8 Video Games That Almost Ruined A Franchise

8 Video Games That Almost Ruined A Franchise

Sometimes developers jump the shark when they make a video game.

Here are 8 times that it almost destroyed a franchise!

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Pretty much this whole list are games that ended franchises, not "almost ruined" them. That's a big difference there.

Ehh, having ET on this is kinda weird since its not a gaming franchise, also Quake 4 was decent. Not as good as the other ones but it was still pretty decent. It was less of a departure than Doom 3 was.

1) Can't comment, but I'm iffy about the idea that an installment in a franchise being nothing like previous installments is a "ruiner" or "inherently bad."

2) Case in point. Perfect Dark Zero isn't a bad game because it's nothing like its predecessor (though that helps). It's bad because it's bad (or, more specifically, the control feels awkward, the characters are bland, the story is bland, etc.)

3) Can't comment.

4) Kill it with fire!

...though I am a bit more sympathetic to Tiberian Twilight than others, considering the budget and time constraints the devs were reportedly under.

5) Can't comment

6) Can't comment

7) Can't comment

8) Can't comment, but don't think this counts as almost ruining a franchise per se.

You made this list, but didn't include Gears of War: Judgement or Halo: Reach/Halo 4?

I mean, for chrissake's Reach is solely the game that ended Halo's reign over the console shooter marker and allowed CoD to get the foothold it has today, got Halo kicked out of MLG/GB circuit and almost completely out of competitive play. Halo 4 almost put the series in the ground completely.

Huh, so that's what happened to the Red Faction series..
I remember the short and intense hype preceding the release of the first game.
Despite not living up to the "entirely destructible environment" schtick, it was an okay game.

Also..there was a Quake 4??
Well, made for console though..not surprising I've not heard of it, and why it failed on the PC then.

Paragon Fury:
You made this list, but didn't include Gears of War: Judgement or Halo: Reach/Halo 4?

I mean, for chrissake's Reach is solely the game that ended Halo's reign over the console shooter marker and allowed CoD to get the foothold it has today, got Halo kicked out of MLG/GB circuit and almost completely out of competitive play. Halo 4 almost put the series in the ground completely.

I wouldn't count any of them as franchise ruiners, not even Halo 4.

Halo: Reach is actually my second favourite Halo game, and Judgement is simply average. As much as I dislike Halo 4, it didn't flop critically or commercially. I can't comment on the e-sports scene, but that's not really a comment on the state of the franchise.

If this is "almost", what's "outright"?

And why isn't Supreme Commander 2 on the list?

It had what Duke Nukem 3d had, but with a sequel, especially one that we've been waiting for this long, we want more than what the previous game provided. This one was just updated graphics and lots of nudity and even that wasn't enough to make it enjoyable.

Actually, no, it didn't have what Duke 3D had, since Duke 3D had very open and imaginative levels with lots of weapons and enemies, while Forever was downright claustrophobic and had that stupid two gun limit. Also, the much maligned humor of Forever wasn't the same as it was in Duke 3D, it was actually far, far worse, the game overall was much more immature than Duke 3D, which is quite an achievement. For example, in Duke 3D even Duke never had a single joke at the expense of female captives. All they said was "Kill me" and all Duke could say when stumbling across a roomful of them was "This really pisses me off". And the game encouraged you not to kill them, since doing so would immediately spawn enemies to punish you. Forever does nothing to punish you for killing them (which they never ask you to do) and has that stupid "Looks like you're... fucked" moment in it.
Forever was a lot of things, but one thing that it wasn't, contrary to what the game journalists would like you to believe, is "just Duke Nukem 3D with updated graphics". No, if it was that, it'd been awesome. It's not awesome. It's quite bad.

Vendor-Lazarus:
Huh, so that's what happened to the Red Faction series..
I remember the short and intense hype preceding the release of the first game.
Despite not living up to the "entirely destructible environment" schtick, it was an okay game.

Also..there was a Quake 4??
Well, made for console though..not surprising I've not heard of it, and why it failed on the PC then.

Quake 4 is actually a pretty good game with one of the most brutal cutscenes I've ever seen. The controls can be fixed and the graphics for some reason require a simple fix as well, still though it's a solid FPS.

Zontar:
And why isn't Supreme Commander 2 on the list?

I second Supreme Commander 2's nomination and would have it replace Quake 4 on the list.

