5 Franchises That Could Use a Change of Scenery

5 Franchises That Could Use a Change of Scenery

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Josh Wise

This week, Like a Dragon: Ishin! has made its way to the West. It had previously only been available in Japan, and its arrival is cause for celebration. You will be able to not only indulge in an intoxicating blend of melodrama, mortal combat, and chicken racing – all the staples, and the secret spices, that make this series so compelling. You will also get to relish the joys of deracination; Kazuma Kiryu has been transported to the 1860s, in the person of Sakamoto Ryoma, who looks identical to Kiryu, save for his period-appropriate preference for sandals. Phoenix Wright benefitted from similar temporal rerooting, in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, which transposed the foaming head-to-heads of the courtroom from the modern day to the dawn of the twentieth century. Here, then, for your consideration, are five series that should consider booting their characters through time.

Resident Evil 00

The year is 1900, and the era of chemical weapons is coming to the boil and spilling out of its beaker. Special Agent Reece Credfield (who looks just like Chris Redfield but isn’t him), is a member of J.A.R.S. – The Journal of American Regional Studies. It falls to Reece to thwart the multifarious doings of the Parasol Corporation – whose name puts up a bright front, hinting at beachy getaways, but also belies its true intent: casting a chilly shadow over the country’s heart. Luckily, for someone who works for a journal primarily concerned with the recording of local flora and fauna, Reece happens to be adept at small arms fire for some reason. Plus, he records his findings via his flash new field gadget, the typewriter, and regularly posts them back to the J.A.R.S. headquarters. Never mind the future of the Resident Evil series; let’s go back into the past, when people sported moustaches and hats.

Damp Space

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Isaac Clarke, the hero of Dead Space, finds himself waking up onboard an eighteenth-century galleon, the HMS Planet, and something nasty is shivering behind the timbers. What is going on? It could be that Isaac, a systems engineer, has fallen asleep after his travails onboard the Ishimura, and is dreaming all this up. Either way, he’ll have to work through the drippy bowels of the Planet and get to the core of the problem – the necromolluscs. These squid-like monstrosities have laid waste to the crew, suckering the life right out of them, and it’s down to Isaac to take up the ship surgeon’s hacksaw and remove their tentacles. Damp Space is more close-quarters than its predecessors, with a heavier melee focus. But keep an eye out for the upgradeable saw parts, the throwable scalpels, the oar, and the blunderbuss!

Call of Duty: Medieval Warfare

Just how far back can the call of duty be heeded? At least to the time of the Roman Empire, apparently, when duty – along with those snazzy matte-white breastplates – was an important part of the imperium. “Call of Duty: Roman Wars” began development in 2008 at Vicarious Visions. Apparently, it would have been played from a top-down perspective. Might I suggest a first-person campaign set in the murk of the Middle Ages? Imagine a time when Shock and Awe meant a trebuchet, and a few tubs of fire. When getting All Ghillied Up entailed smearing your face in dung, and whipping out an extra-long-range crossbow. When breach-and-clear involved a castle and a battering ram. And when The Tip of the Spear really meant the tip of a spear. Let’s have Captain Price back, as well, in an age where his doormat-thick facial hair was in full fashion.

Hitman 2047

The joy of the Hitman games is not just the killing; it’s in seeing how far the pale and hairless 47, the perennial fish out of water, can swim. 47 in a floral shirt and cream chinos, on a broiling Italian beach? Yes. 47 on a rainy night in China, stalking through the neon with his collar turned against the cold? You betcha. 47 in a metropolis of flying cars and holograms that flare up like headaches? Why not? The International Contract Agency, by whom 47 is employed, can hardly be expected to invent a time machine, so the prospect of our man being tasked with garotting a Tyrannosaurus rex is low. (This is doubly a shame, because you could imagine him having to blend in by skinning a sabretooth and slipping into its pelt.) But the I.C.A. could surely invest in some cryogenic freezing? Or else maybe the hero could be the latest in a long line of clones. Either way, I want 47 (or 447, or whatever) with a cybernetic eye and a set of stainless, spring-loaded bones.

Dino Crisis in Space

Actually, no. This just wouldn’t work. Never mind.

Halo: Combat Devolved

If Far Cry can keep most of its formula in working order while dragging its setting back to the Stone Age, as it did with Far Cry Primal, then why couldn’t Halo? Imagine if the next Halo saw Master Chief hurtling through a rift in space-time and winding up on Earth, 65 million years ago. The Chief goes Jurassic! His foes here wouldn’t be the Covenant or the Banished (or whoever the baddies wound up being in Halo Infinite); it would be the dinosaurs. The twist is that they weren’t wiped out by an asteroid: They were destroyed by a space marine from the future. But he would have to get resourceful. No assault rifles, only tree branches, whittled and weaponised; and forget about grenades, it’s coconuts all the way. The Warthogs are still there, still hijackable, and still all-terrain four-by-fours. Only now they have tusks.

Comments
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  • Sounds good to me.

    The Deadspace one could essentially be a movie tie-in type game for Virus [1999] or Deep Rising [1998.]
  • Please don't talk like that again about Hitman games and Agent 47.

  • I've always wanted a Halo prequel set before first contact, when the Spartans were used to stamp down on the insurrectionists, 15 year before chief was even born.
  • I think if you stray away too far from what a franchise is essentially about, you'd rather make it a side series or a new IP all together.
    I mean, I'm all for a renaissance time dead space with lovecraftian fish monsters (I don't know a single ship would be a good location to fill a full game of this sort into), but at this point it shouldn't really be tied to Dead Space at least from a story/lore perspective.
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