Essential ingredients for video game sequels

Imagine you're a hot shot game developer. Maybe a sexy lady one who is helplessly attracted to thirty-something video game journalists. You've spent the last three years pouring your heart and soul into a brand new game. It's received with critical and commercial success. It's high-fives all round. But when the back-slapping is done, you realise that you're expected to do it all again for a sequel. Only problem is, you've used all your best ideas and your formerly swollen sack of creative juices is looking as sad and shrivelled as a balloon at an asthma convention.

What are you going to do? Easy. You check out this rundown of awesome game features that absolutely definitely *have* to be in the sequel. It's an essential laundry list for imaginary game developers everywhere...

More weapons

Never mind that players only made use of one of the 200 available weapons when they rattled through the first game. If the sequel doesn't contain at least 20% more things that kill and go bang then it has failed and will be ridiculed. Chainsaws, flamethrowers, and grenade variants (like sticky grenades and pipe bombs) all make really good sequel weapons. Oh yeah, and shields. Shields are always a good bet for sequels.

Bigger environments

Whoever heard of a sequel with a fully-realised organic sandbox open world that's half the size of the original? No one. Because it doesn't happen.


Players like making hideous looking characters with pink afros and magnetically opposed eyeballs. So if it didn't make the first game, be sure to throw customization into the mixer. And if it did make the first game, just give players the option to customize the shit out of everything else. Rooms. Armour. Vehicles. Everything.

Something that is 'overhauled'

It doesn't matter what. Combat system, physics, front-end interface, mip-mapping transponderating flim-flam... whatever. As long as the press-release or back-of-the-box mentions that *something* has been 'overhauled', 'rebuilt from the ground up' or 'completely reworked', you can make some ambiguous claim that the action has been 'taken to the next level' or is 'even more intense'. Gamers will subconsciously play the game thinking that something drastic has changed. And no-one will remember what the 'overhauled' thing was like in the first place anyway.

Above: Totally 100% better than the first game

Next: More stuff to shove in the sequel...


  • Green_Shade - February 18, 2010 2:24 a.m.

    Morrowind and Oblivion were smaller than Arena and Daggerfall, just saying.
  • Spybreak8 - February 5, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    Don't forget more badder baddass enemies (Gears2/ME2) lol. Also tied to the more options for transport, more gadgets for the player (AC2,Bioshock2). As for the bigger world I have to say Forza 3 is perfect, so much content that I'm not mad at the end game, unlike when I played Forza 2.
  • Kaophoniq - February 4, 2010 9:38 p.m.

    Haha i love it, so true :D
  • linkganon - February 2, 2010 10:17 p.m.

    hmm, how about more difficulties, like don't end on extreme, maybe end on so ******* difficult, for an explination, it says so hard, you will be yelling $*** every 5 seconds. note that to not offend anybody i censored all the words that might be found as offensive. maybe, just maybe the enemies should not have any pattern whatsoever, like guards should not be in a fixed pattern going back and forth, they should just walk aimlessly and have you make the call when to run. it doesn't hurt to throw in a gag or two like shoot this guy at the right time and he falls off the cliff, or shoot him with a tranquelizer to make him fall off the ledge.
  • Picnic1 - January 31, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    Good ones- apart from swimming. The first 3D Mario game, Mario 64, and Banjo Kazooie, had that from the start.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - January 31, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    Nothing is better than an Ornithopter (yay Dune)
  • AuthorityFigure - January 31, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    Makes me think that they hold the original game, then release the sequel as the first game. Later, release the original as a cult hit prequel.
  • Gameguy94 - January 31, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    If there is ever a "lubrication" MP mode I won't even buy the game no matter what it's the sequel to.
  • jmcgrotty - January 30, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    @Cwf2008: Defecation would be the number 2 seller.
  • Cwf2008 - January 30, 2010 8:08 a.m.

    Defecation eh? Hmm that's the number 1 seller then
  • speno93 - January 30, 2010 3:26 a.m.

    so true, but it also doesn't hurt to give the public small glances of the game then hold it away from anyone outside the studio for at least six months, gets the hype going!
  • FanofSaiyan - January 30, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    Now if only they could've made GTA and GTA2 with swimming. Come on, IT TAKES A TRILOGY TO SWIM?!?
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - January 30, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    I remember in The Simpsons' game demo that if you jumped into the water you drowned and a message poped up explaining that you can't swim until the squel. So Right...
  • Persona - January 30, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    Sequels also require, new enemies. We got big daddies, big sisters and then big Mommas, eventually big grannies and granddaddies. Then Bioshock will finally be complete.
  • conchking - January 30, 2010 1:15 a.m.

    I can totally see decapitation in the Dead Space 2, its gonna have mp right
  • WrathLord03 - January 30, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    I really thought the relatively obvious 'Longer Playtime' 'ingredient' would be here. I to the E GOWIII is double the leangth of GOWII, or Uncharted 2 is about 4 hours longer than uncharted 1.
  • vogler1604 - January 29, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    Great article.(yeah there was assassins creed 2 in it!)
  • Cyberninja - January 29, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    in a sequel as long as their are more new things to kill i am happy
  • Metroidhunter32 - January 29, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    that habit is way to tight for that to ever be a normal nun.
  • Just96 - January 29, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    @hardcore_gamer1990: i disagree. while larger areas and free roaming aren't needed for a better sequel, they do help (although if your going to make the areas bigger, you should include more content to fill these areas, while i personally would welcome this, this could stray into a different play-style or game type, which a lot of fans might not like) @metalgatesolid: lol

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