Some games have stories that just can’t be told in one installment. Others are so complete that all we want to do is spend more time in their world. This usually leads to a sequel or two for most games. However, there are occasions when an amazing game comes out and we spend years waiting for the announcement of a sequel, only for none to appear.
I submit to you a list going backward in time of five games that desperately deserve a sequel.
Bulletstorm was an amazing first-person shooter during the PS3 era. The graphics were on point, the voice acting was top notch, and the story was better than it had any right to be.
It was about Grayson Hunt, a disgraced former soldier who wants revenge on the general that used him, and his team, to assassinate innocent civilians. So during a random encounter with the general after years on the run Grayson attacks the general’s ship and they both crash onto a nearby planet brimming with deadly creatures and insane psychopaths.
There were two things, however, that helped this game stand above its peers.
The first of which was the Skillshot system. This allowed you to receive experience points for killing enemies. Shoot a guy in the head, you get 25 points. Shoot them in the groin and then kick their head off? Well, that’s worth 100 points. You see, the point of the Skillshot system was to encourage you to kill your enemies in the most insane ways possible, and with the game’s many guns—with multiple firing modes— there were a lot of insane ways to kill your enemies.
The second thing that helped Bulletstorm to shine was its humor. There is barely a moment in this game where your character isn’t yelling about dicks or asses, or dicks in asses. While juvenile, and a little abrasive at times, most of the jokes actually do a pretty good job of landing properly. I will still, to this day, quote many of my favorite lines from this game simply because they bored directly into my mind with how funny they were.
Sure, the game hasn’t aged perfectly, but it was such an interesting title that it really deserves to have a follow up. This is especially true because it was clearly setting up a sequel, and I want to know what happens, damn it!!
Brutal Legend (2009)
There are few games that dare to do something different. So, when one takes the leap, it can really stand out.
Brutal Legend is just such a game.
It’s about a roadie named Eddie Riggs who’s transported backward in time when a stage prop crushes him during a concert. In this version of the past, demons rule the world and humans are merely slaves.
At first, Eddie is unsure of his place in this primordial era, but when he discovers that his favorite music (METAL) is the source of all power, he steps forward to lead a revolution and defeat Doviculus, the demon that has subjugated mankind.
What made this game so special was the way it smashed two completely different game genres together. It was part hack and slash RPG adventure with a large helping of real-time strategy on the side.
You spent most of the game driving around in your sweet ride—The Duce—trashing enemies and finding new songs for “The Mouth of METAL” which was the name of the radio in your car. Then, every once and a while, you would be thrown into an RTS battle where you still played as your character, but you used them to command troops against an enemy army. While this was a little cumbersome at times, it was an amazing way to marry the two genres.
My personal favorite aspect of the game (beyond the fact that Jack Black, Tim Curry, and Jennifer Hale were the voices for the main characters) was the mythology that the developers created for the game. They have an entire creation myth that you could piece together, and not only is it amazing, it ties directly into the story and completely incorporates the game’s musical motif.
I don’t know where a second game would go, but I’d love to find out.
Bully was developed by Rockstar games, the team that continues to bring more Grand Theft Auto into the world. And by all accounts, it was an amazing game.
You play as Jimmy Hopkins, a kid who is being forced to attend Bullworth Academy after being kicked out of seven other schools. The game takes place over the course of one year at the academy and chronicles the rise of Jimmy from new kid to king of the schoolyard.
While similar to previous Rockstar games, Bully stood out for a number of reasons.
For one, it had much more structure than its predecessors. Sure, you could run around and cause all sorts of mayhem, but you also needed to attend classes, and engage in other activities to boost your social standing. These were key mechanics to not only keep your character from being expelled, but also to assert your dominance over the other cliques and their leaders. The game also changed aesthetics from season to season, which was something you rarely saw in games of the time.
While it had its fair share of bugs, Bully is fondly remembered by those who played it, and most can’t stop thinking about the amazing things that a follow up game in this day and age could bring.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (2002)
There are few games that I remember as fondly as Eternal Darkness…
Wait, did I say fondly? I meant, there are few games that I remember as terrifyingly.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a survival horror game that was published by Nintendo… That sentence really says it all. It was the first time Nintendo, a family friendly company, decided to try their hand with something a little more mature.
Boy, did it pay off.
In Eternal Darkness, you play as Alexandra Roivas, who returns to her family home in Rhode Island after the brutal murder of her grandfather. Upon arriving, she finds a book bound in human skin titled “The Tome of Eternal Darkness.” Within its pages, she finds disturbing accounts of people dealing with eldritch horrors dating back thousands of years. So, she begins investigating the book to see if it had anything to do with her grandfather’s death.
There were a couple very innovative things this game did to stand apart from the Resident Evil’s and Silent Hill’s of the time.
The first was how the stories were told. Since Alexandra was reading a book, she didn’t necessarily read it in order. This made the narrative a little more dynamic and added to the mystery surrounding the book and her grandfather’s murder.
The second, and the one everyone knows about, was the sanity system. Throughout the course of the game Alexandra, would lose her sanity for various, usually terrifying, reasons. While this mechanic has been used in a lot of games since, Eternal Darkness really went the extra mile. You see, as Alexandra lost her sanity weird things would start to happen, and not just to her.
I remember once seeing a fly crawling across my screen… well, it turns out it was the game screwing with me. That was just the tip of the iceberg. The screen would go to “Video” mode, because that was a believable thing to have happened back then.
There were a ton of these little mindfreaks, and the game was made slightly better by each one.
I shudder to think what could be accomplished with the amazing features of today’s console systems.
Secret of Evermore (1995)
Secret of Evermore is one of my most beloved childhood games. In fact, I still play it every couple of years just because I can.
This SNES game was developed by Squaresoft, and was one of the only games that they released exclusively outside of Japan. It follows the adventures of a young man who is transported to the land of Evermore. There, he battles across prehistoric jungles, ancient cities, and medieval castles to find his way home once more.
While the story is simple, and more than a little campy in places, it had some really interesting features for a game that came out in 1995.
The first of those features is that you have an AI companion with you (the main character’s dog) throughout 90% of the game. He helps you in combat, helps you solve puzzles, and even searches for items that you would spend way too much time looking for without him. You can even take control of the dog if you want…
I mean, it really didn’t help most of the time. But you could do it, by gum!
The other standout feature that anyone who played the game will remember was the alchemy. This was basically your magic system. You could combine two types of ingredients, as long as you had the recipe, and create a myriad of effects. You could combine water and ash to create acid rain, or wrap some clay around a crystal to create a homing rock lovingly dubbed “Hardball.” This system made it so that you had to, sometimes, manage your magic usage, because you could run out of crystals at an inopportune moment.
I don’t know what I would want to see more, a sequel to Secret of Evermore or a remake. I think either has an amazing amount of potential, but the likelihood of seeing either after twenty-six years seems unlikely.
I know it’s wishful thinking, but hopefully, one day, this list will have fewer entries.