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Thread: The worst tragedy in gaming history?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.

    The worst tragedy in gaming history?

    Ha, gotcha with the clickbait title!

    Come, pour yourself a drink and sit morosely in the corner with me, as I ask you: what is your biggest "I wish it had turned out differently" from gaming history? What games were almost perfect but fell short? What underrated games failed to sell and slipped into obscurity? What cancelled game do you most regret never having played? What development studio could have changed the world if they'd got some extra funding instead of the axe?

    The obvious one around these parts is the woeful tale of Looking Glass Studios - if they'd stuck around we'd have got Deep Cover, more Thief, and the potential for who knows how many excellent immersive sims...

    Another one that I'll pour a glass to is the flawed gem (rough diamond?) of Far Cry 2, and how Ubisoft learned all the wrong lessons from it and have just been pumping out cookie cutter generic games ever since.

    So along those lines, what'll you be drowning your sorrows to?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Fall of Troika.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Invisible War. "Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't we scale back our tech ambitions to fit our big, awesome levels instead of cramming and splitting our levels to fit into our crappy tech?"

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Aw man yeah, I always think about Deadly Shadows as a disappointment, and forget about it's crappier twin.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Deadly Shadows and Invisible War. While I rate both of them highly, partially because they're ok games but mostly because of the series they belong to, the technical clusterfuck present in both games is ridiculous. I'm not talking about controversial design decisions either like the removal of ammo types or rope arrows, as that's stuff I can largely live with. Whether it's the small levels present in both, the broken physics in IW, or the hilariously inept way they implemented body awareness in TDS, the piss-poor engine they put together just seems more and more pathetic as time marches on.

    Otherwise, I'd say Troika's ability to make games that were almost good but ultimately crap was a tragedy. They nearly got there with Bloodlines, but all three of their games had amazing potential that was dragged down by not only poor tech but also puzzling design decisions.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    The obvious one around these parts is the woeful tale of Looking Glass Studios
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Fall of Troika.
    I just had a sad discussion with another fellow dev that I am a dinosaur. You know, a guy who likes the immersive, overly-complex, elaborate games of old. The guy who hates mobile games for the transparent time-wasting-money-spending skinner boxes that they are.

    So is the new casual movement the greatest tragedy? I feel admitting that says more about my ignorance/arrogance than it does about the gaming industry. If anything, it's good we have more variety, and it's not the industry's fault that 99% of people are not hardcore gamers like us here.

  7. #7
    Pretty much anything that John Romero was a part of, post Doom. Quake was originally supposed to be a much deeper game, with RPG elements and more fantasy themed. Well, at least we got Heretic and Hexen. And Daitkatana...let's not go there.

    Also, the company that created Dark Corners of the Earth ended up going under, and they apparently had 2 more sequels in the works. Bummer.

    Plus, Aliens Colonial Marines.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ger many(Many! you get it?^^)
    - Outcast 2 was cancelled (and will most likely never be made, though there seemed to be hope last year)
    - Trespasser was not the game it could have been
    - Beyond Good And Evil 2 is in announcement/cancel (or ancel^^) hell. I hate this year long yes...Noooo. Maybe....marketing blurb. Announce it or declare it dead officially! Everything else is shitty behaviour!!
    - Tron 2.0 sourcecode wasn't released. The people who have it couldn't care less...
    - I liked Urban Chaos by Mucky Foot, but the sequel never happened due to the company shutting down in 2003. The game had some rough (very at times) corners, but I liked the characters, the atmosphere and the gameplay, and would have liked to see what direction the sequel could have taken.
    - Pyro Studios makes mobile games now. Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines and the addon Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty are a amazing. I also played Commando 2 but it wasn't the same and so I never checked the following game(s). I desperately need some new old-school Commandos mission packs. There are some good fan made ones like Strike in Narrow Path though.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The lack of Anachronox sequels (that wonderful game ends on a huge cliffhanger) and Prey 2 (never played the first one but the sequel looked special) also come to mind.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    NuThief.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    AvP 2010 lack of modding ability. Mods and Maps are what kept AVP2 alive for so long and the game itself was great, technically and visually.

    Portal 2 / (lack of) HL2: Ep3. I was pissed when I learned Chell woke up 200 years later. She was SUPPOSED to wake up on the Borealis just in time to announce Gordon's triumphant return and tie the universe together. Instead we got an incredibly complex ARG that only amounted to "sup dudes! Portal 2 y'all!" WHERE THE FUCK IS GORDON, GABE?

    Gears of War became the Unreal 3 we never got but deserved.

    All of the really promising concepts and IP's' that ended up being counterstrike clones: NeoTokyo, Brink, Titan Fall, Rainbow Six Seige, Survarium, among others.

