3 classic EA titles we want to see resurrected
- Posted June 14th, 2012 at 13:29 EDT by Michael Harradence
Electronic Arts is a force to be reckoned with. Boasting a rich and varied history, the publishing behemoth has been responsible for backing some of the industry’s most beloved franchises, and we’re not just talking about modern million-sellers such as Battlefield, FIFA and Mass Effect. The company’s pedigree stretches all the way back to the 90s, where it was busy pumping out retro gems predominantly for the Sega Genesis and Gamegear. However, EA has always remained a company that is acutely aware of the demand for old IP; Games Label boss Frank Gibeau even recently indicated there is still the possibility of reviving some of its most beloved series.
With that in mind, and with a wealth of nostalgic delights to pick from, PSU.com decided to list three classic EA IPs that we’d like to see brought back from the brink and make the transition to current-generation hardware. Did your favourite retro series make the list? Read on to find out.
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Back in the early – mid 90s, Road Rash was one of the Genesis’s most popular franchises and it wasn’t hard to see why. After all, who could resist the opportunity to take to the highway on a high-speed motorbike, beating up competing racers and evading the Old Bill along the way? Indeed, this adrenaline-pumping series went totally against conventional racing games, taking the concept of Hang-On and injecting it with a brutal, competitive edge that had you using baseball bats, chains and fists to batter your opponents in an effort to secure pole position. We have fond memories of getting into a mid-race ruck with Public Enemy No.1 and giving the boot – literally, in Road Rash’s case – to tenacious coppers while trying to sustain our advantage over the competition. It wasn’t a mindless affair either; juggling the perennial threat of incoming traffic with the need to avoid your opponents and getting your collar felt proved quite tricky, especially on the more difficult stages. Road Rash would be well suited to a modern overhaul, and we imagine the advantage of authentic bike physics combined with the visual flare of current titles would prove to be quite the compelling cocktail. Make it happen, EA.
Another beloved Genesis classic, Desert Strike (and its various other incarnations) proved a massive seller for EA, with the original 1992 chopper shooter becoming the publisher’s then-biggest selling game to date. Here, gamers strap themselves into the cockpit of a meaty AP-64 Apache chopper and embark on various missions throughout an open field populated by enemy aircraft and pesky AA installations. And, while looking ostensibly like your bread-and-butter shoot-‘em-up, Desert Strike contains a surprising amount of strategic depth, and as such isn’t quite as maddeningly fast-paced as its contemporaries of the time. Players must carefully manage essentials such as fuel, ammo and armor, all the while ticking off objectives, which included blowing up enemy structures to extricating a group of hostages. It’s this diversity and depth to the gameplay that lends Desert Strike its addictive and compelling charm, which ultimately resulted in numerous sequels and facilitated a transition from the Genesis to the original PlayStation. We’d kill for chance to take to the skies once again, and given the amount of retro-inspired games that frequently popular PSN and XBL these days, we think sticking to the original, isometric template would be just the ticket.
If we’re not bonking bikers on the head or blowing up baddies in choppers, we want to indulge in a spot of medieval-influenced RTS. That’s just what Dungeon Keeper offered back in the late 90s. The brainchild of Peter Molyneux, the game’s concept is an interesting twist on traditional RTS games, with players tasked with protecting their dungeon/lair from NPC ‘hero’ invaders looking to pinch your hard-earned treasures and cash. Armed with a myriad of dungeon-dwelling misfits, players must build up their surroundings in preparation for the impending invasion by enemy forces. However, Dungeon Keeper adds some unique and amusing distractions that really lend the game its identity. Using the ubiquitous ‘Hand of Evil,’ gamers can possess minions to see the surrounding area from a first-person view, as well as giving them a slap to make them hurry along with whatever tasked is assigned to them. Amassing your forces is an easy job too thanks to the fact you can grab a massive bunch of creatures and plonk them anywhere you have a strategic foothold. These days there’s a lull in the number of quality RTS games on consoles, and Dungeon Keeper’s more idiosyncratic offerings would be a perfect fit for a long overdue revival. Plus, it’d give us an excuse to dust off that PS3 mouse and keyboard.
What classic EA IP would you like to see resurrected? Let us know in the comments section.