Why Video Game Sequels Are Held Back By Their Prequels

From the abysmal amount of hate Overwatch 2 is receiving to the underwhelming stand Fallout 76 has had, many sequels seem to end up disappointing.

A solo stand-alone game, something that can end up spanning an entire franchise, or it can remain as a solo adventure, never to be touched upon again. Many solo video games that get popular end up with sequels because the creators want to bank on the franchise as a whole, this is where a rift aligns, one that can go either way.

On one hand, the creators realize that working on a direct or indirect sequel might end up sullying the name of the franchise. Seeing what you made through years of effort burn down into ashes in front of you, is something people don’t really enjoy seeing, well unless you’re EA.

On the other hand, a team decides that they want to continue working on a previous title. This leads them to make sequels or content based on the original material. This decision may lead them to make a better or worse game as compared to its prequel, but this is the problem, the Comparison between the two titles causes the rift.

You see, when people look at a game as a stand-alone title, it will be looked upon unbiasedly, but when you look at it with reference to previous articles, well then people have a much different stance.

Take Overwatch 2 as a prime example, I never played the first Overwatch, so naturally, when I played the sequel, I had a ton of fun with everything. Unlike myself, all people would do is compare it, compare it to such an extent that it feels like the game is being pulled back by its prequel when in reality it is sound and works well.

I might not be an Overwatch veteran, but I can tell a fun game apart from a bad one, and Overwatch 2 is pretty fun.

Another point to be thrown around is how we would react to a video game seeing it as a stand-alone. When I played Dark Souls 1, I was infatuated with the game and everything it had to offer, but after playing through every FromSoftware title, I soon came to realize the faults between many of these games.

Remember, this only happened because I had previous exposure. If I were to play Bloodborne without playing any other article from FromSoftware, I would have definitely viewed Bloodborne as one of their best titles, only because it would’ve been my first exposure.

Another occurrence is a little video game called A Plague Tale, and its sequel titled Requiem has been at a very confusing standpoint as the game was never supposed to have a sequel, but the success of the first spanned to its sequel. Yet again, comparisons were made, and boom! people have a fairly positive response.

This tells us that there are occurrences when the game can actually be better than its original, but how often do you see this? Fallout has been in a particularly bad state after Fallout 76, being dubbed the worst Fallout game, and the fact that the game’s next iteration is to be revealed in many years to come shows how badly it aged.

Well, that’s a gist of what happens if a team decides to expose themselves to a new title. Sometimes they succeed greatly, sometimes they fall flat on their face, and sometimes they barely make it out alive. But what of those who decide that their series should stay in one setting, never to be touched upon again?

Let us take a look at a little game called Outer Wilds. Possibly one of the greatest games to take the looping principle and apply it to an intense extent.

The game was fairly popular and if needed, a sequel can easily be made, but the creators have still not made any announcements as they are not particularly hoping to destroy their previous work as the one DLC they put out wasn’t as up to par as one would hope.

In conclusion, any sequel that a team puts out gets blasted by the past with comparisons that the game might get hit with, but there are moments of success, times a title breaks the boundary and makes itself even more respected.

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Ahmed Shayan

Moving from genre to genre, Shayan is always looking for the next immersive title that he can sink his teeth into. Whenever he is free, he can be found exploring the infinite universe in No Man's Sky or camping on a corner in Valorant.

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