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As a new addition to the Gamer Limit team I was planning on writing an article that covered my favourite game of last year, as many of the writers here have already done. However I decided against telling you about how much I enjoyed the brilliant Mass Effect 2, because I would only be repeating articles that you have read already on plenty of different gaming websites, including Gamer Limit. Although it was rather brilliant, wasn’t it?

Instead, I thought, as a new contributor to the website, maybe it would be more appropriate for me to talk about the future of 2011 and the games that we can all look forward to. Last year was pretty good for gamers with a variety of great titles for us to choose from and 2011 doesn’t look like it will disappoint. Hopefully you all have a couple games in mind (I definitely have more than a couple), whether it be revisiting the land of Tamriel or searching for yet another lost city with Nathan Drake.

One theme that stands out when looking at the games to be released over 2011 is the large proportion of sequels to titles that we already know and love. Go ahead and think of some of the games that you are anticipating this year and there’s a good chance that most of them are not brand new names or ideas, but rather sequels or maybe even prequels to an already successful series.

On the one hand that means we get to jump back into our favourite stories and see the effect of our actions from previous games. Bioware seem to be leading the way on this front by making a more personal storyline depending on the specific choices that you made when playing each game in the series. Although the effects that we saw in Mass Effect 2 were pretty basic, they plan to continue this idea with the upcoming Mass Effect and Dragon Age games and I’m hopeful that we will see some intriguing twists to the storylines depending on our actions. If developers didn’t create sequels to the games we love, then we may not see such epic storylines or watch the characters we control change and develop to the same extent.

Of course, the main reason that developers release sequels is simply because the previous game sold a lot of copies. This usually (but unfortunately not always) means that gamers have enjoyed the gameplay offered by the series so far and gives the developers a good idea of what to focus on. The sequel will probably need to include gameplay that is similar to the original with a few changes based on feedback from fans, a variety of new features to keep things fresh and interesting, a continuation of the story and some visual improvements. This is obviously an extremely basic way of looking at a sequel but is often what gamers want from from them. I’m not saying this is a bad thing by any means, if Batman: Arkham City feels massively different to its predecessor I will probably be disappointed. A good sequel allows gamers to continue to enjoy the same great gameplay from its predecessor whilst feeling fresh and exciting at the same time.

2011 is a year of video game sequels and I’m certain I’ll enjoy playing them, but it would be nice to see a few more big name developers working on brand new titles with brand new ideas. Creating a good sequel is by no means an easy job and they are often scrutinized more so by gamers because of the success of the series so far. However I don’t think a sequel can challenge the innovation of game developers as much as a new title that needs to stand out from the crowd. What do you think?

My name is Chris and I’m going to be writing for Gamer Limit on a regular basis. I hope you have enjoyed my first article and make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below, as I’d really like to see what you guys think!

  1. Dragon Age 2 has me stoked. I can’t wait to mess around with the Isaac Clarke armor, and see how Flemeth meshes into the sequel.

  2. @ Chris

    I can’t wait to play Dragon Age 2 either, I’m such a Bioware fan boy right now. Not too sure about the Dead Space armour though… seems a little out of place to me. I would have thought it was better suited for ME3 :P

  3. I’ll probably only use Sir Issac of Clarke after the main storyline.

    • avatar Cristy

      A racing game in the top spot. Pffffh! I can race fast cars in real life, I can’t shoot alenis in real life. Why would you want to play something on a computer or console that you can do in real life? Like the WII fanatics that play bowling or tennis, please, they probably have a alley or tennis court just down the road.FAIL!

  4. I might play Dragon Age II before the original Dragon Age. Is that wrong?

    As far as sequels go: I need to beat Arkham Asylum before I make any commitments to Arkham City. Dead Space 2 will be too scary for me. And finally, Killzone 3 can’t come soon enough. I pre-ordered my copy back in December or so. I never do that; I just enjoyed KZ 2 that much and wanted the sequel.

    • avatar Vicky

      Erm when i was about 6 i was bought a gbaemoy pocket for my birthday and a copy of pokemon blue to go with it, i really enjoyed the game but sometimes i didn’t get it, but after i got use to it i completed it easily and played over and over again which made me want to buy more pokemon games in the series. So once your son gets use to a game he may start to find it easier, it might take a while but he will soon get the hang of it. hope this helped.

