Over the years many franchises have died an untimely death. However, many studios have taken it upon themselves to bring these franchises back to life, allowing them to soar once more.
Diablo 3 (by Kyle Orr) – It took almost twelve years but finally Blizzard made good on their promise to release a sequel to Diablo 2. Not every decision was popular (ie Auction House) but the new characters, enhancements to skills and ease of playing with friends made it a great return to dungeon crawling.
Max Payne 3 (by Kyle Orr) – Max’s return is as memorable as ever with heavy drinking, gory gun fights and more bullet time than all three Matrix movies combined. By taking Silicon Knights’ last-gen hit franchise and injecting it with that classic Rockstar style, Max Payne was turned into one of the most enjoyable expriences this year.
SSX (by Addam Kearney) – Sure, the “Deadly Descents” portions of the SSX re-launch aren’t perfect, but as a fun snowboarding game, SSX mostly delivers.
Spec Ops: The Line (by Addam Kearney) – Relaunching a PS1 series game franchise that was, essentially, a basic military shooter is a challenging process. Yager, however, took up the challenge and developed a unique and sometimes thought provoking twist on the military shooter genre.
AND THE WINNER IS:
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (by Patrick Cassin) – Talk about a relaunch — I don’t even remember the first game, it came out that long ago. But FIraxis pulled a magic act, giving gamers one of the deepest and most extensive squad based strategy games seen to date anywhere (let alone running smoothly on consoles). Randomly generated maps and near infinite strategic options means no two games are ever exactly alike, providing endless opportunities to squish some xenomorphs.