Predictions for gaming's biggest sequels


What’s already happened: Niko Bellic came to America, hung out with his cousin, worked for a lot of bad people and learned the hard way that the American Dream is just as unattainable in Liberty City as it is in the Balkans. Meanwhile, biker-gang captain Johnny Klebitz barely survived as the temptations of modern crime tore his old gang apart. And Luis Lopez kept his boss alive and his head above water after Liberty’s criminal underworld threatened to destroy their nightclub business. And at the center of it all was a little satchel of diamonds that – despite being bitterly fought over by no fewer than six different factions – eventually made a homeless drifter rich. And none of it, going by GTA’s track record, was really a setup for any kind of sequel.

What’s coming next: Assuming the next game is even titled GTA V (another GTA: Location Name seems more likely, if we’re talking about the current hardware generation), don’t expect it to be set in Liberty City. Don’t expect it to feature any of the same characters, either, unless they’re just sort of drifting through the background. Anyway, the coolest thing about getting a new GTA isn’t seeing what happened to the characters in the last one – it’s getting a new area to explore. And so far, we’ve gotten exactly one hint in that vein.

In the manual that came with GTA: Episodes from Liberty City, there’s a tiny ad in one of the page margins for a play at the Seagull Theater, called “Liberty City, It’s Over!” followed by the words “NEXT STOP.” After this, there’s a torn-away image that seems to show a mountain landscape, with a little blurb down at the bottom that says “OPENS MARCH EVERYWHERE.”

Now, this might be a legitimate hint, telling us that GTA is done with Liberty (for now) and is heading off to (literally) greener pastures. Or it might be a red herring; after all, the road leading up to seemingly every GTA sequel has been littered with mountains of speculation that proved to be groundless. If we were to take the bait, however, we’d point out (along with a big chunk of the rest of the internet) that the landscape seems to hint at a return to the California-inspired state of San Andreas, specifically Mt. Chiliad. And with Rockstar currently using Red Dead Redemption to experiment with wilderness that doesn’t suffer from GTA: San Andreas’s “emptiness,” that certainly seems like a safe bet.

Of course, if years of working with Rockstar have taught us anything, it’s that the company loves to buck expectations. There’s no reason to believe that the series would necessarily return to a place it’s been before; if this is really a hint, then the next GTA could be set anywhere you’d see pine trees and mountains. It could be in a place inspired by the American Northwest. Or Canada. Or Colorado. Or it could even, as some have insisted, be a reference to a wall hanging found in Vice City. At this point, we can only guess at what the next GTA will hold. And experience tells us that all our guesses, educated though they might be, will probably be dead wrong.


What’s already happened: After inadvertently activating a powerful artifact known as the Ray Sphere, bike messenger Cole McGrath was granted a host of electrical superpowers, but in the process managed to devastate large chunks of Empire City. Over the course of the next several weeks, he worked as a vigilante wild talent to either protect the ruined city or bring it under his own brutal control, depending on decisions made by players. And at the end of it all, he confronted and killed Kessler, the man who had caused all the devastation and suffering, only to find that Kessler was actually an older version of himself. He’d come back in time from an alternate future, the ending revealed, specifically to toughen Cole up for the horrors that lay ahead.

What’s coming next: Those future horrors will arrive in the form of The Beast, a destructive entity responsible for destroying much of Empire City, as well as murdering Cole/Kessler’s future family. Thanks to Kessler’s intervention, however, Cole will be prepared when Kessler wasn’t. But while we’re pretty sure we know what he’ll be fighting, the “how” part is a little more nebulous.

As long as we’re speculating, we’d say that a sequel might pick up some months or even years after the first game, enabling players to experience a rebuilt – and therefore different – Empire City. And because of the difficulty in reflecting the effects of Cole’s choices on the city (the first game ended with him ready to either defend Empire or take it by force), we’re betting that – whether he’s shut himself away for training, gone into hiding or been captured by the government – there’s going to be some reason he hasn’t been active in its development during that time. (That, or the developers will just pick a "canon" ending for the first game and have done with it.)

