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Has there ever been a sequel to a game that completely switches out the main character that's been universally praised? (e.g. Snake in MGS2)

jigglet

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The rumors of the Twilight Princess remake got me thinking about how I fucking hate it when devs force us to play as different characters - the Wolf link in this instance. It soured an otherwise really good game for me.

Sonic's many friends is another example, and Halo 5.

Has there ever been a sequel to a game that completely (or even partially) switches out the main character that's ever really worked?
 
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rubenburgt

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Prototype 2?

Not only was the original main character replaced, they even turned him into the main villain.

If I remember correctly was this game a bigger succes than prototype 1, but activision was still not happy with the sales and closed down the studio.
(Screw activision.)
 

JimmyRustler

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From a narrative perspective I understood it from MGS as Kojima wanted to show Snake from a different angle. So I uess the problem was not the character switch per se but that Raiden was such a whimp.
 
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kingkaiser

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All the big roleplaying franchises do it on a constatly basis. Except Mass Effect. That failed miserably once removing space Jesus.
 

Black_Stride

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Red Dead Redemption?
Oopps twas a prequel.

Borderlands Pre-Sequel
Playing the bad guys from Borderlands 2....ohh its a prequel too.

[Prototype]
Sequel changed protag and it "kinda" worked (not really tho).

Gears of War - Not JD.
Controversial opinion but I enjoyed Kait. And beyond the "open world" dryness the game worked.

Max Payne
Mona fucking Sax!
Its only for a few moments but it was cool to help out Max Payne.

The Last of Us II
Fuck the haters Abby is such a brutal beast....shes more violent than even Joel from the first game. Ellie is fine too.

Darksiders
DS2 was great.....DS3 after the patches was actually also hot.

The Walking Dead Telltale
The main character frikken dies. Brilliant change in protag.

Devil May Cry 4
Yeah I know some people didnt like "limited" Dante....err I mean Nero....but I absolutely loved his arm and combat it was more approachable for non-hardcore DMC fans and actually made me a deeper DMC.

Bayonetta
This bitch is just ooozzzzinng class!
 

Radrigal

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Does Deus Ex: Human Revolution count? But that technically is also a prequel. How about Devil May Cry 4?
 
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BlackTron

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Halo 2?

I didn't like the game very much, but EVERYBODY else did. And my gripe wasn't with playing as the Arbiter.
 

kyliethicc

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Well, Joel is the main playable for most of The Last of Us. Though, Ellie is playable for a key portion. Of course the sequel, Part 2, switches to Ellie as the main playable, and also Abby. Was it universally praised? No, some didn't like it, but they didn't actually complain about playing as Ellie instead of Joel. Most just complained about the story itself or the pacing/structure, and of course playing as Abby upset some people too, but again only due to her role in the story. If the game 2nd game has just been another Joel & Ellie adventure together, but this time Ellie is the main playable character instead of Joel, I doubt those people would have complained.

But the switch to Ellie as the main character worked great. As it did in Left Behind, too.
 
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Vandole

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You could argue back and forth whether it's a sequel or a spin-off that continues the story, but Mega Man Zero. The Mega Man X series was pretty rough at that point and other than criticisms about difficulty, Zero and it's sequels were far and away better than most of the X games.
 

ZehDon

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Sure. Resident Evil 2 is the most obvious example. Not only was the game legitimately one of the greatest of all time, but it swapped out not one but both protagonists for two entirely new protagonists, and both new protagonists were almost instantly considered gaming icons on the back of the success of the game.

The major issue with the (in)famous examples, like MGS2's Raiden and TLOUII's Abby, it that the developer hid those characters. Fans went in expecting what the marketing promised - the characters they knew and loved - and they were delivered something entirely different, often deliberately conflicting. Their creators wanted their art to create controversy, and they got it. MGS2 has its followers - I think it's gameplay is terrific, personally - but Raiden in MGS2 is still fucking awful, and I struggle to replay the game largely because of him. I haven't played TLOUII, but it seems to my eyes that Abby was a more successful bait-and-switch than Raiden, in that players seemed to like the character more or less - but about half the people who played the game didn't like the game overall, regardless of their enjoyment of Abby. So, perhaps MGS2 was more successful in the end?
 
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fatmarco

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Halo 2 / The Arbiter is a good example. Personally it was a move that made the Halo canon worthwhile. The way in which it expanded the universe and tone of the games was exceptional for the time.

Halo 3 in comparison, is far worse due to them capitulating to the negative Arbiter related feedback, which in turn resulted in the removal of long cinematic cutscenes and extended story sequences to have it be replaced with simple objectives and a simple narrative.

Everything about that game was dumbed down for the fans who complained about the Arbiter, and as a result we got horrific writing, dialogue and outsourced cutscenes that looked like they were for cartoon characters.
 
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Marker007

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I feel like a lot of people were pretty cool with Ichiban taking over for Kiryu after Yakuza 6 closed out that chapter of the series and lead to Like a Dragon.
 
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Jan 30, 2019
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*praised

The rumors of the Twilight Princess remake got me thinking about how I fucking hate it when devs force us to play as different characters - the Wolf link in this instance. It soured an otherwise really good game for me.

Sonic's many friends is another example, and Halo 5.

Has there ever been a sequel to a game that completely (or even partially) switches out the main character that's ever really worked?
halo 2, mgs2, and twilight princess like you mentioned. I hated playing as other characters. i don't want to play as arbiter i wanted to play as master chief. same for tlou 2. i wanted to play as joel and ellie.

ones that worked though have already been mentioned. RE series, silent hill series, and RDR2/gta.
 
