Flawed game or games that could benefit the most from a sequel?

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#1 Posted by Castiel (3494 posts) -

We probably all have the one game or two that we like despite its flaws. Even though it might be a little rough around the edges we can see the potential there and still appreciate it despite of these rough edges.

Yet there is a part of you that thinks; if this game could just get a sequel they could take it from being an okay to good game with flaws to a great or maybe even amazing game.

I was recently replaying CounterSpy and while this game by no means is a masterpiece, I do enjoy it. It's a simple little stealth game with great style. But it just have a few things holding it back from going from an okay to a great little stealth game.

The game's biggest flaw is a lack of information. The game simply doesn't provide the player with enough information before you enter a new room. CounterSpy consists of randomly generated levels and each level has multiple rooms you need to go through. The rooms consists of a set number of layouts that the game randomly chooses between so no two play throughs are similar. In theory at least. This is another criticism I will come back to later.

A good stealth game provides the player with enough information so the player knows how they could potentially stealth their way through an area. You can make your plan in your head and try to execute it. You may not succeed of course. But if you do in fact succeed it's incredibly rewarding. As long as the rules of the game world are set up nice and clear and the game is good at giving you the necessary information.

What I try to say is this; if you do fail it should because you made a mistake as a player and you know why it didn't work. But if the plan fails because the game didn't provide you with enough information for you to pull of your plan... well then it's the game or in other words the developers that failed. The last example is frustrating instead of fun.

Since CounterSpy is a 2.5D side-scrolling game you can't really see that far ahead. If it was a 3D game you could easily see what awaits you further ahead in a room/area and plan your approach accordingly. Unfortunately there are often times where you enter a room in CounterSpy and before you can even reach the first cover point in that room you have been discovered by an enemy off screen. This then leads to a cover based shootout until the room is cleared. The shooting is not the game's strong suit.

This is a minor nuisance that sadly drags the experience down. It could easily be avoided if the game was better a providing me information about enemies ahead. Something the developers could easily fix if they made a sequel.

Second criticism is that there are not enough room layouts. The layouts very quickly begin to repeat and properly halfway through your first play through of the game you will know all the potential layouts the game has to offer. This is something that could also easily be fixed with a sequel. The game simply needs way more room layouts.

Too many of the levels, if not all of them, end in the same type of big open room with lots of guards that you simply need to shoot your way through. This is simply not fun. One because CounterSpy is not a great shooter and you die real quick. Two because it's too predictable. What's the point of having randomly generated levels if they all end the same way?

So these are some of the frustrations I have with CounterSpy. Yet I still appreciate and enjoy the game from time to time. Because it does feel fun when you successfully clear a room and find all the secret documents in that area. I just wish the game got a sequel that was better at providing the player with the necessary information and more varied in terms of level layouts.

I really didn't expect to write this much about CounterSpy.

TLDR; What flawed game, which you like, would most benefit from a sequel?

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#2 Posted by Sombre (512 posts) -

Half Life 2

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#3 Posted by Humanity (19044 posts) -

I really liked the 3D Bionic Commando reboot they did. It had a lot of cool mechanics and the swinging was fun. Would like to see them make another one with a bunch of cool new upgrades for the arm.

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#4 Posted by TheRealTurk (597 posts) -

The one's I can think of off the top of my head:

Matthew Rorie's Alpha Protocol: I really liked a ton of stuff they did with this game. The way the story branched was really fascinating and I liked the way that a ton of little actions ended up giving small perks to your character. Plus, modern day espionage is a really under-mined setting these days. If they could just make the shooting actually good and hammer out the bugs, I'd love to see another game in this vein.

L.A. Noire: I've been playing through the re-master and I still for the most part enjoy it, but I can definitely see areas where a sequel could improve. For one, the game kind of went off the rails in the second half when it started trying to focus on the overarching plot as opposed to case work. I'd love to see a new one be much more episodic rather than trying to shoehorn in a paint-by-numbers noir story on top of everything.

Also, they'd need to figure out a better conversation and evidence system, since a lot of times the responses didn't really make a ton of sense and there were definitely times where it had "Adventure Game Syndrome" with the "correct" evidence needing some leaps in logic to make sense.

