If the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles can be described as anything, it’s the launching pad for the biggest video games of the year. And while publishers like to debut their new ideas at the show, that focus on “big” usually translates into one thing: sequels.
Gamers may say they want entirely new stories and concepts, but sales numbers show they inevitably line up for and drop dollars on rehashes of the same things that have come before. It’s that craving for familiarity that is driving not only games, but entertainment in general.
Publishers are only too happy to deliver. Here’s a look at 10 of the most promising sequels from this year’s E3:
Infamous: Second Son
Perhaps Sony’s biggest title for the upcoming PlayStation 4, Infamous: Second Son is the third game in the open-world action-adventure series and the first to star Delsin Rowe, a new protagonist with flame- and smoke-based super powers. Rowe and his non-powered older brother Reggie are up against the Department of Unified Protection, which treats such super-humans as bio-terrorists. Judging from the trailer shown at E3, the game is going to feature some amazing graphics and performance captures. The extra horsepower may just raise the bar on what has been a pretty luke-warm series so far.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Release: Early 2014
Final Fantasy XV
The title “Final Fantasy” has been ironic since at least the second game in this long-running Japanese role-playing series, but now it’s doubly so since the upcoming next-generation console game will be much more realistic than previous entries – at least to certain audiences. The story focuses on Noctis Lucis Caelum, a mafia-like Don who is protecting a powerful crystal in a technologically advanced city that is otherwise surrounded by warring medieval villages. What’s interesting about the game is that Noctis’ city is similar to modern-day Japan, making it pretty realistic for Japanese gamers who are thinking that not only is there no finality in this series, there also isn’t much fantasy. Yet, if the stunning graphics from the trailer are any indication, Final Fantasy XV looks like it will indeed be quite fantastical to Western audiences, which may be the point.
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix 1 st Production Department
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Speaking of realism and long-running Japanese franchises, everyone’s favourite gravel-voiced, eye-patch-wearing super spy is returning in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid installment for next-generation consoles. This time around, one Canadian actor is replacing another in voicing Snake, with Kiefer Sutherland taking the reins from David Hayter. In an interview at E3, game director Hideo Kojima said he made the switch because he was looking for a more realistic and complete facial performance, which necessitated a stronger acting performance. Sutherland, famous for his portrayal of terrorist fighter Jack Bauer in the 24 TV series, is also no stranger to the espionage genre. The other big difference in this next MGS game is that the action is going open-world. In the trailer, we saw Snake riding a horse around the wilds of Afghanistan, conjuring images of one of the more successful open-world games, Rock Star’s Red Dead Redemption. Kojima admits to being influenced by another Rock Star series, the seminal Grand Theft Auto. “The ability to create that freedom was, I think, the future of games. I wanted to create a realistic espionage simulation. Now we’re able to do that,” he says.
Developer: Kojima Productions
Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze