304: Evolution, Not Deviation

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It's why I love Super Mario Galaxy. Dragon Age 2. God of War. Donkey Kong Country Returns. The Assassins Creed titles where it's all about free running and stabbing dudes. The feel of the game, as the games I love. It's why I'm excited for the new Kirby, and the new Zelda. Because they are exactly how I know the games to feel, and they feel just like it. And I love them for it.

Scrumpmonkey:
Well the answer to this kind of IP confusion isobviously to make a new IP. But that defeats the object of the recognition of a brand. Therefore i think the safest thing to do it for gods sake Manage Expectation. If you are going to make a weird offshoot of your game make it obvious simply by the title; remove it from the main series like was done with things like Halo Wars. Right opf the bat people were told "This is not a main halo game, it is an RTS off-shoot", stil had thr halo brand but expectations were at least partyl managed.

Pretty much what I'm thinking. I'm sure Deus ex 2 [spits] was a good game if you had never played the original. I'm betting the new XCOM game [spits again] will be good if you like FPS games but to us X-Com fans its a piece of junk. I like burgers, I like pizza but if I order a burger and you bring me a pizza I will complain.

The two Deus Ex Games and the one pile of shit in the middle do show one good way to do sequels - keep the story, keep the universe but drop the main character. Die Hard 2 would have been at least 95% as good if it had been someone else playing a different character, possibly better. Heck, looking at the glut of superhero movies lately they show a prime example of why sequels can be worse - The fun part of Iron|Bat|Spider man 1 over 2 was that in 1 you get to see them develop from human to superhuman.

Saying all that, I never finished DAO and never played any of the DLC because I got to about 40 hours in and just got sick of the mechanics. I got sick of parking the mages in the rear, putting the fighters up front and clicking through the same sequence of abilities and such for each fight. This is also the main reason I haven't bought DA2, I got bored of the mechanics of the game.

It's probably worth noting in the article that the entire point of Metal Gear Solid 2 was to directly question why you were expecting what you were expecting.

That's 3 pages only to reach a very vague conclusion:

To make a sequel outside the comfort zone, beyond the "do the same thing, only bigger" attitude, you have to grab hold of what lies at the heart of a game property. And what lies at the heart isn't necessarily its mechanics, its characters, or its graphics. It can be, but every property is different. At the center of each game universe lurks a unique feel, a kernel of origin that, when maintained, can grow a whole separate game that still feels like a proper scion of the original.

The core gameplay mechanics should always remain. This isn't different for any property. If there's a story in the original, the story in the sequel should atleast be somewhat consistent in tone and lore to the first one.

This is not what makes a good sequel though and the question asked here isn't so relevant.
A good sequel can sometimes be nothing more than taking a good game and then making it even better, fixing the flaws in the original and doing more interesting things with the basic concept.

Most of the examples of failed sequels in this piece, didn't fail because they played it too safe or differed too much, but because the originals were better games.

I think that because of all the nonsensical rage on the internets, people are mixing arguments on why Dragon Age is not a worthy sequel. To me there`s nothing to do with the intimate story. Intimate story can be great, but DA2 story is flat and really goes nowhere. Dialogues are great, banter is great, but the story do not deliver a sense of accomplishment. I`m not talking about saving the world, but nothing you do matter much. And if you asked me what defines a Bioware game I would say that it is not that "the story is the game". What defines a Bioware game (story related) is choice. Without meaningful choices (or at least the illusion of), the game just feels wrong.

And I`m not talking about just dialogue choices. I mean choice of armour, choice of classes, choice of background, choice of companion`s roles, choice of tactics, choice of camera angle, I could go on.

Beyond that, DA2 was clearly a rushed project, with technical glitches and various design decisions that are there not to be different and bold, but to cut corners.

The fact that it is still a relativelly good game speaks volumes of Bioware talent, but it is definitely not a worthy sequel and would be much more accepted if it was released as Dragon Age: Kirkwall.

Good sequels: Portal 2, Baldur`s Gate2, Half-life 2, Team Fortress 2, X-com 2. Curiously, what they all have in common is "more of the same". They are just good games, tested, refined and polished conceptually. In my mind, that`s what a sequel should do. There`s plenty of room for inovation inside those boundaries.

