on Mar 22, 2013
This season reminds me of Alan Wake. It’s a game that does a lot of things right, to the point where I feel guilty for not loving it. I do wonder if it sold well enough to warrant a sequel.
The odd thing about making a sequel is that they named this game after the events of the story. Your character is dishonored. So if they made a sequel, would they have you become dishonored AGAIN? Or would the game take on a new protagonist who is dishonored. By naming the franchise this way, they’ve sort of boxed themselves in to making games about people who lose their honor and must struggle to reclaim it. It’s like calling Max Payne “Guy Who Has His Family Murdered”. Great. Now do we kill them AGAIN in the sequel?
Worse, Corvo’s dishonoring is basically the least interesting or memorable aspect of this game. Looking back, we remember the setting, the plague, the corruption, the Victorian style, and the whale oil. It would be like if they named Half-Life 2 “Dystopian Train Station”.
And of course, I strongly suspect that they would make the typical bone-headed mistake of keeping the same stupid protagonist for subsequent titles. He’s completely devoid of character, so it’s not like we get the enjoyment of seeing the return of someone interesting. But they would feel obligated to shoehorn in a bunch of exposition to explain what happened in the first game. And this would leave us with a bad case of “John MccLane syndrome”, where multiple unrelated adventures all happen to the same guy, thus transforming what was originally supposed to be a quasi-relatable character into some sort of fate-driven superhuman. Of course, you could use the Outsider to justify this, but the Outsider is such a slice of stale dry toast that I can’t bear the thought of seeing him again.
My suggestion: Same world. New city. New protagonist. Keep the Outsider, but have him appear in a completely different form, with a different personality, and a different voice. (The Outsider appears in different forms to different people.) Wipe the slate clean. If needed, we could revisit Dunwall and (say) meet adult Queen Emily, but otherwise we can just make a clean break. Keep what works, throw out what doesn’t, and don’t let yourself get mired in an ever-growing sea of lore and backstory that will repel newcomers without bringing value to returning fans.
Videogame have steadfastly refused to do this, alas. But hey, at least we’ll get to keep that awesome iconic brown-haired white dude that makes the game so distinct.