There’s a lot of things I don’t fully understand in this world. String theory, quantum mechanics, what the fuck the appeal of Fanta is, and so on. What I can’t understand the most is why good ideas become horribly crappy over time. This mostly involves the “movie trilogy paradox” and the “franchise game problem”. Why do the second movies in trilogies suck? Why is Madden (insert current year) never as good as Madden (subtract 5 years). Why do marketing departments constantly tell us that the latest iteration of something is the “best ever”? Obviously the latest Ford Mustang is not as awesome as a classic Mustang. Any car collector on the planet will tell you that. This theory follows in nearly every category of popular culture, at least, until the next one is made. Of course, it’s all relative if you look at the larger time lines. The 2007 Ford Mustang may very well be making up for the horrific 1980’s Mustang. Maybe National Treasure 2 won’t suck. Maybe EA Games “Battlefield Bad Company” isn’t the most ripped off idea of the century.
What on earth could possibly influence a company to single handedly kill off a major gaming franchise AND rip off an old movie plot at the same time? Not only did they bastardize Battlefield 1942 into it’s ugly step sisters BF:Vietnam and BF2, but now they’re killing the one things Battlefield had going for it… the fucking battlefield. They’re taking a new engine that shows a lot of promise and creating, given their track record, a crappy single player game set in war torn Europe. Wow. Way to be really 2001.
Maybe they’ve realized that they’ve been beaten on all fronts and they’re not sure what to do next. Call of Duty has completely trumped them in both the “modern combat” and multiplayer categories. Their former, and now disgruntled, employees are creating what will be the next level of “squad” combat games. People are no longer interested in WW2 combat games, so they can’t really go backwards in time, and their horrible cluster-fuck of a futuristic game, BF2142 received horrible reviews from players and the media alike. They are in deep deep crap and they’re trying to keep their heads above water. By the time the new game ships next year, there will be a dozen games, on a dozen engines that look as good if not better than theirs, so they can’t even fall back on technology.
It’s really sad when you see a franchise dismantle itself as it tries to stay a float. It’s a definitely George Lucas style problem. You had something so awesome that everyone hailed for its innovation and entertainment. Then you try to out do yourself. You fail. You switch gears and try something else. You fail again. You kinda sorta listen to your fans and try something completely different. You fail a third time. Now what do you do? People love your original work but can’t stand your newest stuff. In the case of old George, really the only way to save himself is to make Episodes 7-9, and to bring it back to the way it was, good vs evil, some sword fights and that’s it. None of this deep emotional conflict bullshit. Sword fights and space ships George, that’s what we want. EA, same goes for you. We want a WIDE OPEN game with a shit ton of vehicles, features, stuff to do and we don’t give one single damn about unlocks, achievements and tactical satellite bullshit. Bring it back home fellas, it’s the only way to save yourselves.
It’s that, or people will move on. In some cases it’s already too late. In some cases we had forgiven you of your “sequel sins” when you rocked us with a third installment. So, ask yourselves, is Indy 4 really necessary. Was Die Hard 4 somehow an improvement? Does Bad Company bring anything we haven’t seen already?