A complete different take on the same universe is also welcome, but let`s be honest, this is just another game. A good example of this is the Oddworld series, with Stranger`s Wrath.

In other note: how come no one to this day is capable of doing a proper x-com sequel? Or even a proper rip-off for that matter.

Chuck Wendig:
Ah, but there's the rub. It's all well and good for an audience to appreciate the effort to bring something genuinely new to the table, but if they just spent sixty bucks on your game and feel cheated because the eighth iteration of Halo is a side-scrolling puzzle-RPG hybrid with Master Chief's 12-year-old daughter as the protagonist,

And yet that sounds pretty interesting doesn't it? If the master chief is bad ass, then by product of distillation his daughter should be fairly bad-ass still right? What kind of father is Master Chief, what kind of girl would he marry, what kind of person would he want his child to be? Would he want her to follow in his footsteps or live a life of peace, and how is she now forced to solve puzzles? Would he give his daughter a stupid name like Siennada? How many ways can we devise to hide the master chief's face tool-time style in her memories? Yes this entry solves so many questions about the Cheif it's surely the logical 8th entry for the Halo franchise.

So much rage and tears, so few bottles to contain it all.

Evolution is a funny thing. It allows bacteria, nature's innovators, to survive volcanic heat and metabolize substances toxic to most other forms of life. Apparently they can even exchange genetic information between one another, without having to reproduce. Yet it is, by its very definition, a series of slight deviations that typically only produce visible results over an extended period of time.

But that doesn't really have anything to do with the article. Maybe it's just me, but my view's always been that sequels should be judged on their own merit. Sequels, to me, aren't about the characters. If there aren't a bunch of unresolved plot points, then it's just as well that the characters get to live their lives.

However, the main reason I don't understand the sequel conundrum is this: sequels are made because people want them. People enjoyed the original, and want to enjoy it more. They want to see it grow, they want to watch it expand.

But then it doesn't go juuuust right, and they wonder why an inferior sequel would be made.

That thought, in and of itself, somewhat disturbs me. Largely because, unless it's a sequel in name only (different characters, different mechanics, different setting), people seem to be complaining about what a sequel is supposed to be. You don't stop doing something because it works. When an experiment has a successful result, you repeat it. You mainstream it.

When people first tried smelting techniques, and they worked, they kept on with it. When someone innovates at work, they get some extra money. Not because it was creative (or rather, the creativeness itself is not being rewarded), but because it worked (and because nobody else got exactly that).

It could easily be argued that I'm saying the exact same thing as Mr. Wendig: ideas must be constantly tweaked to continue improving. However, my main point is that a derivative of anything must be, by nature, similar to its predecessor. In his Ultima example, he said:

The series had its own wobbly missteps before this point (dinosaurs in Savage Empire, "plantamals" in Martian Dreams), but it wasn't until the seventh official sequel to the series that I felt like I was lost in the throes of some sour fever dream. "Where's my party?" I thought. No Iolo? Shamino? Dupre? Nary a glimpse of Britannia? The game had changed so much and disposed of so many of the series' staples that it was barely recognizable as an Ultima game at all.

Different mechanics, different characters, and a different setting. However, he later stated that:

The series that is beloved, with the Avatar and Britannia and all those crazy Virtues, is one that is itself born of a very different shift in the games early on. The first three games don't use the party mechanic and in fact don't follow the pursuits of the Avatar through Britannia at all. The first three (packaged under the name The Age of Darkness) follow the exploits of The Stranger as he routs an evil wizard from the land of Sosaria.

What, then, defines Ultima? Did VIII mark a return to the original vision of the series? Or did it take it into a third, previously unknown direction? Was it still close enough to hold the title of Ultima? Or should it have been considered an IP?

Evolution IS Deviation. It is the repitition of successful experiments and attempts to improve upon the results. There are many dead ends, many failures, and countless results thrown into the proverbial scrap heap. But a sequel is always an evolution, for evolution is not directional. There is no 'forward' or 'backward' for evolution. All that matters is what works. Survival of the fittest doesn't mean everything becomes an eagle, or a lion, or a human. Sometimes it makes mice, dodos, and a platypus.

