This is the first in a (probably infrequent) series where I look at the retro games I loved & why they should be remade.
The 80’s was a good time for sci-fi movies. Empire Strikes Back, Jedi, GhostBusters, Aliens, ET, Last Starfighter… the list is long with goodness. In 1992, two of the 80’s classics came together in a pretty brilliant mini series from Dark Horse Comics & Frank Miller & Walt Simonson and then in 1993, Virgin Interactive (remember them?) brought Alex Murphy & the T-800 to our video game screens by adapting the book AND IT WAS BLOODY GLORIOUS.
I am going to focus on the Sega Megadrive / Genesis version of RCvT. There were SNES, GameBoy & GameGear versions, but they were Terminator: Salvation levels of shite so whats the point?
So where do I start? Oh yeah, the original game…:
The story is pretty straightforward, Skynet sends Terminators back to Old Detroit to take out future resistance fighters (as it likes to do). RoboCop, during the course of his regular bad guy killing day eventually comes into contact with said Terminators & lets just say they don’t sit down for some cyborg tea and scones….
Gameplay: its simple. Shoot almost everything. Seriously. RCvT encourages you to spray hot lead at most things, from gang members thru drones & ED 209 up to waves upon waves of T800’s, mini HK’s…the lot. In addition, you are encouraged to destroy as much of the environment as possible to either find little power ups, health boosts etc, or to just make the place look a total mess. This is particularly enjoyable when tootling though OCP HQ because you know…they are bastards. On the subject of shooting, can we talk about the weapons? The selection you get in this game is drool worthy. You start off with Robo’s basic sidearm, but soon enemies start dropping some serious artillery for you to use. Some are best saved for later though, as when you get to the Terminator heavy levels, you need the big guns & if you die, you lose whatever weapon you were using (but not the backup weapon strangely enough), once some of those weapons are gone, you are toast…or a toaster.
Audio: A pounding, grinding electro-ish score, interspersed with digitized screams & a bizarrely seductive female voice cooing “Terminator”. Totally mental & totally brilliant. It has been rattling through my head for 22 years.
Graphics: Dark, gritty and 16 bitty. The game was gory as hell for the time. So much 16-bit blood & bodies exploding everywhere as it stayed faithful to the source materials.
So that is the gist of the original game, now take a look at the video (sorry if ads pop up) to see what all the fuss is about and then I will tell you why it needs to be remade:
So why do I think this is perfect for a remake? (If that video doesn’t fill you with a yearning to drop into Delta City & blast some futuristic cyborgs, then I’m not sure what will, but here goes anyway)
1/ The RoboCop & Terminator properties deserve some quality, hell… WE deserve some quality!
RoboCop has suffered though shitty movies (RC3 & the horrible recent reboot) & as for Terminator, we all know that after T2 things went tits up. Movies, games – all garbage. ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ was tidy, but a mere blip in the slide to sewage.
2/ Its FUN & simple. Doesn’t need over complicating, no need for a driving/flying mode, no first person modes, no drop in co-op…its just you, your guns & a shit ton of destruction.
3/ This isn’t a $60 game. doesn’t even need a physical release. It’s perfect for PSN/XBL/Steam & a $20 price tag.
4/ I WANT IT! Isn’t that enough reason?
Why it won’t be remade:
1/ The licensing would probably be a nightmare.
2/ Some suit types would demand the inclusion of all the things I listed above, along with DLC, & microtransaction gems like Nike branded Robo sneakers, Red Bull power ups & some nifty RoboCop dances…. You know I’m not kidding.
So that’s my case for RoboCop Versus The Terminator. Let me know what you think via Twitter!