Video games have been around for decades now, and as time has passed we’ve seen some games develop into series mainstays that are still relevant today. We’ve also seen some games flop, and others that are around for a few years before disappearing entirely.
For fans of those games, it’s a disappointing situation to be in. One of your favourite series is dormant, and with every conference and convention you’re hoping a new life will be breathed into it with a new entry or reboot.
It’s a feeling I’ve experienced quite a few times, and with that in mind let’s take a look at series’ that need to make a return.
I’ll admit, I was late to the party on Dead Space. When it released everyone loved the game for its expertly crafted gameplay, terrifying atmosphere and surprisingly interesting narrative. Dead Space 2 was also a great title, and while there was a clear drop in quality with Dead Space 3, it wasn’t an awful game by any means.
Visceral Games, the team that originally created Dead Space, unfortunately closed its doors last year so we’ll have to hope that EA assign a capable team that can take the series back to its roots if they were to greenlight a new entry. However, with news that Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 both failed to meet expectations, it looks like it’ll be quite some time before we see Dead Space again if ever.
At a time where Microsoft are in dire need of first-party titles that stand out from their regular output, Viva Piñata feels like the perfect kind of game to add variety to their line-up. To be fair, you could say this about many of Rare’s dormant IPs but Viva Piñata is so unique that I chose it over fan favourites like Banjo-Kazooie and Conker.
For anyone that hasn’t had the chance to play it yet, Viva Piñata sets players with the task of tending to a garden on Piñata Island. During this time, you’ll meet a variety of piñatas that inhabit the area, which you can convince to stick around if you meet certain requirements.
At first glance, it might not seem like much, but Viva Piñata was a genuinely fun and addictive game. Critics and players thought so too, and the positive feedback and sales resulted in a sequel; Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, as well as two additional titles and a TV series. It’s been a while since we’ve seen it, but Viva Piñata would definitely add some much-needed flair to Microsoft’s library if it returned.
Ape Escape is one of my favourite series of all time. While I never really jumped in on the various spin-offs, I loved the main series of games and it’s been a long time since we got a new release.
Ape Escape 3 released over a decade ago, and I’m sure many fans of the series would love a new entry to the series. While Sony have currently been nailing it with their releases, there’s no game that feels quite like Ape Escape. The series has always been quite popular, so I think there’s a good chance that we’ll get another game in the future. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Arguably the most critically acclaimed series on this list, Portal initially appeared alongside Half Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2 as a part of The Orange Box. After receiving high praise for its characterisation and originality, Valve developed and released Portal 2 which was also met with the same praise and a wealth of game of the year awards and nominations.
Portal exceeds in both writing and level design, and since it’s such a unique series it’s hard to not want more of it. With the success of the first two entries, you’d think a new entry would be a no-brainer, but based on Valve’s recent output, it seems like Portal isn’t their current focus, and won’t be for some time. Nevertheless, with a series as great as Portal, one can only hope that we get to experience a new entry one day.
Despite its positive critical reception, Alan Wake never quite got as much attention as it deserved. The game is a psychological thriller that takes players through the town of Bright Falls as they combat the darkness; a threat that takes control of objects, animals, and humans.
While not exactly a horror title, Alan Wake succeeds in establishing an unnerving atmosphere that’s bound to keep players on their toes at all times, especially with limited ammunition and light sources to combat enemies. It also provides players with a narrative that is genuinely interesting, with many plot twists and cool moments to keep them playing.
Alan Wake was followed up with Alan Wake’s American Nightmare; a short downloadable title that was also a fun experience. What would be great however, is a fully-fledged sequel. Alan Wake didn’t have a definitive ending, and its dedicated following of fans are eager to see how the story pans out. Let’s hope that one day we’ll get to return to Bright Falls.