Re­boot sale


You need only lay eyes on Star Fox Zero to know ex­actly what it is, but the sec­ond you pick up the con­troller, that sense of fa­mil­iar­ity evap­o­rates. While the TV screen shows the ac­tion from the tra­di­tional third­per­son per­spec­tive, the Wii U GamePad dis­plays it from in­side the Ar­wing’s cock­pit. Aim­ing, mean­while, uses the con­troller’s built-in gy­ro­scopes. A year ago this month we made a bit of a mess of it while Shigeru Miyamoto looked on. Twelve months later, we’re still not much bet­ter at the game.

Yet while this new ap­proach may be­fud­dle at first, Star Fox Zero is, on the face of it, an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of a re­boot. It is a tricky busi­ness res­ur­rect­ing a name no one has seen hide nor hair of in years, then mak­ing it feel fresh enough to jus­tify its re­turn but fa­mil­iar enough to war­rant its use of the name. Plat­inum has hit both tar­gets, but is that enough in 2015?

Rain­bow Six Siege, mean­while, is a close spir­i­tual cousin to the ear­lier games in Ubisoft’s se­ries, tense and tac­ti­cal, priz­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co-op­er­a­tion as much as a quick aim. It bor­rows many of its fore­bears’ most widely loved game­types, too, of­fers up a se­lec­tion of the se­ries’ stock-in­trade hi-tech gad­getry, then uses mod­ern CPU power to pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ate lev­els that are fully de­struc­tible. Boxes duly ticked, then. But what sep­a­rates Siege from Star Fox is that it is a re­boot of a re­boot: it be­gan life with the sub­ti­tle Pa­tri­ots, and was be­ing made to a very dif­fer­ent brief un­til it was can­celled and re­placed with Siege. From our hands-on time with the game, it’s clear that it was a worth­while de­ci­sion.

Dark Souls III, how­ever, is no re­boot, but such is the fre­quency with which Hide­taka Miyazaki’s de­sign ethos is be­ing put into ac­tion that you can’t help but won­der whether he and From-Soft­ware might soon find them­selves putting the se­ries on a shelf to steep for a few years. As hard as it no doubt is mak­ing a re­boot, it must be even harder ad­mit­ting that you need one.

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