Either way, we’ll likely begin with a hero who’s now in full control of his superpowers, and a city that’s mostly recovered from a cataclysmic disaster. And as any comic-book fan can tell you, that’s a scenario that’s practically begging for an extradimensional monstrosity to come roaring in and start stomping everything to pieces. Expect it to bring armies to conquer the streets. Expect the government - which will probably have its own Ray Sphere at this point - to march in super-powered operatives to bring you in. Expect to once again work alongside the city’s police and emergency workers, or against them. But most of all, expect to see Empire City get shredded in new and interesting ways while you try to defend it – and expect to make some difficult moral choices. Kessler hinted there would be harsh decisions ahead, and we’re hoping that means your options here won’t be quite as cut-and-dry as the first game’s selfless-vs-selfish quandaries.

Next page: Half-Life 2: Episode Three and Gears of War 3


  • D0CCON - June 8, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    Wonder what will happen with Modern Warfare 3 and its big cliffhanger now that Infinity Ward has became a very Finite Ward.
  • ryno - June 7, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    i hope assasins creed 3 takes place in the modern era. where you have you hidden blade. silenced pistols. and a sniper rifle. also i know about assasins creed brotherhood but its more of a sidestory i heard
  • Zackaro - June 7, 2010 6:58 p.m.

    Well, about L4D3, if youve noticed the first L4D was taken 2 weeks after the first infection, and L4D 2 took place 1 week after the first infection, sooooo L4D 3 MUST take place when the infection first breaks out, so expect pandemic. =D
  • Ganonpork - June 7, 2010 5:57 p.m.

  • waffledragon33 - June 7, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    i hope these come out
  • waffledragon33 - March 2, 2010 10:08 p.m.

    i think ac3 will be in the modern
  • TeragRunner - February 1, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    Cole's gonna die just because he black. Being black I can make that assessment which is true in a good amount of media.
  • ongong - January 30, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    For Assassinh's creed 3, I think the assassin's should break into abstergo and find a robot that desmond can control from the animus. that way, desmond is impervious to bullets, and can still be "desyncronized" when he gets beat up.
  • Mirako - January 30, 2010 4:09 a.m.

    I disagree with the Gears thing. The Locust were there from the beginning it seems so Humans creating them is very unlikely. Although I might have the times wrong because if the facility is EXTREMELY old, yes that might be their origins.
  • halowar234 - December 17, 2009 5:12 p.m.

    cant wate till the left 4 dead 3 comes out
  • Slica - December 13, 2009 5:20 a.m.

    Hey just got 2 comments, for left for dead 3 maybe the top left of the map is where they where going, posibly washington d.c? And for gears of war 3 i think your way off, maybe except for how they became locust. One in jacintos reminent they go to the islands in the south. Where locust havnt appeared, theres no infrastructure, so it be hard to base a game there, maybe the training. But where the hell are they gonna go after? they barlely have an army anymore and now have some sort of poor navy. They have more stranded problem it seems. Also gears 3 will be coming out on the new xbox console not 360 because it will one make more money, 2 be able to be alot better because of the new systems capabilities. JUST SAYING :)
  • DoctorCrazy - December 9, 2009 5:50 p.m.

    One thing I must point out, is that GTA: Canada doesnt make any sense. Are you saying that all Canada is one enviornment? It would jsut be one big forest full of moose and hunters? Im sorry GR but do you know what the Praries look like? Or the East Coast of Canada? And then you go and say GTA: Colorado, implying that most US states are all different, but not Canada, its just one big clump of trees with a moose. K im done.
  • nadrewod999 - December 9, 2009 2:58 a.m.

    Lol @ gamingfreak, AC2 IS ALREADY OUT! XD
  • LieutenantCipher - December 5, 2009 1:03 a.m.