    EDIT: How could I forget fucking Rage? Started out pretty damn good. Gets into the swing of things. Transports us to a new map. Gives a bunch of new characters. Sends us on a quick little sabotage mission then out of nowhere the credits start rolling. The game didn't have a crappy 2nd act, or a "short campaign"... It was just truncated. Somebody put it on the table and whacked it with a machete and said "There... release THAT"

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: North of the equator.
    My biggest "I wish it had turned out differently" game:
    Half-Life 1. (link spoiler alert) Yep, I said it & I expect a mob holding torches & pitchforks to be after me shortly . I really really REALLY wanted to like this game but the extremely stupid final boss followed by that retarded encounter with the GMan (I have also never liked the acting of this character by the way, as he felt like a flunky from William Shatner's school of acting) spoiled all that build up to the end for me. It left a sour taste in my mouth ever since with the series. So I wasn't at all surprised about the ending we got left with from HL2:EP2.

    My almost perfect game:
    Definately... Trespasser. For its time it had great visuals & a really good atmosphere when it worked. But that crappy AI & the wonky as all hell physics killed the mood for me quite often. I don't think a game intended to be scary should be a source of endless amounts hilarity. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed playing the game... but for all the wrong reasons. It definitely needed a lot more beta testing.

    My underrated gem in the list:
    Forsaken. The game was extremely fun as all hell & brutal. Both multiplayer & singleplayer were a blast. And that is a rare thing for me to find a game that I like playing offline as much as I liked playing it online.

    As for the cancelled game I most regret never having played:
    The rest of SiN Episodes. Was a huge fan of the original game... loved it to death. Was absolutely excited about Episodes. Utterly devastated when the rest was basically cancelled.

    As for which development studio could have changed the world:
    Looking Glass Studios... considering this forum, this was obvious.

  13. #13
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Cleve Blakemore's Grimoire: Still unreleased after all those years!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Still no sequel to Limbo of the Lost!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Actually, I agree with Starker. Also, VA on Episode 3.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitions Advocate View Post
    Gears of War became the Unreal 3 we never got but deserved.
    Oh yeah - that reminds me of how disappointing Unreal 2 was! How are we going to follow up the beautiful, atmospheric, dreamlike sci-fi feudal world of Unreal 1? Why, with a crappy, forgettable space opera of course!

  17. #17
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Man, there's so many tragedies. The fall of LGS, the fall of Troika, the fall of Origin, the weird reanimated corpse of Interplay...

    But yeah, I'm going to have to say Ultima IX. What the fuck was that thing. Broken on release for the longest time, paid lip service to the philosophy of the series, bad writing, the list goes on. And the worst part is, the original script for it would have made it a pretty amazing send-off for the series. But no, we got it going out with a clank and a sputter instead of a bang. Sigh.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Listing the games that immediately come to mind:

    * Command and Conquer 4 - The game that bears this name is an absolute abomination and should not exist. And yet it does.
    * Daikitana
    * Doom 3 - Whilst what we got was certainly fun and enjoyable, it lacks much of the greatness of the games before it + they went for more a survival horror type vibe compared to the previous 2 games which had been about taking on HUGE hordes of enemies straight from hell.
    * Duke Nukem Forever - Lost opportunity big time.
    * Plants vs Zombies 2 - The first game just has so much life to it as well as replayability with all the mini games, and the investment = reward style stuff. The sequel which never got a PC version is more about micro transactions and unlockable worlds, with little to no mini games. A lost opportunity for something far greater.
    * Ultima 9 - Ultima online was nearly 100% to blame for this games failure imo. All the best developers from Origin were all on that. Such a bad game compared to the others. Watch Spoony's video series on the game if your curious on how bad it is.
    * Unreal 2 - This game is such a pale shadow of the first game. Such a shame.
    * Wingcommander Prophesy - The Wingcommanders from 3 onwards are some of the rare few games where FMV was used to great effect. Prophesy was just such a disapointment over the other games. Still a good game, just not AS much.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Oh yeah - that reminds me of how disappointing Unreal 2 was! How are we going to follow up the beautiful, atmospheric, dreamlike sci-fi feudal world of Unreal 1? Why, with a crappy, forgettable space opera of course!
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitions Advocate View Post
    Gears of War became the Unreal 3 we never got but deserved. Because: Unreal 2
    There. Because you're right.

  20. #20
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I was a Mac gamer and hence a MASSIVE Bungie fan when Halo was announced. The promised features and ideas they had for the game really excited me, even though I knew my Mac at the time probably wasn't going to be capable of running it.
    They were touting it as having persistent online battles over an open world with planned clan play and base management (although my memory may be embellishing it a bit!), and in general, it was a LOT more ambitious than what we ended up getting.
    That Bungie then became "The Halo Company" and we saw the death of their other, more interesting franchises always bummed me out.

