Bad games are released all the time, but simply being bad doesn’t have the same impact as dashing the hopes of gamers because a game is expected to outdo its predecessor. Game sequels can either be a blessing in disguise or a nasty infection on an otherwise good series. Here are the most disappointing ones we’ve seen in gaming history so far.
10. Deus Ex: Invisible War
Deus Ex was a tough act to follow but fans probably would have been content with a game that at least came somewhat close to the quality of it. Invisible War didn’t even make it that far. It took the formula from the original, threw out most of the important aspects and condensed what remained into a simpler shell of what it used to be. The result was a fun-sized Deus Ex that lacked the depth and intellect that came with the original. Ammo was universal, loading screens were frequent, the game ran horribly on the best computers despite having relatively low quality visuals and the depth of the game was overall much less than its predecessor. Invisible War would have probably stood on its own as a new IP just fine, but since it was supposed to be the successor to a game so far beyond its league like Deus Ex, it had no hope of ever being well accepted by fans as a sequel.
9. Splinter Cell: Conviction
The co-op in Conviction was surprisingly good, but the campaign that followed yet another chapter in the adventures of Sam Fisher was surprisingly anything but. It attempted to follow the same stealth focused gameplay of the series but would abruptly interrupt itself with misplaced action sequences where Fisher suddenly became Rambo instead of relying on his usually arsenal of training. It was a game of firepower instead of a game of outsmarting the enemy. This was a vast departure from what made great Splinter Cell games like Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory so good.
8. Tony Hawk: Ride
Although not exactly disappointing for many considering most fans gave up on the Tony Hawk series long ago, this is still one of the best examples in gaming history of taking a failing franchise and making it even worse. Fans wanted a return to the original gameplay that made the THPS series good in its earlier days, but instead they gave us a game with horrible camera angles, slow paced skating and a barely functioning mini skateboard to control it all. If that wasn’t bad enough, they made a sequel to this using the same controller and mechanics. It took them until now to realize they should simply remake the original THPS games with a new engine and HD visuals.
7. Crysis 2
Crysis 2 on its own wasn’t a terrible game, but trying to pass off all the changes it made from the original as somehow an improvement was not a bet the developers were about to win. Stripping away all of the fun elements of tactical killing, exploration and vast landscapes from the original left this game as just another rail shooter. The suit powers were more of a cheat or gimmick than an actual mechanic necessary to accomplish tasks. Not to mention, you could build a statue of Gabe Newell with the cases of all the games that have taken place in New York City, with this one resting on top. Crysis gave us a taste of something unique and innovative in the FPS genre for the first time in a while, but Crysis 2 dropped that sentiment entirely.
6. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Remember Banjo-Threeie? No, it wasn’t just some photoshopped cover art or a rumor. Banjo-Threeie was to be the third installment in the beloved Banjo-Kazooie platformer series and in the days of the N64 this was comparable to the announcement of games like Halo Reach today. However, it was eventually tanked and it wasn’t until 2008 that Rare announced yet another third installment that was in development. Little did we know this would come in the form of a badly built non-platformer focused around building vehicles that didn’t even maintain the original aesthetic of its predecessors. This is one game that didn’t need to be exist.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Although this was the Call of Duty that, in the eyes of many fans, perfected the gameplay they enjoy today, it was also the game that put the final nail in the coffin for fans of the older CoD games. With its lack of dedicated servers and modding support, booster and hacker ridden gameplay, noob pandering arsenal, broken spawn system and overall failure to live up to the standard that CoD 4 put in place, this went down in history as the game that ruined Call of Duty for many long time fans.
4. Metroid: Other M
This looked to be the ultimate Metroid game by many standards since it combined elements from every great Metroid series together in one awesome package. It didn’t necessarily fail at doing this, but what fans didn’t expect was a poorly written and clunky storyline about Samus’ past slapped onto it. A past that portrayed her as some kind of wimpy tomboy who couldn’t handle her own and broke down over the stupidest and most insignificant issues. This wasn’t anything close to the Samus fans had grown to love; who was always able to break out of the gender roles female protagonists often fell into. It was offensively misplaced and it made this the Metroid game fans wanted to forget about.
3. Far Cry 2
Selling the Far Cry IP to Ubisoft Montreal was one of the worst things Crytek could have done with the franchise. The original Far Cry had a cult following and after four years of waiting for a proper sequel, they were met with something that neither resembled Far Cry nor had proper execution of the mechanics it tried to introduce. Functioning like a clunky version of ArmA while still trying to be an action shooter, this was just about the worst way to follow up an awesome game like Far Cry. This is one franchise that would have been better off left as a solo game.
2. Dragon Age 2
This game barely resembled the acclaimed Dragon Age: Origins that preceded it and not in a good way either. With all the changes they made from the original, it’s no wonder Bioware lost many long time fans with this game and attracted an all new breed of drones that preferred the watered down combat system. It took the overall enthralling storyline, characters and gameplay from Origins and turned it into ‘relationship manager 2011′; an abysmal excuse for an RPG written by a staff that contained people who weren’t even gamers. This was the first big indicator of how far Bioware had fallen since their acquisition by EA. If we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that the second game of any series with potential seems cursed to be bad.
1. Duke Nukem Forever
Yeah, yeah, we all know Duke Nukem Forever fell far from what it could have been, but that only means it was a bad game. What makes it one of the worst sequels ever is the fact that it followed a great series of games and it failed to live up to it in many ways. The Duke Nukem series in its prime had a large fanbase and even larger community of modders. When DNF came out, it didn’t cater at all to this audience it had maintained despite there being no games in the series for years. It wasn’t so much a slap in the face as much as it was simply a jumbled development mess that had a low chance of ever turning out great.
That might disqualify it from being disappointing technically, but when everyone wanted one last hurrah for a classic game character, the last thing they expected was the absolute worst iteration of that they could have been given. The fourteen year development time might have sounded promising to some gamers, but boy were they ever wrong. What it lacked in alien butt-kicking, it made up for in poop throwing. Some vaporware is meant to stay dead.