I'd also ditch most of the driving around the city and street crime stuff. It was cool how they modeled L.A. in such detail, but they never really did anything with it, so it felt like a lot of wasted effort they could have spent in other places.

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#5 Posted by mezmero (3794 posts) -

I think [PROTOTYPE] is so close to being genuinely great if they only could find a tone to match the ridiculous possibilities of the gameplay. Like if they could reeeeally refine the mechanics and have a goofy narrative style that's halfway between Saints Row and The Toxic Crusader you'd have something really special. Fortunately Saints Row IV was made to satisfy that missed potential for the most part.

A recent one would be Vampyr obviously. Talk about flaws there are FLAWS in that game but holy cow does it do some interesting world building in what feels like a straight up Vampire The Masquerade campaign setting. Unfortunately it is messy both mechanically and technically so a sequel that polished this concept to a mirror sheen would be awesome.

For a number of reasons I don't think Horizon Zero Dawn is nearly as great as everyone says it is but a sequel could turn it into a genuinely amazing franchise. They just didn't quite nail it in the first game.

A sequel for Nuclear Throne could be terrific, just let a better studio than Vlambeer develop it.

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#6 Posted by FacelessVixen (2708 posts) -

Dragon's Dogma. Not that the original game is broken or anything, but imagine what Dragon's Dogma 2 could be on current hardware or on the next Xbox and PlayStation.

No Man's Sky: Just make No Man's Sky 2 more like Freelancer. Or, just make a significantly less hardcore version of Elite.

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy: ...Nah. Never mind. I like my weird-ass Deus Ex Human Revolution alternative. If anything, I'd just modernize the shooting mechanics since I'm not a huge fan of Source engine shooters from a gameplay standpoint. Half-Life fans, don't @ me.

Earth Defense Force: The games are kinda fun but the grind really gets to me after a while. Maybe EDF6 could benefit from Ubisoft's design blueprint, just for the sake of killing various bugs, robots and aliens without being interrupted by load screens, and skill trees for the potential to play as one overpowered character instead of leveling four classes or just sticking to one. There's a lot of potential for EDF to be more than what it is now.

Left Alive: Just make a modernized Front Mission already, be it turn based like Front Mission 3 or a better Front Mission Evolved.

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#7 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8956 posts) -

Omerta comes to mind pretty immediately. I loved the basics of the game and there was a rock solid foundation there, blending turn-based squad strategy like Jagged Alliance with a mafia city-builder. It was a bit simple at times and relied on some questionable archetypes, but the backbone of the game was really cool.

Arcanum, too. If you could smash out the bugs with a sequel while still keeping that great aesthetic and world-building, you'd have a remarkable game.

Freddy Pharkas. Ditch the annoying pharmaceutical mix-and-matching (or at the very least, ditch the gatekeeping to the rest of the game with some no-fail fun instead) and you'd have one of the better adventure games out there, particularly if it was a longer game.

Bulletstorm. Look, the kill with skill stuff was genuinely clever and hasn't really been done well since. Tighten up that story and make it a little less cringey, introduce more weird and over the top characters, and just have fun with it.

Rogue Galaxy/Dark Cloud - These games are fundamentally sound as hell, but after replaying Rogue Galaxy a while back, I'm reminded just how hard it is to play them without a guide at hand to make sure I don't fuck up weapon growth. Something that tightens up the dungeons (they're way too long) and makes it less punishing if you don't have the best loadouts at the end would go a long ways towards making a sequel more accessible.

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#8 Posted by Rahf (544 posts) -

@facelessvixen mentioned Freelancer and that's my sequel. I only have the nostalgic memories left of that game, but man was it cool for its time.

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#9 Posted by NTM (11904 posts) -

Ryse: Son of Rome and The Order: 1886.

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#10 Posted by Rigas (857 posts) -

I will always say Ring of Red for this. I don't know if it was a time and place thing, but I have never gotten what I got out of that game from anything else. I can't put my finger on it, but I would love more, even just a way to play it on a modern console. It's a PS2 Game, on PSN for PS3 in a territory I am not.

I would be happy to be able to play it easily instead of having to set up the PS2 for it again.

