In Defense of Reboots

In Defense of Reboots

It's popular to complain about reboots these days. There are certainly a lot of them to complain about. And I don't doubt that somewhere in the archives you can find a column where I did an eye-roll at an upcoming reboot.

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I would have to disagree with the Fallout reboot as a lot of the themes of the series are rooted in the fact that it's following the aftermath of the Great War and how people are cooping with it, New Vegas had this in spades as it showed off a pair of factions that were both doing their best to rebuild from the ruins (NRC, Legion).
The other ones, I kinda agree, but Fallout I don't think needs rebooting, there is still a lot to be done with the series before that will be needed.
Now, if they want to do a prequel or set up in a different region, I'd be all for that and there is still a few Van Buren concepts that I would like to see :3

I'm not sure I follow the logic here.

A reboot doesn't give any additional level of surprise, or take back the memories of the original. Whether you're playing Fallout 2 or Fallout New, you're still going to know a Deathclaw when you see one. You won't be able to recapture that feeling of discovery with a reboot, because by it's nature a reboot is taking you back to the same ideas.

I can appreciate reboots that offer something that the original attempted to do, but failed; maybe it's a horror movie with a great premise that couldn't scrape together the budget for half-decent special effects and turned into a farce once the monsters were seen. Or a game that had some really great controls and novel systems, but was so riddled with bugs that it was unplayable. If someone wants to go in, lift the pearls from the mud and fit them properly into a crown, I'm all for it. But stuff like the Thief and Poltergeist reboots, which don't really do anything better than the original, are kind of pointless, as Shamus said.

Basically you're never going to get to come back out of the Vault again, and it's kind of silly to expect either a reboot or a sequel to give you that totally new experience. That said, either can give you variations on newness (for example, F3 and NV had some similar monsters and factions but also strong regional identities), while still keeping what people liked about the original. And if you don't want to see plasma rifles and Deathclaws, you're much better off skipping whatever form Fallout is in and trying a different game.

Diablo1099:
I would have to disagree with the Fallout reboot as a lot of the themes of the series are rooted in the fact that it's following the aftermath of the Great War and how people are cooping with it, New Vegas had this in spades as it showed off a pair of factions that were both doing their best to rebuild from the ruins (NRC, Legion).

That was what NV got so right. It was set in the same relative area as F1/2, but unlike F3, there was an actual change in the landscape. Towns were getting bigger, nations were forming, the land was being reclaimed. Instead of Mad Max, we were transitioning to Wild West. The townsfolk are generally on their own, but the cavalry is not far away if the fit really hits the shan.

It made it clear that we've moved past the fall of Rome and are slowly moving into the medieval age. There are Roman ruins, and Roman books (for those few who can decipher them), but humanity is slowly moving on, merging villages into towns and societies, and both building it's own tech, while salvaging and re-purposing old Roman buildings and tech.

Unless they plan on doing the same for DC & Boston, or show us an older time somewhere else (maybe play as a ghoul in the years before the Vaults even open?) Otherwise, a reboot makes sense, because it wipes clean all the specific convoluted lore you've twisted up because little was pre-planned and just hashed together.

This reminds of when I installed STALKER and played it for the first time...

What is this thing called Abakan? Will there be any large settlements?
*Reads PDA*
Dear God WTF is a [email protected]?
Who are these Duty and Freedom guys? What is the great Monolith? Mercs? NATO? Speznaz?
I never saw these Military Stalker guys, yet people dread them. Why is this called a "Dark Valley"?

Those were the days... I want to wipe my mind and play it again!

Just a small complaint: the mancubi weren't introduced until doom 2. A better example would've been the barons of hell, especially at the last level of doom 1 episode 1 where the game literally builds suspense just to prep the player to face 2 of them, who start off in their own creepy stalls.

Diablo1099:
I would have to disagree with the Fallout reboot as a lot of the themes of the series are rooted in the fact that it's following the aftermath of the Great War and how people are cooping with it, New Vegas had this in spades as it showed off a pair of factions that were both doing their best to rebuild from the ruins (NRC, Legion).
The other ones, I kinda agree, but Fallout I don't think needs rebooting, there is still a lot to be done with the series before that will be needed.
Now, if they want to do a prequel or set up in a different region, I'd be all for that and there is still a few Van Buren concepts that I would like to see :3

Eh, I feel we already have a pretty good idea of how the world is shaping up in Fallout. At least as the United States is concerned.

What I think would be interesting is showing how other nations are dealing after the great war. How did the Chinese deal with it? Did they protect only government officials? Did they also build vaults? What about the Russians? Did everyone hide in the metro lines like in Metro Last Light? What about Europe? It was razed by the war before the bombs fell, so are they even more barbaric? And what breed of mutants these different climates and cultures are breeding?

