Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
As the shadow of the next-generation looms over this current one, I'm ultimately hopeful for the future. A new console hopefully means new games and a new IPs. Well, at least it'll mean new games for sure. As the Xbox 360 and PS3 take forever to ride off into the sunset, I realize that there are far too many franchises.
In order to make room for new ideas and new characters in the next generation, here are five franchises I never want to see again.
Halo has earned a special spot at the front of the list for one reason: They won't let Master Chief die. Halo is the one franchises I am 100% sure will make it into the next-generation.
The first trilogy of Master Chief games straddled the line between old and new hardware, and even allowed the original Xbox to limp on in the face of the 360. While the series has gone from launch day to multiplayer-phenomenon to Reach, I'd much rather see Halo 4 take a turn for the apocalypse.
Do we really need more shooting aliens in the face? I'm all for science-fiction games, but I've had enough Halo to last me a lifetime. It was like nails on a chalkboard to hear that they're planning for a brand new trilogy. Do you realize that Halo has been around for OVER 10 YEARS. Am I really supposed to care about this green guy for two decades?!
Call of Duty
You had to see this coming, right? If I'm bored with Halo, I have to be bored with Halo: Real People Combat.
I've played a new Call of Duty game for every year of my life since 2006? How many goddamn soldiers am I supposed to have shot and killed? How many world wars am I supposed to have single-handedly stopped and/or prevented? How many times do I have to see that quick-scoping son of a bitch sit on my face?
If anything, it's the fans that make me want to leave Call of Duty behind in the dusty ol' Xbox 360. What if these games didn't have a multiplayer component? I'm sure the single-player would be a lot better. I'm sure we wouldn't have to buy one every year. Call of Duty is the new Madden, and I'm sick of it.
Well, Madden is still Madden. Call of Duty is just crap, I guess.
When I was younger, sure, I enjoyed Pokémon. Then Pokémon Yellow came out and I just couldn't keep up. Pikachu follows him around in this one? You can only pick pikachu?!?! What the fuck!
Now there's tons and tons of Pokémon. Did you know there's a Pokémon called Poophead? There isn't? Well, there might be if you look through all bajillion of them! Pokémon has gotten way too big for its own good. I think it's time to take Gamefreak out back and put it out of its misery... by giving it an opportunity to make a different game.
I've had it up to here (my hand is really high right now) with this half-tucked asshole and his sack-of-bones grandfather. Go home! Take a fucking shower you dirty, stinky thief!
Nathan and Elena are married. Now Elena needs to crack the whip and keep Drake at home. There's no excuse for behavior like this when you're trying to raise a family. What? I'm supposed to believe that they're not getting busy? They are way too pretty for that. They're probably giving birth to their ninth or tenth kid already!
And there's no way treasure hunting and eventually getting everything in your posession stolen by the villain and then miraculously getting it back pays very well. Let this franchise stay buried in the desert where no one can find it.
*GASP* I know! Shocker, right? No, not really. Having seen what Ubisoft is doing with Watch Dogs, I'm ready to say goodbye to our hooded heroes. As a series, Assassin's Creed has made a ton of money and gone to a ton of different places, but ultimately, the yearly release schedule has landed me squarely in fatigue.
And how long does something you love last anyway? The enjoyment we reap from video games is fleeting and oftentimes met with the harshest, loudest criticism from outside sources.
The truth is, this is an industry built on new ideas and fresh faces. It can't possibly sustain itself with just 5 franchises. Take E3 2012. The industry's biggest showcase was a gathering of been-there-done-thats. A new Gears of War? Because that's what we all wanted, right?
I enjoy sequels as much as anyone else. God knows I've played and enjoyed and evangelized plenty of them. Still, it's time to move on. If anything, the dependence on franchises coupled with the longer-than-should-be console generation have created a huge gap in sales. Let's give some new ideas a chance.