes from the ashes, finally delivering on the promise their premises deserved.

Red Dead Redemption - Resurrected from Red Dead Revolver

Probably the granddaddy of them all. More than a few eyebrows were raised when Rockstar nabbed the rights to Red Dead Revolver from Capcom, delivering a spaghetti western that proved hugely disappointing compared to Rockstar’s typical output. That disappointment only lasted six years though, because in 2010 Rockstar delivered one of the most improved sequels of all time. Red Dead Redemption is a game which deserves all the superlatives you can throw it. Expansion, deeply atmospheric and a masterclass in storytelling, this was Rockstar let loose and delivering on our wildest The Good, The Bad and The Ugly fantasies.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Resurrected from Final Fantasy XIV Online

The clue's in the name here; a rare example of a game resurrecting itself. When Final Fantasy XIV Online launched it was terrible, and it wasn’t long after the mess that was Final Fantasy XIII either. It ended up getting critically panned, forcing Square Enix back to the drawing board. It proved total transformative. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn arrived to low expectations and managed to blow MMORPG fans away. It’s now probably the most successful subscription-based MMO behind World of Warcraft and it’s still getting stronger with the Stormblood expansion right around the corner.

DOOM - Resurrected from DOOM 3

A proper DOOM sequel was always seen as mission impossible. DOOM 3 strayed a long way from the DOOM template we’d come to know and laugh, and id Software’s repeated aborted attempts suggested it was having a great deal of trouble marrying old school gameplay with modern demands. And then the DOOM reboot came along and it truly was exquisite. Fast, furious and brutal, DOOM was both resolutely retro and satisfyingly modern. Slick controls, fantastic vertical movement and brutal gunplay combined to deliver one of the greatest FPS campaigns of all time.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Resurrected from X-COM: Enforcer

Now this one is a bit of callback, but it’s fair to say the X-COM series was in the doldrums after its latter few games. X-COM: Enforcer strayed away into third-person shooter territory and disappointing. After the pseudo-closure of developer MicroProse the X-COM franchise just seemed to disappear. Then, 11 years later, Firaxis Games, including a number of ex-MicroProse devs, absolutely blew up with the success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. A tactical strategy game for the modern age, it scoffed down game of the year awards like candy. By equal turns frustrating and richly rewarding, RNG rage was never the same again.

Resident Evil 7 - Resurrected from Resident Evil 6

At this time last year, the Resident Evil series was in the doldrums. A series of disappointing spin-offs culminated in the bloat-fest that was Resident EVil 6. It wasn’t bad, just disappointingly average, and not what we expected from the biggest name in survival horror. Fast forward 12 months and Resident Evil 7 has been announced and released to rapturous acclaim, presenting a genre-bleeding take on the current first-person survival trend with the characterful level design of the original Resident Evil. Evil had found a new home.

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10:38 Apr-19-2017

Is Tomb Raider 2013 considered a resurrection?
Also, long ago Prince pf Persia was made for PS2. I think it is also a resurrection of the original.

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15:00 Apr-17-2017

This doesnt technically get classed with the "bad games being resurrected theme" but it definitely was "resurrected". The game im talking about is Shadow Warrior (2013). Never played the old one (probably was very successful, but I dont know anything about it). The game features some of the best and varied melee combat I've ever seen. There was a satisfying enough story, to justify the "Wang Killing", but at the same time the game didnt take itself too seriously either (pretty much like DOOM) for which you gotta give it up to the devs.

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14:04 Apr-16-2017

DOOM. What a game. Just when you thought FPS campaigns had lost that special something that made them so exhilarating to play, BAM. id Software roars back onto the scene.
Between DOOM and Titanfall 2, it's pretty clear the shooters are still doing fine.

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