Opinion: Five Most Anticipated Gaming Sequels
Gamers love sequels. Absolutely love ’em. It’s the reason why established franchises continue to dominate every corner of the mainstream industry, regardless of how uninspired and generic their increasingly tired lineage has become. By contrast, original IPs are about as common as an expletive-free Xbox Live session.
How fortunate then that there are some great-looking sequels on the horizon, including eagerly awaited follow-ups to some genuinely fantastic originals. There’s a huge amount of buzz around the likes of GTA V, BioShock Infinite and Assassin’s Creed 3, while talk of Half-Life 3 continues to enflame such die-hard passions that you suspect Gabe Newell must take out roughly fifty restraining orders a day.
However, none of those highly-anticipated projects actually make my own personal Top 5. Instead, here are the sequels I’m most giddy for:
Metro: Last Light
Metro 2033 was a superb game: a compelling, atmospheric blend of intense first-person action, nerve-shredding survival-horror and challenging stealth that proved one of 2010’s gaming highlights.
Its first sequel, scheduled for release early next year, looks set to expand upon the original’s knack for gripping moodiness and intriguing subject-matter. Once again players will venture into the furthest reaches of the post-apocalyptic Moscow subway, as well as donning their gas masks to explore the nuclear-ravaged ruins of the city above. We may be drowning in FPSs at the moment, but believe me – Metro: Last Light looks like as far away from your typical shooter as it’s possible to get.
It’s been two years since Obsidian’s excellent New Vegas adventure, and a full four since the smash-hit phenomenon that was Fallout 3. With Skyrim once again proving that Bethesda are the kings of open-world RPG gaming, the prospect of a new full Fallout title boasting an all-new engine and fresh landscape to explore is an absolutely tantalizing one.
There are so many possibilities for settings and scenarios that it’s going to be fascinating to see just what the developers come up with. A more flexible and extensive version of both the reputation and weapon-modding systems introduced in New Vegas would be welcome, as would a slightly less buggy release (we can but hope). But please Bethesda, for the love of God, don’t go introducing vehicles as some have suggested. Exploring those obscenely dangerous yet beautifully captivating wastelands on foot, is half the fun.
Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
Dead Space 3 and Resident Evil 6 are looking less and less like proper horror titles with each and every passing hour, and few mainstream devs are willing to offer up proper survival-horror these days. Thank heavens then for the dark geniuses at Frictional Games and The Chinese Room, who are collaborating on this delightfully sinister-looking successor to one of the most terrifying games ever made.
Frictional’s psychological masterpiece Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a slice of macabre Lovecraftian genius so nerve-wracking that it had gamers gibbering and breaking down all over their bags of Milky Ways. And with its ominous mixture of decadent Victorian interiors and rusty, industrial chambers, not to mention a title that only increases in nope-ness the more you think about it, A Machine For Pigs looks set to be a truly worthy sequel. Just check out this teaser, ghastly pig sounds and all, and tell me you’re not freaking out already.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Ok, so it’s not even been announced yet – but Rockstar have strongly hinted at a follow-up to their hugely popular and acclaimed Western, and it’s a prospect that fills me with copious amounts of joy.
John Marston’s original adventure was packed full of memorable moments, from the majestic first trip across the Mexican border to that jaw-dropping ending. It was a game that really captured that classic Cowboy spirit and the compelling last days of the Old West: with its extraordinary and engrossing landscape to explore, rogue’s gallery of ruthless outlaws, corrupt officials and cunning swindlers to deal with, and its ability to veer from laugh-out-loud funny to gut-wrenchingly tragic faster than a seasoned gunslinger’s draw.
Just the thought of more slow-motion showdowns, epic treks across the open plains and memorably colourful characters is enough to set the pulse racing. A prequel to Marston’s veteran outing, when he was a young gang member and not yet ‘too old for this shit’, looks an intriguing possibility. Here’s hoping.
Last year’s Rayman Origins was a near-perfect delight: an unashamedly exuberant feast of 2D platforming fun awash with beautiful visual design, fantastic music and ingeniously assembled levels bursting with tongue-in-cheek innovation – whether you were riding a grouchy insect into battle or scaling a Tibetan-style monastery with the aid of wise mens’ beards. A sheer delight to play, it managed to make familiar platforming tropes and environments seem fresh and exciting all over again.
The great news is that a direct follow-up is on its way – with Rayman Legends heading for the Wii U. Continuing much in the same vein as its predecessor but with a whole new range of fun mechanics and ideas in the offing, it’s fair to say that this may be the title worth getting Nintendo’s new console for.
Which sequels are you most looking forward to? And do you agree with the choices above? Feel free to add your comments below…