Big Sequels of 2004

We know they will sell a bazillion copies, but are they too hyped?

There are way too many big name titles coming out this year. It truly is the year of sequels. Here are my predictions of how good some of these games will actually be.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas October 26, PS2


Not being a big fan of the GTA series, some of the new details surrounding San Andreas prove to be promising. Bigger draw distances, customizable body types for your character, gang-related hierarchy system, better control and the new targeting system could all breathe new life into a forever-fest that started to show its age. Rockstar is attempting to apply even more context sensitive moments into an already ambitious series.

Halo 2 November 9, Xbox


Easily the most anticipated console game of this generation, Halo 2's Zanzibar multiplayer demo has already proved two things: 1. It feels like the original Halo and 2. The new gameplay elements advance the series in the perfect direction. Next to nothing is known about the single player experience, but with the amount of care Bungie has poured into the new weapons, abilities, multiplayer and online element, I don't see how it would fail in any respect.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes November 15, Gamecube


As I stated last week, MP2E's single player looks to be shaping up to be amazing with the new light beam/dark beam idea. The only thing that could possibly hold MP2E from being a surefire winner is its multiplayer Deathmatch mode. What has been shown so far has been slightly underwhelming. And with the current control scheme and nothing planned for online, I am not sure how effective multiplayer will be.

Viewtiful Joe 2 November 23, PS2, Gamecube

Joe's squeeze Sylvia is back to fight alongside him. Yep, a two-player cooperative mode has been added along with new VFX powers like freeze frame, a power that allows you to capture a still shot of yourself and use it at the same time as your live action to increase your attack. The gameplay was nearly flawless to begin with, so I am sure that the sequel could hold its own without too much new, which doesn't seem to be the case.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within November 26, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

Our beloved Prince seems to have eaten a rotten apple since we last saw him. Warrior Within seems to take on a darker tone and the fighting engine, as brilliant as it was, seems to have been overhauled to allow for free-form fighting. Early demos have shown how smooth the new fighting engine is and it looks to be as addicting as the first, but in non-recycled sort of way.

Half Life 2 Fall TBA, PC


I guarantee Half Life 2 will be the ten times the sequel Doom 3 was. Add amazing graphical technology with some of gaming's best storytellers and you get a game that pleases on more than an aesthetic level. PC gamers that were displeased with Doom 3's lack of depth and lasting qualities should have nowhere else to look.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Fall TBA, PS2


Out of the big name sequels, this is the one I am most skeptical of. Returning to the 60's in an apparent rehashing of Metal Gear's original themes (but not necessarily story), Konami hasn't lifted the veil too much on what will get MGS3 to make us forget about far superior stealth action series like Splinter Cell. What we do know is that it will concentrate heavily on close quarters combat and using foliage and foreground objects in a deeper way to sneak around.


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