IceWarm's Random Thoughts

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Video Game Sequels…Are We Setting Ourselves Up For Disappointment?

Many people get excited about sequels of any kind, whether it be movies, books, or video games to name a few. As with movie and book sequels video game sequels can be better or worse than the previous installment. So by getting so excited over video game sequels are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

I say in some cases we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment especially on sequels to games that were already awesome and near perfect to begin with. How can some of these games be topped? Sometimes they can’t. With future installments of a game series many people expect improved gameplay and/or all the gameplay elements from the previous game to be worked into the sequel. Sometimes this can’t be done because of the story and setting of the next installment. For example in Metal Gear Solid 3-Snake Eater the game introduced hunting and healing into the gameplay mechanics. But since Metal Gear Solid 4-Guns of The Patriots takes place in various war zones and city type areas it may be difficult to implement the hunting aspect. Even Hideo Kojima said it would be hard to hunt when you are in the middle of a war zone with various factions fighting all around you. Also many story based sequels might not live up to the previous game because the designers wanted to take a different approach to the storytelling for the sequel. This happened in Metal Gear Solid 2-Sons of Liberty when the player controlled Raiden for most of the game. This was done so the player could view Snake as a different character and not be that character in the game. You get a different perspective on who Snake is when you play as Raiden. To many gamers this was a disappointment. Halo 2 was also a disappointment to some. I agree to an extent as far as the single player goes. The ending was a bit of a letdown to me. However the online play is what kept me interested. The same goes for Fable, not reall a sequel it was a disappointment to some nonetheless. Lionhead Studios said so much would be in this game that was probably not technologically possible on the Xbox. Many gamers got very excited over Fable and when it was released in the fall of 2004 many players found the game to be way too short and not all that Lionhead had said it would be.

I feel that when a sequel is announced many gamers, myself included tend to get too excited on how great the game will be and how much better it will be than the previous games and when the sequel does come out sometimes it is not all that the gamers had hoped for.

Maybe a way around being disappointed with game sequels is to not have expectations about how great the game will be. So maybe we should take marketing hype and other stuff intended to hype up an upcoming game with a grain of salt and not expect the near impossible with the release of a game. This way we may prevent so many of us from being disappointed when a game does not live up to the hype or our expectations.


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