Gaming is well known for its sequels; in fact one could very easily argue that it’s the glue that binds the industry together. What do you mean, I hear you ask? Well, simply put, for as long as games have been about, there’s been a sequel to the last big hit (hell, there’s even been sequels to games that haven’t been hits).
2008 is of course no exception to the rule – you could say, why break the habit of a lifetime? Pacman after all had Ms Pacman to follow. This probably makes me sound quite bitter, but I’m not. Some of my favourite games historically (including Super Metroid, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Forza Motorsport 2 and many more) have in fact been sequels. With that in mind, let’s see which games are coming out with a number following the name for this year…
Metal Gear Solid 4
MGS4, or Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is being developed by Kojima Productions for the PS3. There’s rumour that it’ll be the last game to feature Solid Snake, but then they also say it’ll be the last with involvement of Hideo Kojima, but if either of these things happen I’ll be surprised.
The game is set in 2014, features nanotechnology and Liquid Ocelot. Snake is sent to despatch him after an armed uprising takes place in the US. As it’s in the future, Solid Snake is of course far older than the last outing. The game is hugely advanced in the graphics department but sticks with the formula of bosses, sneaking and good old-fashioned action.
Resident Evil 5
Back once again for a fifth iteration (well in fact, let’s face it there’s far more such as Survivor etc), Capcom is releasing Resident Evil 5 on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Details are sketchy so far beyond the fact that Chris Redfield stars as the protagonist and the game will have a feel of Black Hawk Down.
There’s ample evidence to support the idea that the game will be similar in interface and controls to Resident Evil 4 (which is no bad thing), but there will be more interaction with the environment. One cited detail so far has been how Chris may suffer from heat. Enemies this time around appear to be Africans with melee weapons including scythes and machetes.
Ninja Gaiden 2
One of the best games to grace the original Xbox was certainly the original Ninja Gaiden. I say original, but of course it has been in the arcades, 3 games on the NES, a game on the PS3 and Master System – and that’s not even naming them all. However, let’s forget about that for the moment and consider the video of the game. It looks simply stunning.
Action looks incredibly fast paced with a lot going on at once, it is rumoured to have all the weapons from the first game as well as many new ones. The storyline should hit about thirty hours and the action-RPG elements such as the weapon combos are expected will be emphasised.
So, what to make of these sequels? Well I’d just like to say first of all that I don’t have anything against games that have a number at the end of them, as long as they offer something genuinely new and exciting to the series, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be made.
On the other hand however I’d like to say that new IP’s should always make it through the net. Developers and producers shouldn’t just rely on something safe when they know it’ll succeed, as it will eventually dry up the market for games. Long live the sequel, but let’s also foster creativity and newness.