And I sort of thought we were past judging children by their parents.

I think the message of this article is clear:

We really need to make a game "Star Nipples II: The Wombat Directive"

Chuck Wendig:

Fallout 3 feels like Fallout.

beema:
Oooh, I don't know about your Fallout 3 example. I mean, personally I agree with it, but I know there are a lot of people on here that will tell you you are completely f'ing insane for suggesting that, and that F3 is buffalo turd compared to 1 & 2.

[snip]

Fallout 3 doesn't feel even remotely like a Fallout game to me. That was it's greatest failure, in my mind. It meant that I had to judge F3 by its own merits, and quite frankly I thought it was a terrible game; literally I felt like it was Morrowind with guns. And I did not like Morrowind one bit.

I would have glazed over any number of faults, if it only felt like fallout, being the fanboy I was over the first two games.
I would rather see fewer sequels than trying to refine the sequels. There's nothing wrong with setting a separate game, with a different title, in the same game-world without slapping the entire idea of a franchise onto it. Or just carry over gameplay and mechanics to tell a different story, nothing wrong with that either.

It is my strong opinion that a sequel (as opposed to a spin-off) should only be done if the original story and progression didn't fit into one game -- ie it should be planned before the first game is made.

Personally, I only ever buy a sequel these days if I haven't played the previous game. One exception is if Blizzard publishes it. I bought SC2, I've already paid for my Diablo III Special Edition, and somehow I just know I won't be disappointed.

So for me, the backlash from all the dissapointments is that I generally don't buy sequels anymore. Unfortunately, that means I don't get many games at all anymore.

I agree with the general idea of the article even if I think it glosses over many of the common complaints with DA2. I personally loved the game but even I can see it was more than just an unfamiliar setting and character set as potential issues.

All told, though, the point the article makes is a very good one. If we are to treat games as an artistic entertainment medium, we need to stop thinking every single game with a certain name on the box has to be exactly the same as the last one. That doesn't always mean that simple refinement is a bad thing, but in so many cases these days the complaints about a certain game really do boil down to "It's not the same as the last game, so it sucks!" despite how the complainant frames it.

Games, unless being created on the same engine, take 2 to 3 years to make. That's a lot of time and effort put into bringing a singular vision to life. Should we honestly be expecting a developer to be rewarded by being forced to continually repeat that 2 to 3 years ad nauseum for the entirety of their careers? If you were pursuing an artistic end, would you want to do that?

While I can certainly see an acquiring of sentiment over a game series, particularly if it includes a lot of play time, gamers have to stop looking at buying a game as if it means putting a down payment on the sequel. There are so many previews, videos, reviews, etc. these days such that no gamer should ever be surprised by what they get as far as game mechanics go when they hit the start button. If something is looking like it may not be shaping up to be your cup of tea before it gets released then just don't buy it when it comes out. Wait to try it first, or wait until the price drops and you feel it's less of an investment. If players stopped feeling so entitled and just didn't buy games because they had a certain name on the box this issue would be a lot less of, well, an issue.

very funny and true.
like it!

JMeganSnow:
You bring up an interesting point about Dragon Age 2. Most of the people who seemed to dislike it the most were not big fans of the original game's setting/story, but liked the GAMEPLAY. (Gameplay in a Bioware game is usually not worth discussing even when they try to make improvements, at best, it manages to be only *slightly* annoying and repetitive.) And, yeah, DA2 had radically different gameplay. Or they liked some other cosmetic detail of the first game that was not reproduced in the sequel.

erm no. we liked the setting / story of Origins. On top of the outlandish combat arcade button awesome system they also put the entire thing in Kirkwall with a new main character and a new art / storytelling direction.

If we are going to see games as an artistic entertainment medium (emphasys on the entertainmment)then we must understand that, as in the movie industry, sequels are more about marketing than pure inovation.

Good sequels are always considered the ones that manages to please fans and, at the same time, bring something new to the table. If you are going to change too much you are not going to please the fans and will fail on arrival.

