As with movies and books, video games have the power to spin off into huge franchises.
Think of all the series that have dominated the entertainment industry in the past ten years: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight (sorry), the Marvel movies, and Star Wars. While these are all hugely different in terms of their style and tone, they captured the public’s imagination and left millions demanding more. Whether sequels took the form of further novels or films (or, in most cases, both), fans have been given a hefty helping of their favourite stories.
Video games are no different. Some titles hit the market and cause a storm of excitement. Others fade with little (or, sadly, no) trace. While games like Assassin’s Creed go on to spawn sequels, spin-offs, books, and even films, others – regardless of their quality or commercial appeal – remain without a follow-up. In some cases, this is fine, but in others, fans are left clamouring for more.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at seven awesome games that deserve a sequel (no matter how belated!) …
Streets of Rage
Without doubt, the Streets of Rage series is one of the most beloved of all the beat-em-ups to surface during the 90s. With three fantastic entries on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Streets of Rage 4 was actually under development, but was never released.
During the era of the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast, attempts were made to complete a 3D continuation of Streets of Rage – one of these apparently went on to become Fighting Force, a decent but fairly forgettable roaming-brawler.
A fan-made fourth instalment in the series was in production for around eight years, and released online, but Sega politely requested its removal (which is understandable, especially considering they still make money from sales of Streets of Rage via Steam and other online stores).
While many fans may well have wanted a 3D Streets of Rage 4, scrolling beat-em-ups are generally more effective in 2D – collision detection can be fairly problematic in three dimensions, which can break a game based entirely around combat. A 2D style would be fantastic, particularly with current-gen graphics.
Fingers crossed we’ll get a sequel sometime in the future, as unlikely as that seems.
In a world of gritty, visceral first-person-shooters, the prospect of a colourful slice of silliness in the form of TimeSplitters 4 is certainly a welcome one! Not that there’s anything wrong with the aforementioned gritty FPS trend, but the TimeSplitters trilogy genuinely was a joy to play, helped in large part by its tongue-in-cheek nature.
Free Radical Design (a company formed by developers who worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark) crafted these gorgeous, fun games, turning out three between 2000 – 05. While the first and third games were outstanding, the second remains the most memorable: who can forget the absurd brilliance of pitting a heavily-armed snowman against an alien packing a ray-gun? Zombies, spies, cowboys, fedora-wearing gangsters, and so many other disparate elements were tied together via the smart use of time-travel.
TimeSplitters 4 was in production following Future Perfect (the third game), but it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day, allegedly due to the lukewarm performance of the previous instalment. Shame.
This little-known Xbox 360/PS3 game definitely deserves a sequel, with its fast-paced shooting and kinetic action. While it’s mainly a cover-based experience, Vanquish distinguishes itself from slower, more lumbering contemporaries (such as Gears of War) through the use of rocket-boosters – sliding from cover to cover, and zipping across environments, is a refreshing addition.
Set aboard a space station, Vanquish is stunning to look at, with the intricate mechanisms on hero Sam’s suit particularly impressive. It’s worth checking out for fans of the action genre, or for anyone looking to immerse themselves in an exciting sci-fi-soaked experience, but will we ever see a sequel? It’s highly, highly unlikely, given Vanquish’s fairly unimpressive sales.
Okay, this may seem like a somewhat odd choice, given that it’s based on a movie franchise. Still, bear with us.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game (released way back in 2009, fact fans) is one of the best uses of a licence since GoldenEye. Not only did it stick close to the tone of the films, blending comedy and supernatural-horror beautifully, but its stunning recreation of the actors, fantastic voice-work, and gorgeous visuals makes this a fantastic experience for fans of the movies. It’s also the third film many of us wanted but will never get to see.
With the imminent reboot heading our way, the Ghostbusters franchise is set to get a whole new band of heroes, but the legendary Venkman, Stantz, Zeddemore, and Spengler have expanded into cartoons and an excellent comic-book series by IDW – so why not more video games?
While Sanctum of Slime was a fairly stripped-down follow-up to the 2009 game, a real sequel would be terrific, particularly with the latest generation’s graphical capabilities. However, with Harold Ramis sadly no longer with us, the chances of coaxing Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, and Ernie Hudson back for another adventure are minimal – either give us soundalikes, or simply use different characters.
However it was done, another third-person adventure set in the Ghostbusters universe would be welcomed by many gamers.
Future Cop: LAPD
Remember this? Originally conceived as a continuation of the Strike franchise (which began with the classic Desert Strike years earlier), this 1998 title puts players in control of a powerful mech. This exosuit was capable of transforming into a pursuit vehicle, allowing you to mix up the pace of the action and the type of assault you make on enemies.
Future Cop is split into two parts. The main campaign is a story-based mode, but the ‘free-combat mode’ revolves around capturing bases and invading enemy strongholds, using a variety of additional weapons & vehicles. This is still an exciting, action-packed game, offering a decent amount of replay value.
While we’ve had plenty of mech-based games, a much-belated sequel to Future Cop: LAPD would be a great way to mash elements of RoboCop, Transformers, and Pacific Rim together in a stunning futuristic urban environment. Changing from a twenty-foot mech into a high-speed police hovercraft before chasing down criminals armed with plasma rifles, with today’s graphics? Irresistible!
Developed by Psygnosis, G-Police is a little-known but decent game. As a pilot tasked with policing a colony on one of Jupiter’s moons, players fly a VTOL aircraft – basically a helicopter without blades.
Boasting impressive visual design (sprawling urban areas inspired by the mighty Blade Runner) and a gripping storyline, G-Police is still impressive considering it’s nearly 20 years old; as a free-roaming aerial-based adventure, a sequel or remake with today’s technology would be terrific. The sequel, from 1999, introduced other vehicles, including a mech, which helped to bring some much-needed diversity to the action.
Is a second sequel likely? Not at all. However, a futuristic cop-centric game holds immense potential, especially if the Blade Runner-influences were maintained.
Blending time-travel, monstrous aliens, innovative sandbox gameplay, and a variety of diverse environments, Body Harvest is an underrated N64 classic.
The plot is awesome: aliens have harvested Earth’s population across 100 years, arriving every quarter-century to consume the population of separate areas. A soldier, Adam, is sent to five different times and places in the 20th century to combat the aliens & prevent the harvesting: Greece, Java, the US, Siberia, and a futuristic location.
Players have an open world at their disposal, and have access to various vehicles & weapons to take on the invaders. Aliens attack areas at different times, and so reaching them before all civilians are harvested is essential – but not easy! Despite its high difficulty, this is still a great game, and, with its fairly violent, gritty action, a sequel would fit right into the current world of games.
Well, that brings our list to a close – which games do you want to see given the sequel (or remake) treatment? Let us know!