Worgen:
Ehh, having ET on this is kinda weird since its not a gaming franchise, also Quake 4 was decent. Not as good as the other ones but it was still pretty decent. It was less of a departure than Doom 3 was.

Xan Krieger:
Quake 4 is actually a pretty good game with one of the most brutal cutscenes I've ever seen. The controls can be fixed and the graphics for some reason require a simple fix as well, still though it's a solid FPS.

I thought Quake 4 was an awesome game. I found the controls rather snappy and the action not sluggish at all. I played it on hardest, you have to time your dodges and movements pretty well to survive. Quake 4 didn't get a very good rap though I have no idea why. In fact I just replayed it a couple months ago, and I quite like the enemies and the pacing. The mech sections can be a bit of a pain though.

The cutscenes were awesome. First time I actually grimaced at what was happening to the player, I mean this stuff for it's time was pretty damn extreme. Not many other FPS games come close to it, in fact none other than horror games such as Outlast or Manhunt have I felt the same. I don't know about the graphics though, but it ran flawlessly on my work/travel laptop with only Intel graphics, so no complaints there.

OT: Command & Conquer 4 did it for me as well, the locking off of units felt so out of place and ridiculous, plus many of the missions just started to feel like...work. I can't quite place why, just seems like a lot of 'features' seemed there for arbitrary stress rather than an actual enjoyable challenge. Re-routing power around turrets in a half conked-out base got old pretty quick, and I haven't touched many RTS's since then (except DoW 2, that game's the bomb shit)

JohnnyDelRay:
Command & Conquer 4 did it for me as well, the locking off of units felt so out of place and ridiculous, plus many of the missions just started to feel like...work. I can't quite place why, just seems like a lot of 'features' seemed there for arbitrary stress rather than an actual enjoyable challenge. Re-routing power around turrets in a half conked-out base got old pretty quick, and I haven't touched many RTS's since then (except DoW 2, that game's the bomb shit)

I think I only made it 5 or 6 missions in to C&C 4's Nod campaign. The mission that caused me to quit the game was the one where you had to shoot down a GDI carrier as it made several passes over the map. It was impossible to complete without assistance. I uninstalled it, and went back to playing C&C 2 and 3.

(btw, DoW2 was a tactical rpg, not a true RTS)

008Zulu:
I think I only made it 5 or 6 missions in to C&C 4's Nod campaign. The mission that caused me to quit the game was the one where you had to shoot down a GDI carrier as it made several passes over the map. It was impossible to complete without assistance. I uninstalled it, and went back to playing C&C 2 and 3.

(btw, DoW2 was a tactical rpg, not a true RTS)

You would've absolutely hated Nod's final mission, then. Granted, I did both campaigns on Easy, but it was still stupid.
Initially, the mission starts out okay, you have two allies who are helping you gain control of the TCN Nodes, complete alignment, blah, blah, blah. GDI then deploys a new experimental carrier, which destroys both your allies' crawlers, leaving you to take on this flying behemoth alone. It has powerful weapons, will periodically land to call in infantry reinforcements to take the TCN Nodes from you. At some point some GDI Archangel repair ships are called in (because fuck you, that's why) and need to be taken out before too much of your progress is undone. I believe the easiest time I had with it was because I had played against AI enough to level up Nod completely so I had every single unit and upgrade available to me, so I had a shielded Tech 3 Defense Crawler churning out Reapers and Devouts.

C&C4 was not a bad game, in my opinion, it was a bad Command and Conquer game, however. The leveling system was a fucking stupid idea, and would lead you to be utterly useless in multiplayer, because even the AI had everything available to them from the start. It honestly wouldn't have left such a bad taste in my mouth if it was anything other than a Command and Conquer game, especially as it was the (utterly stupid) final chapter of the Tiberium series.

Supreme Commander 2 definitely deserves a spot here. They ditched the previous story, only paying lip service to it, and simplified the game into the ground, and I'm still pissed they got rid of the Aeon's fucking navy.

I don't think Duke Nukem "ruined" it, I think it outright murdered the franchise.

I have played maybe 20 minutes of Armageddon and it was... okay. I was just distracted by more engaging games. I didn't even play that much of Guerrilla because some of the required 'optional' stuff was too difficult for me somehow. I had to take down a patrolling convoy and just getting there had me completely out of ammo and explosives.

The Duke Nukem Franchise was already pretty much dead by the time Duke Nukem Forever finally came out.

It was either the waiting for Duke Nukem Forever that killed the Duke Nukem franchise, or the game itself.
And E.T. on the Atari didn't just nearly kill it's own company, it almost killed the whole American side of the industry!

