Almost every game that is released now has not only one sequel attached to it but also a third and fourth sequel as well. These games must be good if a company is going to make game after game carrying the same story and just about the same plot line, right? Right? Well, unfortunately that’s not always the case. Most of the time the second game in a series is that series shining star while the third game and games that follow are a bit lackluster and fail in comparison. While this doesn‘t happen to all games, those games should consider themselves lucky, it happens to most.
Just about everyone’s go to when arguing this point is definitely the Mass Effect series. While the original wasn’t bad, it introduced the world to Commander Shepard and showed the threat of the Reapers, Mass Effect 2 shined. Mass Effect 2 gave Shepard the chance to go after the Reapers and hit them where it hurt on their own turf. The best game in the series, it opened the door for greatness that just wasn’t achieved in the third game. Now I’m not saying that Mass Effect 3 was bad, but it just wasn’t as good as the second game. The third game just didn’t serve the same purpose as the second and it makes me wonder if Shepard’s story really needed to be told in three games. Could Shepard’s story just be complete in the second game? I mean it does have the option of having Shepard die in the end so why not just stop there? Why go on and make another game that really just didn’t live up to expectations?
Another game series that suffers this same pattern is Uncharted. The first Uncharted introduced us to treasure hunter Nathan Drake. It showed who he was and what he did and it wasn’t bad. It kept people interested enough for a sequel and that sequel absolutely shined. Uncharted 2 had everything that you could want from an action/adventure game. A more developed story then the first game, this game also had what every action game needs, intense action scenes. This game showed what the Uncharted series could truly be. It was the shining star of the series. It introduced Chloe! You can’t get much better then that, but the third one was supposed to follow on the same path as the second game and even be so much more. Sadly, it failed in comparison. It wasn’t a bad game, none of the Uncharted games are, but it just wasn’t the second game. If I’m in the mood to play Uncharted it’s a pretty easy choice for me when I go and grab Uncharted 2.
Now to one of the worst offenders ever. Assassins Creed. While the first game put me to sleep and I didn’t even finish playing it, the second game and the story of Ezio kept me captivated and wanting more Assassin’s Creed. I thought the series could only get better from there, but boy oh boy was I wrong. At first I didn’t think I was wrong though, I mean Brotherhood was simply amazing. It seemed like the curse of the second game being the best game in a series was over, but then came Revelations…and then Assassin’s Creed III. Each game after seems to get worse and worse each time. There was hope with IV but that died with the release of Unity. With a total of 9 games to its series, it’s sad that the shining moment was the second game.
While I’ve given up all hope for Assassin’s Creed, it’s one of my gaming goals this year to not pre-order another Assassin’s Creed or anything that comes from Ubisoft, I still have hope for Uncharted and Mass Effect. Each of them have a fourth game planned with Uncharted 4 being the first of the two released this year. Can the fourth game in these series break the curse or will each of these series sadly end up like Assassin’s Creed? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now I remain pretty damn excited for Uncharted 4. So, while not all series should stop after their blockbuster second game, not all games should continue either. I‘m looking at you Assassin‘s Creed. Stop…just stop.