A few weeks ago I got it in mine Column on a new Splinter Cell Mentioned: Currently located a spiritual successor to it in development that takes the virtues of the first few games in the series and wants to put them in a modern guise.
The thing is called Specter and it actually looks quite decent. But my interest is never ending, because for whatever reason the focus is on co-op gameplay, not on an immersive single-player experience. Sure, there was also Splinter Cell, but that was never why I liked the series so much.
But even without this, I would not have burst into a storm of enthusiasm, because it is NOT a new Splinter Cell. It is clearly inspired by that, but if I want a Coke and get a Pepsi, the core of my wish is not just based on the fact that the sweet soup should be brown and sticky.
This is something that, after having been carried away by it for a while, is now becoming increasingly clear to me: spiritual successors are not a substitute for the real thing for me.
Those: PC Games
When, for example, Yooka-Laylee was announced a few years ago, I was completely thrilled at first. Developed largely by the people who also follow the clear example Banjo-Kazooie had worked with the same DNA, with almost the same gameplay.
Well, the result was unfortunately only half good, although I didn’t really want to admit it to myself. My test on it is one of the fortunately rare cases where I say that I just rated it really wrong because I just wanted it to be better than it actually was. The adventure is not an 8/10 (or 82/100) according to our old rating system), it is hooked at every nook and cranny.
But just: if it had met the fan expectations, I would have had a lot of fun with it – I’m pretty sure I would have been disappointed anyway.
I don’t just like a game because it works according to a certain scheme. Sure, I love the stealth gameplay in Splinter Cell. Just as important to me are protagonist Sam Fisher, the relationship between him and his superior Lambert and his daughter Sarah, the world that was created there.
Sure, the hopping around in Yooka-Laylee feels very familiar. Without the banjo and kazooie, without Gruntilda the witch, without all the details that bring the game world that I hold so dear to life, the end result can never be what I wanted. So it doesn’t matter whether the same people are behind it as back then or a new team.
Which doesn’t mean that spiritual successors can’t really be great. On each Mighty No. 9 come in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, come Shovel Knight, Axiom Verge and Co. And some brands, first and foremost Stardew Valley and Cities: Skylines, have their role models Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons respective SimCity left far behind in terms of quality and are now the new genre standard.
First of all, this is not the rule. Second, of course, there are also types of games where the emotional connection is not as pronounced as in other titles, where so much depends on the world and characters – the scurrying Sims, for example, are only possible to a limited extent without the much more direct connection in the life simulations.
And thirdly, many of these games have managed to build their own identity despite all the similarity to the previous one and no longer just function in comparison to their spiritual predecessors, but by themselves.
Perhaps that is an important distinction to make. Spiritual successors don’t work for me if they define themselves by the fact that they want to be something else, because then they can only lose with all the quality – yes, Bloodstained didn’t pick me up because of that.
On the other hand, Stardew Valley was not created as an homage, but because developer Eric Barone simply wanted a game in the style of Harvest Moon, but in his own way, more adult and better.
or Undertale: Sure, inventor Toby Fox obviously breathes Earthbound, but he didn’t create a clone, but a unique role-playing game that doesn’t try to be Earthbound, but simply honors its achievements with great dignity.
Perhaps I only notice it because I am currently concerned with the subject, but I have the feeling that I have lived it in our time Memberberrytums more and more spiritual successors of the kind I criticized are opening up on the game market. And that’s not a problem per se either. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes for example looks pretty good.
But I hope it has more to offer than just being inspired by Suikoden 2 – and graphically, for whatever reason, by Octopath Traveler.
In case of doubt, I prefer to dust off my old consoles and play Suikoden 2, Splinter Cell, Banjo Kazooie and Co. Then I feel this I-am-at-home feeling in all its glory, and not in a version where the front door is stuck and the floor creaks.
About the author
Source: Lukas Schmid
Lukas Schmid has been working in various functions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games since 2010, first as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and now as editor-in-chief for pcgames.de, videogameszone.de, gamesaktuell.de and gamezone.de. He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at around 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters in the comments under the column [email protected] or on Twitter @Schmid_Luki.
My other columns
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The Playstation Showcase was a hit – and I’m still disappointed
Splinter Cell for PS5 and Co. Finally develop this stupid game!
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Scott the Woz: Help, I like a Youtuber!
Sexism, discrimination, rape: we have to talk about Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft and Co.
You don’t have to like everything: some games leave me cold
Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch: is handheld supremacy shaking?
Nintendo Switch OLED: You could have saved yourself that!
The PS5 can fail too: Sony’s arrogance is a problem
Representation of LGBT + in games and films is still necessary
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Not just Far Cry and Co .: we need more B-tier games!
Far Cry 6: Many promises, little behind them – Ubisoft, I no longer trust you
Switch Pro comes in 2021, so does Starfield and Sega buys Microsoft: “Leaks” in the gaming world
Uncharted 5: Wishes for the action adventure for PS5
Gimmick Versus Substance: Why It Takes Two Is Better Than Half-Life: Alyx
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – this is what a remake for Switch should look like
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Live service games: If you have to, then please do it right!
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Remakes, remasters and reprints are a mistake
Well-known on the PS5: Sony has a creativity problem
Whistle on creativity: Dear developers, steal ideas!
Achievements, trophies and co .: Stop doing stupid tasks!
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