games / Columns

Top 8 Bad Video Game Sequels: Grand Theft Auto IV, Mass Effect Andromeda, More

December 1, 2020 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Grand Theft Auto 4

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about bad video game sequels. Normally a game sequel is meant to improve, or at least keep the same general quality level as its predecessor, but not always. Here is my list of the sequels that missed the mark, for one reason or another. Enjoy:

#8: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 isn’t the worst Call of Duty game, that honor still belongs to Ghosts, but it commits an even more grievous sin: it’s boring. I can kind of vaguely remember fighting in New York City during one or two missions but that’s about it, as far as the main story goes. Well, that and the “FOLLOW” marker on characters during missions, making most of them a linear mess. MW3 was supposed to be this big epic conclusion and instead it was more of a wet fart, probably due to the disastrous happenings at Infinity Ward at the time.

#7: Far Cry 5

To its credit, the same basic gameplay mechanics from Far Cry 3 and 4 still work in Far Cry 5. The stealth, shooting and basic gameplay loops of taking over bases, finding resources, making new gear, are all pretty much intact. The two problems it runs into are: characters and story. In short: it has neither. You play a nameless “Deputy” that has no actual agency in the narrative. As for the story itself, it is beyond silly, filled with a quasi-mystical drug-infused cult that just about ticks every checkbox of a routine story, aside from the cult-leader being horny or a bunch of brainwashed

#6: Mass Effect Andromeda

Much has been written about how awful Andromeda is, and much will be written further about how/why it came to pass. Suffice it to say, only the shooting and Clancy Brown are the only good things about the game. It ruins not only the Mass Effect franchise but seriously wounded Bioware as a whole, something Anthem largely finished off, with a broken game, bad quests, bad characters, bad writing, bad graphics, you see where I’m going here? I’m all for EA releasing that Legendary Edition of the first three games onto modern consoles but laughed my head off when they said “Oh, we’re making new Mass Effect as well.” Gee, do you think it’ll be Andromeda 2?

#5: Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite

Like with EA and Mass Effect, Capcom killed Marvel vs. Capcom with this release. I honestly don’t blame Capcom that much, sure the fighting engine isn’t inventive but it’s passable. My ire is directed at the Disney juggernaut that routinely crushes any creativity when it comes to Marvel properties. This is also one thing currently killing that Avengers game, but because now everything has to fit into the MCU-aesthetic, if not general fiction, there is no creativity left. In that Avengers game, you just face hundreds of faceless robots, and in Infinite, you face a few robots as well. It doesn’t help there were only 6 new characters (not counting DLC) in the game, with plenty of fan favorites being excised for…reasons.

#4: Just Cause 4

Avalanche bizarrely broke Just Cause with this release. The shooting was mediocre, they overly-complicated the gear/thruster system, and all the weather stuff amounted to almost nothing in the game. That’s all bad, to be sure, but what really “broke” about the game is settlements. The core of Just Cause to me was finding and liberating towns and villages. You would do this by blowing up enemy buildings/equipment, finding collectibles, liberating prisoners and so on. Once completed, the settlement would remain free. In JC4, this doesn’t happen. The town would eventually go back to being occupied, which basically kills any incentive to liberate a town, because it won’t actually stay that way.

#3: Grand Theft Auto 4

“Hey cousin, you want to go hang out?” Niko’s response should have been, “No Roman, I’m going to instead come over to your crappy cab stand and finally put a bullet in your head for calling me 500 times within a half hour.” The annoying calls and humdrum story in GTA 4 are bad, but this game just doesn’t feel right. The car driving is awful, getting away from the cops is nearly impossible, the shooting isn’t fun, etc. GTA 5 does have a few weak spots, like Franklin being missing from the second half in the game pretty much, but it’s what saved GTA, at least to me.

#2: Resident Evil 6

I was forced to play this with a friend and his delusions that this was a good game made me think he was crazy. The controls are bad, the shooting is more or less OK, but there are a lot of controls for doing moves (crawling around and such) that aren’t intuitive in the least. This issue extends into the MANY quick time events, which you’ll frequently fail at due to the poor controls. This is also a LONG game, having three campaigns, along with a secret fourth one, drags the game to interminable lengths. Add to that, bad boss fights, terrible maps, no horror to speak of, and some atrocious turret sequences, and I’m honestly surprised a Resident Evil 7 ever got made.

#1: Fallout 4

I can think of two positives about Fallout 4: the fact that your gear/weapons don’t break down and Nick. That’s about it. The setup is kind of interesting in the “Man from the past wakes up in the hellish future” but the game does absolutely nothing with it. The settlements are a chore to do, even the basic “setting them up” is boring, but it gets really tedious if you want them to be actually good. Shooting is improved (thankfully), but now you’re just firing at stuff that you don’t really care about. But I really hated what they did with the faction system and how you basically had to pick one and go to war against the others. That’s what ultimately killed my desire to finish the game, and I haven’t touched it since I learned about it.

For comments, list your worst video game sequels and why.

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