2010 – The Year of the Sequels

sequel-warsAs this year races towards its conclusion and the Game of the Year winners get fiercely debated around the virtual water cooler, I can’t help but take a glass is half empty approach to the coming year.  There are sequels (and prequels) coming – and there are lots of them.

Yes, between them all, there are some original IPs coming, but the most anticipated games are looking to be sequels, prequels or extensions of existing IPs.  Maybe I’m being a little cynical, but isn’t that playing it a little safe and milking the consumer a bit?  Or maybe I should learn to be more grateful, because admittedly, the list of games coming next year is awesome.

Microsoft has already said that they will have no less than one Triple-A Xbox 360-exclusive titles a month for the first half of the year.  Speaking on Major Nelson’s podcast, Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg confirmed that both Alan Wake and Crackdown 2 would receive 2010 retail releases in the first half of the year.

“Starting in January we have like a triple A exclusive title pretty much every month for the first half of the year,” explained Greenberg. “You’ve got Mass Effect 2, you’ve got Splinter Cell, you’ve got Alan Wake, you’ve got Crackdown 2…you’ve got things like Fable 3 and Halo: Reach coming later that year. Those are just the exclusives.”

So, what can we expect next year?  While this list isn’t complete and release dates are not given, it really does give an indication of what to expect next year, the year of the sequels – trademark pending…

Original IP’sBayonetta

We can expect Bayonetta, the Devil May Cry-alike with an admittedly sexy protagonist, but it’s first problem is it isn’t strictly speaking a 2010 release, but a 2009 release.  A couple of ‘dark’ games, in name and/or matter – Darksiders, Dante’s Inferno and Dark Void.  A few possible throw away titles like RUSE, Prison Break and Singularity (anyone remember Timeshift?).  Some potential sleeper hits in Metro 2033, and Alpha Protocol.  And some truly overdue titles like Alan Wake, Heist and Heavy Rain.  Not a terrible list of games in their own right (except Prison Break), but just have a peak below, and prepare to be truly excited…unless you don’t have a pulse.

The Sequels, Prequels and IP Extensions

Let’s cut to the chase, there are all the obvious franchises that’ll be churned out in 2010.  FIFA, Madden, NBA, Wrestling, Tiger Woods PGA Tour (maybe not…) and every other title ending in a 2009/2010 this year will get a release next year.  Every rhythm game known to man will get a new release, whether via a number or some or other current flavour of the month band.

After that, there are lots to get excited about.  Some long running franchises have some old friends visit: Max Payne 3, Splinter Cell: Conviction, God of War 3, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Prince of Persia, Castlevania, Final Fantasy XIII, Fable 3, Gran Turismo 5, Halo Reach and a new Ghost Recon – although its official full name is not 100% clear yet.

bigsisterSome newer franchises strike with their second offerings, and these are where some of the real gems for next year lie.  Bioshock 2 arrives complete with multiplayer.  Batman 2 has been announced, but let’s be honest will probably slip into 2011.  Dead Rising 2 – the original Xbox 360 zombie kill-a-thon comes and also adds a multiplayer component.  Crackdown 2 will muscle itself in and hopefully carry on with the quality of the first one.  The scariest game ever, Dead Space might still sneak in with Dead Space 2 this year, but there are indications it might miss out and arrive only in 2011.

A group of old sleeper hits have their sequels grace your preferred platform next year.  Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Just Cause 2, Kane & Lynch 2, Mafia 2, Lost Planet 2, True Crime and Army of Two: The 40th Day all look very promising.

Rockstar Games releases the cowboy game to end all cowboy games (hopefully) – Red Dead Redemption, the follow up to Red Dead Revolver.  There is also Aliens vs Predator and Dead to Rights: Retribution which also come from existing franchises.

I Leave You With This…

2009 had some fantastic new IP’s that, along with some obvious high quality sequels, came and stole the year: Batman, Borderlands and Prototype to name a few.  I think my concern for next year is that there aren’t too many quality new IP’s on the horizon that will be competing for GOTY come the end of 2010…although I might be proved wrong still.  Roll on 2010 and happy gaming to all – if the Bank Manager is willing…

red dead redemption

About Zombie Dredd

Wannabe gaming journalist. Wannabe zombie. And sometimes clan leader of OAP. Clint O'Shea when in his human disguise.