It's an endless debate.. I don't expect to find any answers.. but it's been confusing me more lately than ever with all these sequels coming out. Why is Call of Duty 2 more fun than Call of Duty 3? The graphics are 11ty billion times better, the size and detail of the maps has been improved hugely, there's extra features like air-strikes, vehicles, etc.. yet when we have our Call of Duty 3 nights at Players Lounge, people last about 2 rounds on COD3 before they're crying out for COD2.. and i'm crying out the loudest! I can't even explain it myself, I just have more fun with COD2.
Thousands said that Halo 2 campaign was nowhere near as good as Halo 1.. that PGR4 is worse than PGR3 (even me in my last blog).. in all these games the graphics are improved, the complexity is increased, and the depth of the game goes to new levels. Before you say that "Graphics aren't the be-all and end-all of a game".. you're right, but Gran Turismo has proven that graphics can make up for crappy handling in a car game.. Halo 3 has proven that more complexity in game-play and adding some more weapons and vehicles can make up for the fact that it's the same flat/shiny graphics.
There's obviously multiple factors that need to be taken into account.. graphics, complexity, size of game area, how linear it is, the story behind the campaigns, the weapons/vehicles/maps in the multiplayer (even the lobby matters!), and so much more.. but it's just interesting how hard it is to predict, and how much money companies will pour into a game in the HOPE that it will be better than the last. MILLIONS spent on making a game graphically superior, massive maps, and amazingly expensive soundtracks complimenting stories by hollywood script writers.
I'm sure there's some complex "Sequel Formula" that involves multiplying the amount of blood splatter with the detail of the leaves on the trees, divided by the polygon-count of the water ripples, then subtract the number of clouds in the sky. Take that number, convert it into Euros, spend it on marketing, and hope the gamers like it. It can't be any more specific than that, or every sequel would be better than the previous version.
What's some other games you thought the sequel sucked? What's some games you think the sequel kicked ass? And more importantly, WHY? read