There are some games which, despite being seriously good or at least innovative, still never see a sequel made. Sometimes financial problems are to blame, and other times it’s just a matter of the developers moving on to different things.
Such stories abound in the gaming industry. Below you’ll find five titles we believe deserve a sequel, even if there’s little chance they’ll get one anytime soon.
This title was an impressive take on the genre of open-world, GTA-like games. Just like Saints Row found its niche in the “too crazy to comprehend” department, Sleeping Dogs distinguished itself by moving away from traditional gun fights (for the most part) and focusing heavily on melee combat. The game’s story, inspired by Asian action films, is told in a very cinematic way. The player experiences it from the perspective of Wei Shen, an undercover cop who after many years abroad returns to Hong Kong to facet the uphill task of destroying a major criminal triad.
The unique atmosphere of Hong Kong and a really well-designed combat system is what made Sleeping Dogs so memorable for me. While the game was praised by reviewers, it unfortunately failed to sell enough copies and Square Enix deemed it a financial failure. United Front Games, the studio that designed the game, later started developing a multiplayer spin-off called Triad Wars, but it was cancelled in its beta stage and the studio later shut down.
Square Enix still holds the rights to the franchise, and it hasn’t been totally forgotten – a live action movie based on the game and starring Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Rogue One) is currently in production. While video game movies don’t have a very good track record, its premiere might boost the dialogue around Sleeping Dogs again, and who knows – maybe in a few years we’ll hear that a sequel is in the works.
Warcraft is one of the most beloved RTS series of all time. Every day on the internet, someone out there leaves a comment asking Blizzard to bring it back. Despite there being a huge and vocal audience clamoring for for the game to be continued, the Californian studio doesn’t seem interested in revisiting its Warcraft universe, at least not in the form of a sequel.
World of Warcraft has been out for over 13 years, and it still commands a large following – large enough for Blizzard to be releasing the game’s 7th expansion this month and classic servers probably sometime next year. The lore has evolved considerably over this time, so if they do decide to create Warcraft IV and keep WoW going, they will either have to recreate something that’s happened in the MMORPG already or do a spin-off.
Bearing in mind that StarCraft 2, Blizzard’s other RTS series, released its final expansion almost 3 years ago, maybe it’s finally time to bring Warcraft back. Just don’t do it at the expense of World of Warcraft, pretty please, as I’m still enjoying the hell out of it.
Today, when you think of stealth games, you think of titles like Dishonored or Hitman, but in the late nineties one franchise nearly came to define the genre. Thief: The Dark Project was released in 1998 and introduced us to Garrett, a master thief who sneaks into people’s homes and inadvertently gets himself involved in conflict between two major religious factions in The City.
Thief is a very dark series of games, set in a medieval steampunk world where you constantly have to hide in the shadows – be it from guards or monsters. Every installment in the series had some amount of survival horror elements, with “Robbing the Cradle” level from Thief: Deadly Shadows often showing up on lists of the scariest video game experiences of all time. That said, the main character’s sarcastic remarks and funny interactions between various NPCs help to loosen the atmosphere a bit.
In 2014, Square Enix took a shot at reviving the franchise by releasing a reboot simply called Thief, developed by Eidos Montreal. It received mixed reviews – while a decent game on its own, it had some issues, including an abundance of loading screens. Fans of the series also criticized the changes to the main character, as Garrett now had a different backstory and a different voice actor.
Thief didn’t seem to fulfill Square Enix’s expectations, so currently there’s little chance for any continuation. Last year there were rumors that another Thief game was being worked on, but David Anfossi (head of Eidos Montreal) quickly dispelled them. It’s a shame, as the game’s universe is pretty unique and a faithful sequel would surely find an audience.
Since 2003, there hasn’t been a single 3D game in the main Rayman series. Don’t get me wrong – I love both Origins & Legends, the last two releases, and I get why Ubisoft wanted to return to the roots of the series. Still, there was something about Rayman 2: The Great Escapeand Rayman 3: Hoodium Havoc that the new 2D platformers, while epic in their own right, simply don’t have.
This may just be nostalgia talking, but a new 3D Rayman game with modern graphics, an updated combat system and a fun, ridiculous story is something I would pay a lot for. It seems that the creator of the franchise agrees, as last year he posted a picture of Rayman’s statue on Instagram, letting loose the theories and theorizers about the future of the series.
That said, right now Michael Ancel is probably too busy with Beyond Good & Evil 2 to even think about Rayman, but at least there’s hope we’ll hear something about it in a couple of years.
When L.A. Noire first came out, its original MotionScan technology was quite revolutionary – it wasn’t perfect by any means, but the actors’ detailed facial expressions was something we’d never seen in a video game before. That, mixed with an immersive story seeped in film noir themes (there’s even an option to play the game in black and white), resulted in a very new experience for players.
L.A. Noire’s protagonist is Cole Phelps, a World War II veteran who joins the LAPD and rises through the ranks as an investigator. Every mission is a separate case for the player to solve – you have to search for clues, interrogate the suspects and ultimately determine who’s guilty. In the meantime, you slowly discover Phelps’ backstory and how it impacts his current life.
I can safely say that no game since has had an investigation system this interesting. The fact that you could read the faces of your suspects to determine whether they were hiding something was very different to what we were used to with this kind of game. It would be great to see it expanded and improved in another title.
That probably won’t happen though, as Team Bondi, the Australian studio that created L.A. Noire, no longer exists. The rights to the franchise are in the hands of Rockstar, but the last time anything was mentioned about a potential continuation was over five years ago. At this point, we can only assume that anything related to L.A. Noire has locked itself deep within Rockstar’s storage room and won’t come out in the near future.
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Of course, these are only our choices, and there are many other titles that could be brought back. What cancelled or abandoned game series would you like to see make a comeback?