Video Game Letdowns - Worst Sequels or Missing Sequels List...
There are some games that are so good, I just can't understand how the developer screwed up the sequel or why the industry never made room for a sequel. This list is my top 10 selections for games that either needed a sequel or a better one than what there was. This list is in alphabetical order.
10. Army of Two (2 Sequels)
The first game had a small number of missions but each was discrete and had a unique environment to explore. The AGGRO exploit mechanic was novel. The sequels to this game had mission levels that seemed to go on too long or the areas just blended together too much. The Rios-Salem relationship got dry and then later those two main characters were basically replaced with two uninteresting mercenary characters. Points systems and upgrades in the sequels took away from the enjoyable simplicity of the original.
9. Crackdown (1 Sequel)
The first game had a huge map with three totally different environments with unique sets of buildings and physical geography. The bosses had tons of personality and it mattered when you tried to take one of them out. The sequel took a small element from the first game and made it dominant in the second - the genetic freaks. In the first game, the freaks emanated from Dr. Chernenko's lab complex. The sequel focused the whole game on wiping out the freaks who emerged from nodes across the city that had to be destroyed. The gameplay was unbelievably repetitive and there were no interesting characters in the form of bosses. The Agency verbally harassing the player to complete tasks got irritating very quickly.
8. Def Jam Fight For NY (1 Sequel; 1 Prequel)
This second game (Def Jam Vendetta was the first) had an engaging narrative for a fighting game. There was the ability to upgrade your character's fighting style and moves while he could be customized with a unique set of clothes, jewelry, tattoos, haircuts and other accessories. The game was loaded with real rap stars doing the voice work for their video game character equivalents. Snoop Dogg made for a compelling villain and final boss. The fighting mechanics were straightforward to learn and master. Def Jam Icon was the sequel and a complete mess. Despite the graphics being upgraded, the story wasn't worth engaging in and the fighting mechanics were married with the musical track playing during the fight. Fighting is about reaction, but the game introduced two layers of action (NPC and music track) discombobulating most gamers who couldn't reason through how one reaction was going to counter two semi-simultaneous actions. It just wasn't worth fighting through the confusion to settle into the game. The perspective of the game had tighter tracking on the character and the game basically became like a boxing game which made for highly restrictive movement compared to Fight for NY.
7. Flashback (1 Sequel; 1 Remake)
The first game was a 2D game with comic book style graphics and aesthetics. The story was compelling and the environments exemplified the New Bad Future theme. The playable character sneaks around underground worlds seeking personal freedom. As the quest progresses, the character learns more about his past and true identity. The sequel is almost unplayable for the crumby mid-90s, 3D graphics alone.
6. Star Wars Force Unleashed (1 Sequel)
The first game had lush environments, a compelling hero who had to choose light or dark side affiliation and who got to battle with Darth Vader! The controls were straightforward and there was an emphasis on nuanced use of the Force. Light saber battling was fluid. The sequel is so plodding that it is difficult to even progress to see if it gets any better.
5. Gun (No Sequel)
The first game had one of the best narratives in shooter games. There was an exemplary line up of Hollywood stars for voicework and a superb soundtrack by Chris Lennertz. The controls were straightforward, the bosses were challenging and interesting while there were a series of side quests to undertake when exploring a fairly large map. The villains are described based on how much they have been corrupted by a tainted treasure of gold in the mountains. Both Native and non-Native characters in the game were a mix of spiritually corrupt and natural. The natural characters were loyal to the main character and the corrupted were enemies. This even-handed treatment didn't stop fascist pinkoism from rearing its disgustingly deformed little noggin. This political mumbo-jumbo may be what has held up the proposed sequel. What a shame. And really, what is more fascist than misrepresenting people to spare feelings? You harm those people who can't live up to the hype and you destroy history and render your generation a joke to future generations who figure out how to unravel the bullshit. Are Natives not susceptible to corruption by virtue of the fact that Imperialist Europeans weren't too kind in moving in to the vast land not converted for Agrarian civilization? Of course, they are. If the point is that all people are the same and equal... then let that be represented. Same goes for racist accusation of African representation in Resident Evil 5. Someone needs to gag fascist pinkoism as a philosophy - it is based in irrational, illogical hogwash - and it is ruining our world, our society and our culture.
4. Muppets Party Cruise (No Direct Sequel)
On a lighter note, Muppets Party Cruise is pretty much the best party game ever made. The game is a series of boards that are played similarly to standard board games. Players use Muppet characters as players and battle to control the doors on the ship. Each door corresponds to a different mini-game and there are a few dozen mini-games. Most of the mini-games are a lot of fun with only a couple of exceptions and almost all of the mini-games are creative reworkings of classic arcade games and NES games highlighting challenges over basic game mechanic mastery. There are several Muppet character video games in existence, but no official sequel to Party Cruise. It is much needed for the new generation of consoles.
3. The Punisher (No Sequel)
This game has the same developer as the Saints Row series, so I suppose the sequel never happened because Volition is super busy with a very successful game franchise. However, The Punisher was an excellent shooter that had total authenticity with the comic books (truly rare in all audio-visual adaptations for comic books). There were excellent bosses like Kingpin, Bushwacker and Bulleye, fun cameos by Iron Man and Daredevil and suitable allies for particular missions (Black Widow and Nick Fury). Each level is a different mission and almost all missions are in unique environments. The game has a compelling story as well as a challenging upgrade system. Volition should take the Punisher formula and apply it to either a Daredevil or Wolverine game.
2. Star Wars Republic Commando (No Sequel)
Likely for some pathetic political reason where a couple of big whigs weren't having their egos rubbed the right way, the sequel to Republic Commando got cancelled. This is a major problem for LucasArts who seem to think that they are god's gift to science fiction media. Meanwhile, they have conveniently forgotten that for decades, Hollywood has worked hard to crush talented storytellers from ever getting their science fiction works supported and available. The Hollywood brats are in fact the Hollywood bastards and history will soon need to reflect that fact. That aside, Republic Commando only had a few worlds to explore but each was splayed out in an interesting way and all three missions had worthy end goals. The squad of four Republic clone, special forces soldiers was memorable and the player was granted the ability to set their squadmates in strategic positions. Controls were easy to master and the main rifle had three useful attachments.
1. Spartan: Total Warrior (No Direct Sequel)
The developer, Creative Assembly, have focused on PC games and most of their console games are more suitable for PC based on UI, mechanics and gameplay. However, Spartan stands out as truly exceptional. The game has a compelling story set in a unique ancient world that blends real history with mythology. The hero is a sympathetic character and his allies are also congenial and worthy of fighting for. The villains are quite evil and Ares is an epic final boss. The controls are straightforward and easy to master. There are four unique weapons to use and each has a powerful special attack. The game is a hack-and-slash and features battles with hundreds of enemies. The missions map the progress of a quest across ancient territories in the Roman Empire and the finale is set at the Colosseum in Rome. Creative Assembly did attempt a sequel and it is quite playable at first. This time the ancient era is focused on the Viking Norsemen, however, the narrative is not as compelling, the characters are not as interesting, and the missions are very repetitive and tedious.