In case you didn’t hear, Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for a lot of money. With the acquisition comes the rights to a whole lot of Blizzard and Activision video games. Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot, Diablo, and more are all going to become Microsoft properties.
That’s not all, however. There are a lot of Activision video games and franchises that have been developed under the Activision Blizzard franchise. Many of them have been lying dormant for a long time.
Perhaps it’s time to revive some of these once proud and popular Activision video games. Let’s take a look at what we’d love to see come back to life.
HeXeN – Arguably Ahead of Its Time
It’s been almost thirty-year since we’ve last seen Hexen. On paper, it looks like a first-person RPG akin to Elder Scrolls. The catch, though, is that it plays more like DOOM than Skyrim.
Back in the day, the game resulted in mixed feelings but has developed a cult following. After the massive success of DOOM’s reboot back in 2016, maybe it’s time to bring back the franchise and give it another go? It sure helps that id Software is a Microsoft studio as well.
What better way to bring back one of the many dormant Activision video games than with a cult classic?
King’s Quest – The adventure franchise seems perfect for Double Fine
King’s Quest is an adventure franchise that has been ongoing since the 1980s. Technically, it received a new release back in 2015 and 2016, but they mostly flew under the radar and were more remake than a new title.
It just so happens that one of the greatest developers of the adventure genre happens to helm a Microsoft Studio. If we live in a world where Tim Schafer can re-release Grim Fandango, then I believe anything is possible. Giving Schafer and Double Fine the key to Kings Quest seems like a match made in heaven.
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System – One of my favorites and a cult classic
Ironically, we never got a sequel to Metal Arms because Blizzard purchased the developer, Swinging Ape Studios. Activision acquired the rights to the IP during their acquisition of Vivendi, Sierra, and Blizzard assets. They never did anything with those rights, however, and it became one of many Activision video games to take a long nap.
Metal Arms is a third-person shooter staring a robot named Glitch. Players are tasked with helping to lead a robot rebellion. While narratively it’s pretty run of the mill, the real star is the game’s combat. Enjoyable and inventive combat, complete with plenty of gizmos and gadgets, created a memorable experience.
Equally as compelling is the game’s multiplayer, featuring the ability to hijack various mechs or even use a “recruiter grenade” to mind control various enemy NPCs, or even get credit for other player kills.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater – One of the Greatest Activision Video Games of All Time
Technically, we just saw the remake of the first two games in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise. Still, we haven’t seen an original release from Tony Hawk in quite a while, never mind one that was actually good.
In terms of the Activision video games I’d want to see return, this is far and away my favorite. Developer Vicarious Visions proved with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 that they understand what makes the franchise work so well. They’ve also showcased that they know what makes Diablo tick, given their work on Diablo II: Resurrected.
Even though they’ve been absorbed into Blizzard, it’d be great to see them spread their wings once again with a new entry in the Tony Hawk franchise. Vicarious Visions may have been absorbed into Blizzard, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still work on the franchise.
Prototype – One of many Activision video games that can thrive on Xbox Game Pass
Often compared to the PlayStation exclusive Infamous, Prototype admittedly shares a lot of similarities. The original was released in 2009, with a sequel following up in 2012. Since then, the franchise has been dormant. Since the game’s sales didn’t meet the expectations of Activision, the studio was shut down.
The franchise could see new life on Game Pass, allowing it, and many other games, to not worry about sales figures but instead make the best game possible. Microsoft already has precedent stepping in here. Remember when Square Enix was disappointed by Tomb Raider’s sales? Microsoft jumped in to publish the sequel.
There are many Activision video games out there that could see new life on Game Pass. I fully expect Prototype to be one of them.
Vigilante 8 – A personal pick
It is I, the man who said Vigilante 8 is one of the best Nintendo 64 games of all time. Of course this game is on this list.
Truth be told, I’m just a sucker for this style of game. Vigilante 8 and Twisted Metal Black were always popular amongst my friends growing up. They’re so well suited for quick gaming sessions after school or work before we have to tend to responsibilities. With the Twisted Metal franchise returning (somewhat, anyway), it may be a good idea for Microsoft to have a counter ready to go.
Or at least for me, please. Let me throw a disco ball at a school bus again.
Guitar Hero – A sleeping giant among the list of Activision video games
Harmonix brought Rock Band back in 2015 and it was very good! Aside from the complete scarcity of plastic instruments, that is. My wife and I have some original Rock Band instruments collecting dust in our garage because we refuse to pay the outrageous price for the Legacy Adapter.
There’s still a demand for these games, but Mad Catz and Harmonix weren’t able to deliver. Mad Catz has since gone bankrupt and Harmonix was acquired by Epic Games.
When Phil Spencer was discussing the Activision video games he now owns, he mentioned Guitar Hero by name. He’d make my wife and me very happy if he can bring the franchise back in an affordable manner. We already play it every chance we get at the arcade. We just want to play it in the comfort of our own homes.
Geometry Wars – A classic has returned home
I had to do a double-take after discovering it is Activision, not Microsoft, that owns the rights to Geometry Wars. Given the fact that Activision bought developer Bizarre Creations, it makes total sense. Unfortunately, all we’ve seen from the series recently is a forgettable release in 2016.
For all intents and purposes, it’s one of many dormant Activision video games.
With Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time is home. As great as it would be to see any of the other mentioned franchises brought back, their first order of business should be a proper sequel to the original two Geometry wars titles. Am I selfish for wanting my favorite time-waster back? Sure, but I don’t care.