Sometimes, it feels like there’s a particularly low bar to clear for a video game to get a sequel. Franchises can limp along for years, offering up sub-par, critically-derided titles.
Sonic the Hedgehog went two decades without a decent game. He just kept coming back like an undead monster in a horror movie.
The game industry is reliant on sequels, and it’s not uncommon for a successful series to have entries running into the double digits, once spin-offs and reboots are considered.
However, occasionally we get a fresh, new IP, which looks destined for success, but for some reason it just doesn’t happen. The obvious reason is the game didn’t find its audience and wasn’t commercially successful, but even oddball cult classics can get a sequel years after release. In 2020 we got Deadly Premonition 2, ten years after the original.
So, hope is not lost for the games on this list, and indeed, there are some rumours about one coming at some point. For now though, far too many promising and beloved titles are currently sitting as one-offs.
10. Enslaved: Odyssey To The West
Released in 2010 and developed by Ninja Theory, Enslaved is very loosely based on the classic sixteenth century story, Journey to the West, and is set in the far future, 150 years after a war has decimated the planet.
Rather than the grim and grungy post-apocalyptic scenarios we’re usually presented, Enslaved’s world is lush and vibrant; nature has reclaimed the destroyed cities, and everything is covered in overgrown vegetation.
The gameplay is a little basic and modal; it feels very much inspired by the first two Uncharted games released a few years previous. You’ll fight mechs, solve puzzles, and traverse the environment, but Enslaved manages to be greater than the some of its parts.
The performance of the two main characters - Monkey (Andy Serkis) and Trip (Lindsey Shaw) – is a major strength, their interactions help bring the otherwise serviceable story to life.
A sequel was planned, and perhaps with a few refinements Enslaved could have achieved genuine greatness, but any subsequent games were cancelled due to poor sales.