And what mentions we do get may not gel with our knowledge of the character from previous installments.Personally, I love this. Rather than retread previous ground, Lords of Shadow is taking the series in a bold new direction that's fascinating purely because its so unpredictable. If it were a new IP it would still be good fun, but part of its appeal is comparing the old to the new and guessing where they're going with this.
Change isn't always good, though. While not a reboot per se, Team Ninja's foray into Metroid with Other M was a radical departure for the series and took away more than it added. Allowing Samus to talk had a lot of potential, but the story was poorly told with atrocious dialogue. By tying it into an already existing series' canon instead of a reboot, it defied everything we already knew about this character by making her a whiny emo girl. Had a similar approach been taken to telling Samus' origins it could have successfully reinvented the series. Unceremoniously stapling it to the end of Super Metroid, one of the most revered games ever, made the transition incongruous.At their best, a reboot is a happy medium between a sequel and an original IP. It's a great way to reinvent a series, introduce it to new fans and start fresh with already established conventions. The best reboots explore similar themes or convey a similar feel as their predecessors without adhering to the same design or even story.Where Shattered Memories succeeded as a Silent Hill game due to its unsettling psychological journey, Lords of Shadow succeeds as a Castlevania game by tapping into the series' bombastic gothic ambiance.
Silent Hill isn't about a cult just as Castlevania isn't about Dracula and it's only by playing off our expectations that we're able to fully appreciate what it is we liked about them so much in the first place.Jeffrey Matulef is a freelance writer for G4TV.com, blogs about games at JumpingMoustache.com and is a regular on the Big Red Potion podcast. You can contact him at jmatulef at gmail dot com.]At this week's Montreal International Games Summit, BioWare Austin's Blake Rebouche delivered a passionate talk on how he believes internal game jams can keep studios agile and staffers creative and happy.
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