2022 has already been an excellent year for dormant video game franchises making a comeback. Earlier this year, gamers witnessed the release of the Horizon series’ second installment in February, The Horizon Forbidden West, after five years. What a comeback it turned out to be.
So far, Horizon Forbidden West has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with some critics even touting it as a masterpiece.
2022 has also been a golden year for new standalone entrants. Indie titles like Elden Ring and Stray are selling like hot pancakes right now, and the best part is that the year is not over yet.
Indeed, 2022-23 is shaping up to be a phenomenal calendar year, with some dormant video game franchises set to make a reappearance. Below is a list of some video game franchises that will return soon with new titles.
Dormant video game franchises that will make a comeback
1) The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Fans of the Lord of the Rings universe can celebrate as the epic fantasy adventure series will be back with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum by the end of this year. The game was initially set to be released on September 1, but the video game’s developer Daedalic Entertainment, in a recent announcement in late June, pushed it back a few more months.
Unlike previous Lord of the Rings editions, at Lord of the Rings: Gollum, players will be controlling Gollum in a timeline before the events described in JJ. Tolkien’s novel series.
With Gollum’s nimble body and timid nature, the franchise has also deviated from the action-packed open-world adventure of the previous Lord of the Rings game to a more stealth-based action-adventure game in Lord of the Rings: Gollum. A bold move from the franchise. Seeing how a stealth-based Lord of the Rings sequel pans out will be exciting.
2) The Witcher: New Saga
Developed by CD Projekt, the Witcher series takes place in a medieval fantasy world where players follow the voyages of Geralt of Rivia, a traveling monster hunter.
The Witcher series is an adaptation of the popular novel by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Game events take place years after the main saga depicted in the novels.
The Witcher series is adored because of its completeness. From beautifully created open-worlds to brilliant combat mechanics and good narratives, this video game series has everything an open-world gamer desires.
For many gamers, the last installation of Witcher: Wild Hunt, released in 2015, was one of the best role-playing action-adventure video games ever created. Not only the storyline, but everything from character interactions to facial expressions is top-notch in Witcher: Wild Hunt.
Finally, after a wait of almost eight years, the next installation of the Witcher series has been confirmed by game developer CD Projekt through a blog post.
The blog post says,
“This is an exciting moment as we move from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5, beginning a multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games. It covers not only licensing but technical development of Unreal Engine 5, as well as potential future versions of Unreal Engine”
Regarding the release of the Witcher title, the blog post further states, “We’ll collaborate closely with Epic Games’ developers with the primary goal being to help tailor the engine for open-world experiences. No further details regarding the game are available, such as the development time frame or release date.”
3) The Elder Scrolls 6
Bethesda Game Studios, the makers of the Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series, will certainly have their plates full over the next couple of years. The developers in Bethesda are working tooth and nail to release Starfield by early 2023. Once the Starfield project is complete, the developers will move over to remove one of the most anticipated video games of recent times, The Elder Scrolls 6.
Elder Scrolls is a series of open-world action-adventure games that enables players to explore anywhere and do anything they want. What makes the Elder Scrolls series unique is its excellent storylines, well-made heroes and other characters, and probably some of the most exciting side-quests in any open-world game.
Entries such as Elder Scrolls 4 and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim have already established themselves as genre-defining titles. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about as the Bethesda Game Studios are said to be actively working on Elder Scrolls 6. However, fans will have to wait a while as Elder Scrolls 6 will only get released after Starfield. As a result, Elder Scrolls 6 might get released in 2023.
4) Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate is a role-playing action-adventure series with advanced graphics and non-stop combat that shames many future RPG competitor titles. Baldur’s Gate is based on the table-top open-world system of Dungeons & Dragons. Released in 1998, this particular RPG video game franchise released two series in 2013: the Bhaalspawn Saga and the Dark Alliance.
It’s about a decade since the RPG series came up with a new title. Fortunately, fans of Baldur Gate won’t have to wait too long as the RPG franchise is finally set to launch its long-awaited third main entry, The Baldur’s Gate 3, in 2023.
In October 2020, game developers Larian Studios had already given access to Baldur Gate III’s initial mission to online gamers to try out for free. In the early access version, players can play solo or team up with online players to take part in the first act of trying to escape from a deadly creature in Baldur’s Gate’s world.
