The majority of movie sequels fail to capture the same essence that made an original movie a classic, and are generally inferior versions of their far more creative predecessors. George Lucas for example, has this uncanny knack to both conceive and nullify his own genius creations. The original Star Wars trilogy is largely regarded as the greatest trilogy in movie history, but Lucas’s subsequent sequels have been….. well, you’ve seen them and you know what I’m talking about. Indiana Jones, which is my personal favourite film series, was diminished almost irreparably but it’s insignificant fourth instalment, and I’m still fearful of the inevitable fifth (curse you Lucas & Spielberg). I apologize for my little Hollywood inspired tirade and let me get back to the point, as demoralizing as movie sequels can ultimately be, gamers have much less to fear.
Gaming spin-offs have largely been cause for celebration and something for us to look upon in excited anticipation, and I firmly believe that it’s the fans that contribute a large portion to games successes and failures. Mediocrity in the games industry is simply not good enough anymore (as Red Faction has sadly proved), and its requisite to the developers that they give the fans what they want. I doubt that anyone of us could suitably convince either Lucas or Spielberg to seize their destructive inclinations towards Indiana Jones, no matter how forcefully inclined I/we would be, but this is an important basis that developers dare not ignore. Fans are important to have at the beginning of a series and even more essential to keep as devs progress.
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune may not have been without its blemishes but it showed enough promise to justify a sequel, and we were gifted with arguably the greatest spin-off in gaming law; Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It improved and delighted on almost every aspect, and also demonstrated that games could administer fans with engaging narratives worthy of the silver screen, and it fills you with confidence knowing that Drakes Deception will almost certainly live up to your high expectation’s. Even when Naughty Dog lowered the damage of bullets during Uncharted 3’s Beta test to most fans displeasure, Naughty Dog listened to the feedback and reverted things back, which shows a degree of respect with the fans rarely witnessed in the movie industry.
I’ll admit that not all film spin-offs are turgid excrement, Aliens was better than Alien, The Godfather II was an improvement on its forerunner, but most sequels are ill-conceived money spinners. But as gamers, there is a genuine feeling that if a sequel to a good title was considered, that rather than feeling worried at the prospect, you would embrace the idea that whatever happens, it will improve on the previous incarnation, and if not, you should be comforted by the fact that it wont be as bad as Indiana Jones 4.
Do you think most games sequels improve on the originals? Let me know your thoughts, cheers.