Try imagining a world where Snake Eater had been released as “Metal Gear Solid: Origins.” Or perhaps Sons of Liberty as “Revelations”. How would this affect the way we think of these games? Sure, everything about the actual game experience would be the same (mechanics, story, etc.) and these subtitles would be relevant to each game (Snake Eater is the earliest game in the series chronologically, and some crazy shit goes down in Sons of Liberty.) But I think that a small, yet important part of the game’s identity would be missing. Seen only in text, nothing about these subtitles make these games stand out from the rest.
So then, why do games keep getting these horribly generic one-word subtitles? Origins, Revelations, Chronicles, Revenge, Bloodlines, Awakening, Reckoning, the list goes on and on.
People are going to say it’s because of marketing/focus group testing, but if that’s the truth then I think these marketers are misguided. Because as much as Assassin’s Creed: Origins might relate to the beginnings of whatever larger narrative is going on in that series, I think most people, when they hear about a new Assassin’s Creed game, want to know where it takes place more than anything else. Under this logic, it seems like Assassin’s Creed: Egypt is the obvious choice. It tells the consumer everything they need to know.
I’d love to know other people’s thoughts on this. What are some other examples of horribly generic/over-used video game subtitles? Or alternatively, what are some of your favorite video game subtitles?