    Most of your predictions seem head on for me - basically you guys foresaw the same thing I have, great minds think alike I guess ;) As for the second Assassin's Creed 3 assumption: if Ubisoft does decide to kick everyone in the balls and continue to dick around in the animus then I guess they might end up going through subject 16's memories in an attempt to pick some answers out for half the game, but one way or another, they're gonna have to give Desmond a shot going by the short bit at the end where we get to play as him and kill some Abstergo employees. Either way, the sequel is gonna be great based on the pure epicality of AC2 and I'm lookin' forward to it!(along with Prototype 2 as well) P.S. - Hopefully, Ubisoft will ignore the retarded, weaboos that constantly bitch about the fact that the AC series doesn't and probably never will(thank god) have any cliche, overused, japanese anime bullshit. Face it, Ninja Gaiden covers that crap, every single game ever created doesn't have to have a relation to Japan or ninjas or samurai warriors. All the wapanese fucktards infesting the interwebz should seriously give it rest.
  • gamingfreak - December 3, 2009 2:12 a.m.

    I think that Assassins Creed 2 will start out with Desmond in the Animus (again) heading to the cabin (hinted in AC2) and re-living another ancestor's memory. About 70%-80% (just guessing) of the game will be in the Animus and the other 30%-20% will be Desmond kickin ass (finally) assassin style.
  • morrodox - December 1, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    My predictions for HL2 Ep3: I predict the episode will start out with Gordon en Route to the Borealis, and agree it will already be overrun with Combine. Alex will NOT tag along, being too distraught over Eli's death. Instead Gordon will pair up with another character, possibly Barney or Dog, or perhaps even Adrian Shepard from Opposing Force. However, later in the game Gordon and Alex will reunite after she's had some time to recover, and now she will be pissed, and she will kick more Combine ass than we've ever seen her kick before. I predict Gordon's next encounter with G-Man will alter their relationship, possibly with Gordon defying G-Man's orders somehow. Perhaps to save someone he cares about. We will see uncertainty from G-Man for the first time. We will not learn exactly who G-Man is (that's for HL3), but we will leave with a pretty good idea of what his motivations are, and possibly for whom he works. I predict Gordon will fight a Combine Advisor using only the crowbar. Because it's just too awesome to not happen. Possibly even Breen in a host body! I disagree on an appearance by GLaDOS, as I always had the impression that the events of HL2 and Portal were unfolding at the same time. I agree on no portal guns in Ep3 or HL3... for the single-player campaign. But portal guns in multi would RULE.
  • iluvmyDS - December 1, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    The Gears of War entry seems likely, I hope it has that kind of twist.
  • 64DD - December 1, 2009 2:24 a.m.

    no half-life 3?? just dissapointing
  • BLAQstorm - November 29, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    In modern warfare 3 soap and price will probably have to go aginst their own government to clear their name.
  • Defguru7777 - November 28, 2009 10:56 p.m.

    Okay, lot of things to say. Reach was glassed a month or two before the first game, not at the beginning of the war. The Master Chief's training ended before the war started. Also, the Master Chief never stepped foot on Reach during its fall. He was in an orbital station making sure the Covenant didn't find their way to Earth. However, I do hope that the story will be told from multiple perspectives. That's mainly why I liked Halo 2 and ODST's story so much. And as for class-based multiplayer...ABSOLUTLEY FUCKING NOT!!!!! Part of why I love Halo's multiplayer is that everyone's on even terms. I think Bungie should stick to what they've done. Keep the same excellent multiplayer while making improvements (new weapons, vehicles, and gameplay). As for your Half-Life 2: Episode 3 predictions, I completely agree. Especially the part about keeping portal guns out of Half-Life. GTA, don't really care as long as the new environment is good. Mostly I think Gears of War 3 will happen like you've said. Except for a few things. Prescott didn't have the Sires researched on. It said in the game that it was under Chairman Monroe. And the Chairman before Prescott was Dalyell. So the Sires are at least two Chairmen removed. Also, Hoffman didn't know about the Sires until Delta did. And in the novels, he's mostly on good terms with all of them, even Marcus. Also, Cole and Baird had better not die!!!! I think if anyone dies, it'll be Dom. Call it a feeling.

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