Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Next gen sequels

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider screenshot

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider – does Lara need to lighten up? (pic: Square Enix)

Readers discuss what they’d like to see from the sequels to their favourite franchises, from Final Fantasy to The Legend Of Zelda.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was inspired by Grackle, who asked what you want to see from the next sequel in your favourite franchise. It doesn’t matter whether the sequel has been announced already but we want to know what you’d do to improve your favourite game.

In almost every case the answer was to go back to basics, with readers worried that too many franchises have lost sight of what they used to be.

New Raider
There already is a new Tomb Raider in development so I really hope they can get back to the roots of the series and away from the idea of Lara as some sort of Arnie like killing machine. The combat was always the least important thing in the original games and yet in the reboot trilogy it’s almost the only thing you do.

Maybe people haven’t got the patience for old school puzzles and platforming anymore, but they must be able to make some kind of twist on it. Mario still sells so why is making an adult-orientated platformer so difficult? Ever since Prince Of Persia disappeared and Assassin’s Creed gave up on the parkour nobody tries anymore and that’s a real shame.

Also, for god’s sake give Lara some kind of personality, other than whiny psychopath. Make her the James Bond style quipster of the early games and give her a proper bad guy who’s not an idiot. On their own merits the reboots are okay but they’re almost nothing like Tomb Raider and I think that’s why they lost focus and the last one in particular seemed so aimless.

The Zelda of Legend
My hope for the next Zelda, since we basically know nothing about it is that we finally get a chance to control Zelda herself and that she’s not an absolute wimp. I realise that’s unlikely given her characterisation in the last game, and the fact that she’ll probably have the same (terrible) voice actress but the franchise is named after her, it’s long overdue that she actually had something to do in them.

I like the idea that you’ll be controlling her on the ground and Link in the sky, but I have no idea if that’s likely as it’s not really hinted at by the trailer. Playing as Zelda could give access to more magic abilities than Link generally has, especially in combat, and could allow you to play a different kind of character to what the games usually have.

I’d also like to see bigger and better dungeons come back, as many fans would, and a bit more characterisation for Ganon or whoever the bad guy is. The game doesn’t have to much more story but some kind of motivation and personality for whoever you’re fighting would help. I felt that was the one main problem with Breath Of The Wild, beyond the boss battles in general being poor.

A good blaster
My hope is that we get a Star Wars games where the gunplay is good, just for once. Almost everything else from the movies has been good in one game or another from lightsabre combat to spaceships but I’ve never really liked the gunfights in any of the games, including Battlefront.

For movies that are known for their ‘pew-pew’ action it’s always weirdly limp and unexciting in the games. I played that Republic Commando remaster recently, with the memory that it had been one of the better ones, and it was just awful.

I don’t know who would be best at it, given DICE have tried and Treyarch are unavailable but I have trouble imagining Ubisoft are going to be the ones to crack it. Maybe if it was the Rainbow Six Siege guys but it’s not, it’s the people that did The Division who are… okay, I guess? My hopes are low.

Paper Fables
As far as new upgrades for an existing franchise go I think Nintendo needs to hire Moonsprout Games, makers of Bug Fables, to make the next Paper Mario.

The role-playing elements are fantastic, the art style is a true homage, and the soundtrack is beyond great.

The thing is though, I want the elements of their combat in the next Paper Mario. First of all, three members of the party (game changer), the ability to give one character’s turn to another, and a quick way to swap your party in the middle of combat. Slick, effective, clever.

Nintendo hire this team and give us a great (non-gimmicky) Paper Mario game.
Gerard Havlin

GC: We wouldn’t be against this.

Fun Fantasy
My big hope for Final Fantasy in the future is that it follows the example of Final Fantasy 7 Remake and go back to annoying characters and incomprehensible stories that take themselves far too seriously. As the reader earlier in the week said it was such a relief to find that the remake got all that stuff right. What gives me hope is that it wasn’t really due to the original game, where the script was pretty bad, but more the subsequent spin-offs and just this being a modern game with higher production values.

I really liked it and I hope that Final Fantasy 16 is taking notes. It doesn’t have to have the same combat or anything, just make it fun and not with any stupid rules that make it overcomplicated. My biggest concern though is the story because they’ve already described it as being influenced by Game of Thrones and Western fantasy, which already has me worrying about too much grimdark.

That’s not really what I want from my anime role-playing game with walking cacti and moogles in it. I’d much prefer Square Enix create a new franchise to tell more serious stories, they’ve done that plenty of times in the past, and just make Final Fantasy a fun romp like it used to be. We’ll see I guess, I get the feeling it’s not coming out anytime soon.

Real Fighter
I know some people will get on at me for this but I hope that Street Fighter 6 moves away from the cartoon style graphics of the last two games and tries to be a little more serious. I’m not asking for it to be a Mortal Kombat clone but I’d love to see something with super smooth animation but as if they were real people and not cartoons.

Maybe that’s what it’s always been to some people, with all the anime influence, but I always imagined the original games looking realistic once the tech was better.

Make or break
I just hope that Microsoft is able to get things back on track with Halo Infinite because if it’s another dud I’m just done with the series. The first two games were basically my introduction to game, definitely multiplayer gaming, and I remember being really into the ongoing story while Bungie will still working on it. Then they left and everything just became a lot less special.

The annoying thing is that what to do seems pretty obvious to me. What made the first Halo so amazing original is that it was this big open world sandbox, when things like that didn’t really exist. Of course, it was actually really small and the whole thing was just a clever illusion mostly but nowadays we can do it properly, with giant open world areas and amazing physics and destruction effects.

And yet they already seem really iffy on whether Halo Infinite is open world or not. A bit. Sometimes, seems to be the answer. I guess like something like the new God Of War? Nothing I’ve seen so far looks like I’d imagine a next gen Halo. But then it’s still an Xbox One game so that’s a problem as well.

I’m worried that the whole thing seems to be half-assed and yet they’re talking about it as if it’s something that everyone is looking forwards to. Which isn’t my experience from any of my gaming mates. If they manage to turn this around and make a good game out of it I am going to be very surprised.

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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