5 times video game sequels ruined a character
Video game sequels are a common occurrence now as hardly any form of media is conceived as a one-off story. Games are planned as multi-part projects, telling an expansive story, generally through multiple characters.
Said characters then need to have well-planned arcs and narrative drives so that players can enjoy proper progression and development. However, such might not always be the case, at least in certain games.
Often, due to unplanned future arcs or changes in the narrative, characters don’t end up getting the best treatment in the sequel to certain video games. Here are 5 such instances where a sequel ruined a character in a video game series.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.
5 video game characters ruined in sequels
1) Lucy Stillman - Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Lucy Stillman was one of the most important secondary characters in the original Assassin’s Creed video game. These focused on the story of Desmond Miles in the present day, whose DNA allowed him to relive memories of past assassins like Altair and Ezio Auditore using the Animus.
In the first game, she was pivotal in helping Desmond escape from the modern-day templar agents (enemies of the assassins), and in the sequel, she was one of the people who helped him in his training to become an assassin. However, in the third video game outing, things took a sudden turn.
While Lucy is shown as being a supporter of Desmond’s mission throughout the story, in the end, it is revealed that she was and has always been secretly a templar. Following this revelation, she was unceremoniously killed off by Desmond under the influence of the goddess Juno. The reason behind this was that Kristen Bell, as the voice of Lucy, was just too much of a cost to bear for the development team.
2) Cortana - Halo 5
Cortana is such a synonymous and iconic name when it comes to Halo that Microsoft named their real-life windows assistant after her, even getting Jen Taylor for its voice. In Halo video games, Cortana is Master Chief’s onboard suit AI and provides some much-needed nuance to Chief’s silent and stoic demeanor.
Throughout the various video games in the series, their relationship has evolved from partners to something akin to love. But all that changed with Halo 5. In the previous game, Cortana succumbed to rampancy (AI mental breakdown) and, by the end, sacrificed herself to save Chief.
But as Halo 5 went on to show, she did survive those events, albeit she was turned into a near god-like being, in control of literal planet killers. Thus, she takes on the role of primary antagonist against Master Chief and goes on quite the killing spree. Needless to say, players were not happy with this turn of events, with Halo 5 becoming one of the most criticized video games in the series.
3) Agent 47 - Hitman: Absolution
Since the inception of the Hitman video games, Agent 47 has been portrayed as a skillful assassin, able to silently infiltrate areas, take out a target with discretion and leave just as quietly. This became a hallmark of the series, with the title of Silent Assassin being a much-coveted achievement by the players.
So, the story and missions of Hitman: Absolution came as quite a shock to many, as this game took away Agent 47’s title of an assassin and turned him into some sort of action movie hero.
47 would simply walk into every mission with basically no preparation or premeditation and just hope for the best. Additionally, the game heavily employed a mark and execute mechanic, taking away the thrill of actually being the assassin and instead letting the AI do all the work. Much criticism was raised against the game until IO saw no other choice but to reboot the series.
4) Chuck Greene - Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
The Dead Rising video games are not famous for their complex protagonists, and Chuck Greene was about as complex as it was going to get. Playable in Dead Rising 2, his story in the game was mostly about trying to live through the ensuing zombie apocalypse with his daughter Katey. Greene's daughter was also infected and needed an antidote each hour, or else she would pass away, and the game ended there.
Cue Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, the sequel to Dead Rising 2, shows the story from the perspective of Frank West from Dead Rising. Here, players are treated to a version of Chuck Greene from the previous game if things had gone badly.
Chuck is now a chainsaw motorcycle riding psycho who carries a doll of a young girl, presumably to replace his lost daughter. He is a boss character, though, so players as Frank have to fight Chuck and kill him. Upon which he will hold the severed head of the aforementioned doll and utter his final breath.
5) Jill Valentine - Resident Evil 5
Jill Valentine first appeared in the original Resident Evil video game and was an optional playable character, alongside fellow series mainstay Chris Redfield. She later appeared in a solo outing in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis during the fall of Racoon City.
In the aforementioned video games, Jill establishes herself as the zombie-killing badass she is, having single-handedly taken on tyrants and living to talk about it. However, she falls short of her own reputation in Resident Evil 5.
Here, she makes the unwise move of tackling Albert Wesker (series mainstay villain) through a window to their presumed deaths. Later on in the story, as Chris and his new partner Sheva are tracking their target (Excella Gionne), they are ambushed by a hooded figure.
The mysterious character is then revealed to be Jill Valentine herself, having been put under mind control by Wesker, who’s dyed her hair blonde for some reason.