What Makes a Sequel (Successful)?

[Read it on GIO.]

And that seems to be the million dollar question these days… What is it exactly that makes a sequel a good addition to a series, or even possibly more successful than the first game(s)? Is it any one thing, any one feature? Or is it a multitude of them, working in tangent in order to make a good impression on players or muddle your senses into believing (justly or otherwise) that a game is quite excellent indeed? The true answer is, depending on the game, any number of things could be done to make awesome sequels that deserves each and every commendation they receive, and there is no one solid, surefire way to be successful in your games. It’s just all about risk and risk management and mediation, truthfully. So, let’s take a look at a few series’ that have fared pretty well throughout the years, and the unquestionably successful entries in each. Today, we’ll be highlighting some particularly well received Ubisoft titles, for the sake of continuity- Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed The games in question will be Blacklist and II.


Playing Cloak and Dagger in the Shadowy Sept

The Splinter Cell series has seen some major and minor changes to it’s formula over the years, ranging from purely tactical action to carnage and chaos. Today’s game is equally different and the same as it used to be, in many more ways than one. And the reason for the most recent game’s major successes thus far have been because of this. Players both new and familiar with the series can identify with Sam Fisher as he once was and as he now is. It’s primarily the continuity and the newfound power that make this newest iteration impressive in many ways. Not only is it yet another graphical update, but the gameplay is as rock solid as ever, the story has evolved in the ever expanding world, and the stakes are higher than ever. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that- when playing with higher stakes, you’re willing to risk it all for higher rewards. And I think critical success, at least for the first many days, is a high and just reward indeed. But that’s just a short little glance, without really spoiling things for you. Let’s move on to my second point.

A Game of Assassination

I chose Assassin’s Creed II, even though it is definitely not the most recent successful sequel by any stretch, mainly because it was the first, and the one that seems to have revolutionized the series the most- as well as received the most unanimous acclaim. Sure, Assassin’s Creed III was spectacular, but there was a surprising number of people not able to look past its persistent bugs, as they had in the past, even in II. Assassin’s Creed II broadened the horizon on nearly every front available- open(er) world, intriguing and inter-arching story, evolving and expanding viewpoints, and stellar gameplay that was both refined and refurbished are just a few major playing points to name. Assassin’s Creed II did just about everything right, and for that reason, fans still play it today, and newcomers still choose that particular title as the major jumping-on point for the series. It would be insane and undue to say that the game wasn’t a successful sequel, and game, in its own right. And for these reasons, as well as many more.


Now, that’s my short little note for the night, as unsupported as it may seem. I apologize if it seems a little cut and dried, or maybe simply lacking in true detail, or at least as much as I normally put into my work ethic, but honestly- I am just too busy right now to really break away and pour my heart out to you. So you’ll have to settle, momentarily at least, with this poor piece of work. I appreciate the consideration when you take your precious time to read my work, and I would also appreciate hearing your own opinions, feedback, and any other information you feel inclined to give commentary about. Yours, as always.

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