5) Saints Row
Combine the open world of GTA with supernatural mutant-like combat abilities, and one would get Saints Row. Since the first Saints Row title hit the market in 2006, the action-adventure video game series has been critically acclaimed for its non-stop action-packed combat.
This particular action-adventure video game franchise, by the year 2013, went on to sell over 13 million copies of its various titles, making it one of the highest-selling action-adventure video game franchises.
A reboot of the Saints Row franchise is finally on its way and is set to be launched on August 2, 232022. The title was initially dated to be found in February 2022, but the developers had to postpone it. The new rebooted version of Saints Row will also take place in a fictional city called Santo.
These franchises need to be resurrected
1) Spyro the Dragon
Spyro is a pretty light-hearted, easy-to-play 3D platform adventure video game series that follows the adventures of Spyro, the Dragon. Since the launch of the first Spyro game in 1998, the video game franchise has released numerous sequels of Spyro the Dragon and a reboot trilogy.
Spyro the Dragon resulted from an era when Activision released one side game after another. Spyro the Dragon was possibly one of the best side games crafted out.
However, this particular gem of a 3D adventure game didn’t quite hit the popularity levels it deserved. With mobile gaming going big these days, Spyro the Dragon has the potential to dominate the 3D adventure genre.
2) Metal Gear Solid
One of the oldest video game franchises, the Metal Gear Solid series has produced some of the finest stealth-based gameplay in video gaming history. This action-adventure survival series offers everything from genre-defining gameplay, revolutionary graphics, decent storylines inspired by Hollywood movies, and overall gameplay that relies more on stealth than fast-paced action.
In all of the Metal Gear Solid games, players take on the role of Commander Snake, a US super agent. Metal Gear Solid games take players on a quest for survival in an open world where multiple ways exist to complete a mission or eliminate enemies. It’s up to the players to decide how they go about their business.
Released in 2018, Metal Gear Survive was the last popular action-adventure survival series title. Although most gameplay mechanics are retained from previous Metal Gear Solid games, the latest installment was heavily criticized due to its sloppy story build-up and poor character backstory. The time is ripe for the Metal Gear Solid franchise to make amends and come back even stronger.
2) The Simpsons
Created and co-authored by Matt Groening, the Simpsons is one of the longest-running animated sitcoms in American television history. The animated series follows the comical family drama of working-class father Homer Simpson and his family. Over the years, the Simpsons have acquired legendary status. Some of the Simpsons episodes and side stories are so creative that an entire series can be bifurcated out of it.
Despite the Simpsons acquiring gold status, hardly anyone knows that the Simpsons franchise also has an action-adventure game. Developed by Visceral Games in 2007, the game follows five playable characters from the Simpsons family – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. They have to resolve several situations through certain superpowers they acquire while progressing through the different stages of the game.
Overall, it’s a fun and addictive 3D adventure game. Imagine an open-world action-adventure game as massive and engaging as GTA, but players get to control Homer Simpson and his family instead of CJ. An open-world action-adventure Simpsons reboot has success written all over it.
3) Virtual Tennis
Virtua Tennis is perhaps the best tennis simulation game series ever made. The tennis franchise reached its pinnacle in 2011 through its third sequel, Virtua Tennis 4. Many gaming critics, including British professional tennis player Andy Murray, claim Virtua Tennis 4 to be the most accurate depiction of tennis in a game.
Virtua Tennis 4’s World Tour Edition gives players a chance to walk in the shoes of some contemporary tennis players as they tour around the world. The World Tour Edition enables players to customize their tennis star and go on a world tour in a turn-based campaign map to participate in minor tournaments and Grand Slam events.
Developers of Virtua Tennis SEGA still own the IP rights and player licenses of the series. Despite that, there has been no word about any future Virtua Tennis launch. Virtua Tennis is one of the most underrated video game franchises that deserve to be revived.
5) Condemned Series
Developed by Monolith Productions, the Condemned series is possibly the most underrated horror-survival game series of the 2000s decade. The video game franchise released two titles, Condemned: Criminal Origins (2005) and Condemned 2 (2008). Both the Condemned games are surprisingly fast and action-packed for a horror-survival game.
The Condemned games have brilliant sound effects, and the timing of every suspense during the storyline is perfect. Both the Condemned games never became best-sellers, and the franchise has gone under the radar. Maybe it’s time for this underrated horror franchise to get some attention and possibly a revival.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.