Keeping up with the trend of prequels, (Gears of War, God of War) the next installment from the great, great, great title Batman: Arkham City will be a prequel: Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Orgins Blackgate.
It’s been said more than once that sometimes a story should know exactly when it needs to end. Not because there’s no more that needs to be shown of the world, often it’s quite the opposite. Instead often due to either sequels not standing up to what came before them or outright contradicting what made them so great in the first place. This often counts for films and novels more than anything else, but a number people seem to think this applies to the Bioshock franchise. Arguments are usually that the first game was enough to explore the themes of its storyline and a sequel set in Rapture ultimately undermined the original’s tale. This seems a very odd stance to take because for all intents and purposes Bioshock 2 improved upon a huge number of points within the first game. Not so much going nuts and trying to outdo everything that came beforehand but going in a different direction while building upon what we’d seen. Especially in terms of its morality, storyline and choices.
With the abject failure of Aliens: Colonial Marines, now seemed like the best time to revisit an old classic. While Aliens Infestation for the Gameboy DS is a fun 2D side-scroller and 2010’s Aliens vs. Predator is nowhere near as bad an FPS as many claim, neither are what you’d call fantastic games. To see a truly great example of what can be done with the xenomorph license you’d need to look back to the early 2000s when Monolith Productions were allowed a shot at making a sequel to an already big success with Aliens vs. Predator 2.
However, rather than being a review this is to be a comparison. A step by step detail of each aspect of both games to detail why one is a lauded success fondly remembered by fans and the other is a hated wreck. Both for reasons obvious and otherwise.
In one of the biggest surprises in the last few days, the recently released Aliens: Colonial Marines is receiving almost universally negative reviews across all major websites. It is practically unheard of for a AAA title to receive such universally bad press upon release with all but a handful of reviews displaying either middling or extremely negative scores. What is more surprising however is the apparent duplicity in early promotions, and the stark contrast in actual content.
There’s no disguising the fact this isn’t a horror series anymore. A series with horror elements in the same sense as Bioshock perhaps but not an actual horror series.
While the first two games were certainly criticized for the amount of bullets and weapons you had to mow down space zombies, there was often at least this attempt to have horror moments. Dead Space 3 doesn’t even bother with that and at the end of the day it’s closer to Borderlands in some respects than the previous games. But does that make it bad? Far from it.