Stop Going Backwards

Have you ever played a game and thought it was absolutely fantastic? There was so much that you loved about it. Maybe it even had features or elements not seen in any other game. You felt that it was a huge step forward and were happy to be a fan of it... happy to talk to people about it... happy to spread the love and get others to check it out...

And then they make a sequel and take out features. Take out features?!?

Why would anyone take out things that made the previous version so unique and interesting? I can list example upon example of this, but the most recent would be Red Faction: Armageddon. I loved Red Faction: Guerilla. It had so many aspects that kept me playing and playing and even having a hard time deciding whether to continue with the campaign or level up in multiplayer. Here is a list of things I enjoyed so much about it:

- Not over the shoulder third person view
- Sandbox environment on a planet we all know and love
- Jetpacks
- Human vs. human conflict (A government/civil type war)
- Hammer time
- Competitive multiplayer
- Messing around with friends in competitive multiplayer creating funny situations using the physics engine and weapons
- Basically doing that for hours in all different ways... You know, not even really doing the objectives... just messing around having a super blast.

That is just a handful of things that I had so much fun doing. I literally spent hours just messing around in the world. Obviously, that is part of the whole sandbox environment. Now let's get to things that were changed for the sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon:

- Everything

Yes, the shooter/sci-fi genre is already very saturated, but Red Faction: Guerilla was something fresh. It did so many things to stand out. Now with Armageddon, it's basically an uninspired Gears of War copy. They are going backwards by trying to cash in on a game that came out five years ago, but this time they aren't even bothering adding anything to it.

I downloaded the demo yesterday, played it, and then deleted it. The original demo for Guerilla, I put hours into just messing around. Now I'm stuck in a tunnel with only one way to go. There is no room for destruction. What is the point of having such a fantastic physics engine if there is no room to use it? The scale of Guerilla was perfect. There are large buildings that could be completely demolished. Now, I can shoot a barrel or knock over some stairs. That's going backwards!

There was an interview in EGM where one of the producers said again and again, "We listened to the fans. They didn't like this, so we changed it. They didn't like that, so we changed it." It was all stuff that fans I know ENJOYED. I sent them a Twitter message about that. They said, "We didn't change everything. Just a few small things." That statement is half right. They did change a few small things, but they also changed everything around those small things... which would be, everything.

Oh, and another game I loved that kept taking stuff out? Burnout. In the first one, you could edit and create videos of all your crashes. In the second one, you could just watch replays (but not save them). In the third, nothing... There were other things as well. Leaderboards had best at everything; longest jump, longest drift, most flips, etc. Now it's just fastest time. Also, they took out the world renowned Crash mode (where you had to cause the most destruction).

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by adamazing

Have you ever played a game and thought it was absolutely fantastic? There was so much that you loved about it. Maybe it even had features or elements not seen in any other game. You felt that it was a huge step forward and were happy to be a fan of it... happy to talk to people about it... happy to spread the love and get others to check it out...

And then they make a sequel and take out features. Take out features?!?

Why would anyone take out things that made the previous version so unique and interesting? I can list example upon example of this, but the most recent would be Red Faction: Armageddon. I loved Red Faction: Guerilla. It had so many aspects that kept me playing and playing and even having a hard time deciding whether to continue with the campaign or level up in multiplayer. Here is a list of things I enjoyed so much about it:

- Not over the shoulder third person view
- Sandbox environment on a planet we all know and love
- Jetpacks
- Human vs. human conflict (A government/civil type war)
- Hammer time
- Competitive multiplayer
- Messing around with friends in competitive multiplayer creating funny situations using the physics engine and weapons
- Basically doing that for hours in all different ways... You know, not even really doing the objectives... just messing around having a super blast.

That is just a handful of things that I had so much fun doing. I literally spent hours just messing around in the world. Obviously, that is part of the whole sandbox environment. Now let's get to things that were changed for the sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon:

- Everything

Yes, the shooter/sci-fi genre is already very saturated, but Red Faction: Guerilla was something fresh. It did so many things to stand out. Now with Armageddon, it's basically an uninspired Gears of War copy. They are going backwards by trying to cash in on a game that came out five years ago, but this time they aren't even bothering adding anything to it.

I downloaded the demo yesterday, played it, and then deleted it. The original demo for Guerilla, I put hours into just messing around. Now I'm stuck in a tunnel with only one way to go. There is no room for destruction. What is the point of having such a fantastic physics engine if there is no room to use it? The scale of Guerilla was perfect. There are large buildings that could be completely demolished. Now, I can shoot a barrel or knock over some stairs. That's going backwards!