Sabrestar:
There were good ideas here, but I feel like the article spent the whole time asking questions, and then just tangentially tossed in a half-answer at the very end: "Oh, it's how it feels." I would have liked some actual investigation of that answer: so what is the feel of a game? How do you identify something so nebulous? How do you capture it again? How does it work differently for different kinds of games?

I think this article would have been dramatically improved by spending more time on the meat of the Question-and-Answer than on making long-winded 2600 jokes. It's a decent start and with more research and investigation, could be very good.

Same thoughts. General feeling started with "hm, this guy is trying hard to be funny", then followed by "OK, looks like he's starting to make a point", and then "what, is it already over?"

OT: While I agree that the success of a sequel depends heavily on "how it feels", you failed to note that sequels to successful games are often very polarizing. You say "DA2 worked because it kept the player in the same world and story, but Ultima VIII didn't because it was a dramatic departure from the previous games in terms of setting". And yet you say yourself that the previous departure in the Ultima series didn't change too much... Anyway, back to the point. You liked DA2. I liked DA2 and considered it a good game, despite some disappointment. But look no further than this very thread for a number of people who hate it with a passion. A similar situation occured with Ubisoft's Prince of Persia, when Arabian Nights-esque puzzle platformer Sands of Time was followed by Godsmack-sounding, darker and edgier combat-focused Warrior Within. Again, we had rave reviews from people who loved the new direction and shouts of "craptastic!" from others.

This sort of thing tends to happen with most sequels to critically-acclaimed games, yet you fail to consider that. And you wave away the "more of the same, only better" approach which brought us some of the best sequels we had, such as Age of Empires 2 or Civilization 2. Look at successful sequels which were a dramatic departure from the original games in terms of both gameplay and setting. Dune 2, for example.

I think another neat thing to do would be to look at the Command & Conquer series. The Tiberium games went for an ongoing storyline and minor gameplay improvements. Red Alert went for increasing wackiness and female character breast size while keeping core gameplay unchanged. Generals went for gameplay and setting changes and failed to establish itself as an IP. You have the same developer, experimenting with one series for years. Some of the sequels failed, some succeeded. Why not go for an in-depth analysis of that series?

As it stands, the article is too short, lacks any proper analysis and seems to end with a half-baked answer because the deadline was coming close.

Great article. I agree with pretty much everything except for one thing. You say the reason games like "Metroid Prime" work is that they have the same feel as the old ones. I would have to disagree, at least in most cases. I think the reason games like this are so widely accepted because when they changed they got more elaborate and complicated due to the advancing tech of the time.

For example, let's compare Super Mario 64 to Super Mario World. The only things that really stayed are the characters, and mario jumps a lot. The two games feel, in my opinion, completely different. However, I think it went over as well as it did because it was a clear advancement. You were in a big new 3d world that let you go wherever you wanted and the list of things mario was capable of doing easily tripled. It felt nothing like Mario World, but you didn't care because there was so much more to it.

I don't think creating a sequel like that is possible nowadays, because our tech has gotten to the point where we can make any character do anything anywhere. There's always room for improvement, but now that we don't have the same kind of limitations as before it's no longer a big deal when we overcome what minor ones remain. That is, until/unless gaming gets to the point where we're experiencing full on virtual realities rather than watching them through a tv screen.

zinho73:
If we are going to see games as an artistic entertainment medium (emphasys on the entertainmment)then we must understand that, as in the movie industry, sequels are more about marketing than pure inovation.

Good sequels are always considered the ones that manages to please fans and, at the same time, bring something new to the table. If you are going to change too much you are not going to please the fans and will fail on arrival.

Madkipz:

JMeganSnow:
You bring up an interesting point about Dragon Age 2. Most of the people who seemed to dislike it the most were not big fans of the original game's setting/story, but liked the GAMEPLAY. (Gameplay in a Bioware game is usually not worth discussing even when they try to make improvements, at best, it manages to be only *slightly* annoying and repetitive.) And, yeah, DA2 had radically different gameplay. Or they liked some other cosmetic detail of the first game that was not reproduced in the sequel.

erm no. we liked the setting / story of Origins. On top of the outlandish combat arcade button awesome system they also put the entire thing in Kirkwall with a new main character and a new art / storytelling direction.

