Cult games that didn’t become TV series
Sometimes the continuation does not follow…
Today, no one is surprised by video games, which are originally conceived as full-fledged series. Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Dragon Age — these names have long been on everyone’s lips and are, in General, well-deserved popularity. However, this was not always the case. If you dig into the back streets of game stores, you can easily find a lot of high-quality projects that, contrary to fairly high estimates in the press, have not turned into a venerable franchise with a dozen sequels behind them. Today we will talk about just such games — diamonds that remain one – on-one with time.
Games from Pandemic Studios at the time of their release was extremely difficult to call something truly outstanding. Rather, it is a product of its own era: high-quality enough not to go to the burial ground of sales after the first week after the start, but at the same time inferior to direct competitors.
A stealth action movie called the Saboteur can rightly be called the Studio’s Swan song. In this project, Pandemic employees gave their best. The main thing is, of course, a great visual style. There is hardly a person who does not appreciate the charm of Noir Paris, captured by Nazi soldiers. Black and white gamma, Irish hero, sexy British intelligence officer in assistants. Stamp on stamp and stamp drives, but HOW these stamps are made! In a word, our respect. And we haven’t talked about the gameplay yet, and it’s very good here. The combination of stealth and action, chases and shootouts-all this is “almost like in GTA”, but thinner and more elegant stylistically.
Unfortunately, the Saboteur never got a sequel. The reason is simple: Pandemic Studios simply closed. The company has become another victim of EA. But it could be a very good series. But … not fate. In any case, the game about occupied France has rightfully gone down in history as an action movie that managed to show the Second world war from a completely different side.
There is a very impressive story associated with the name Americana McGee. His first named project — Those Alice adventures-turned out to be a hell of a good one. But then everything went wrong, to put it mildly. Bad Day L. A., Grimm, the controversial Madness Returns — one release is more ambiguous than the other. And somewhere in the middle of this creative path, Scrapland — an ingenious parody of the consumer society-got stuck.
In the story, the main character, a robot named Ditritus, became a journalist on a space station called Chimera, entirely populated by tin cans. A series of events leads the character to his own investigation. And here events begin to rush at the speed of a sports car.
In Scrapland, Americana and MercurySteam studios (later they will create two parts of Castlevania: Lords of the Shadow-approx.ed) it turned out to perfectly convey the atmosphere of what is happening. Noir notes, interesting situations, flying in cars-all this perfectly fit into the overall outline of the plot. Alas, despite good ratings from the world press and gamers, Scrapland did not get a continuation, and remained an author’s project. Although, maybe it’s for the best. Who knows what would have happened if the game had moved to the conveyor rails.
L. A. Noire
Rockstar Games can be proud of its creative endeavors. At the beginning of the century, Americans managed to shock the public. Bloody Manhunt, boundless Warriors, unusual Red Dead Revolver and simply mind-blowing Bully. And not a word about Grand Theft Auto — this series is considered a living legend of the entertainment industry by default. But today, all the lights will be directed to L. A. Noire-perhaps one of the best interactive detectives that have ever been released on consoles and PC.
Being an interesting reinterpretation of the classic “quests”, L. A. Noire managed to tell a really interesting story. The main character of the game — police officer Cole Phelps-gets the badge of a detective can be said by chance. Starting from the bottom (as a patrolman), he gets to the top of the career ladder, investigating murders, arson and the activities of Hollywood bigwigs. All this is under the direct control of the gamer. The game feature is the interrogation mode. Few people have not heard about the local facial animation, which is good not only for the time of the game’s release, but also will give odds to many modern projects. Alas, the development and application of the latest technologies, together with many prominent actors, made themselves felt: L. A. Noire did not pay off. There was no sequel. But the project has rightfully entered the history of the video game industry.
