Opinion: 5 Video Game Worlds We Should Return To

Every once in a while, an original game will come out that will take you a fantastic world. Naturally, there's a yearning to go back to these places and experience all new stories. Here are five great games that have had only single releases so far, and deserve more.

4

It’s always exciting when a developer announces an all-new, original, game - especially when it has the backing of a major publisher. Not only is it an opportunity for the developer to stand out, but gamers who have grown bored of tried-and-true formulas and try out something new and maybe discover a new favorite.

However, it’s often virtually impossible to fit all of the creative material the studio comes up with into a single game. Here are five original games from the past few years that deserve to have sequels, if for no other reason than to give players a chance to revisit their fantastic worlds one more time.


BioShock Infinite

While many might prefer to forget about BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite is technically the third entry in the BioShock franchise, which began way back in 2007. 2013’s BioShock Infinite departed from the iconic underwater city of Rapture featured in the first two games took place in an entirely new setting: the floating city of Columbia. This xenophobic dystopia in the clouds, ruled by the enigmatic prophet Zachary Comstock, exists in an alternate course of American history.

While Infinite’s story contained plenty of the top-notch storytelling and existential plot twists that made the first BioShock such a hit, the overtly-linear nature of the game’s narrative meant there wasn’t really much opportunity for players to explore Columbia, which is a shame since it's as fascinating a place (perhaps more so) as Rapture.

Even though Irrational Games is no more and former studio head Ken Levine has moved on to other endeavors, publisher 2K has expressed interest in continuing the BioShock franchise. Perhaps players could return to the Columbia and bear witness to the rise of both Comstock and Columbia. Or maybe 2K could develop a multiplayer-driven game similar to what Irrational originally had in mind for Infinite. The two distinct factions featured in Infinite’s story, the blindly zealous Founders of Columbia and the rebellious Vox Populi, mean that there’s already a lot of potential for both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes woven around a story of rebellion vs. oppression.

Either way, it’d be a shame to say goodbye to Columbia after only one visit, especially since we got to venture into Rapture twice (three times if you count Infinite’s Burial At Sea DLC).

Likelihood of a Sequel: Low


Dishonored

Set in the grim steampunk/fantasy setting of Dunwall City, where magic and swords coexist alongside firearms and great hulking machines powered by whale oil, Dishonored told a tale of revenge interlaced with political intrigue. When Corvo Attano, bodyguard of Dunwall’s Empress Jessamine, is wrongly framed for her murder, he sets out to rescue her young daughter Emily and clear his name, leaving a trail of bodies in the process.

Considering the fact that it took Arkane roughly three years to fully realize the city of Dunwall (which is loosely based off of 19th century versions of both London and Edinburgh), having such a rich and unique setting featured in only one game feels like a disservice to Arkane’s efforts. Dishonored’s post-release story DLC, The Knife of Dunwall and its follow-up The Brigmore Witches, proved that the potential exists for many other stories to be told within the game’s fiction and I think that’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted.

Arkane could develop a sequel that takes place shortly after Corvo’s story, but a prequel, or perhaps a concurrent story, would be just as intriguing. Better yet, why not combine the ideas and allow players a deeper glimpse into the political maneuvering that encompassed Dunwall’s past, present, and future while allowing them to once again be the knife in the dark that helped shape those outcomes?
It cannot be argued that Dishonored was a success from both a gameplay and story perspective and having all of Arkane’s efforts just get filed away somewhere after one game would be a crime.

Likelihood of a Sequel: Low to Medium


Watch Dogs

When Ubisoft first unveiled Watch Dogs during its E3 2012 press conference, the air of excitement and anticipation resonating from those in attendance was palpable. Not only was it a brand new IP from the same company that gave the world Assassin’s Creed, it was also a benchmark for what the new generation of consoles would be capable of. Unfortunately, when Watch Dogs was released two years later, the graphical quality of the E3 footage and the game received knocks for its poorly-implemented driving controls, boring protagonist, and clichéd story amongst other things.

However, one thing Watch Dogs did have going for it was its frighteningly realistic portrayal of a near-future version of Chicago, where the city’s ever-present surveillance network (CtOS) meant that Big Brother was always watching. Players could hack into security cameras and other electronics, such as traffic lights and road blocks, to escape threats, stop random crimes, and even explore the city. This concept also extended into the game’s asynchronous multiplayer, where players could take part in deadly games of hacker cat-and-mouse chase as they worked to steal each other’s data.

While Watch Dogs ultimately ended up being a lackluster experience, the game’s setting still has a ton of potential, as evidenced by both the Bad Blood post-release DLC story campaign and the companion novel, Dark Clouds.

