A great many series from second generation consoles have made their way over to PS3 and, to lesser extent, Xbox 360. Among the titles re-released are Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Halo: Combat Evolved, Tomb Raider, Hitman and Devil May Cry.
The opportunity to bring classic games to another generation offers game developers and publishers the chance to effectively sell the same game twice while it offers gamers the chance to replay some of their favourite titles or try out a vintage franchise for the first time.
So what games should be transported to next-gen consoles?
Developer: BioWare Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios/EA
The first Mass Effect was one of the finest RPGs ever produced and featured a sense of exploration rarely rivaled elsewhere in games. It offered complex worlds and characters which could be revisited time and again to see the various different outcomes. It wasn’t perfect however, lag affected the Xbox 360 version in particular while combat was uneven and the game’s vehicle, the Mako, proved difficult to control.
When BioWare released the PS3 version they resolved the first problem with a mandatory installation and despite the fact that the game surpasses its flaws, a next-gen release would be a perfect chance to tighten up the controls and offer a slicker experience.
Mass Effect 2 can be seen largely as a diversion, an interlude, to the defeat of the Reapers but what an amazing diversion it was. The game advanced exceptional characters and effectively forced players to interact with characters and learn to love them with loyalty missions and romances.
The final game, whatever else you might say about it, brings about an epic galactic scale war which next-gen gamers deserve to experience. Mass Effect 3 offered the most action orientated adventure in the series as well as the introduction of multiplayer; while there’s little reason to suspect that the game’s co-op would be ported to next-gen ideally there should be some way of increasing your galactic readiness rating in addition to in-game activities.
BioWare did offer Mass Effect Datapad for iOS devices but with the roll-out of iOS 6 the app ceased functioning in most cases. A fix was due but never materialised and in time the app was pulled entirely but something like it could be implemented into the next-gen version of the game.
As one of the standout RPG series of the current generation Mass Effect deserves to make an appearance on PS4 and Xbox One. With another game on the way a re-release of the original trilogy could be ideally timed to raise awareness. Bundle the various’ titles DLC and overhaul the graphics and even without enhancements to gameplay you’d have one hell of a package.
Developer: Irrational/2K Marin Publisher: 2K Games
With BioShock Irrational created a shooter that wrapped together a story greater than most games even dare to craft despite the fact that much of the details of that story are relayed through audio logs and of course, there is that most memorable of twists towards the end. So 2K would you kindly re-release Irrational’s game?
2K Marin headed up the sequel allowing players to step into the role of not any Big Daddy but the original Big Daddy. It may never have quite reached the heights of its predecessor or successor but it was a solid game that showed the city of Rapture even further in decline. BioShock 2 was also the game that introduced multiplayer to the series – a feature once considered, but ultimately scraped from Infinite – as with Mass Effect, the online mode of the game would not likely feature, but the core single player can and should be.
Infinite though flawed, offered an attempt at a profound story which was hampered by a story which was needlessly complicated and combat which was poorly executed. Still, the game remain one of the best games of the year and indeed, this generation which is why it and its forebears deserve to be brought to new consoles.
Developer: Volition Publisher: THQ/Deep Silver
I have no idea what the first Saints Row is like, as I’ve never played it. I’ve never played Saints Row 2 either (though I do have it). Yet I have played Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV.
From what I’ve gathered the series has undergone quite the transformation during the course of its existence emerging first as a would-be Grand Theft Auto to the absurdity of the latter entries in the series. If Volition’s games come to PS4 and Xbox One it would allow players to experience the whole of the Saints rise if they missed it the first time round, as I partially did, while refining some of the mechanics and improving the graphics.
The series may take off differently in future and with Saints Row IV selling one million copies in a week it seems likely that we’ll be seeing the franchise again. If we do, and if does indeed veer off its current course, then correctly timed re-release of the past games could help bring in new players and rekindle memories of roving through Steelport with a giant purple dildo.
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was arguably the first must-have game for PS3 and Naughty Dog’s saga remains one of the best reasons to own the console (along with the studio’s other entry this generation, The Last of Us). It introduced players to Nathan Drake, the charming supposed descendant of Elizabethan explorer Francis Drake as well as electrifying cast of supporting characters including mentor Victor Sullivan and journalistic love interest Elena Fisher.
Drake and co. took what worked for Tomb Raider and made them better (in turn, the latest adventure of Lara Croft took cues of its own from Uncharted) and brought with it competent Gears of War-esque cover based third person shooting. The game still looks good despite being nearly seven years old and while the gameplay may have aged just a tad, it would be welcome addition to the PS4 roster.
With Among Thieves however Naughty Dog cemented the series as one of PlayStation’s finest. Within the opening ten minutes it was clear that the game was going to be an exceptional experience and, despite a somewhat mediocre final boss fight the game proved to be one of the greatest games of this generation.
While Drake’s Deception never quite lived up to Among Thieves at its height Naught Dog once again released a game which proved to be a incredible title which shined further light on Drake’s origin and his relationship with Sully while providing perhaps the most accomplished and rounded enemy in the series to date with the introduction of Katherine Marlowe.
Though Naughty Dog has developed a new franchise with each successive console generation there’s every reason to believe that the studio will continue with the series on PS4 and as one of the greatest series of this generation, it deserves to be re-released for next-gen.