There was an interview in EGM where one of the producers said again and again, "We listened to the fans. They didn't like this, so we changed it. They didn't like that, so we changed it." It was all stuff that fans I know ENJOYED. I sent them a Twitter message about that. They said, "We didn't change everything. Just a few small things." That statement is half right. They did change a few small things, but they also changed everything around those small things... which would be, everything.

Oh, and another game I loved that kept taking stuff out? Burnout. In the first one, you could edit and create videos of all your crashes. In the second one, you could just watch replays (but not save them). In the third, nothing... There were other things as well. Leaderboards had best at everything; longest jump, longest drift, most flips, etc. Now it's just fastest time. Also, they took out the world renowned Crash mode (where you had to cause the most destruction).

Posted by Hecqubus
Small point on your Burnout point.. Burnout Paradise did have a crash mode, press both bumpers next time you play. ^>^
Posted by laserbolts
@Hecqubus While it did have crash mode I don't think it was near as fun as in the previous games. This is my opinion but I think that's really the only step backwards paradise made.
Posted by buzz_clik

Fable III, anyone?

Moderator
Posted by EVO

Red Faction 2 was also a disappointing departure from the original.

Posted by Green_Incarnate

Probably because of critics complaining about open world side quests being bad? My guess.

Posted by RoyCampbell

When Armageddon was announced and said to have ditched the open world sandbox of Guerrilla in exchange for a linear third person shooter, I and many people knew it wasn't going to be good. The destruction technology is quite fun, but to restrict it to a linear corridor/cave shooter... what were they thinking?
 
Like Jeff said though, Guerrilla wasn't perfect either. It was rough in spots but it's for damn sure not what Armageddon is.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@buzz_clik said:

Fable II, anyone?
Black and White 2, anyone?
Syndicate Wars, anyone?

Molyneaux'd it for you.

Posted by adamazing
@laserbolts
@Hecqubus: 

It didn't have "Crash Mode."  It had "Showtime."  I do understand why you bring it up... but... While Showtime still had you starting a crash as well as racking up damage money, it wasn't a dedicated mode that had scenarios set up.  There was really no challenge or goal that kept me trying, like Crash Mode always did.  I didn't find myself caring to try it after a few times.
Posted by Shadow71

Yeah, this game truly does feel a step back for me as well, its just not the same taking down buildings when your in very claustrophobic environments. The big thing I wish the game had was destroying terrain in the same way the original Red Faction had. I loved when I would miss with a rocket launcher and see a big crater in the red rock.

Posted by StingingVelvet
@RoyCampbell said:
When Armageddon was announced and said to have ditched the open world sandbox of Guerrilla in exchange for a linear third person shooter, I and many people knew it wasn't going to be good. The destruction technology is quite fun, but to restrict it to a linear corridor/cave shooter... what were they thinking?
Linear games are better than open-world games in many ways.  Since this series was linear the first two times it's not really that odd to go linear again the fourth time.  Honestly Guerrilla was more the aberration, not this game.  I could see this thread making sense if open-world games were automatically better than linear ones but that is not the case.  Maybe it is the case for the OP, but that's an opinion and not a fact.  I love open-world RPGs but for shooters and action games I tend to prefer a more linear game.  I am enjoying Armageddon more than Guerrilla at the moment and while I never finished Guerrilla or even got that far into it I know I will finish Armageddon.  It's a different strokes for different folks situation, frankly.
 
And the OP mentions sci-fi shooters are common... are they?  Maybe the console library is different right now but on the PC I don't recall shooting aliens in a straight-up shooter since Prey came out.  Maybe I am forgetting some games but it seems like 90% of shooters right now are about shooting humans, not aliens, and mostly doing so on Earth.
Posted by Superfriend

My thoughts on Armageddon exactly. To be fair, I didn´t play the whole game, but judging from the demo and the mediocre-bad reviews I don´t really want to.
Guerilla was such a great game. And I would have been fine with a by-the-numbers sequel (read: bigger-better open world destruction).
 
Take this lesson, developers: DON´t listen to all the crap some "fans" will write in your forums. If you know you had a good thing and people liked it, don´t listen to a bunch of whiners on forums and even in the reviews. If you know you can improve upon your game, then by all means: DO IT. Don´t try to appease everyone. That will never work (a good life lesson too)