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Above: When does this guy explode? He blows up, right? Where's the boom-boom?
Hey, how about that? A sequel to Homefront has already been announced. We like to think the wily cats at THQ read this Top 7 in an alternate future, and then used temporal sorcery to beat us to the punch. This one is going in a great direction, too: After Kaos, the original developer, closed its doors, the Homefront franchise found a savior in Crytek. The Crysis developer is known for its visual finesse and bang-zoom action, so it's already a rock-solid start to a second game in a series just begging to meet the standards Kaos couldn't.
The disappointment: Homefront is an ugly, derivative shooter with weak levels, bland missions, and lifeless characters. It spent too much time masturbating all over itself to bother doing anything worthwhile with its interesting story ideas. Any previously established emotional weight winds up undermined by predictable set-pieces – you know you're overdoing the whole "hero survives harrowing fall" set-piece too many times when the characters in the game are making fun of it.
Homefront abuses explosions so heavily, its gameplay just becomes boring. Moments of calm became the bits we enjoyed most, because they weren't shouting in our face. On top of all this, we felt ripped off: just as the plot picked up, Homefront cut to credits.
Why we need a sequel: Homefront was built on a brilliant premise, but it didn't know whether it wanted to have an emotionally devastating story, jaw-dropping set-pieces or killer multiplayer. These ideas didn't gel, plus multiplayer was obviously where Kaos' heart was at. The campaign suffered for it. We're behind this property because it could have been something original. With a focus and some delicate balancing, Homefront 2 could continue the meaningful story it failed to tell the first time around.
Above: Some guy does stuff in a place. Isn't it all very interesting?
On paper, an X-Men RPG is nerd bliss. Aligning with the X-Men or the Brotherhood based on their equally convincing ideals is a hell of a choice for a mutant harnessing his or her own unique new abilities. As you may have gathered, however, X-Men Destiny was a disaster.
The disappointment: Destiny got a few things right. The interactions with its big ol' cast of classic characters are meant for fans – Silicon Knights doesn't waste time explaining who Cyclops is, why Emma Frost is his second in command, or that the Brotherhood is a group of evil jerks. This is for those in the know, and it lets them make choices based on their interactions with an established universe. Beyond that... well, Destiny is a train wreck. The unlockable ability modifiers are largely identical to one another, the dialogue and voice acting are awful, it looks gross, and it's a measly three hours long. Even its role-playing elements are garbage: spending experience points to improve attacks changes the animation, but not the insufferable, sterile combat. Its greatest offense is its seeming desire to not do anything interesting. X-Men Destiny plays, at best, like a creatively bankrupt PlayStation 2 game.
Why we need a sequel: Because we all got a raw deal – gamers, Silicon Knights, Marvel, all of us. X-Men Destiny had the unfortunate fate of releasing suspiciously close to the DVD release of X-Men: First Class. Neither has anything to do with the other, but we're willing to bet Activision allowed this unfinished mess to release because we had Xavier on the brain recently. A sequel, whether or not it's developed by Silicon Knights, could capitalize on the property it's based on instead of timing it to coincide with a mediocre movie. X-Men Destiny blew all of its incredible promise, and the world it threw us into is a killer stepping stone for something special – Professor X is dead, Magneto is super pissed, and San Francisco's been ripped a new one. We desperately want to see somebody execute on it in a way that'll invigorate X-Men and RPG nerds the way the first game should have.
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