When a new video game IP is a hit, it’s an inevitability, like in any medium, that the idea of a sequel is going to be thrown around. In the instances we’re about to look at, though, there’s the general feeling that the developers should have spent a little more time working on them, because the results proved less than satisfactory. Some of the games were first sequels, while in one instance, the offending game was in fact the fifth direct sequel in the series, but whatever the genesis, all the following games share the same issue; the devs attempted to cut corners and save time, perhaps having to rush the product to its seemingly immovable release window. Some games had other, stranger issues, such as having to live up to the hype of releasing a sequel on a new platform, or catering their title to a specific audience, each excuse infuriating in its own right.

Here are, for whatever reason, the 10 worst video game sequels of all time.

 

10. Deus Ex: Invisible War

Deus Ex was a revolutionary title that truly left a lot to live up to, given its thought-provoking, intelligent narrative, its choice system, and specifically its array of augmentations which allowed the player to move through the levels how they saw fit, either as stealthily or as noisily as they so wished. Invisible War, the much-hyped sequel, arrived with less of a bang and more of a whimper, eschewing the intelligent thrills that characterised the original game and opting for a far more generic sci-fi shooter. Particularly offensive was how stripped down the RPG elements of the previous game were; as a result, the game felt like a regressive step backwards, a dilution of the original formula rather than a streamlining of it.

The game has pretty much faded into obscurity since release, with the follow-up, Human Revolution, being received with far greater warmth. It’s a game difficult to recommend to even the most ardent Deus Ex fan beyond mere morbid curiosity, because in every way, it just feels like its inferior sibling. “Dumbed down” is a term too often applied to video games that try to appeal to a more casual fanbase, but here, the label is so crushingly apt.

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This article was first posted on November 26, 2012