Worst Video Games That Ruined Their Whole Franchise
Publishers continue to release new games, it doesn’t mean their audiences will mindlessly gnaw on any old bone that’s thrown their way. In fact, over the years we’ve seen new entries into once earth-shattering franchises kill entire series’ dead, completely burning bridges with fans for good.
Dead Space 3
For a few years around the late 2000s and early 2010s EA was a viscous butcher of a company. Chasing the Call of Duty dollar, the company attempted to retrofit all of their popular franchises to be more in line with what was perceived as being popular at the time.
Unfortunately for the developers of Dead Space, this meant the claustrophobic and isolating franchise was made to incorporate more explosive action set-pieces and a co-op campaign, in order to gain a broader appeal.
While EA expected the changes to push the series to even greater heights, what players ended up with was a sequel that was suffering something of an identity crisis. Not succeeding as a straight-up shooter and also lacking the chills to make for a great horror experience, by trying to appeal to everyone Dead Space 3 appealed to nobody.
Which is a shame, because everyone except EA themselves could see this result coming from a mile off. Resident Evil had already gone down the exact same route, and everyone knows how well a radical shift turned out for that series…
A cult PC favourite, the Thief series and its hardcore stealth system never quite broke into the mainstream in the way many hoped it would. And although the first few releases became underground sensations, a couple of dodgy later titles ensured that the franchise was always going to be confined to its niche fandom.
But Thief 2014 was an attempt to right the sins of these later misfires and finally give the franchise the big push it deserved. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a grand return to form ended up as just another unremarkable drop in the gaming bucket as far as players were concerned.
Another case of a franchise losing its unique spark in the pursuit of mass appeal, even at a time when there wasn’t much at all to play on next-gen consoles, nobody could bring themselves to sit down and trudge through Thief’s incredibly lacklustre stealth gameplay.
A wonky map system and a mundane narrative didn’t do much to entice players to hang around either, and as result the sequel was probably one of the first big regrets of early next-gen adopters.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Say what you will about Mass Effect 3, but at least it had a vision. I mean, you can argue that the vision was stupid, but there’s no denying the game stuck to its guns and told the story it wanted to tell.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has no such vision.
Attempting to reboot the franchise in a new direction, the latest Bioware RPG gave players a more open, less focused experienced that was frequently bogged down by monotonous resource gathering, fetch-quests and cover-hugging combat.
Truthfully, Andromeda is a mess, and it’s clear that the team just threw every idea at the wall in the hope that something would stick instead of attempting to carve out a solid focus for this uninspired sequel. It makes for a gaming experience that’s simply spinning its wheels and biding its time, stripped of all the inspiration and ambition that made the original trilogy so memorable.
So forget the laughable animations you’ve heard all about because Andromeda’s problems are more than skin-deep – they’re rotten to the core.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Assassin’s Creed: Unity wasn’t the final game in the time-jumping series before Ubisoft announced its hiatus, but it was certainly the one that all but forced the company’s hand to shift gears and take the title off its annual release schedule.
Famously mocked for a shocking amount of bugs upon first release, Unity was a crystallisation of everything wrong with Assassin’s Creed at the time. Featuring a giant sandbox with nothing to do in it, dated animations and gameplay and an utterly forgetful story – even without the bugs this penultimate release would have been the final straw for fans of the franchise.
But it’s even more frustrating because Syndicate, the game released after this train-wreck, was actually something of a return to form. As a result not only is Unity’s biggest crime that it effectively sealed the series’ fate going forward, but that it actually put fans off playing the genuinely good game that followed it.
It might be an unpopular opinion, but Halo 4 was a such a breath of fresh air for Microsoft’s flagship first-person shooter series.
Sure, it didn’t do too much to progress the franchise’s core mechanics, but with a more cinematic – and more personal – main narrative, the game did a great job of kickstarting a new trilogy in Bungie’s absence.
Sadly, with Halo 5, developers at 343 Studios weren’t able to capitalise on that potential.
Giving players one of the most muddled and insubstantial stories in the entire franchise, the game’s narrative problems weren’t helped by misleading trailers that sold fans a completely different premise to what they eventually got.
A botched multiplayer component that promoted in-game purchases didn’t stop fans from feeling burned either, and as a result, it seems as though players are just feeling a bit fed up with Halo these days. We’ll no doubt be getting more information on the finale to 343’s trilogy once the Scorpio hits this fall, but whether anyone will be interested in sticking around to see out the conclusion to its end is an entirely different story.
Another series that never quite found the mainstream success it deserved, the original two Mafia games were some of the most underrated releases of the last generation. Telling brilliant interconnected gangster tales, the titles were revered for their storytelling but failed to achieve mass appeal because of their relative lack of variety when compared to other sandbox releases at the time: namely two little games called Grand Theft Auto III and IV.
Taking the criticisms about their barren open worlds on the chin, Mafia III attempted to give players what the developers thought they wanted, implementing a whole host of side content, collectables and additional missions to complement the main narrative.
Sadly, by the time they got around to including these time-consuming distractions players had already gotten sick of this type of uninspired padding, and Mafia III was ripped apart when it released last year.
And it didn’t help that the title felt like two completely different games smashed together, either. The narrative itself was excellent, but the open world activities the sequel had you completing might as well have been created by a different team, lacking the quality and the polish of the title’s cutscenes and voice acting
Source – Whatculture
#Worst Video Games That Ruined Their Whole Franchise