008Zulu:

JohnnyDelRay:
Command & Conquer 4 did it for me as well, the locking off of units felt so out of place and ridiculous, plus many of the missions just started to feel like...work. I can't quite place why, just seems like a lot of 'features' seemed there for arbitrary stress rather than an actual enjoyable challenge. Re-routing power around turrets in a half conked-out base got old pretty quick, and I haven't touched many RTS's since then (except DoW 2, that game's the bomb shit)

I think I only made it 5 or 6 missions in to C&C 4's Nod campaign. The mission that caused me to quit the game was the one where you had to shoot down a GDI carrier as it made several passes over the map. It was impossible to complete without assistance. I uninstalled it, and went back to playing C&C 2 and 3.

(btw, DoW2 was a tactical rpg, not a true RTS)

I made the mistake of pre-ordering it, so I had the beta. So when it came out I couldn't even play it past the first mission, because everything else in it was so bad. The main problem is that CNC4 was supposed to be a free to play Asian-Market game to break into the competitive scene, and they were trying to ape off of DoW2 with the limited bases. Command and Conquer is a strategy game darnit!

Darth_Payn:
It was either the waiting for Duke Nukem Forever that killed the Duke Nukem franchise, or the game itself.
And E.T. on the Atari didn't just nearly kill it's own company, it almost killed the whole American side of the industry!

E.T. really wasn't the culprit. It was a factor, but there was so much else wrong with that era of gaming... Back then it was a combination of a flooded console market, inflation, home PC gaming rising and the rise of 3rd party development. It needed to happen to force growth and put in place standards.
But yeah, ET didn't help things either.
Nowadays people make it out like a crash would do wonders for the industry but the times are different and a crash this time around could hurt more than help.

The last two entries on this list don't belong there. The Duke Nukem franchise was pretty much already dead; the Forever release was if anything a proof that the franchise can still be viable(it is my understanding that it sold okayish). ET is not a franchise; it's a movie-tie-in video game!

I think Tropico 2 could be on this list. They made one game about running a banana republic in during the Cold War; it was well received. They made a sequel and abandoned all of that to focus on a pirate theme. As a result, the Tropico 2 dev Frog City Software was dismantled, the franchise lay dormant for 6 years until Haemimont took it over, ignoring Tropico 2 entirely, and are now going strong with Tropico 3, 4 & 5. Neither of which have strayed far from the original formula.

Was Perfect Dark Zero considered ugly for the time?

I mean, looking at screenshots I guess it does look pretty bad today, but for some reason I remember trying the game out on a 360 that a friend of my father brought over and thinking it looked really good.

And what a shame for the FEAR series...Fear 3 tried so fucking hard for mass appeal that it homogenized itself into non-existance. I remember a very, very brief excitment of online play, and then *poof* nothing.

... I actually liked Perfect Dark Zero...

image

Also, it seems to me that most of these killed their series.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Other M on this list.

And ET wasn't a franchise, it was an IP.

I'm quite surprised that Deus ex: Invisible war isn't on there. The backlash from the fans were pretty hard.

DeliveryGodNoah:
Was Perfect Dark Zero considered ugly for the time?

I mean, looking at screenshots I guess it does look pretty bad today, but for some reason I remember trying the game out on a 360 that a friend of my father brought over and thinking it looked really good.

It didnt look bad, people were praising its visuals with all those glows and reflections, but it also wasnt good looking enough as about a year latter it was enough to start to look bad. Basicly it aged badly.
image
Look at that rock ceiling, its all reflective and has normal mapping and stuff, plus that dynamic lighting, cool shit that was new at the time but in the end, after that tech became standard and more well refined, it looks ugly as fuck here.

soren7550:
... I actually liked Perfect Dark Zero...

I liked it too, the missions had that old school structure and the multiplayer had bots. But the gameplay was rather mediocre, and over time it just feels worse to play, so clunky.

All Duke Nukem Forever did was prove people aren't into crude sexist action heroes like Duke as much anymore. The game had everything any fan of Duke Nukem would expect to see out of a Duke Nukem game. The two weapon rule is really the only actual issue the game had, it's a good enough FPS as it is. It's much more that attitudes have changed quite a bit since Duke's heyday than anything wrong with the game itself, the unrealistic expectations after so long in development didn't help either. DNF would have gone over a lot better if it had been released around the time of the other games in the series.

 

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