  5. @ Bobby

    I think you will be ok playing the DA2 before the original. It’s a new character in a different part of the Dragon Age world. There will be plenty of connections but I imagine everything will be explained.

  6. avatar A.W.

    well, its important to note that rule of sequels is the direct opposite in gaming as they are in movies. typically the best games in a series are the sequels.

    of course the stories tend to be weaker, but what makes them better is that there is more money to spend and they are able to work out the kinks. And once they have built the world, it takes less time the next time and they can spend time refining it.

    I mean seriously think back over your favorite games. Which is better? mass effect 1, or 2?

    little big planet 1 or 2?

    half life 1 or 2?

    Assasin’s creed 1 o 2?

    or consider the paradigm of this. Ratchet and Clank had a better story than its sequel, “going commando,” but the gameplay had a massive leap in quality with the addition of a strafe button and leveling weapons.

    • It’s true for the most part that video game sequels are better than the originals. The Ratchet and Clank series is a perfect example. I started with Tools of Destruction, but thought Crack in Time was even better. I went back and started playing Going Commando, and it’s good, but I can see how the series evolved over time.

      Sequels aren’t without risks though. Take a look at the Guitar Hero or Call of Duty franchises. A new iteration almost every year and the market gets oversaturated.

    • I’m all for video game sequels and I agree that often the larger budgets or previous experience helps developers to produce better games than the originals.

      I’d just like to see a few more brand new games being planned for this year.

  7. Don’t forgot that we may still potentially see Mass Effect 3 this year too ugh… Personally though all the other sequels announced so far can hang as long as I get my Elder Scrolls.

    Also this is a nice first article by the way, look forward to checking out your future additions!

    • Thanks a lot Karkarov!

      Unless there are any delays, Mass Effect 3 will be released at the end of this year. The trailer says “Holiday 2011″

    • avatar Jordan

      Im with Karkarov … Elder Scrolls all the way.
      Liked the article Chris, looking forward to see you review some of the games you’ve listed

  8. Great article! It really captures the general 2011 milieu. Money is indeed the main reason sequels are born. To dig a little deeper, publishers are generally more comfortable with a proven title (original IP makes tons of money = tons of money invested in a sequel).

    At the same time, when the entire industry begins to suffer, consoles sell less, consumers buy less, etc., as we saw in 2009/2010, it makes it harder for publishers to take risks on original IP. That’s why you’ll see more original games when new consoles/peripherals are coming out, hence the influx of games that are coming with 3D, Move and Kinect. The basic logic is thus — a consumer is planning to invest in new 3D, therefore their wallets will be more relaxed and they will most likely buy more 3D games at the outset.

    I predict there will be more original titles coming out in 2012. It’s almost a sure thing. In terms of super, original IP coming out from big name (and not so big name) publishers this year, though, a few come to mind:

    L.A. Noir — Rockstar Games (by way of Team Bondi)
    Bulletstorm — Epic Games (by way of People Can Fly)
    Firefall — Red 5 Studios

    So many good games coming out this year, in any case. My wallet is scared.

    • Great comment man and I agree completely with the points you have made.

      I’m all for awesome sequels, but hopefully 2012 will see a few more original games as you mentioned.

      My wallet has been terrified since I started uni, I don’t think it’s looking forward to this year either ^^

  9. There are some tasty sequels on the way – I can’t wait to see how they wrap up the Gears of War trilogy! There is probably a decent proportion of original titles coming out too, it’s just that they don’t get the same publicity. Sequels stand out because they are familiar and it’s difficult to foresee which new titles will be hard hitters.

    • Thanks for reading Steven. There are indeed some “tasty” looking sequels planned this year.

      Maybe we will see a few more original games released throughout the year, but I would imagine that the most successful of these would want to get at least some information out to their consumers as early as possible.

  10. avatar A.W.

    Chris, Bobby,

    I agree with most of what you two said in reply except… sorry ratchet and clank, tools of destruction was better than a crack in time. but its a close enough call that I can respect disagreement on that point.

    i think with tools, though, they had put it all out like they hadn’t in years. you had a feeling they had been saving up their ideas for their HD debut. and thus they a little bit had shot their wad.

    Of course that means that “a crack in time” was ONLY better than about 90% of the games out there, instead of being better than 95%, but there you go.

    And, yes, i absolutely agree that i like to see new concepts. my god, life would be boring if all we saw were sequels.

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