As we approach the end of 2012 (and, more likely than not, survive December 21st), it’s only natural that we would start looking ahead to the future of gaming. What games will take up our time and money next year? What should we root for?
One thing that will inevitably cross our minds are the underdogs: the one-game series, the series with limited appeal or that have seemingly reached their limits. There’s a few games out there that certainly deserve a continuation, and I think it’s about time we highlight the ones potentially destined for a triumphant return.
1. Mirror’s Edge
We’ve heard chatter of a sequel to this oddly-likable, but commercially underwhelming game, which isn’t unwarranted given what Mirror’s Edge does right. An unexpected blend of first-person perspective with platforming mechanics, this 2008 release became well-known for its tense gameplay and subdued yet distinct atmosphere.
More importantly, though, the story of Mirror’s Edge leaves enough room for a sequel or continuation of some sort. If DICE and EA decide that a second go at the series might be worthwhile, improving on the story and expanding the world would be a wise decision.
2. Star Wars: Republic Commando
A bit out-of-left-field, maybe, but since it was suggested by a close source of mine, I have to give it attention. Star Wars: Republic Commando, a tense if typical 2005 first-person shooter set in the Clone Wars, has the distinction of being one of the few Star Wars games since Knights of the Old Republic that can be classified as “good”.
Why, then, would LucasArts not follow up a solid (and noticeably mature) success with a sequel that expands on the underlying hell of the Clone Wars setting and the intense first-person experience Republic Commando was well-known for? Only time and LucasArts’ willingness to stay afloat will tell.
3. Comic Jumper
For me, this is a must. Comic Jumper is a well-liked Xbox Live Arcade game with its gameplay roots in old-school shoot ’em ups and bullet-hell games, and uncharacteristically strong and funny writing, characters and visual style. All in all, it struck a nice balance between narrative, gameplay and presentation to create a worthwhile experience.
With that said, waiting around for Twisted Pixel to do something else with Captain Smiley and company is probably tiring after 4 years. 2013 would be a great time to release another installment in this budding little series, perhaps with more focus on the side characters, fleshing out a deeper narrative…and finding new ways to irritate Star – that’s always fun.
Please, before the pitchforks and torches come out, let me explain – I don’t think Homefront was necessarily a good game. Its story had a interesting premise, but felt too short, too underdeveloped and too emotionally detached to be worthwhile. Its gameplay was generic to a T, its presentation was bare minimum in virtually every regard, and the only unique selling point was the multiplayer (which could only be accessed in its entirety with an Online Pass, thereby handicapping people with used copies).
However – and I can’t possibly stress this enough – the series has potential. I’ve read the tie-in novel, The Voice of Freedom, and I’m familiar enough with what continuity there is to know that other stories can be told in this universe. Following up on the cliffhanger finale of the first game, for instance, would let whatever studio taking the place of the fallen Kaos Studios explore new scenarios and expand on existing characters, like the Voice of Freedom himself or the Colorado resistance. This idea of a fallen America taking back its homeland can be successful in the new year if given a chance.
5. Asura’s Wrath
Finally, let’s turn our attention to one of 2012’s most unusual releases. Asura’s Wrath played out as an interactive anime with its multitude of quick-time events, sporadic combat segments and arguably overlong (but undeniably action-packed) cutscenes. It was certainly a fresh new addition to the gaming industry.
Therefore, a sequel would definitely be up Capcom’s alley – not more ending DLC or post-game content, a proper sequel. This is a hot new property that certainly has our attention, but only another installment with focus on more gameplay variety and quantity, while still preserving the over-the-top nature of the narrative, will fulfil this series’ promise.
What do you think? What series with only one game should be revisited in 2013? Comment below, if you so wish.
This is the Codex Admin, signing off.