This installment of Forgotten 3s features three older great games almost ruined. They started out fantastic….that is until they decided to introduce a supernatural element to the storyline. Even then, we were able to forgive this misstep since the game was just so damn good. Careful for spoilers as the end of these games is discussed.
3) Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, 2007
Ten years ago PS3 owners were introduced to a lovable rogue by the name of Nathan Drake. Drake and his old pal Sully were fond of treasure seeking in exotic locales and getting in over their heads with rivals. The humanistic folly of Drake and Sully on a seeming fool’s errand juxtaposed against the greed and deception of the other treasure hunters made for great story telling and character development. It is a shame that Naughty Dog didn’t decide just to stick with this dynamic for the entire duration of the story as was the formula in some of the subsequent titles. Instead, they chose to devote the last third of the game to the introduction of a supernatural element in Drake’s search for El Dorado.
Drake learns the El Dorado is protected by a curse that turned the original colonial Spanish Garrison and World War II nazi expedition into monsters. Of course, Drake must fight wave after wave of monsters which is a completely jarring and unnecessary departure from the exploration and human to human gun battles that made up the first two acts of the game. The introduction of monsters completely pulls the gamer out of the story and experience that Naughty Dog, had up to the point, superbly crafted. If Drake’s Fortune had stuck with keeping the experience in the real world realm instead of conjuring curses and monsters the title would have been far easier to place on the list of one of the greatest on the PS3. Honorable mention of games almost ruined goes to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and the introduction of Yetis in the third act. Once again a very poor story telling element that almost ruined an incredible game.
2) Outlast, 2013
Outlast was an incredibly scary title that mixed the claustrophobic feel of having to peer through a camcorder to see in the dark with the creepy setting of an asylum that had been hastily abandoned by those running it. You never knew how the remaining residents found throughout the dark corridors would react to you. Would they continue to be preoccupied with their own madness or would they hunt you down as an interloper in their world? This dynamic worked great throughout most of Outlast as the secrets of what was going on it the asylum slowly revealed themselves. Throughout it all, the world was rooted in reality until you escape the asylum through a pristine underground network that initially looks like it would be better suited to a Portal game.
At this point, the entire feel of the game, which had mounted to a crescendo, is derailed as a supernatural entity is introduced to the game. The entity has the power to blend up anyone into a bloody pulp simply by making contact with them. Gamers literally go from crawling quietly in the dark avoiding the insane to running away from specters in brightly lit hallways. All mood, tension, and the story that had built to that point crumble by the second. The story elements that explain the supernatural entity are unsatisfying and gamers are left wondering what went so wrong with the title. Thank goodness the first 80 percent of the game is among the most terrifying in gaming history or Outlast would have been a forgettable title due to its poor finish and may not have spawned a sequel. Of note is that Outlast 2 would not make a list of games almost ruined by the supernatural because it chose to establish the world as one where mind-bending experiences could happen almost from the get-go instead of introducing it deep into the game.
1) Assassin’s Creed, 2007
Although gamers may have developed Assassin’s Creed fatigue with a new title (or two) being released on a yearly schedule, common perception of the original title was that it was a breath of fresh air with many unique ideas at the time of the original title’s release. The freedom to climb up virtually any structure and the story’s integration of both the present and the past were more than enough for gamers to ignore the repetitive mission types and free-running hiccups that occurred here and there. The silent Altair was an intriguing character and his role in the epic battle over the millennia between Templars and Assassins was engrossing.
Where Assassin’s Creed took a nearly unforgivable turn was the magical powers that the Apple of Eden imparts on its controller. Al Mualim gets a hold of this thing and suddenly he can disappear from sight, duplicate himself and shoot energy bolts at his enemy. This from a game that rooted gamers in a historically accurate world for 20 or 30 hours only to reveal that there was a technologically advanced civilization that predated humans that have spread their artifacts through time and space. Talk about games almost ruined by a ridiculous reliance on the supernatural. I can get behind accessing your ancestor’s memories. I can get behind jumping from a 200-foot tall peak into a cart filled with straw and living to tell the story. I can not get behind this absurd plot point that gives people superpowers. As the Assassin’s Creed series has progressed the focus on the supernatural aspects of the game has diminished to my great relief. I can only hope that Ubisoft continues this trend and sticks to what the series does best: shanking historical fools when they aren’t looking.
If you liked our top three games almost ruined by the supernatural be sure to check out the last time we looked back at 3 forgotten gaming moments.