Who's this "we"? And do you not understand the meaning of the word "most"?

There's a huge difference between what I did, i.e. discuss the game intensively for months on end on the Bioware forums with all the most dedicated fans/detractors and the actual developers of the game, and what you just did, which is to take your own opinion and declare yourself the spokesperson for a bunch of people who may or may not agree with you.

Most of the people on the Bioware forums complaining about changes were complaining about the gameplay changes. Some had issues with the way the story in DA2 was *presented* (I had some minor quibbles with this, nothing major). But by and large the people who were really into the overarching story/setting of Thedas really enjoyed DA2.

And then there were a few weirdos who quite liked the new combat system. As far as I'm concerned, I can take or leave either system. Both had tedious, repetitive combat. Gameplay has always been Bioware's weakest offering, partly because combat is pretty much the ONLY gameplay element in their games. They do have *occasional* puzzles but they are about as ingenious as that recurring Towers of Hanoi thing.

I'm liking the Facebook social thing. It reorganizes all of the comments into "pointless" and "thoughtful" categories.

Anyways, I feel like, while the idea here of taking more risks with sequels is a terrific idea, more effort should also be put into just making new franchises.
I mean, honestly, it just makes more sense. If you don't want to change too much because you're afraid of letting down fans, then just make a new damn franchise.

I played Diablo and wanted more. I got Diablo: Hellfire, which was "more of the same, and yet new stuff".

I played Diablo II and wanted more. I got Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, which again was more of the same, and yet gave new stuff.

I played Starcraft and wanted more. I got Starcraft: Brood War, which was more of the same and yet...new stuff.

I could say the same for Oblivion, Titan Quest, Guild Wars, Sins of a Solar Empire, and many other games. All of these games gave addons to the main game, which satisfied players that wanted more, yet didn't want the gameplay changed. Most also went and gained (or will gain) sequels which did change the gameplay in some form.

I think the problem is companies are focusing too much on popping the next sequel out the door to gain a buck, rather than giving people what they want, which is an expansion on the original game. I know for a fact that if a Diablo II expansion came out today, I would buy it, if it didn't change the gameplay. Companies can get away with technical upgrades (ie. supporting widescreen with an expansion, or High Def, or 3D, or better framerates, or better textures, etc.) as long as that affects both games. People get upset when the core gameplay changes. If that Diablo II sequel came out and allowed me to play from an over-the-shoulder perspective and a shooting mini-game sequence, I would be upset because these were features that were neither needed, nor wanted in an expansion.

Diablo III is going to come out with altered mechanics and gameplay to some degree that will be different from II, just like II was from the first game. But III will (hopefully) get expansions that will add on to that main story and allow longer play (and hopefully not just in DLC form...). But I'm sure that it won't change the gameplay radically enough to change the overall feel of the Diablo namesake.

With Dragon Age, yes it had DLC expanded story as well as Awakening, but none felt long, or substantial, and none seemed to add anything to the main game. There was no need to replay the game with new added content. Nothing really changed. Then Dragon Age II came out and it radically changed the gameplay and style from the first game, so much so that it doesn't feel like a sequel so much as an offshoot (think Final Fantasy Tactics to the main series).

Plus, with Bioware, they have a legacy to live up to, so to speak. Baldur's Gate spoke volumes to some people, and when they themselves referred to this new fantasy franchise as being the "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate...that set some expectations amongst the fans. The first one delivered well on that experience. Thus people were hoping for a more Baldur's Gate II approach to Dragon Age II...and were let down.