    While I agree that the death of Troika was a tragedy, I would say that the bigger one was the event that led to their creation: The slow, painful death of Interplay.
    Interplay published some incredible, ambitious games in their time, and I still struggle to comprehend how they managed to screw up so royally.
    Think about it: Earthworm Jim, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Descent, Freespace, MDK, Sacrifice, Carmageddon...

    For a period of time, my gaming life WAS Interplay.

    Now of course, we have various successors and spiritual successors to many Interplay titles, but I still wonder what we could have seen if they hadn't so criminally lost focus on what made them great in the first place.
    Last edited by Malf; 11th Nov 2015 at 18:50.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    As much as I have been heavily into games since 1983 or so, I can't think of many things in gaming history I'd consider actual tragedies, at least not to the same extent as Deadwood being cancelled after three seasons when its overall story had been planned for four seasons. Most of the gaming disappointments I've had (Invisible War, Ultima 8 and Ultima 9, the lack of a present-day X-Wing or TIE Fighter, the never-ending wait for Beyond Good & Evil 2) simply faded too quickly, whereas I'm still ticked off at HBO for cancelling Deadwood. Perhaps the deaths of Origin and Lucasarts, but both of these were long, drawn-out processes, where the actual end was less painful than what came before.

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    • Second Son. Their decision to have three mutually exclusive skill trees and force these on you at certain points was incredibly frustating. Probably would have been close to Game of the Year for me had it not been for that, a couple of annoying bosses and in particular the final boss who I gave up on trying to beat as I hated the final skill tree.
    • Ultima 8. While I really liked this game, it could have been much better. My main gripes with this was that far too much time was required to be spent in the catacombs and unlike other Ultima's there was little to no variety in the atmosphere apart from gloom, gloom, gloom.
    • SAIS 3. I really hate to say this as I'm a fan of Digital Eel and backed this on kickstarter, but this sequel is very disappointing. The first two Weird World's were casual, simple games that were a lot of fun to play. While the general premise of the game is still the same, unlike the first two the player now travels between worlds on a 3D map. Unfortunately this adds nothing to the gameplay as it is only used to navigate space between planets, which like many aspects of the new interface is somewhat confusing and cumbersome to use. However, when you enter combat the game switches back to a 2D plane which is odd considering that this is the one area where the additional dimension could have made for some very interesting tactical combat.
    • Far Cry 1. Loved the first half; didn't like the second.
    • Dark Messiah. Great game, shame about the first part.
    • Temple of Elemental Evil. The best isometric turn-based combat of its day and I've replatyed it several times with the various Co8 patches (which are awesome), but very lacking in a number of other ways (story, voice-acting, inapproriate music score etc.).
    • Wing Commander 4. Not so much a bad game but without the Kilrathi it just didn't feel right.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2005
    If we want to talk consoles, then Nintendo. Yeah, some people would say Sega is the biggest tragedy. But they actually did the right thing, at the right time. They cut their losses and focused on what's important: the games. More importantly they made them available to all platforms. Which means we now have most of the Dreamcast classics on PC (maybe even Shenmue soon?). I say it's high time Nintendo did like Sega and made their IPs available to other platforms, instead of locking them up behind (really steep) paywalls. I'd be willing to pay good money for their games, just not for their shitty hardware.

    And if we talk about hardware, the last (worthwhile) innovation from them was the analog stick on the N64 (19 years ago). Since then it's just been useless gimmicks that never caught on. They litteraly wasted two console generation's worth of games with the Wii and Wii U. Well, Mario and Zelda games mostly, as that seems to be the only two IPs they're willing to churn out. They've been sitting on the Metroid franchise for just as long. The last Metroid Prime was released 8 years ago. And I still haven't played it since it was released on that useless console. The last classic side-scrolling Metroid was released 13 years ago! Although I did get to play that one thanks to emulators. Metroidvanias are all the rage these days on PC, imagine the success of an actual Metroid metroidvania game! And yet not a single fucking Metroid game on the horizon (except for some shitty mutiplayer cash-in).

    Other contenders for biggest tragedy on consoles:
    -Rare (Banjo-kazooie, Perfect Dark, Conker...). I mean what the fuck happened to them? They were once one of the greatest studio on earth. And the last thing they did was, what Viva Pinata? A free to play Killer Instinct?
    -The Timesplitters franchise. Remember that one? It's weird how some hugely successful franchise can just vanish instantly for no reason.
    -The Legacy of Kain series... The recent leak of a canned sequel was the final nail in the coffin for me. So tragic.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2012
    Decline of Final Fantasy series.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    I'm gonna just throw Cryostasis in here. It's easily one of my favorite games, but the developer who made it moved on to make mobile games and apps, and later disappeared, and due to some legal bullshit, the game has been pulled from everywhere. You simply cannot buy this game anymore, which is a crying shame.

    By the way, if anyone nabs this game from "somewhere" these days, it's most likely the english version. If anyone needs the russian files for it (voices or text), just PM me.

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