Please Stop Whining About Too Many Sequels
Hey, I'm the first one pulling for the success of a plucky new IP. The industry absolutely thirsts for fresh experiences, and developers must continue to strive for innovation and revolution. It doesn't just expand the boundaries of the interactive entertainment world; it guarantees stability and growth.
But you know, I'm getting sick and tired of a lot of hardcore gamers - so-called "purists" - who continually complain that we're inundated with sequel after sequel. And while it's certainly true that most of the biggest titles available are new installments in established franchises, we're forgetting something vital: those same games are often some of the best we've ever seen. Why are we forgetting that?
What, because Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is "just another Uncharted," it's going to be a rehash? Or what about Batman: Arkham City? God of War III? Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots? I mean, I could go on and on. Sure, some companies are pushing for these annual entries in gigantic franchises (Assassin's Creed is the latest to join the annual list), but are we really going to ignore the inherent quality?
For instance, I see a lot of people crowing about Catherine and rightfully so. But too many are just going, "yeah, it's something new so it rules." Yes, it's original and yes, that's great. But the game isn't pulling down high review scores just because it's unique. There are plenty of new IPs that never work out ('cough' Haze 'cough'); where are the anti-sequel freaks when that happens? Also, there's one fact we can't ignore:
When it comes to movies, sequels aren't often as good as the original. But in games, the best installments in any given established franchise aren't always the original entry...in fact, I dare say that's rare. Zelda: A Link to the Past? Super Mario 3? Which Final Fantasy? Which Metal Gear Solid? Given the advances in technology and huge budgets that allow for fantastic talent in all aspects of development, we're continually capable of creating better experiences. It's this fast advancement that benefits us.
Yeah, we needed a Heavy Rain. We can definitely use a Catherine. We're going to continue to need them forever. But let's stop whining about too many sequels; last I checked, so many of those sequels are freakin' bad-ass in every sense of the term.
7/29/2011 Ben Dutka