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#11 Posted by stantongrouse (243 posts) -

Generation Zero - Played quite a good chunk of that game, really enjoyed the opening handful of hours and couldn't quite see how it got such harsh criticism from the quick look and online reviews. Then, after a while, it became more apparent it was just theHunter: Call of the Wild reskinned, and all the frustrations of that game carried over. I think the idea behind the game is fantastic but the engine is less than great and the levelling system is taken from a grindy as hell walking game which doesn't really play well in an even more stealthy shooting walking sim. And just a bit more environmental diversity too. I get that it's set on a Swedish island and, like much of Europe, houses tend to have a very similar build design within a region but interior decoration can change drastically. In Generation Zero it's like one family owned every house and just moved from one to the other and needed everything in the same place.

A sequel with a bigger budget and using a better levelling system would be a blast.

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#12 Posted by Nodima (2654 posts) -

Fight Night: Champion was a genuine stroke of genius that bogged itself down just a bit too heavily with Punch-Out like mechanics in it's last set of fights. It was the perfect way to gin up interest in a boxing game for a sport that's otherwise heavily waned from the public interest, and the story was fairly unique as video game stories go, willing to take risks and tackle subjects like structural racism and cultures of violence. The game still looks incredible for a mid-cycle PS3/360 release too. I'll always imagine what a sequel to that game would've looked like, or what could've been possible if EA turned Fight Night into a sort of anthology series that told different stories through boxing every two or three years. It's a real shame that they've never circled back around on this one.

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#13 Posted by Castiel (3494 posts) -

@ntm said:

Ryse: Son of Rome and The Order: 1886.

The Order: 1886 is a good choice for this. There is so much potential for creating a cool and crazy game with a sequel. The original game was so, so disappointing.

Make it more open, go crazier with the weapons and don't take itself so serious.

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#14 Posted by fisk0 (6967 posts) -

Just about all of my favorite games tend to be stuff like this, but I suppose the first things that come to mind are Nightside, Achron, From Dust and Timeshift.

Nightside was an indie RTS that replaced the fog of war stuff with light, and being set on the pitch black dark side of a planet, having units and structures at as light sources became a pretty cool mechanic. A sequel incorporating the advances in light rendering (and of course path tracing on the high end of things), a better UI, more distinctive unit designs and that kind of stuff could be something really special. Sadly it seems like the developers closed down a few years ago.

Achron and Timeshift are both time traveling games which handled the mechanics in neat, though very different ways. Achron was the RTS that got a quick look about 9 years ago. Graphics and story were awful, but goddamn it has the most fascinating implementation of real-time time travel, essentailly you have a video editor timeline letting you skip one minute behind "actual time" as well as up to two minutes ahead, and send units back and forth between the time lines, so you can for example go back and prepare for a surprise attack that otherwise took out some important units.

Timeshift was less ambitious in this regard, being more of a traditional FPS with some time manipulation of enemies and objects, but handled it much better than Raven's later Singularity, and I'd love to see a sequel with a decent budget behind it.

From Dust was Éric Chahi's Populous homage, playing a bit like Populous: The Beginning with PS3 era graphics and some cool sand physics. I just want a sequel with much more of that, incorporating some of the biological cycle elements that were originally cut from the game as well as a bit deeper city building.

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#15 Posted by wollywoo (324 posts) -

FTL. The original was amazing, but it got repetitive after a while. I'd like to see them hire a bigger team and really go crazy with a sequel, with lots of wild new mechanics and surprises and a big visual upgrade. If they really wanted to be ambitious, they could have an open world in the style of Sunless Seas, with a fully-fleshed out story and world.

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#16 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

Shadows of the Damned

Alan Wake (I’d argue it’s flaws are limited-to-non-existent, but I know I’m in the minority)

General Chaos

WWE All-Stars (just fill it full of old timers and go again)

All Pro Football 2k8

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#17 Posted by frankiebeanz (383 posts) -


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#18 Posted by PeezMachine (486 posts) -

Borderlands. The Borderlands series contains some of my favorite games that I have to meet way more than halfway in just about every department, from writing to mechanics to quality of life, but it all feels like the kind of stuff that can be fixed. Much like the Sonic fan, I hold out hope that maybe they'll nail it next time, but they probably won't and I'll still probably play a bunch of it anyways. Or maybe I'll just be disappointed and slide back into Destiny 2.

