Ten games that really deserve a sequel
- Murray Robertson
- 12 September 2017
Could the impending remaster of L.A. Noire herald a long-awaited follow-up?
With the surprise and welcome news that Rockstar is set to release remastered versions of its cult hit L.A. Noire in November, we take a look at the classic games that have so far been passed over for sequels. Reboots don't count (so no DOOM, Thief or Prey) nor do spin-offs (no place for Torment: Tides of Numenera).
Despite suffering one of the most tortuous game developments of all time (which led to the closure of developer Team Bondi just a few months after release), L.A. Noire was a stunning technical achievement with a gorgeous, atmospheric recreation of Los Angeles in 1947. A spiritual sequel could trade off the name and perhaps explore another part of 19th century US history, but so far nothing has been confirmed. It's a particular shame since the game's MotionScan technology seemed to herald a breakthrough in facial animation.
Another Rockstar classic, this one now over a decade old: Bully (originally released in the UK as Canis Canem Edit – that's 'dog eat dog' in Latin) stoked the usual controversy that surrounds any Rockstar release thanks to some predictable tabloid hysteria (many people assumed from the title that you played the role of a school bully, whereas the actual protagonist is a rather more sympathetic individual).
This ludicrous shooter featured a novel way of dispatching enemies using an 'energy leash' which could be combined with standard weaponry for inventive kills. Sadly, sales of under a million put plans for a sequel on hold. A recent remaster may have helped rekindle interest in the game, although its high price is unlikely to have helped boost sales.
This fantastic interactive horror was originally scheduled as a PS3 release making use of that system's now-largely forgotten motion controllers. High production values, a great cast (including Mr. Robot's Rami Malek and Heroes' Hayden Panettiere) and a pretty decent script all helped to make this great fun. Its PS VR spin-off, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, doesn't count, nor does its VR-focused prequel, The Inpatient, due in November. More of this sort of thing, please.
Back in the 1990s when LucasArts published some of gaming's most popular adventures (see also Full Throttle on this list), this enormously popular story, by legendary developer Tim Schafer, focused on a Mexican calaca on a path of redemption. Since Disney's 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, the company's gaming arm has been effectively amputated, although a recent remaster suggests interest in the potential franchise remains strong.
Star Wars: Empire at War
This RTS game set in the Star Wars universe received a lukewarm reception but has grown a cult following over the past 11 years. Interest in Star Wars has never been higher, and a recent patch to reintegrate multiplayer support could point to an imminent resurgence, although StarCraft II's decline as an eSport (largely thanks to the rising popularity of MOBA games such as Dota 2) has left the RTS genre looking rather passé these days.
The Alien franchise has had very mixed fortunes through its long videogame history. This first person stealth-em-up from UK-based Total War developer, Creative Assembly, is far and away the best use of the xenomorph and it would be a shame if its inventive, terrifying gameplay never saw the light of day again.
This startlingly original game presents you with a bank of video footage which you have to sift through in order to glean clues to solve a crime. You do this by coming up with keywords based on the testimony of a woman called Hannah Smith (actress Viva Seifert). Its use of full motion video brings to mind the naff CD-ROM titles that dominated gaming in the mid 90s, but here it's used to brilliant effect. The same presentation could easily accommodate a new mystery.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
After LucasArts' adored 90s output, the publisher struggled to produce decent Star Wars titles in the following decade. Republic Commando was one of their better efforts, despite its ties to the prequel trilogy: a tactical FPS set during the Clone Wars. Released 12 years ago, this was the last singleplayer Star Wars FPS game, although November's Battlefront II will correct that.
Another Tim Schafer game from LucasArts' golden era, this story of a biker in search of his stolen machine featured the vocal stylings of the late Roy Conrad as lead character, Ben, and Mark Hamill as his arch nemesis, Adrian Ripburger. It was recently released in remastered form which has yet again provoked calls for a sequel (in part because the original game is much-loved but very short). Sadly, since Conrad died in 2002 it seems likely that the chances of a sequel went with him.
L.A. Noire is out on PS4, XBox One and Nintendo Switch on 14 Nov. L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files is out on 14 Nov.