Featuring some of the original cast, and plotted by the LOST creators, themselves, Via Domus had a lot going for it when it hit shelves between seasons 3 and 4. The player controls some guy named Elliott, who is not on the TV show, and has amnesia. One thing I especially liked about this game was that it is the only source to find out what was behind the blast doors in the Swan Hatch. So, if this game really had compelling mythos and plot, what exactly caused it to be so disappointing to LOST fans?
Well, for starters, the game was about 5 hours long and retailed for $60 upon release. Not only that, but the involvement of the show's creators actually made the game disappointing, in that it made me realize that they actually had no endgame to what they were writing. This is a huge complaint among fans of the show, and nowhere was it more visible than in the game. For instance, my character has to shut down the Swan hatch reactor so I could use my compass. This is a needlessly Herculean effort just to figure out which way "North" is, like if the real LOST characters had detonated the nuclear bomb just so they could have somewhere to toast marshmallows. Even worse, the mechanics used to shut it down are remarkably simple. So, why did the Dharma Initiative station guys in the hatch for decades to keep the reactor from going critical, when they could've just shut it down? This was the first in a long line of revelations that LOST had questions that were frustratingly unanswerable. Seriously, why did the island float? Islands aren't rafts, they are attached to the Earth. But I digress.
What also made this game a huge letdown was the gameplay. It wouldn't have required much programming at all to have most of the challenges answered through dialogue trees. In fact, the puzzles that required talking to other LOSTies were the only ones in the game that didn't seem like they were designed by a small, feral child. The rest of the game was, like, "Oh, no, move out of the way of this rock! Smoke monster's coming, hide in this tree's roots which provide no cover at all, really, but are somehow effective."