E3 2019 is officially in the rear view mirror and now that we’ve had time to take in the big announcements and pore over every minute detail of every video showing off Cyberpunk 2077 and the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, we thought we’d address the feeling that always lingers after any major expo: Disappointment.
The kind of irrational, personal disappointment that stems from all the announcements that never were; reveals of sequels to our favourite, seemingly abandoned series’ that we’ve been wanting for years. In honour of all our unrealistic expectations, here is our list of eight video game sequels we really want (but will probably never get).
8. Lollipop Chainsaw 2
The zombie-killing fad that ran rampant through the video game industry seems to have waned in recent years, which can only mean one thing: The undead have had it too easy for too long. That’s why we need a hero like Juliet Starling to make a triumphant return and invite players in for more mindless hack n’ slash massacre as she did in 2012’s Lollipop Chainsaw. The chirpy cheerleader’s previous adventure stands out as an example of pure video game escapism – simple, funny and plain bonkers.
Despite being Grasshopper Manufacture‘s most successful title to date, there has been no sign of a sequel, so with each passing year it looks more like Juliet has hung up her chainsaw for good.
7. Pandora’s Tower 2
If this game doesn’t ring a bell for you, it may help to mention ‘Operation Rainfall’, a fan-led campaign that led to three Japan-only Nintendo Wii games being given western releases. The most successful of these was Xenoblade Chronicles (2011) which went on to have two sequels of its own, but it’s the lesser known Pandora’s Tower (2012) that is still crying out for expansion. Blending action, puzzle and role-playing elements into a visceral and affecting love story makes it a one of a kind experience that stands apart from anything else released on the Wii.
It seems that Pandora’s Tower is one and done as there is yet to be any hint at a follow up, so it looks like this is one that can rest comfortably in the history books.
6. The Wolf Among Us – Season Two
Telltale Games has become renowned for its episodic narrative adventures based on massively popular properties such as a Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Batman, but arguably their best offering was The Wolf Among Us (2013), based on the comic series Fables by Bill Willingham. Set in New York City where famed fable characters have entered our world and are trying to make a living in a harsh, uncaring atmosphere, the film-noir story focuses on detective Bigby Wolf and Snow White as they seek to solve a murder and bring peace to Fabletown.
Unfortunately, the planned second season was cancelled in 2018 along with several other projects when Telltale Games were forced to close the majority of its studio.
5. Freedom Wars 2
The original Freedom Wars (2014) was ignored by most due to its release as a PS Vita exclusive, which is a shame because it laid out an enthralling universe that could swallow you up and keep you lost in its action for months. Set in the distant future, players are divided into Panopticons representing cities around the world and are tasked with destroying gargantuan monsters– either alone or along with other players – to harvest resources to strengthen your own Panopticon above all others.
The beautiful animation, fast-paced, high octane battles and increasingly compelling lore unveiled through the story left fans champing at the bit for more Freedom Wars down the line. Producer Junichi Yoshizawa has stated that he would like to make a Freedom Wars 2 but there’d need to be a high enough demand from fans – so come on everyone, speak up and let’s get this made!
4. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West 2
2010’s criminally underappreciated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an action-adventure game starring Andy Serkis as protagonist ‘Monkey’ who is forced to join forces with savvy tech-genius ‘Trip’ in order to free the remaining humans being held as slaves by deadly ‘Mechs’. The fantastic story and performances together with varied and fun gameplay made Enslaved an emotional joyride that did everything right but, for whatever reason, couldn’t translate that quality into financial success.
Consequently, developer Ninja Theory soon ruled out a sequel due to the original’s poor sales. Despite this, Enslaved’s influence became apparent in the years to follow, as gamers were treated to a bevy of cinematic adventures featuring a gruff middle-aged man forced to team up with a plucky young woman on an epic journey across a bizarre/post-apocalyptic world, including The Last of Us (2013), Bioshock Infinite (2013) and Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead (2012), to name a few.
3. Okami 2
2006’s Okami is often cited as decisive evidence in the ‘video games as art’ argument and with good reason. 13 years after its release, Okami’s watercolour, woodcut imagery is still breathtaking and allows it to standout as one of the most beautiful games ever created. The title was released on the PlayStation 2 towards the end of its life cycle so performed poorly in terms of sales, but was a critically acclaimed release and has recruited more disciples to its cult following with each subsequent re-release and remaster.
Although the series received a sequel of sorts in Okamiden (2011) on Nintendo DS, there is still no sign of a major sequel. The game’s director Hideki Kamiya has expressed interest in developing an Okami 2, but over a decade since the original’s release, there is still no sign of this becoming a reality.
2. Grandia 4
If you’re a true JRPG fan, chances are that your heart melted a little just by reading the word ‘Grandia’. For those less familiar, the original Grandia (1997) is a Japanese Role-Playing Game released on the PlayStation that encompassed everything that makes JRPGs great and became enshrined as one of the elite titles of the genre’s golden age.
Several sequels would follow including the also fantastic Grandia 2 (2000) and Grandia 3 (2005) which to date, has never been released outside Japan and North America. The series has since faded out of existence to the frustration of fans, but surely if we keep hoping, Grandia 4 will have to be announced soon, right? Chins up, people.
1. Brutal Legend 2
In 2009 Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions unleashed its biggest and most ambitious project to date: An epic fantasy game set in a world that looked like a collision between Norse mythology and heavy metal’s most iconic album covers, that mixed action adventure and real-time strategy and featured voice acting from rock royalty. Brutal Legend was all of this and so much more – it was an absolute blast to play, boasted a great story with a hilarious script and most importantly featured arguably the greatest soundtrack in any video game. Tim Schafer’s contagious passion for heavy metal shines through in the 107 heavy metal tracks featured, to the point where even after completing everything the game has to offer, there’s still hours of enjoyment to be had just driving around and causing havoc while Deadly Sinners blares from your TV.
Double Fine Productions poured a huge amount of their resources into developing a sequel before the project was cancelled by EA. Since then, the developers have focused on smaller titles and have mostly avoided committing to AAA releases, so the long desired sequel is looking very unlikely. That being said, with Psychonauts 2 currently in development, there may be hope yet…
That’s our list, but what do you think? Let us know what sequels you’re still hoping for in the comments below!