Yes, games do have plots. Granted they’re not often very good, but they’re there nonetheless.
However, just like with movies, they fall prey to the law of diminishing returns – some storylines just get boring. Then again, some go snooker loopy and undo all the vaguely competent work done beforehand.
This is what we’re here for today. There will be spoilers here, but most of it was ruined anyway so it doesn’t matter too much.
Dead Space 3 – The worst moonie ever
The original Dead Space was a cracking survival horror/action title; a super-icky amalgamation of The Thing and Alien, set on a spaceship torn to shreds by reanimated corpses.
Dead Space 2 was also great, the setting much bigger and more varied – but still grim and nasty - with a more psychological approach to its horror.
Dead Space 3 though? You fight a moon with tentacles. Sigh. You were okay for a bit there, Dead Space.
Mass Effect 3 – Man with the Starchild in his eyes
Mass Effect 2 was arguably the point where things started to get iffy, but we couldn’t write this without mentioning the idiot Starchild introduced in Mass Effect 3.
Why? Well because it’s a plot device that couldn’t scream ‘I’m a convenient Deus Ex Machina thought up fairly late on because we’ve backed ourselves into a narrative corner’ any louder if it was stamping on your face in Doc Martens.
Bioware just couldn’t make good on its promise of delivering a truly excellent endgame based on your decisions throughout the series, so it instead flung a ‘pick a colour’ choice at you.
Assassins Creed II – Punch the Pope
Assassin’s Creed’s plot is an utter shambles that makes the works of Dan Brown look like David Foster Wallace, but Assassin’s Creed II was where we jumped off.
Basically you fight an evil Pope who uses magic.
Remember how cool the original videos of this game looked? Remember how everything was ruined by the sci-fi stuff? Remember when you questioned why these games are million-sellers and release yearly?
Oh well, at least Black Flag was pretty good. Because it ignored the sci-fi nonsense.
Turok – Dino-bore hunter
Turok is the anomaly in this list. Turok ‘jumped the shark’ in another way.
You see, the Turok series was already exceedingly stupid and over the top, stuffed to the guts with ridiculous weapons (they were called things like Scorpion Launcher and Firestorm Cannon), absurd gore and a setting that mixed Jurassic Park with HP Lovecraft and Star Wars.
Basically, it’s the Citizen Kane of games.
Eventually though it was decided that consumers didn’t deserve unfettered digitised madness, so Turok was made into a space marine with a Mohawk, made the weapons boring and got rid of the bonkers alternative dimension stuff and monsters.
Plus look at what’s going on in the image above. Just look.
Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within – Crawling in my skin
Warrior Within is 10 years old this year, and we still remember staring at our standard definition tellies, mouths agape at what we were witnessing.
The game itself was pretty good to be fair, but the charming, cocky and effete Prince from Sands of Time gave way to a tattooed brute that chopped bad guys into bloody bits and listened to nu metal.
Imagine if Disney did a sequel to Aladdin produced by Quentin Tarantino, with Limp Bizkit writing the songs. It was like that.
Aliens: Colonial Marines – Game over, man (hopefully)
Colonial Marines gets a special mention, because it has the dubious honour of managing to basically nearly ruin an entire franchise, and not just a game series.
How so? Well (MAJOR spoiler alerts here)… remember Hicks from Aliens? Remember how he apparently died in Alien 3?
Well thanks to Colonial Marines, he’s not dead after all, and someone else was in his cryo-tube due to some shenanigans in the Stasis Interrupted add-on content - yours for just a few pounds!
This is worse than the nonsense George Lucas pulled with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Heck, at least Lucas had already ruined Star Wars with the prequels.
This cheapens the beginning of Alien 3, which hit like a gut punch when you found out the characters you were attached to from Aliens had been brutally killed.
It’s still less offensively bad than Prometheus, mind.