Last week, Tomb Raider came back to the big screen with a full reboot of the film franchise. In collaboration with Square Enix and based on the 2013 video game, Tomb Raider stars Alicia Vikander in what will solidify a new age of Lara Croft. Both the film and game franchises will have been fully rebooted with a new reinvigorated energy that Square Enix will only continue to improve and deliver on. On top of the film release, the rebooted game franchise has just announced its latest Lara Croft adventure with Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Square Enix has received critical acclaim for their new Tomb Raider franchise. But this isn’t the only franchise that they have rebooted for the modern age. In honor of the new film reboot, USC Games takes a look at the hit reboot franchises of Square Enix and the success each has received.
A revival of the cult classic series from the early 2000s, Thief (2014) , developed by Square Enix’s Eidos Montreal, introduced the world again to the character of Garrett, the antihero thief who steals from the rich. (Although, according to the game’s lore, this chapter takes place hundreds of years after the older games.)
Hidden within the dark twisted alleys of “The City” is an antihero who has just returned home and is prepared to take advantage of the civil unrest that is on the verge of boiling over. Striking out at the “Baron” who holds martial law over his home, the prodigal son seeks to figure out what’s happened in his absence and discover the fate of his old protégé. Unlike contemporaries such as Dishonored and Splinter Cell, Thief stays true to its stealth roots and has been remarked as a call back to “pure stealth games”. There are numerous ways to resolve each of the puzzle-like stealth scenarios, while violence is left as a last resort. “If you’re content to save your game every couple minutes and enjoy a slower-paced stealth game, then Thief rewards you with plenty of moments so tense you might catch yourself holding your breath,” said Ben Reeves of Game Informer.
One area of the game that has also receive praised are the side missions in the game, which give you a glimpse into the everyday lives of the citizens that live within The City. Many of the missions require you to retrieve something for the citizens and each has their own story that unfolds and gives the player further insight through well-written dialogue and backstory.
While overall reviews for the game were lackluster, Eidos Montreal’s posted profit for the fiscal year Thief was released seems to indicate that the game was at least mildly successful. Square Enix has a history of playing the long game with some of its franchises. The developer has indicated that the world of Thief is ripe with opportunity for a sequel and only needs the time and resources to continue the series.
The game has yet to receive a sequel but there are numerous rumors of a potential coming-again of Garrett. Most of the rumors regard a potential slip-up in a description for the upcoming film adaptation on its website. According to the website quote: “Widely considered to be one of the greatest games ever created, a fifth sequel is currently in development to be released in step with this motion picture adaptation.” However, Eidos Montréal’s studio head David Anfossi has since refuted these statements on Twitter by pointing towards their lack of a team, budget, or resources.
However, another key piece of the puzzle is the number of different franchises and intellectual properties that Square Enix is currently handling. According to Square Enix’s CEO Yosuke Matsuda, they would love to continue all the properties they currently have hold of, but with limited resources, certain IPs take the backseat for a while. There is still hope for a sequel to Thief, and USC Games hopes to see our cloaked compatriot back in the streets of The City to steal another day. Maybe we will even see it at this year’s E3 to coincide with the film adaptation.
For more on Square Enix and their rebooted titles, come back tomorrow as we talk about another series developed by another team from Thief’s same studio, Deus Ex!
In case you missed it, we covered:
- Tomb Raider, and the return of Lara Croft
- Hitman, and its experimental episodic model
- Tokyo RPG Factory, and the revival of classic JRPG
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of these great titles so far. And look forward to our coverage of Square Enix’s next great titles, Octopath Traveler and Kingdom Hearts 3 later this year!