Licensed games are rarely stellar. With the exception of the recent Batman games most unfortunately either completely flop or do, okay. Not all are terrible, but for those that miss the mark it always seems like the problem has a very obvious fix. We’re going to take a look at three of these obvious blunders.
1. Forgetting to Make it a Game
Some licensed games grab the personality of the source material, yet they forget one of the most important core concepts: making it play like a game. The recent Game of Thrones real time strategy (RTS) managed to implement the series political intrigue and backstabbing beautifully.
Unfortunately, it forgot to be a RTS. You receive no warning on the action your units completed and you can barely issue orders to your units. You iron some of these obvious wrinkles out and you would have a strong licensed game.
2. Staying True to the License’s personality
Just as bad as not implementing the core concepts of a game is not maintaining what the source material is about. The Star Wars: Force Unleashed stories at first offered an interesting beginning to the rebellion, but both games soon became fool of plot holes. At the end of the first game you’re left with an option that pretty much dooms the rebellion.
So what’s the point of following it to this point only to completely destroy the canon? Its sequel was just one big plot hole. A clone with the same memories and motivation as the last protagonist, looking for someone who died in the last game? It couldn’t get anymore confusing.
3. Implementing all of these thing correctly
Sometimes it isn’t as simple as having one or the other of the former. Sometimes it comes down to implementing either one of these correctly. Spider-Man has been cursed with this problem with nearly all of his games. Developers have implemented his humor, brought in all of the right powers and gadgets, used his home town in an open-world manner and even implemented his photography. But unfortunately they weren’t all applied correctly.
Villans often just show up for the sake of having them show up and his web powers could have a much smoother application in combat. Batman finally got a stellar series made after him and if any other super hero is due for a great game it’s Spidey.
For some more insight on how developers can improve games, Five Games Where Streamlining Went Wrong. Senior Stiv spends his time going back and revisiting games of old, check out his Overdue Review series.