Up For Debate - Sequels: More Of The Same Or Something New?

Written by Ed SW on Thu, Dec 29, 2016 9:13 AM

So you’ve made it, you’re a rockstar. You’ve done your first world tour, your first album, Banana Rock, has gone platinum and The Bananarama Rockers are the biggest band in the world. How do you write that second album? Do the punters want more of the same or do they want to see you go to India, take a load of Hallucinogens and come back with a sitar? This is a problem that rock stars and game devs share alike. When you’ve had a massively successful game and the sequel inevitably comes knocking, do you give the gamers out there more of the same or do you you try and mix it up to keep it fresh? We all know we’ve seen people get angry at both, so let’s rap for a second.

There’s great sequels that have done both. There’s sequels that know what you like better than you do and when releasing a new game, there’s only a need to tweak and improve the formula rather than re-write it. Take Half-Life 2, take Super Smash Bros. Melee, take Assassins Creed 2; all fantastic games than have taken their predecessor, added a few bells and whistles and given us a new improved version that we loved every second of.

But then the same results can be gained from mixing it up just the same, take Red Dead Redemption, child of Red Dead Revolver. No doubt a great game but take its feel slap it into an open world setting and you’ve got the best of both. Or Majora’s Mask, there’s no doubt it shares factors with it’s Ocarina predecessor, but they completely changed how the world around you worked, with everything you’d ever do in three days being lost forever, never to be revisited in a Zelda game.

Yet in the same way both can work, both can fail, never forget. Take Duke Nukem Forever, a game that has decided to change almost nothing over it’s almost 20 year development and fell behind to our noughtie sensibilities. Or Rare’s beloved Banjo & Kazooie chucking in their platforming antics to build cars in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (not saying this one is the worst but it definitely disappointed). It’s a tricky call to make as I’m sure you can see.

So what's your preference when looking forward to a sequel? Do you like innovation and accept the risk of it falling flat? Or are you a King Curtis kinda guy and know what you want and when you want it? Does it depend entirely on the game? And can you think of any sequels that have done either way for the better or for the worse? Let us know!

More Of the Same Or Something New?

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00:40 Jan-01-2017

The story must continue always. If sequels can continue the story of its first game then im always willing to play it. Even if it didn't really add new features or elements

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12:37 Dec-30-2016

I would say it depends on the game. For example batman have so many different games, but the story off them are different. Same for NFS, fifa and nba and more games. As long as people play these games, they'll make more of the games.

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09:40 Dec-30-2016

it has to have a good story connected to previous games, basically more of the same but it also has to bring something new for gamers who did not play it's first/second/... seasons.

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01:57 Dec-30-2016

Depends on the game... DOOM3 wasn't well-received for its Horror/Survival mix while DOOM 2016 was a breath of fresh FPS air we so desperately needed. So in that came "same old" played in favor.
Seems to be working for COD/Battlefield games too, though I do personally see it as milking the franchises every year... "Another year - another COD", they say :D

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22:48 Dec-29-2016

Quality will always be welcome and rewarded, even if the idea is old.


With all that said... originality is not the problem, lack of quality (in any sense) is.

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20:45 Dec-29-2016

New is good....unless we're talking about Dragon Age 2 & 3 new. Then, by god, please leave it alone.

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01:00 Dec-30-2016

See for me personally I preferred 2&3. I guess it depends on what type/genre of games you like

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02:55 Dec-30-2016

I think if they had created a new IP and taken it in the direction they did it would have been one thing. Instead, they abandoned the fans who thought Origins was amazing and chased an entirely different crowd and/or tried to appeal to everyone at once and it just didn't work. It's cool that you were able to enjoy them but to me, they were really big let-downs.

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18:23 Dec-29-2016

More of the same, but adjested with a few improvements, that's the whole point.

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16:57 Dec-29-2016

As long as the sequel keeps its "identity" I'm fine with it.

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10:57 Dec-29-2016

Why did this article get reposted?

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10:09 Dec-29-2016

what i simply want from my favorite sequels is an improved gameplay with a good/better story and a balance between these two characteristics , till now only rise of the tomb raider and shadow of warrior 2 that maintained the glory of the originals. dunno about dishonored 2 since i have yet to play it

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09:56 Dec-29-2016

More of the same is ok once or twice (assuming what you started with was good) so long as they listen to feedback and make small improvements. After that though it's either time for a shake up or call it a day. Certain franchises just release a re-skin of the same game every year and charge full price and will continue until people stop paying for it.

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09:27 Nov-30-2016

something new, definitely,
I'm strongly against milking the franchise, abusing the name to increase sales,
on the other hand that doesn't mean a new game cannot "share" certain elements (chracters, gameplay mechanics, theme...),
for ex. Burnout Paradise and NFS: Most Wanted 2012 are fairly similar games (developed by similar people) yet they are not same franchise,
while for ex. NFS: Underground 2 and NFS: ProStreet are very different games while being same franchise

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09:03 Nov-30-2016

So...Half Life 3 confirmed

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08:35 Nov-30-2016

Look at Quake. It's following it's golden 90's rule: "Shoot first, ask questions later".

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07:27 Nov-30-2016

And i'm sitting here wating for shadow of mordor 2

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04:08 Nov-30-2016

I've said this recently said this in another article, but I'll say it again. A good squeal should be evolutionary, not revolutionary. A good sequal should be about the same as the first, but with developments that push the concept further and better. Games like Tekken and Titanfall 2 are good examples of this. However, Soul Calibre does not follow this, and is being held back because of that.

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07:45 Nov-30-2016

Gothic 2! :)

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02:32 Nov-30-2016

Something new should come from sequels, dlc and expansion packs should be for more of the same.

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