Cyber Nostalgic: How These New Games Call Back to Modern Classics

3 Games That Remind Us Of Modern Classics
Hell Let Loose 3

Gamers are a nostalgic crowd. Every new title is measured against previous releases, right down to the minute details. Often, production value means little if expectations are not met or exceeded. These nostalgic tendencies have two valid explanations, one technical and one psychological.

The first explanation would be that although games look better every year, the classics exemplify the basics of what makes a good game. Every facet of a new game is therefore measured against a score of older titles. An open-world game might be good, but is the world as rich as Grand Theft Auto V? Such questions are always asked.

The second explanation would link a player’s experience of gaming to their childhood or teenage years. When you’re younger, a game becomes an extension of your imagination. The game feels like a world because it allows you to explore, make choices, and experiment in a world of impermanent consequences.

Going back to a game you played as a kid is often a letdown, as you see the limits of its gameplay. New games that hark back to old titles, whether visually or thematically can ignite a spark of nostalgia that replaying classics can’t.

Get it wrong, however, and developers will be accused of mimicry or even devaluing the memory of the original title. Whichever explanation you prefer, we’re going to look at the games that get it right.

Here are three new titles that spark the imagination and pay tribute to those that have come before.

 Hell Let Loose 

Hell Let Loose is a strategic multiplayer shooter that aims to depict World War 2 at its most realistic.

Having marched out of early access, Hell Let Loose throws players into massive battlegrounds that can hold up to 100 players. While this might sound a little bit like Battlefield, it doesn’t have the same arcade-style feel of modern Battlefield titles.

There’s almost no HUD, and the spawn points are all player-made, rather than the set flag points of Battlefield’s conquest mode. Instead of a minimap, you have to bring up a map that’s riddled with tactical information. Enemy players are hard to spot, and running across open terrain is a quick ticket back to the respawn point which is far away from the action.

The classes the player can choose from also matter as squads have to work together if they are to succeed. Support classes provide materials to engineer classes to produce spawn points, which are vital in turning the tide of the battle.

On gaming forums, the game has received a mixed response, but many of those initially critical changed their stance after a few more hours of play. The game’s pacing and complex team dynamics fly in the face of contemporary titles, but in doing so hark back to the WW2 shooters of the 200s.

True, the older COD games were linear, single-player campaigns, but that feeling of going into a historic battle was novel to players at the time. That sense of unpreparedness and sudden combat has been missing from mainstream titles for a long time.

Hell Let Loose is here to change that. 

Deathloop & Ghostwire Tokyo Will be Timed PlayStation Exclusives


Arkane Studios is a powerhouse. In the last decade and a half, they’ve become known for creating open-ended games with complex narratives and mind-bending level design.

Deathloop, their upcoming game set for September 14th release, bears resemblance to previous titles such as Dishonored series. Deathloop takes these ideas and injects them with faster-paced, arcade-style gameplay.

Arkane is also stepping into new territory with the game’s multiplayer feature. Players can move in and out of other players’ games, creating a hybrid that’s somewhere between co-op and competition.

Arkane has always pushed the envelope while referring back to previous games. 2012’s Dishonored borrowed Bioshock’s steampunk aesthetic while reimagining the stealth mechanics of games such as Metal Gear Solid.

Dishonored also gave its players maps with incredible verticality, a trend Deathloop seems to have continued.

Based on a Groundhog Day concept, the new game explores themes such as time and repetition—two of Arkane’s favorite themes. Think back to Dishonored 2’s incredible level ‘A Crack In The Slab’, where players use a time-travel device to traverse the map while dodging enemies. One map in two time periods. Only time will tell, but it looks like Deathloop is going to continue Arkane’s tradition of building on the old in search of the new. 

Metro Exodus 

When discussing what makes a game feel immersive, we can talk about what makes a videogame feel like a world or ‘worldish’ (the English language doesn’t provide us with a suitable term for ‘that which makes a game/film/book feel like a world of its own).

One of the main ingredients of ‘worldishness’ is the feeling of life beyond the game’s limits. This doesn’t have to mean the game is open world, but rather that the world of the game feels living and breathing.

A game that is ‘worldish’ has a set of rules that can be intuitively adapted by the player. A game where you can die from falling from a distance feels more ‘worldish’ than one in which your character can’t cross over edges.

The Metro series has always nailed that sense of ‘worldishness’ despite being a dungeon-crawler.

The world of the post-apocalyptic Moscow subways felt complete in its stifling intensity. The player was always on the back foot, always out of ammunition, and always at the bottom of the food chain.

Metro Exodus takes us above ground without losing this quality, something fans of the series doubted was possible. The new game feels no less compelling than any survival horror classics while moving the franchise into the future of open-level design. 

So, there we have three amazing recent games that seek to successfully springboard off previous titles. These three releases all hope to be as popular as the classic games players know and love.

If you happened to miss any of the titles mentioned in this article, be sure to try them out. They don’t disappoint.

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