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Building Sequels Badly

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 10 May 2011 16:00
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I hate this prevailing feeling that sequels have some obligation to the fans, retch retch. Let me tell you something about fans. Fans do not know what they want. You indulge their every whim and they lose interest. You've got to give them scraps of affection to keep them keen, glance at them occasionally like you've just noticed them and say "Oh, are you still here?" It's exactly like picking up women.

"The fans seemed to like GlaDOS," Valve may have said. "Should we have a sequel with more GlaDOS?" "Yes please," the fans would say. "We have fond memories of GlaDOS in Portal 1, so therefore we will equally enjoy there being more GlaDOS in a sequel. Baa baa four legs good two legs bad, etc." And then Portal 2 came out and the fans will be the very people saying it's not as good as the first.

Not that I want to overuse this comparison but fans of Silent Hill 1 were quite vocally upset when Silent Hill 2 first came out and it was nothing to do with the characters in the original. Those fans were swiftly proven to be big, wrong twats, weren't they? And because no one listened to them, Silent Hill 2 was fucking amazing. And it's still regarded that way because there have been no direct sequels to Silent Hill 2's events. James Sunderland's story is over, and any additional ones would only hurt it. But I'll tell you this - Silent Hill 3's dialogue hints at James' fate very subtly at one point and in Silent Hill 4 one of the incidental characters is his dad, and these little scraps of acknowledgement gave me a giddy thrill like an uncharacteristic smile flashed from an aloof object of affection. And now Silent Hill has moved to the West and the series has been overexposing Pyramid Head and Nurse Bigtits fan service, everyone agrees the franchise has gone downhill.

So here's today's lesson, and it's simple one: fans are dumb. If you are a fan, all your ideas of what you want in a sequel are wrong so you should shut your stupid mouths and let the creators create. Why not click on the comments for this article and watch my point being proved?

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

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