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CrimsonSquall

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Sure. Resident Evil 2 is the most obvious example. Not only was the game legitimately one of the greatest of all time, but it swapped out not one but both protagonists for two entirely new protagonists, and both new protagonists were almost instantly considered gaming icons on the back of the success of the game.

The major issue with the (in)famous examples, like MGS2's Raiden and TLOUII's Abby, it that the developer hid those characters. Fans went in expecting what the marketing promised - the characters they knew and loved - and they were delivered something entirely different, often deliberately conflicting. Their creators wanted their art to create controversy, and they got it. MGS2 has its followers - I think it's gameplay is terrific, personally - but Raiden in MGS2 is still fucking awful, and I struggle to replay the game largely because of him. I haven't played TLOUII, but it seems to my eyes that Abby was a more successful bait-and-switch than Raiden, in that players seemed to like the character more or less - but about half the people who played the game didn't like the game overall, regardless of their enjoyment of Abby. So, perhaps MGS2 was more successful in the end?
Half is a bold assumption. It’s a very controversial game but still the most awarded game ever so Id venture the number is actually much smaller
 

Black_Stride

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Assassin’s Creed. At least with Ezio and Altair.

You are still playing Desmond in those games.
Its only after that when you can say the main character actually changed.

/Ends nitpickery.
 

fart town usa

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*praised

The rumors of the Twilight Princess remake got me thinking about how I fucking hate it when devs force us to play as different characters - the Wolf link in this instance. It soured an otherwise really good game for me.

Sonic's many friends is another example, and Halo 5.

Has there ever been a sequel to a game that completely (or even partially) switches out the main character that's ever really worked?
Don't want to start an argument but the Wolf parts in TP are really blown out of proportion. It's just a few parts in the 1st section of Link's quest that are designed to get you somewhat familiar with an area before traversing it as Link. Eventually you get to change to the Wolf at will and the mandatory sections don't really exist after that point, save for a few sections that are tied to plot progression.

I really hope that TP gets released on Switch so people will revisit it. It's such an awesome game, the only negative I give it is that it's too easy. Even on hardcore mode. It's a really great game though that I feel like most people are misremembering. That's my own bias but man, I just feel like people are missing out a magnificent title in the Zelda series.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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Red Dead Redemption?
Oopps twas a prequel.
well Redemption (1) is a kind of sequel to Revolver. Redemption 2 is a prequel to Redemption (1).

Redemption (1), being a sequel, also had a main character switch so it still kinda counts?

John is killed and you play as Jack

Arthur dies and you play as John
 
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Tschumi

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Morrowind. You're a random criminal sent to be an imperial agent on a colony Isle and you end up chatting with a living god whilst killing another.. i mean, you're not Dragonborn, you're just a dude...
 
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Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
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well Redemption (1) is a kind of sequel to Revolver. Redemption 2 is a prequel to Redemption (1).

Redemption (1), being a sequel, also had a main character switch so it still kinda counts?

John is killed and you play as Jack

Arthur dies and you play as John

Revolver isnt even in the same universe as Redemption.
So they arent really sequels they just share a name.

Final Fantasy 13, 13.2 and Lightning Returns are all one universe, they count as sequels to each other.
But they arent sequels or prequels to Final Fantasy XV.

GTA 3D are all one universe....they are sequels and prequels to each other
GTA HD are a separate universe what happens in the HD-Verse isnt affected by the 3D-Verse......which in kind isnt affected by the 2D-Verse.
GTA London is not a prequel to GTA IV

Im being kinda nitpicky about it but if games/storys dont share a universe and/or have no way of mixing universes but share a name are they really sequels to each other from a story standpoint?

Is Godzilla King of the Monsters a sequel to Godzilla 1999?
 

kiphalfton

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Wolfenstein Youngblood.

What you want to play as BJ, too bad instead you gotta play as one of his cringe daughters. I mean there was nothing stopping the devs from making it male/female twins; the boy being a Chad and the girl being a Stacey. It would have made perfect sense too, considering BJ and Anya are who they are.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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The rumors of the Twilight Princess remake got me thinking about how I fucking hate it when devs force us to play as different characters - the Wolf link in this instance. It soured an otherwise really good game for me.

Sonic's many friends is another example, and Halo 5.

Has there ever been a sequel to a game that completely (or even partially) switches out the main character that's ever really worked?

Being forced to play that pansy Raiden still stings in my tongue until now.
 
Apr 22, 2021
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I will die on the hill that Abby was an interesting change. Sure - should have been way shorter, but she is a brutal character, beyond Joel and Ellie.
Best character in the game. If it was just Ellie it would have been a typical revenge tale. Abby's arc was far more compelling.
 
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Feb 23, 2018
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Yakuza is an interesting pick because I think a lot of people (myself included) were very skeptical of playing as someone other than Kiryu when 4 came out, but then Akiyama was the first playable character in the game and they just knocked everything about it out of the park.

Ichiban taking over is of course the most recent and relevant Yakuza example, but to me when I thought of this topic and Yakuza my mind went to 4.
 
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Any jrpg the past what 5 years both nier games, drakenguard, FF13 1 and 2 DMC 4,5 Dragon quest 8 on the DS, Nioh 2, Tekken 7, Ninja gaiden 3 razor edge "filles in the missing part of the DOA timeline"