How the Best Video Game Sequels Balance Innovation and Refinement to Satisfy Gamers

Video Game Sequels
Duke Nukem Forever is the poster child for bad video game sequels thanks to a long development time, numerous glitches, and various other shortcomings. Image Source: DukeNukem2010

Video game sequels tend to fall into two categories: highly anticipated and well received, or completely and utterly panned by critics and gamers alike. Reception can vary wildly depending on taste — for example, despite Duke Nukem Forever‘s chilly critical response, many people found something to enjoy in it — but it can be hard to live up to previous entries in a series while continuing to innovate and attract new players.

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Third-Person Shooter Games: How a Wider Perspective Can Serve the Shooter Genre

Alekhine's Gun Third Person Shooter
Because Alekhine’s Gun is a third-person shooter, the player has more awareness of what’s happening around them without sacrificing the close-up view needed for accuracy.

Third-person shooter games do things a little differently than their first-person counterparts. First-person games put players right in the action of the game by making the camera like their eyes — everything you see is what you would see if you were really there. In third-person shooter games, in contrast, you see the whole picture, including your character in their environment.

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History Video Games: How Much Do Gamers Care About Historical Accuracy?

For Honor History Video Games
History video games like For Honor prioritize realistic military combat over the story-driven style of games like Skyrim. Image Source: Ubisoft.

History video games blend truth with fiction to create engaging narratives that explore the world’s past. But when dealing with real events, writers and developers have a lot of considerations to make, and one of the most important is deciding how historically accurate the story will be.

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Thriller Games: How Mystery, Action, and Unpredictability Shape a New Genre of Video Games

Alekhine's Gun Thriller Games
Moments of anticipation are incredibly important in thriller games, as players like the unpredictability of the genre.

Despite being a popular genre term for films and books, thrillers are not a genre we typically hear about in video games. While they may not be called such, thriller games do exist, and the suspense and anticipation that characterize the genre are perfectly at home in gaming where interactivity makes you more of a participant than other mediums.

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Game Replay Value: Long Campaigns, Multiplayer, and Reasons to Replay Keep Players Coming Back

Game Replay
Gamers want their money’s worth from their investments, so encouraging game replay value is important for fans and developers alike.

Game replay value is very important to a lot of gamers, particularly with the average AAA game costing $60. For people who routinely spend money on games, it’s important to get your money’s worth, whether that comes from a long, involved story, exciting multiplayer, or an incentive to replay the game.

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Sandbox Games Encourage Freedom, Even in Level-Based Design

Sandbox Games
Sandbox games like Minecraft let players create and explore in-game worlds, encouraging creative play. Image Source: Mike Prosser via Flickr.

Sandbox games have grown in popularity over the past few years, as technological advances allow for deeper, more beautiful open worlds filled with tons of action. Sandbox design gives players the freedom to carve out their own path rather than push them forward through linear challenges, making each in-game setting feel like a real, breathing setting.

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