E3 2014 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Image 02

[Friday Five] Five Console-to-PC Ports That Still Need to Happen

In Feature, Friday Five by Kevin Kartanata

The staff consists primarily of PC gamers and Metal Gear Solid fans. We went crazy for its showing at E3 2014 and were absolutely tickled when its PC port was announced. With PC gaming popularity at an all-time high, it’s no wonder that it’s here, but a lot of games have never made appearances on what some have taken to calling the “master race” platform. Here are a few ports that haven’t happened, but totally should.

Red Dead Redemption


One of my favorite games of the last generation, Red Dead sort of came out of left field as the spiritual sequel to a PS2 game that no one remembered. Few developers have taken on the Western genre, but Rockstar brought into the mix their trademark dark Americana style and penchant for gray-on-gray morality. The game’s dusty and atmospheric open-world sandbox was punctuated by a gripping deconstructionist cowboy story, as well as a robust multiplayer mode that served as a precursor to GTA V‘s own GTA Online. It’s a wonder that we haven’t seen a PC port of Red Dead Redemption, though one has supposedly been in development for a while.

Every Halo After Halo 2


Halo was released on PCs to wild acclaim – Halo 2 not so much, thanks to its Windows Live integration and overall shoddy porting. The legacy of Halo Custom Edition, however, is still very fresh in many peoples’ minds, thanks to a dedicated core community devoted to both playing and modding the game. Of course, after the relative disaster of Halo 2, Bungie never revisited the idea of a PC port. Arena-style shooters have since faded into obsolescence thanks to Battlefield and Call of Duty, but a moddable Halo on the PC could revive the genre.

Steel Battalion series


Simulation games have become something of a joke in recent years where they were previously grounded in some level of reality. Steel Battalion, while absolutely fictional, leans more towards the latter by putting the player in the uber-realistic cockpit of a giant robot, called a Vertical Tank. Originally released on the Xbox, the game came packaged with a 40-button proprietary controller featuring pedals, joysticks, and all sorts of fiddly buttons and knobs. Missions began with a lengthy startup sequence, and featured permanent player death, among other “hardcore” mechanics. While certainly niche, the game spawned two sequels, including one on the Xbox 360 that used the Kinect and wasn’t that great. Steel Battalion would most assuredly fine a loving home on the PC. It does, after all, have games where you can literally fly an A-10 Thunderbolt or drive big rigs. Are giant robots too much of a stretch? I would hope not.

Yakuza series


Take the criminal sandbox genre and transplant it into modern-day Japan and you’ve got Yakuza, a primarily Playstation-exclusive game that follows characters steeped in the oft-mystifying culture of Japanese gangsters. Wildly popular in its native country, Yakuza currently spans 5 “core” series games, a handful of spin-offs, and a Wii U port. Its presence in the states is basically at the “cult-hit” level, though fans have been drawn in by its gritty story, hand-to-hand fighting, and its charmingly insistent use of faithful Japanese branding. Unfortunately, PC gaming is very unpopular in Japan, so a port is probably unlikely, but one can dream.

Zone of the Enders series


Konami is clearly behind the idea of porting their titles to PCs with their Metal Gear Solid V announcement, and their backlog is full of all sorts of morsels just waiting to be unleashed onto Steam – Zone of the Enders is one them. One of the few mecha games that aren’t Gundam adaptations, Zone of the Enders combines the genre’s classic bildungsroman war story with hack-and-slash combat. An HD Collection was released in 2012, showing that the series still had not been forgotten, and Kojima announced plans for a sequel built on the Fox Engine in 2013, though the project has since been put on hold. Metal Gear Solid V‘s use of the Fox Engine and upcoming presence on the PC implies that a new Zone of the Enders sequel could very well join it.

A common conversation we have about the newest console generation is its lack of enticing exclusive titles – games that we are interested in invariably come to or from the PC anyway, which means that there is little incentive to buy a new console for any particular game. The era of exclusive games seems to be fizzling out in a slow burn as more and more games are developed with multi-platform releases in mind. The only company who doesn’t seem to gasping for air in the exclusivity department is Nintendo, whose track record for first-party development in every generation has been absolutely impeccable. Is there room for a Wii U and a gaming PC in my home? Absolutely, provided Sony and Microsoft stop rehashing old indie titles and being, y’know, bad.

Kevin Kartanata[Friday Five] Five Console-to-PC Ports That Still Need to Happen