It just so happened that today FromSoftware developers associate one terribly popular series of hardcore Action / RPG for true connoisseurs of the genre. Being insanely complex, Dark Souls (and Demon’s Souls, and Bloodborne, and even Sekiro) sets really interesting tasks for a person. To survive in a world full of monsters, blackness, and decay is something else fun for the strong-minded. Plus the inscription “you are dead” and total hopelessness in everything that concerns “ease of understanding and being”. Miyazaki’s team (not what beautiful cartoons do for the whole family) literally created a modern phenomenon that was written to wither after the very first game.
However, this did not happen. Something else happened. Yes, the modern gamer knows FromSoftware from the Souls-cycle, but this team has just a wonderful… Ninja Blade on its account. Created exclusively for Microsoft platforms (Xbox 360 and Windows), it was supposed to be a real gift for fans of ninja fighters of the 80’s. Well, you remember it all very well. Worn-out VHS tapes, nasal translations, interference on the tape from the fact that it was copied by literally the whole yard-from an over-aged uncle-engineer to a school bully.
Ninja Blade is trying to get those emotions back, and it does it to a certain extent. Unlike some Ninja Gaiden from Team Ninja, this project does not try to drive the hell out of its complexity, but allows you to visit the skin of a nimble ninja. We go and destroy opponents, watch cool cut scenes, participate in them (QTE) – the recipe is known. But instead of Ninja Blade 2, the Studio focused on completely new projects. It seems that we will not see a sequel. I want to.
Just above, we already talked about one of the most amazing games released by Rockstar Games as a publisher. Now we will talk about a product that was created by the team of “rock stars” – a story that managed to put an end to the eternal theme of”school hooliganism”. Bully is a story about the growing up of a bully named Jimmy Hopkins. Once in a closed Academy for “difficult” teenagers, Jimmy realizes that in the next 12 months, he will literally have to survive. Bullies harass nerds, and those-pitching football players. In turn, the proud owners of green vests and glasses with thick diopters sincerely want to avenge the humiliation. And then there’s the gym teacher asking Jimmy to sneak into the women’s Dorm and steal the Schoolgirls underwear…
In General, you understand. Bully is a social satire that makes fun of the modern (at the time of the project’s release) school system in all fields. Appearing for the first time in 2006 on the PlayStation 2, this game has caused a storm of outrage from the defenders of morality, which had forgotten that anger need not satire itself, but on the object it ridicules. Gameplay is the same game was a kind of GTA in miniature. Only without killing and with a more compact world. Plus the ability to go to lessons and sometimes just frostbitten tasks. Later, Bully was ported to the Xbox 360 and other current platforms, providing additional quests. And more recently, the adventures of a bully came to smartphones. That’s just the sequel did not happen. Why-a mystery, covered with darkness to this day. We’re waiting. Hope. Believe.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
The fate of the company Ninja Theory is difficult to envy. The thing is that until recently, these certainly talented developers were not able to launch any continuation of their games. Created exclusively for the PlayStation, Heavenly Sword remained hanging as a “dead goose” in the platform’s library. About an excellent restart of DmC: Devil May Cry now even Capcom prefers not to remember. The curse was able to remove the game, which is essentially a technodemka facial animation-Hellblade. The second part will be an exclusive of the new generation of Xbox.
On the other hand, the Ninja Theory portfolio doesn’t have a single failed product in terms of quality. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a great example of this. This action-adventure game just had to turn into an outstanding series, but … went almost unnoticed against the background of blockbusters of those years. Enslaved had everything. Amazing visual range, interesting characters, non-boring gameplay. There was a “chemistry” between her characters — they were banal to believe in. Ninja Theory told a very personal, understandable story to most people, but … miscalculated the main thing. In the age of popcorn, it was very difficult to promote a classic console video game. On that and burned.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Interactive adventure games are not a new genre, but in our subjective opinion, they are very interesting. In the nineties, for example, only the lazy didn’t go crazy over the computer version of blade Runner. To Murdered just had to come success… that’s just life ordered completely different.
Soul Suspect refers to that rare type of video game that either catches you completely at once, or makes you spit from what is happening. With the story of a former bandit detective who, by the will of fate, is forced to search for the truth after death, there can be no other way. Either sink or swim. The latter, unfortunately, happened to the Studio that created Murdered.