5 video game franchises that Retcons improved (and 5 that got worse)


When it comes to long-form storytelling, returns are inevitable. Sometimes retcons erase a plot development that has done more harm than good. In other cases, something is reconnected to make room for a new plot rhythm.

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Video game series have been using retcons for as long as we can remember, but not all of them have worked as expected. Where some retcons have helped some games fix their stories and gameplay, others have only made it worse.

ten IMPROVED – Final Fantasy VII remake is more than just a remake

Cloud and Sephiroth face off in Final Fantasy 7 remake

At first glance, Final Fantasy VII remake was a remaster of the classic game, but it was a lot more. Remake had weird retcons, like characters surviving the events they originally died in, characters with new characters and Sephiroth appearing earlier than before. It turns out that the game is an alternate reality and the opening of a Final fantasy multiverse.

Final Fantasy VII remake even closed with a new ending, with Cloud and his friends ready to fight Sephiroth in another plane of reality. The only reason why Remake rank low is that it is still ongoing. At the time of this writing, it is too early to say how Remake will affect the inheritance of both Final Fantasy VII and the whole franchise.

9 A WORSE – Spec Ops: The line redefined FPS, but killed the franchise

Cloud and Sephiroth face off in Final Fantasy 7 remake

The Special forces the series began in 1998, and it consisted of indistinguishable military shooters who were dismissed as Call of Duty at best imitations and at worst military propaganda. When Yager Development started developing a reboot in 2007, they ignored the history and nationalistic tone of the previous games and deconstructed them.

The end result was Special operations: the line, a spooky modern war shooter that demolished everything wrong with the subgenre, including player intent. While Line bring Special forces back in the mainstream and become one of the most respected games ever made, it sadly bombed financially and killed the series.

8 IMPROVED – Saints Row found new life by parodying himself

When it started Saints Street was yet another Grand Theft Auto clone in a crowded sea of ​​clones. For example, the first game was the umpteenth serious gang war set in a city-wide sandbox, much like Los Santos or Vice City. Separate yourself from your inspiration, Saints Street regained its original gritty vision for something more wacky.

Through Saints Row: the third and Saints Row IV, the games were now the cartoon Saturday morning versions of a gang war. The key characters and locations remained, but they were now exaggerated parodies of their old selves. This parody retcon didn’t just help the Third Street Saints finally get out of GTA shadow, but it has rejuvenated the franchise.

7 GOT WORST – Devil May Cry’s proposed prequel timeline angered fanbase

A young Dante poses in DmC Devil May Cry

When it was first announced, Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry would have been both a prequel and a reboot. Giving Dante a fresh start and an origin story in and of itself weren’t bad ideas. However, DMC Missed the point of the franchise so much that not only was it demoted to an alternate universe, but its prequel timeline was dropped.

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DMC replaced the show’s fun badass attitude with a more serious one, which is best exemplified by an edgy Dante who lacked his bravado and jokes. Fans, meanwhile, felt the returns had tarnished the series’ legacy. In response, Capcom abandoned its DMC plans and returned to form with the much appreciated The devil can cry 5.

6 IMPROVED – Far Cry has reinvented itself by abandoning its generic formula

Vaas watches his prey in Far Cry 3

In its early days, the only thing that did Far cry standing out from other FPS games was its tropical setting and sci-fi touch. Starting with Far Cry 2, the games ditched the weird elements and doubled down on being down-to-earth, lifelike shooters. That said, the best and most obvious changes will only pay off in Far cry 3.

Far cry 3 has been a game-changer in many ways, so much so that it is considered far cry true beginning. The critically acclaimed sequel revives the story and style of the originals, favoring a descent into darkness mixed with survival gameplay and charismatic villains. Far cry 3 The retcons worked so well that they became the norm for the series.

5 GOT PIRE – Metal Gear Solid just got more confusing with each new Retcon

Venom Snake confides in Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 5 the Phantom Pain

If there is one thing Solid metal gear is known for, in addition to breaking the fourth wall, his retcons. According to the interviewee, Solid Snake’s signature franchise is either a genius when it comes to its twists and turns, or a borderline self-parody. Without exaggeration, the series’ returns have only made an already convoluted plot even more complex.

For example, supernatural feats have been explained with nanomachines, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looping towards oblivion Metal gear (1987), and Revolver Ocelot’s identity and loyalty have always changed. A lot of these twists seemingly came out of nowhere, which made things harder to follow and unintentionally hilarious for some.

4 IMPROVED – Mortal Kombat 11 cleaned out the Series Cannon with Kronika

Kronika keeps the timeline in Mortal Kombat 11

As a fighting game, the once controversial game Mortal combat Didn’t really need to prioritize its lore and characters, and the show’s impressive number of spinoffs and sequels is proof of that. It changed to Mortal Kombat 11, who recognized all previous entries via Kronika, an extra-dimensional Titaness who oversaw the entire time.

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Additionally, Kronika has been shown to be pulling the strings of every fighter from the start. For example, she orchestrated Liu Kang and Raiden’s rivalry to prevent them from uniting against her. Not only did Kronika clean Mortal Kombat timeline and give it a new reboot, but she retroactively linked the pending plot threads.

3 WORST – Kingdom Hearts’ Retcons made its labyrinthine lore almost impossible to understand

Xehanort directs his variants in Kingdom Hearts

At this point, it is common knowledge that Kingdom Hearts has one of the most complex narratives in game history. As if determining whether a given entry was canon or a spin-off wasn’t difficult enough, each game comes with tons of retcons that don’t. only make sense to those who have literally played every entry and taken notes.

For example, the now defunct web browser game Kingdom Hearts X is the late prequel to the series, the origins of the Keyblade keep changing, what Xehanort fights the player depends on the timeline the game takes place in, and more. Figuring out where each game fits in the timeline is arguably easier than following through all of the retcons.

2 IMPROVED – BioShock: Columbia Bound Burial at Sea & Rapture’s Destinies

Xehanort directs his variants in Kingdom Hearts

One of the biggest revelations of Bioshock Infinite was the BioShock multiverse, where the original game was a parallel version of infinity events. That said, Booker and Elizabeth’s visit to Rapture was little more than an Easter egg that only drove Elizabeth’s exhibit home. That changed with the two-part DLC, Burial at sea.

Burial at sea was not just an alternate reality where Booker and Elizabeth lived in Rapture, but a direct prequel to the beloved classic BioShock. The DLC chapters set aside many lingering questions from the original game, while also showing how the actions of its characters (especially Elizabeth’s) directly shaped Rapture’s Civil War and the fall of Atlas.

1 GOT PIRE – Fallout 76 reverted almost everything to the original games and killed the franchise

The Pip Boy witnesses nuclear winter in Fallout 76

For better and especially for worse, Fallout 76 was a Publication date game like no other. Not only was this the franchise’s first foray into online multiplayer, but it was also the first entry that prioritized the gameplay experience over interactive storytelling. As innovative and exciting as these retcons may seem, they have turned on them in the worst possible way.

Fallout 76 didn’t just give up the franchise’s RPG formula for something the developers didn’t know about, but just ignored it Publication date also represented. Real-life examples, combat-oriented gameplay, and the lack of meaningful choices for players. The backlash was so quick that even with decent fixes, Fallout 76 not only flopped at launch, but killed Publication date overnight.

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