Just let Platinum Games take over everything...
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Guy wonders if Platinum Games' sex-fuelled approach might give other videogame franchises a shot in the arm...
For a video-game developer, being given control over the next instalment of a well-loved series must feel broadly similar to being asked to relocate a home for flammable children by dragging it through a minefield. It’s a worthy goal; do it right and you’ll be lauded for years to come, but god help you if you put so much as one foot out of place. The slightest misstep – the tiniest mistake – and before you know it the entire internet has rallied against you, even as the symbolically charred teddy bears are falling back to earth.
Some handle this task better than others, of course. GRIN released the fantastic side-scroller Bionic Commando: Rearmed in 2008, before releasing Bionic Commando in all its baffling, 3D glory in 2009. The latter game certainly had its flaws, but possessed a certain foaming, rabid charm that was enough to hold off the inevitable backlash of nerd rage.
Team Ninja¹, on the other hand, took a different route with Metroid: Other M. Rather than stay true to the established rules of Samus’ character (Hardass McSpaceTough, getting the job done regardless of gender since 1986), they chose a more ‘refreshing’ option – make her a quivering wreck of a woman whose sole reason for being was to receive instruction from the men in charge. To continue the needlessly upsetting analogy: Team Ninja decided to skip merrily through said minefield, reaching into a basket of puppies and tossing them with gay abandon at any old bump in the ground, laughing as the meat rained down...this is not the sort of developer I'd want in charge of my childhood heroes².
I should have been horrified, therefore, to learn that another company – one whose previous games had included a female character so stuffed with sex that she wore only her hair in a laughable parody of modesty – had been brought in to work on the latest game in my very favourite franchise.
I wasn't. I was thrilled.
The developer was Platinum Games, a company which made a hyper-sexualised, er, witch, into one of the strongest, funniest and most competent female leads I've ever seen in a game – and the franchise was Metal Gear, a series so bewildering and insane in its complexity that simply thinking about the intricacies of its plot for more than fifteen seconds is enough to put you at risk of a raving seizure.
I genuinely cannot think of a company better suited to continue the adventures of Raiden, the child-soldier-turned-androgyne-cyborg, than a company which explicitly designed an armoured exoskeleton to enable its pilot to enjoy a cheeky drag on a cigarette in the middle of a raging space war.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengance. Sure, the title is eye-watering, but why stop there? Given that Platinum is staffed by wizards responsible for, amongst other things, Bayonetta, GodHand, Vanquish and Okami, I reckon they’ve more than proved themselves worthy to look after some of gaming’s most popular franchises.
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty games have already reinvented themselves once before with the Modern Warfare series: a sweary trudge through gritty corridors interspersed with bombastic set-pieces and controversial tabloid-bait. I think it’s high time for a change of pace.
Platinum does CoD
Call of Duty: Soaped Up would explore the story of SAS hard-man ‘Soap’ MacTavish before he joined the forces. Part rhythm-action game, part FPS, CoD:SU would explore Soap’s relationship with his buddies at the PumpMore Gym – a place where the muscles are as hard as the techno and the dancing never stops. In this palace of glutes and neon, Soap has to keep his wits about him as he pumps iron, struts his stuff and shoots baby oil at the other patrons from a specially-adapted super soaker.
New posing pouches could be unlocked through online play and the soundtrack would be entirely new compositions by Smile.
Criterion games have never shied away from trying something new. Burnout: Paradise dragged the series into a bright and vibrant open world, while Burnout: Crash distilled the destructive elements of the previous games into a blackened spoon of electronic heroin.
Platinum does Burnout
Burnout: Fists of Wheel is Platinum’s chance to take the series in a new direction. Lance Carfist is a hard-bitten loner with nothing to prove. One day, during a freak lightning storm during a street race during a solar eclipse during World War Three on Mars, Lance becomes fused into the body of his turbo-illegal speed machine. He feels the forces of nature and steel mingle, driving his consciousness into a tonne and a half of hyper horsepower fury. Finding himself in a brand new body, he has to overcome adversity to win the big race, get the girl and punch Satan into the Moon.
This would be a third person racing game with turn-based brawler elements.
Platinum does FIFA
Fearsome Invincible Fighting Army: 2112
F.I.F.A. tells the tale of a rag-tag band of steroid freaks who have come together with one goal in mind: kick some ass and save the planet. The game begins as they have climbed up the body of a once-dead God, seemingly at the end of their decades-long mission. As they reach the climax of their universe-spanning adventures, the God awakens and it's up to them to save the day one final time. The only way to defeat this desiccated deity is to kick their trademark Spheres of Justice into its open mouth. It's not all plain sailing, however, as they soon realise that the path to victory is blocked by the ghosts of eleven vanquished foes with vengeance on their minds.
1. “noted digital perverts” according to Gamespot
2. See also their new version of Devil May Cry - DMC - where the lead character now looks like a scooter-riding My Chemical Romance fan, rather than a motorbiking Black Sabbath type of guy.
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