The interesting part about fallout is that the world ended... but is still more or less habitable. Civilization crumbled, but is slowly rebuilding on the ashes. The previous ecosystems are forever gone, but something new is repopulating the world.

This is part of the reason why I am not a big fan of reboots and in many ways, even sequels. You always run into this feeling that you've done it all before. At least in the case of lazy sequels that just do a thousand callbacks to the original. A proper sequel can simply build upon the original while creating many new ideas of its own.

A reboot that is more of a re-imagining can also be quite good if done properly.

"no Fallout will have quite the impact of the first one, because the first one was the only one where you had no idea what you were going to find."

That's true. Fallout 3 was my first Fallout. Obviously not my first game, but even though I had played tons of RPG's etc. already it all felt new and so exciting! When I look at the new trailer it's just like you say; "The standard robot housekeeper, Dogmeat or equivalent, a Vault, Pipboy, bombed out house, a city etc. etc".

It looks to be Fallout 3: Boston edition. That's great, I loved Fallout 3. But it's not showing me anything to say; "new stuff you'll be puzzled by is in fact included!" And that kinda sucks!

SandroTheMaster:

Diablo1099:
I would have to disagree with the Fallout reboot as a lot of the themes of the series are rooted in the fact that it's following the aftermath of the Great War and how people are cooping with it, New Vegas had this in spades as it showed off a pair of factions that were both doing their best to rebuild from the ruins (NRC, Legion).
The other ones, I kinda agree, but Fallout I don't think needs rebooting, there is still a lot to be done with the series before that will be needed.
Now, if they want to do a prequel or set up in a different region, I'd be all for that and there is still a few Van Buren concepts that I would like to see :3

Eh, I feel we already have a pretty good idea of how the world is shaping up in Fallout. At least as the United States is concerned.

What I think would be interesting is showing how other nations are dealing after the great war. How did the Chinese deal with it? Did they protect only government officials? Did they also build vaults? What about the Russians? Did everyone hide in the metro lines like in Metro Last Light? What about Europe? It was razed by the war before the bombs fell, so are they even more barbaric? And what breed of mutants these different climates and cultures are breeding?

The interesting part about fallout is that the world ended... but is still more or less habitable. Civilization crumbled, but is slowly rebuilding on the ashes. The previous ecosystems are forever gone, but something new is repopulating the world.

Stuff that was meant to be in cancelled projects had China still around, but now ruled by an emperor(ruling from the forbidden city of all things IIRC) again in the same fashion that China tends to do things. Have a dynasty, then instability and war, then new dynasty emerges and takes over. Since it was a cancelled project though, I wouldn't assume it to be lore.

I doubt Europe is all that badly off. It has the capacity to allow people to travel to the US as in one of the games there is a scotsman running around apparently. The only confirmed targets of nukes that I know of is the USA(including its annexed territories which include Canada and Mexico I think), China and the middle east(nuked by the european commonwealth after the area ran out of oil during the resource wars). USSR apparently got in on the nuking, but who they targetted is anyones guess as they had a cordial enough relation with the USA to have embassies(one of the pre-made Fallout 1 chars is a granddaughter of a russian diplomat). Europe on the other hand went right back to its old habits of infighting(think 1500s to early 1900s) when the european commonwealth collapsed and Germany sold arms to the US and possibly to China, meaning they were likely neutral through it all. Mind you even if they didn't get nuked or they didn't suffer directly from the wars, the nuclear winter that ensued could still have caused riots, revolutions and collapses as a result of famines. Of course the utter decimation of global trade wouldn't have helped either since unlike the aftermath of WW2, no one would've had access to external resources to rebuild this time.

As for Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America and Central America? Nobody knows. I've found pretty much nothing on any of them.

As a final note, the above is just my speculation based on what I've been able to find on the wider world outside of the US. As for why no one has likely bothered going to the US? Even if large chunks of it would be untouched by direct nuclear bombings, its a hellhole full of mutants, radiation and other nasty things while everyone else likely can't project power outside of their own regions.

Charcharo:
Those were the days... I want to wipe my mind and play it again!

So... you want to be Strelok?

But that would mean finding yourself... and killing yourself... and I'm not sure my brain can handle that level of paradox.

I have to say, the apprehension of going down into X18 for the first time was never shredding. However Metro 2033 has an area that never gets any less stressful in the Library, it the 2033 redux it's actually even worse.

fix-the-spade:

Charcharo:
Those were the days... I want to wipe my mind and play it again!

So... you want to be Strelok?

But that would mean finding yourself... and killing yourself... and I'm not sure my brain can handle that level of paradox.

