Excellent post Flatfingers. And groan now because I’m going to point up the obvious - much if not all of the ethos you describe was lacking in UA, not just iun the implementation (obvious) but in the various designs (less obvious). Social influencers, Feats, fizzy neon levers and all…need to go n the bin.
The worst thing the dev team for SS3 can do is look over their shoulder at what ‘expectations’ there are, ‘genre influences’, and the rest. Once you settle on an idea of your average player, you’re pretty much sunk. It’s a race to the bottom, with tick-lists a-plenty.
Also broad linearity needn’t be hampering…it can also be the solid foundations of a good game, and freeing. Defined limits to what’s possible allow expansion in other areas.
The SShock world is a blend of elements, much as UU was (and broadly similar in some ways). You need to keep the breadth of mechanics from the originals to have those foundations, and allow an increase in possibilities with new features (if there are to be any).
Btw, the Shodan evident in latest clip of NightDive’s remake makes the SS3 version look (and sound) a bit anodyne. I hope Otherside ups the ante here.
I also hope the AI is given a lot of attention. The new clip of SS3 doesn’t show anything meaningful, but is pretty enough. Otherside, given the history and alums, is always going to be judged on their gameplay, atmosphere, and sense of ‘world’.