That's my take on it, and why I wish that companies would support their franchises and the fans that supported the games, rather than trying to capture a market that may or may not exist and alienating the fans that liked the game to begin with.

this reminds me of a quote I heard some time ago

*game comes out*
fans: awesome! make a sequel!
*sequel comes out*
fans: awesome! but it's kind of boring now, try making it different
*sequel comes out*
fans: JESUS CHRIST NOT THAT DIFFERENT

So we need sequels that make jumps from this..
image (Bioshock 1) under the sea

To this?
image (The real Bioshock 2) in the clouds

WELL ALRIGHT BRING IT!
4-5 year development cycles for something so new people think it's a different game. My favorite franchise of this gen. Love ya Irrational Games for taking these kind of moves. Just promise we we'll see Eleanor Lamb again later on in the Bioshock series preferably after this around 2017-19. That cliffhanger after Sea of Dreams was just too much :)

BIOSHOCK 3 (2018) on the surface?
image

*puts on Bioware fanboy hat*

I've never played Dragon Age 2, although I might rent it from the Red Box sometime. I'm hearing about changes in the exploration factor, and a "streamlining" of combat and places to go, and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that.

The reason for my Bioware fanboy hat being put on, however, is that I still, after more than a year, think the sequel that did the best job of changing things around, but still staying true to the experience of the original, is Mass Effect 2. Yes, the combat system was simplified. Yes, the weapons modifications were gone. Yes, there were fewer weapons to choose from. The characters were almost entirely different, with the exceptions of Garrus (one of the deepest characters in a game I've seen without that person being a main character) and Tali (who I have tried to picture suitless too often to seem normal).

But did it still feel like a Mass Effect game? Yes. The combat system, while slightly altered, still felt familiar to anyone who played the first game. The enemy was different this time around, but still had the epic feeling of a being that was around for a long time, and was far more powerful than the puny humans. The gunplay, and ammo, remained, although activated by different means. The level up system was altered, but not to the point of being unfamiliar. And most importantly, and this is why I didn't rush to the store day one to buy DA2 like I did for ME2 (hell, I preodered ME2, the only game I've ever done that for), the vast scale of the game was increased, whereas the opposite seems to have happened for DA2.

Mass Effect 2 changed a lot, but still kept the essentials needed to feel like a Mass Effect game. DA2 has also changed a lot, but in the process, has seemingly lost the core of what made Origins feel unique. And I truly do think that that is why ME2 has higher ratings from critics than ME, while the opposite has happened to DA2. Critics went in, expecting a Dragon Age game, but didn't really get one. Critics went into ME2 expecting a Mass Effect game, and received one with bonuses.

I have no problem with changes that improve the game. It's when devs blatantly change game-play to to appeal to a different audience over it's original fan base.

thebobmaster:
*puts on Bioware fanboy hat*

I've never played Dragon Age 2, although I might rent it from the Red Box sometime. I'm hearing about changes in the exploration factor, and a "streamlining" of combat and places to go, and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that.

The reason for my Bioware fanboy hat being put on, however, is that I still, after more than a year, think the sequel that did the best job of changing things around, but still staying true to the experience of the original, is Mass Effect 2. Yes, the combat system was simplified. Yes, the weapons modifications were gone. Yes, there were fewer weapons to choose from. The characters were almost entirely different, with the exceptions of Garrus (one of the deepest characters in a game I've seen without that person being a main character) and Tali (who I have tried to picture suitless too often to seem normal).

But did it still feel like a Mass Effect game? Yes. The combat system, while slightly altered, still felt familiar to anyone who played the first game. The enemy was different this time around, but still had the epic feeling of a being that was around for a long time, and was far more powerful than the puny humans. The gunplay, and ammo, remained, although activated by different means. The level up system was altered, but not to the point of being unfamiliar. And most importantly, and this is why I didn't rush to the store day one to buy DA2 like I did for ME2 (hell, I preodered ME2, the only game I've ever done that for), the vast scale of the game was increased, whereas the opposite seems to have happened for DA2.

Mass Effect 2 changed a lot, but still kept the essentials needed to feel like a Mass Effect game. DA2 has also changed a lot, but in the process, has seemingly lost the core of what made Origins feel unique. And I truly do think that that is why ME2 has higher ratings from critics than ME, while the opposite has happened to DA2. Critics went in, expecting a Dragon Age game, but didn't really get one. Critics went into ME2 expecting a Mass Effect game, and received one with bonuses.

You know, I'm thinking this. While I did like DA2, it just wasn't really Dragon Age, to me. Hell, if they had called it something different ("Varric's Chest-hair adventures"?) I doubt it would've have gotten near as much hate as it did. Also, it really wouldn't have killed them to make a few more maps...but that's neither here nor there.

