You know, time after time, there comes a game which has a really amazing concept but the gameplay falls short of amazing, even though you can see its potential. Today, I will be looking at some games that were really ambitious but they either, didn’t sell well or were not polished in terms of gameplay. It is games like these that I really wish, developers would take another chance with and try to release a better sequel or prequel… or even reboot them entirely.
When Alone in the Dark came out in 2008, the game was pretty much, obscure to many gamers, and those that had seen the technical showcase of the game were impressed, including me. The game had almost-realistic physics and a very special fire handling mechanic. Fire ate through materials like wood in real time, and it changed the structure of gameplay. Same thing was with breaking wooden doors and bending the metal ones. They actually reacted to the impact of the blow by your melee weapon, which can be anything from a trash can to a baseball bat. It was without a doubt a real cool feature. But, what really gave it distinction and made it feel like a true survival horror game was the item combining mechanism, where you could combine items you pick up for clever and devastating effects. For example, you could get an oil pack or bottle, pierce it with knife, wrap it in double sided tape and throw it at walls or enemies, so that it sticks on them, leaving a leaking trail behind. You can then of course, light that trail with fire and watch it rush to the container and make it explode. You actually had to think about how to get out of different situations. This really prompted the player to use his or her environment to their own advantages. You could even electrocute water by throwing a sparking cable line it. The final thing that was amazing, but flawed was the driving mechanic. It had some really cool scripted events, that really pumped your adrenaline.
Unfortunately, the game had many bugs and gameplay problems, which garnered bad reviews for the title. It was a fun game, whatever they showcased really worked but it didn’t form up to be a very polished game. Fortunately though, it left its mark with perhaps, one of gamings most amazing soundtrack that has innovative vocals and distinct melodic work by Olivier Deriviere. If you haven’t yet, I really implore you to listen to the soundtrack as it is definitely a good experience. Anyways, after the release of the PC and Xbox 360 versions, an improved and enhanced edition was released for the PS3, entitled “Inferno”. It fixed most of the bugs and improved the camera work by introducing a free camera rotation mechanic. However, it still wasn’t enough to bring it back from bad reviews and the game remained unpopular.
Another game that was really ambitious is “Legendary”. Legendary had a setting unlike any other fps, and it made use of famous mythical events and monsters to better accommodate the games story and setting. The games story was said to be really good, and the gameplay was promised to be frantic and exciting with legendary battles. However, the game did not deliver…You see, even though the game had amazing battles, huge monsters and a good story, it felt rushed and unpolished. The developers just hadn’t given enough time for the story or gameplay to develop. It sometimes didn’t work the way it was supposed to and at times the gameplay didn’t make sense. The gameplay, however, was still fun due to the epic fights and exciting music. In fact, if you hurry, you can buy this game for a mere pound off of steam, and that is a price that is worth to pay for this little gem.
Lastly, Bionic Commando. The TPS reimaging of the retro hit had an amazing setting and fun gameplay mechanics. It still baffles me as to why it flunked so bad. Everything worked the way it was supposed to, but yes, I agree that they could have made the game more open and engaging by giving more depth to the main character, who honestly, is one of the most generic character I know of. Still, the game had amazing potential, and I would love to see it made again. It was definitely fun.
You see, it is games like these that show so much potential but fall short by the end. It really makes me wish that developers would take another chance with their games, make a better version by improving their mistakes and keeping their success. Just think how amazing games like Dark Void, Alone in the Dark, Bionic Commando or Legendary be, if they were done right and better polished. These games were definitely fun and could use another chance! Developers should learn to take better risks then churn out generic games if they want these genres to succeed! Which games do you think deserve another chance?
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