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#20 Posted by Captain_Insano (3540 posts) -

@nutter said:

Alan Wake (I’d argue it’s flaws are limited-to-non-existent, but I know I’m in the minority)

I'm willing to die fighting on that hill right beside you. I loved Alan Wake, gameplay, world and story. The collectibles were frustrating but the nature of the book page ones was neat

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#21 Posted by Zeik (5240 posts) -

I think a modern take on .hack could be pretty cool. I don't think those old games hold up as well as I remember liking them in their day (both mechanically and narratively), but they had a lot cool ideas for their time and I think you could make something really interesting using modern internet technology. A fake MMO with actual online features to sell the illusion has potential, as well as a more modern take on the themes it tries to explore. Unfortunately I don't think it would turn out anything like I hope even if a new one were to happen, but I can dream.

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#22 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@captain_insano: Yeah, coffee thermos collecting was bad. It’s my only complaint a out that game.

The manuscript foreshadowing was an outstanding collectable, though! It added to the moment to moment story telling nicely.

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#23 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7691 posts) -

I think No Man's Sky needed to be flipped on ist head...or rethought.

Start on a planet...living with you aunt and uncle....you wnat to escape. [Bear with me it is not going where you think]

The basic premise is where you start is the only star system that is developed, matured. Once you have a ship and once you learn the ropes of exploring, mining, ship repair, trading and even a bit of raiding you are ready for the "procedurally generated" galaxy cluster. When you arrive at teh next star system; there are no space station, there are no trading posts, there are no other aliens flying around in ships. It is just you! YOU start the commerce/mining/building/manufacturing and trade ball rolling. You start off simple with just the tools and resources you came with in your ship. You build simple tools to make more complex tools, and those are used to builds bigger tools and biggers structures. Once you have established your foothold you send out a Trade Buoy that attracts "procedurally generated" traders. They come to trade with you, they come to mine youse=r system for a cut of teh profits - you make 5% off teh top of their profits. As you make money you can request a construction company come in and build a space station for you...it is YOUR trading post...or YOUR colony. As you build in amenities of trade, mining and settlements in yoru star system you make bigger profits that allow you to do more research and make more complex materials.

...or you can build and mine the minims and just move on from system to system like a college students backpacking through Europe. Ist up to you build and be capitalist, or fly around binge an exploring vagabond. Your cna spend hours in a star system and tell everyone or you can fly in and mine and make just what you need and move on...your choice.

And when you meet aliens, well you MEET them fully- you are immersed. You see their ships, you dock at their space stations, and if you walk around their planets you see their villages, towns and cities. Their star system are real places with an entre culture on them.

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#24 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

One big one for me is a spiritual or I guess if you really wanted, direct sequel to Rockstar's The Warriors. No game has done the 3D beat em up as well. Fights felt like real chaos and groups coming together to fight felt like an honest rumble. The multiplayer was bare bones but even very good.

I think you could do so much now with co-op and multiplayer of different kinds, bigger levels, more diversity, and even more scale. It's really pretty crazy no game has come out trying to be a spiritual successor by now.


I will also suggest Jagged Alliance 2. I know they've made a bunch of bastardized JA games but I mean a real honest update to the JA 2 formula. Also pretty crazy it hasn't happend to me, although JA 2 is really a crazy complicated game. But as XCOM was updated for the reboot I think there's plenty that could be done there.


I would like more Fight Night games, a bigger and better sequel to Renegade Ops, a new street brawling AKI style wrestler like Def Jam Fight for NY (I'll take a rap one again but i'd take any theming I could get), and I'd love a new Freedom Fighters game.

@facelessvixen said:

Dragon's Dogma. Not that the original game is broken or anything, but imagine what Dragon's Dogma 2 could be on current hardware or on the next Xbox and PlayStation.

Yup. The first game has all kinds of issues but alongside such strengths.

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#25 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

@zinadoll said:
@ntm said:

Ryse: Son of Rome and The Order: 1886.

Yet there is a part of you that thinks; if this game could just get a sequel they could take it from being an okay to good game with flaws to a great or maybe even amazing game.

In defense of these answers I would point to Uncharted 1 which is as good as either one of those games, and Uncharted 2 which is amazing.