The problem is there are some gamers out there who legitimately want to wait 1-3 years to play the same game, when the sequel arrives and it's not a carbon copy of the original they freak out and zero bomb the game on mecha-cricket claiming they've been betrayed.

Some of these people legitimately prefer Dragon Age: Awakenings to Dragon Age 2, and I'm thinking it's because of the art style changes seeing as how Awakenings had hilariously easy gameplay (accuracy and the archers end game gear conveniently located at the very beginning), a story that didn't really go anywhere at all and really poor characters (even oghren, who ties with the Dog and Sten in terms of how much I care about them).

It's a good point. Especially if you put some number on the end of a title, as in, a direct sequel, people expect generally the same gameplay. The problem is that you'll never, EVER find the balance between too similar and too different.

Dragon Age 2 being one of the extremes of too different and something like the recent CoD games being the extreme of too similar.

Even then you still have people saying that one or the other of those is better than the original. When you hit the extreme you'll tend to have maybe a half and half split. In an optimal sequel you'll probably have around a fourth saying it's too much the same, a fourth too different, and half saying it's better than the original.

The way I see it? Fuck the fanboys. Even me if I complain about something being too different because what I know it shit. What fanboys know is shit. What everybody know is shit except for the developers.

It's like you wanting to paint a picture and some random goy you don't know, who's a fan of paintings says you can't deviate from what's already been established.

I'm definitely an advocate of that theory. I often bring up my favorite game EVARR, Chrono Cross. Most people I know despise CC, despite never actually playing it. They either played for 10 minutes, realize that it wasn't a direct sequel to Trigger and rage-quit, or they just heard that it wasn't a direct sequel, and declared it terrible without ever playing the damn thing.

Edit: Ok, this is odd. Every time I post, the post doesn't show up. I try to post again, and the first post magically appears. Does this happen to anyone else?

It's easy: If you have a whole slew of ideas that make for an excellent game, make a new game out of it. Don't tack those changes onto a series that people otherwise really like.

For example, Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight was a pretty good game. But because they changed every iota of the series with this game (no resource-gathering, no base-building, leveling-up systems, character classes, unit caps, etc) it made a lot of people expecting a "Command & Conquer" game very disappointed.

It makes for a good "game", but not a good "Command & Conquer", if that makes any sense.

ronald1840:
BIOSHOCK 3 (2018) on the surface?
image

In spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

...I'd play a side scrolling puzzle RPG staring Master Chiefs daughter, mainly cause I know there'd be some back story as to how he got around the part where Spartans are steril.

JMeganSnow:
You bring up an interesting point about Dragon Age 2. Most of the people who seemed to dislike it the most were not big fans of the original game's setting/story, but liked the GAMEPLAY. (Gameplay in a Bioware game is usually not worth discussing even when they try to make improvements, at best, it manages to be only *slightly* annoying and repetitive.) And, yeah, DA2 had radically different gameplay. Or they liked some other cosmetic detail of the first game that was not reproduced in the sequel.

I wouldn't call it 'radically' different. Perhaps on the consoles, I wouldn't know, but on PC it's quite similar, only that it's better.

And yeah, people are afraid of change. It sucks, but that's the way it is.

Its more that when a game differs dramatically from it's predecessor the fans of the series get annoyed because they have invested the time into the previous copy, and been kinda dumped on the wayside by the developers with the sequel.

Kinda what a lot of fans of ME felt about ME2.

I'm torn on change. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. As much as I liked BioShock 2's ending and cast, I felt the changes in all other departments were poor. Instead of a good quality game, we ended up with a horrifically optimised game (With bloated specs), a poor/clumsy multiplayer and near-offensively poor PC DLC support.

On the other hand, I quite liked Far Cry 2. No, I lie. I enjoyed Far Cry 2 more than I did Far Cry. The level of 'sandbox' gameplay was really well done, in my opinion, and I just didn't have that many problems with the game itself. It suffered, though, because people expected another Far Cry game (Even after the panned spin-off titles), and FC2 was something completely different.

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