Having now played Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, Escape from Monkey Island, and King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity, I now know why nobody makes adventure games anymore:
Because the games are festering puddles of squid waste.
Mind you, I’m not talking about the classics. Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Maniac Mansion, and most other adventure games forged in the 90s were and still are completely awesome. They have a sense of humor, they have engaging plots, and they don’t have graphics and controls that make me want to vomit. You may think I’m exaggerating with that last bit, but King’s Quest 8 literally made me feel sick to my stomach. Even Pajama freaking Sam is a much better game, and its target audience is babies.
Quality adventure games just aren’t made anymore. Publisher X takes a look at a game like Curse of Monkey Island, and decides that it’s too “old school” (the most obnoxiously overused phrase of our age, by the way) for today’s gamers. Publisher X decides to “update” Monkey Island for today’s gamers, implementing gaudy 3D graphics, direct control of the character (instead of the standard point-and-click), a decreased emphasis on puzzles, and an increased emphasis on action/platforming/stealth nonsense.
Publisher X does this in order to sell more copies of the game, thinking that this is what people want in an adventure game. And then the game flops. Nobody wants action elements in an adventure game. Nobody wants to use the keyboard to control the main character. Nobody wants gross 3D visuals that are—this is so crazy that it must somehow be intentional—actually less realistic-looking than the classic 2D look. The game flops because of the elements added to make it sell better.
Publisher X, however, does not realize this. Publisher X decides that adventure games just don’t sell anymore—it finds fault in the original concept, and not its misguided tinkerings with the formula.
It’s a phenomenon common in today’s gaming, and one that Greg Johnson goes into a little in our interview this month—publishers handicapping games to somehow make the games sell better. Publishers subtracting the elements we love from a game in hopes that the game will net more cash that way.
Apparently, today’s publishers aren’t familiar with the cliché “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Broken Sword 3, Monkey Island 4, and King’s Quest 8 would have all been better games if the developers didn’t try to attain mass-appeal, and the games might’ve even sold more copies. People would’ve liked them. Entire series wouldn’t be shot because of one lousy game that was made to please the people, and maybe adventure games would even still be around today.
Good job, guys!