A sequel would be an opportunity to fix the mistakes made with the first game, and bring in new enhancements, such as expanded multiplayer, new hacking tools, and maybe even the chance to explore other CtOS enabled cities. Watch Dogs may not have made the sort of initial splash that Ubisoft wanted, but that certainly doesn’t mean the IP doesn’t deserve another shot.

Likelihood of a Sequel: Medium


The Order: 1886

It’s flabbergasting to imagine that a game set in a fictional variant of Ripper-era London, where ancient knights use exotic firearms and steampunk technology to battle werewolves, could tell such a flat, shallow story. But that is exactly what happened with Ready at Dawn’s recent third-person shooter, The Order: 1886. While The Order’s lore and setting were immersive in the highest regard, the game’s overtly-linear narrative, unimaginative gameplay, and complete lack of replay value made for a rather poor first showing.

The silver lining of The Order’s lackluster presentation is that Ready at Dawn planned from the beginning to multiple games. which hopefully means criticisms will lead to a better sequel. If Ready at Dawn could make a new game set in the same world, but with original gameplay, a more fleshed-out and expansive world to explore, and maybe more comfort features like multiplayer or progression/customization systems that encouraged replayability, it’d have a winner on its hands for sure.

Likelihood of a Sequel: High


DmC: Devil May Cry

Much like BioShock Infinite, Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry is technically a new entry in a pre-established franchise. But since it is also technically a reboot, the game’s world and narrative feel original enough that it can count as its own IP. The 2013 hack-and-slash game borrows several story and gameplay elements from previous Devil May Cry games, but also brings some much needed updates and tweaks to both categories. Capcom recently released an updated current-gen version of the game, titled DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition, I think it’s about time for Ninja Theory continued the story.

As those who played the first game know, there are still many more demons, both figuratively and literally, for protagonist Dante to confront. The sudden plot twist that happens at the end means Ninja Theory won’t have to waste time establishing a new villain for a potential sequel. Opportunities are also abound for Ninja Theory to introduce new navigation and combat mechanics, new weapons, and perhaps even new playable characters on top of the immaculately-polished systems from the first game. Needless to say, Ninja Theory’s reboot was too good of a game to not receive a sequel at some point.

Likelihood of a Sequel: Medium to High

Freelancer
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 30, 2015 1:00 PM

    Nathaniel Hohl posted a new article, Opinion: 5 Video Game Worlds We Should Return To

    • reply
      March 30, 2015 1:08 PM

      Columbia in Infinite reminded me of a theme park. During the part before it got all shooty, I had this feeling like I had been there before during a visit to my local Six Flags.

      That is not to say it wasn't compelling, I loved the feeling of wandering around a Gilded Age city, but that quickly ended once it was filled with guns and violence. The violence resulting from the Randian philosophy power fantasies and splicer madness made sense in Rapture. In Columbia it was just odd.

      Columbia, like much of the Infinite plot and exprience, felt like this wonderfully crafted world that they had to find a way to wedge a game into. The Vox made little sense and once you started parallel universe hopping, the only thing for certain was that you would probably have a nosebleed. The character and story of the city was shifting so frequently that you never ended up with a concept of the place like with Rapture.

      So, yeah, I liked Columbia, but unless someone could find a way to put a game on there that made sense, I would be wary of returning to a beautiful city in the clouds where people leave guns in trash cans and call in crows to peck out each other's eyes...just because.

      • reply
        March 31, 2015 3:51 AM

        Columbia got hit hard by the radical changes that Infinite went through during development.

        The setting made a lot more sense when the game was still about American exceptionalism.

    • reply
      March 30, 2015 2:48 PM

      I want to go back to Strangereal in Ace Combat

    • reply
      March 30, 2015 2:51 PM

      I want to go back to Britannia! Skyrim style.

    • reply
      March 30, 2015 10:10 PM

      I want to go back to Rage-land.

    • reply
      March 30, 2015 10:13 PM

      how is the likelihood for a dishonored sequel low yet the order 1886 is highly likely to get one?

      • reply
        March 31, 2015 3:03 AM

        Yeah, that's bunk.

        Dishonored 2 is in development at Arkane Lyon.

        Ready at Dawn's future doesn't look rosy. Rumors of re-org and salvage talks.

        DmC had its ending changed in the PS4 re-release to give it more finality, and NT has hinted at them being done with the property now.

    • reply
      March 31, 2015 6:55 AM

      Cool choices, but eh, all too recent. Let `em sit for a while.

      My vote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPJdNKa3e-A

Hello, Meet Lola