We live in the world of the sequel, the remake, the annual release, the safe bet, the lazy rehash. Occasionally a new name might emerge, a new IP (Intellectual Property) that hopes to become the next big franchise, but they're generally seen to be too risky in the world of the multi-million pound costs of developing and marketing a game.
Some sequels are essential though and 2011 will be no different with Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City already driving us nuts with the wait. Sometimes though, when we see an announcement for a sequel, our hearts sink, we question the sanity of developers/publishers and usually have a bit of a fight around the office to see which poor sod will have to review it.
So here's a look at the sequels that haven't been announced yet, but in all probability will be in the near future. Albeit with slightly more marketable titles.
1:Kane & Lynch 3: Shooting Babies
Last year Io Interactive took the unusual approach of making an ugly game even uglier for the sequel and fixing almost nothing. You have to admire their work ethic of 'f**k the public, they'll buy anything, so why bother?' Handheld camera angles, super-blocky lo-res images (yay it's like YouTube said my PS3 in disgust), childish controversy and bullets that still seemed miserably slow. What's the point of well-conceived multiplayer modes when shooting a gun is such a broken experience? A tie-in movie might just work instead, as the story had a sharp pace to it and we've all enjoyed the Michael Mann-inspired moments, but in all honesty we wish this pair of old dogs had died tied to those chairs in Shanghai.
2: Dynasty/Gundam/Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Armageddon Soldier Mowing
What we remember as briefly enjoyable demos back in the PS2 days have slowly fallen apart this generation. How this series managed to survive in Japan is questionable, but we honestly don't see the point in them being released over here any more. Gameplay eternally revolves around pressing the square button and maybe triangle every now and then. As the KO count rises to 1000 in one mission you'll have stopped seeing enemy soldiers as it feels more like cutting down tall grass with a spear-shaped garden-strimmer. Feel free to put the upcoming Warriors: Legends of Troy in the same river-bound sack.
3: Resident Evil (The movie series)
Fair enough, even the second film is better than any of the game licenses Uwe Boll's raped over the years. But the last film (Afterlife) almost forgot to include zombies for frig's sake. Sorry Milla we're just not interested any more. The series needs a complete revamp, with a new cast and director. All we really want is to see the fourth game turned into a film, how hard would that be? Failing that, dismember it, burn it and bury it in concrete to stop it rising again.
4: Army of Two: Three Way
Please stop EA. Remember when everyone used to hate you before Activision became the Uberswine? It's because of shite like this. The Co-op trend died with the first game that played like a drunk Gears of War with smashed kneecaps. When the best thing I can find to say about your game is that it's like a slightly less toss version of Kane & Lynch, you know it's time to move on.
5: Final Fantasy XIII-2
Ok, so this has actually been announced which could mean one of three things: 1 I should start writing up my features sooner. 2: Square-Enix can read my mind and enjoy torturing me. Or 3: they just can't be arsed coming with anything new. So the most criticised FF title ever is amazingly getting a sequel. It's mainly upsetting because we know they might learn their lesson and make a great game again. Which means we'll have to actually finish FFXIII.
6: Lego 'insert film name'
I can't think of a single license that would convert me to the Lego games. Tired, generic, fan-milking garbage. Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, all fantastic exercises in making the same game over and over again. Pirates of the Caribbean next, which might be worse than the third movie. Call me when they make Lego Manhunt (the game) or Lego Evil Dead and we'll talk.
7: Assassin's Creed 2: Part 3
Last year's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood acted as a direct sequel to AC2, rather than moving the series forward a time period with each game, as was originally intended. After another successful Xmas takings from Ezio, will Ubisoft be tempted to go for another roll in the hay with him? We've enjoyed our Italian holidays, but let's get on with a new setting now. Our very own Felix got stuck into where the series could go next, so go read and send Ubisoft an email.
8: Street of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 2 was one of the finest beat em' ups ever made. The Sega Saturn almost saw a fourth game in the series, but it was canned early on, mainly because it looked awful as the series tried to move into 3D. The genre hasn't really survived on modern consoles, as it's evolved into adventure-combat titles like God of War and Bayonetta. It won't be long though before we see the grave-robbers return to ruin memories with more pap like the Splatterhouse remake. If you insist on doing it Sega, at least keep it 2D.
9: Robbing DLC
Remember the times when you would unlock extra content in a game by playing it? Now the only thing we get out of that is a few Achievements, Trophies or (arghhh!) Concept art. Extra outfits for Super Street Fighter IV, multiplayer modes that are already on the disc (hello Resi 5) and extra music are some of the biggest culprits of DLC criminality. Or there are games that let you pay to unlock everything in the game. We're now paying for stuff that we used to press a combination of buttons at the start menu for. Worse still, you can buy all the online multiplayer weapons early in games like Medal of Honor, giving you all the best ones from the start, instead or working for them like everyone else.
10: Raving Rabbids
How many parties have you been to, lured in by the promise of a bit of a gaming session? You know the hosts have a PS3 or 360 and a few tasty multiplayer classics like COD, Street Fighter IV or FIFA. But no, some arsehole spies the Wii that, I've been slyly covering with my coat, and insists on cracking out a f**king Rabbids game. Crap like this is the biggest barrier to casual gamers ever playing something half-decent. Ugly, half-broken motion controls and more shat-out minigames than good ones hasn't stopped these Rayman usurping little bastards from seeing numerous identical sequels.
And breathe. So how about it readers? Have I just savaged a beloved series? Or do you share the fury at any other title announcements? Vent below in the comments section.