I have to say, the apprehension of going down into X18 for the first time was never shredding. However Metro 2033 has an area that never gets any less stressful in the Library, it the 2033 redux it's actually even worse.

Nah. I wont kill myself. it is just a silly PDA task :)
I will go and find the mystery of the zone :)

X18 is actually an extremely easy area. In fact, the Speznaz soldiers that enter it in the end are MORE dangerous than the mutants inside of it.
Agroprom for the second time... cause then it is unlocked for the AI and not scripted... THAT is awesome!

The library too is easy if you know how to pass it. I dont even need fire rounds. In 1 minute 30 seconds :)
They should have made it like in the books... damn... messed up...

Charcharo:
The library too is easy if you know how to pass it. I dont even need fire rounds. In 1 minute 30 seconds :)
They should have made it like in the books... damn... messed up...

In X18 it was more than the way everything suddenly starts floating, up to that point STALKER was creepy but not as weird as I expected, then that.

I think I'm finding the library hard because the redux has an ammunition cap like Last Light, so I can't roll into the Library with the Heavy Shotgun, 1500 shells and Duke Nukem my way through it.

fix-the-spade:

Charcharo:
The library too is easy if you know how to pass it. I dont even need fire rounds. In 1 minute 30 seconds :)
They should have made it like in the books... damn... messed up...

In X18 it was more than the way everything suddenly starts floating, up to that point STALKER was creepy but not as weird as I expected, then that.

I think I'm finding the library hard because the redux has an ammunition cap like Last Light, so I can't roll into the Library with the Heavy Shotgun, 1500 shells and Duke Nukem my way through it.

You can run and knife the doors. Like me. Artyom is much more maneuverable than the monsters.

The Zone, in true Eastern European Dark Science Fiction fashion, has to be weird AND creepy at the same time :P

If you are trying to write a sequel and you find you can't think of anything surprising to do with the set-up as it is - I don't really think a reboot is going to help you that much. The big issue is that, after rebooting the series are you really going to take all those big narrative risks that you couldn't previously. So we reboot Fallout, you go down into the vault for the beginning of the nuclear war, sleep for 500 years and when you come out, what? There was no nuclear war and humanity is getting along fine with their flying cars and vastly increased life spans - no you're still going to be in a post-apocalyptic world and the same basic set-up is going to be the same. Brotherhood of Steel getting boring - just set the game somewhere where they are not active, or 10 years later when they have had an internal civil war. Deathclaws getting boring, introduce some new genetic mutations so they look completely different. Doom, you can make any darn demons you want, because hell ain't a small place to be. (Actually how about not rebooting it, but not setting the next one on a generic derelict space colony)

I feel like there should be a (obviously creativity-stifling, proto-facist) law, saying that you are only allowed to reboot a property after it has been on hiatus for at least a decade. Want to re-imagine Battlestar Galactica for the 2000s, great go for it. You've not made a Superman movie since Christopher Reeves' tragic accident, great, go in any direction you want. You've billed Mass Effect 3 as the ultimate conclusion to an epic saga and now you've written yourself into a corner, but you still want to churn them out every few years? Nope, naff off and make something original for a decade and we'll talk when generation 11 roles around. You made a great game called Mirror's Edge, and now the fans want more, but you don't want to call the game a sequel for reasons I'm intensely perplexed about and can't think of any scenario that might involve Faith having to run around on rooftops after the ending of the previous game...wait, really? What are you thinking, it's fine as it is.

In all honesty, I barely ever saw a reboot that was actually worth purchasing. The only exeption would probably be X- Com and MAYBE Wolfenstein.
Otherwise I would not know any example that would be in dire need of a reboot, because things are kinda fine with their sequels.

It's defenaly not like the games in the Article have been sequalized down to their underpants like Silent Hill or Tomb Raider. We are just barely at part four for each example And these games are older then some people old enough to drive nowadays.

For every X- Com or Wolfenstein reboot we get seemingly 10 Tomb Raiders, Syndicates and so on.

Because back in the days (yeahyeah, 80's Kids speaking. ;P) a sequel was an upgrade of it all, Technical, Storywise and whatnot!
Heck, Fallout2 is sometimes mentioned as a sequel, that has been pushed out the door, before it had it's socks up (merely one year after Fallout!) but still had a storyupdate and sometimes new Graphics.

A reboot of Fallout 1 would feel.... WEIRD. There is no way to reboot this game, where you where able to get from start to finish without ever shooting a gun yourself with the engine of the newer Fallouts.
It just would showcase, that despite the Technology, there are a few things trancending well onto New10's Technology without coming short in some cases.

For the sake of keeping the flames Alive, they get still sold on Steam, for all the other stuff theres GOG.
Although I still kinda miss Diablo and the old LucasArts point & click Adventures.

 

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