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...

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  • MeesesGlokmah - January 29, 2010 4:46 p.m.

    haha, these are all so true! too bad about the swimming levels, though. I can't stand most water levels.
  • Bossco - January 29, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    Haha, I'd love to see a defecation mode.
  • H2A2I00 - January 29, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    This list is full of awseome sauce These r all must haves in sequels i hope devs are lookin at this
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - January 29, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    You're wrong about the second point - bigger environments. Need I mention the lack of free roaming in No More Heroes 2? Pwn'd. :D
  • JustTheBoBreaker - January 29, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    As funny as this article is I do enjoy most new gameplay additions in sequels. Nothing wrong with giving Marcus some crazy ass new weapon in Gears 3.
  • DaBadGuy - January 29, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    I'll not be satisfied until I can actually control missiles or WMDS and actually blow up the world, not a couple buildings, I want to blow up the world, game over, title screen, feeling content. In a sandbox game too at any time, any place, or maybe not even blow up the whole world, but just show realistic devestation, like a mix of Red Faction: Guerilla's Havok system and GTA4's Naturalmotion that even possible? I know saying I want to blow up the world may be a little, odd, but i assure you, I don't want to actually blow up the world, just the digital world....doo doo doo....digimon, digital monsters, digimon are the champions...heh.
  • metalgatesolid - January 29, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    Absolutly brilliant and true. The Louis Theroux of games radar has hit the nail on the head. Im a bit concerned as to why in suggested muti-player modes "Lubrication" was mentioned. What possible function could lubrication have in a mulitple person environment...Oh!!!
  • jackthemenace - January 29, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    loved it, and i'll never be able to look at a sequel the same way ever again XD
  • iKOemos - January 29, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    GR you've just given Activision instructions on making good sequels, now let's all expect them to milk their series for far longer. :)
  • aion7 - January 29, 2010 9:04 p.m.

    Exfoliation: the new mode in Macbeth Fortress: The Scottish Game.
  • Yeager1122 - January 29, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    Definteley always need more weapons they have to be bigger to even though everyone will just use the shotgun.
  • MacGyver1138 - January 29, 2010 9:51 p.m.

    That nun is hot.
  • 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
  • Metroidhunter32 - January 29, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    that habit is way to tight for that to ever be a normal nun.
  • Cyberninja - January 29, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    in a sequel as long as their are more new things to kill i am happy
  • vogler1604 - January 29, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    Great article.(yeah there was assassins creed 2 in it!)
  • 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.
  • conchking - January 30, 2010 1:15 a.m.

    I can totally see decapitation in the Dead Space 2, its gonna have mp 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.
  • 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...

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