Game sequels and reboots are great. They usually manage to add a brush of color to the original games. Unfortunately, sequels are like a double-edged sword: they can either be great, totally managing to revamp an entire series, or they can be awful. Note that not all sequels have to be bad. In fact, there are some classic game reboots which are actually better than the original games. (Looking at you, Tomb Raider.)
Here’s our list of five game sequels that should have been good, but something went completely wrong in how they were developed and received.
Duke Nukem Forever
Everybody knows and loves Duke Nukem — the intergalactic hero who saves the day while eating pizza and gulping down a plateful of steroids. The best game in the Duke Nukem series apart from the platformers is undoubtedly Duke Nukem 3D.
In fact, it had all the stuff it needed to pass for a great shooter: stunning graphical system, way ahead of its time, great gameplay and an awesome plot. Plus, there were Duke’s humorous remarks that added that kick to the game.
Well, long story short, the developers wanted to revamp the story of the King of all Heroes, who loves pizza, booze, steroids and…“companionship”. The result: a not so witty remake entitled Duke Nukem Forever that was filled with gritty jokes, bad voice-acting, predictable boss battles, more booze, more steroids and more oversexualized female companions that are willing to do anything for Duke.
Duke Nukem Forever should have been the comeback of a classic, but, unfortunately, it managed to make players believe that what is dead should stay dead and buried.
Black Mesa, Half-Like 1 Remake
Half-Life One was undoubtedly one of the wittiest sci-fi first person shooters ever made. You don’t play Half-Life One for the graphics, you do it for the amazing story and gameplay. And with everyone going berserk over the upcoming Half-Life 3, Valve has begun to feel the pressure.
What to do to appease the fans of the franchise? Reboot the original Half-Life, of course. Long before Black Mesa hit the market, the developers boasted that the game is more than a reboot.
Black Mesa should have been a sequel to the original series, acting as a middleman on behalf of Half-Life One and Half-Life 3. The game should have answered a couple of questions regarding what happened to Gordon before he escaped Black Mesa.
Well, it seems that Black Mesa ultimately defined itself as an HD remasterization of the original game and nothing else. We have the same dialogues, the same episodes, puzzles, weapons, and foes. Nothing has changed.
It’s great to play an HD version of a classic game, but how about a little something for the fans of the franchise? Needless to say that there are players who are more willing to wait for another year or two for Half-Life 3 or play the original game, rather than download the remastered version.
Medal of Honor 2010
Medal of Honor was, without a doubt, one of the most stunning World War 2 inspired games franchise. Regarding gameplay, Allied Assault and its expansion packs were quite good, because unlike the COD franchise, players had to put some effort into completing the missions.
MOHA fans will surely remember the frustration behind the sniper assignment or all those missions where you had to use stealth.
The 2010 version of the MOHA was supposed to be the cornerstone of the entire franchise. This means that the player will not be stepping into the boots of a runt armed with a Garand rifle, but in the boots of a modern soldier, armed with all sorts of crazy weapons, who operates in all kind of war theaters.
MOHA 2010 was indeed disappointing in any aspect conceivable: poor graphics, no optimization, short mission, bad voice-acting, incredibly inefficient HUD display system, tough controls and the list goes on.
On the subject of Word-War 2-related video games, we cannot go any further without talking about the Wolfenstein franchise. Wolf 3D was, in many regards, way ahead of its time. You name it; Wolf 3D had it all.
As it happens, the tale of B.J Blaskovitz was far too awesome to let go, and so Return to Castle Wolfenstein was born. Regarding gameplay, story and graphics, we can clearly state the RCW was as fresh and original as the first game.
And then came the 2009 sequel. Why was it so disappointing? Because an open-world approach is not always a recipe for success. And the Veil? Harnessing power from the other side? Mutants? Monsters? We think the developers could’ve done a better job.
War for the Overworld
Remember the Dungeon Keeper franchise, aka the game that actually let you played the role of a vicious underworld ruler? Strategy games were always a good niche, but Dungeon Keeper went well beyond than strategy.
Up till now, DK 2 is probably the only game out there that managed to horse around with multiple genres and style which, surprisingly could have combined.
And then came War for the Overworld — or what happens when the evil ruler wanted to extend its reach to the surface. The game could have been great in every regard. Instead, we are stuck with a rip off after the DK universe, which utterly fails to recapture that gritty atmosphere.
What other sequels didn’t live up to your expectations or gave a bad name to their classic franchises? Let me know down in the comments.