Often when a video game is successful and well-received, a sequel or even multiple will be created to further build on the lore and narrative of the original title. However, when developers create a brand-new universe for players to fall in love with, a rich history is usually expanded on and laid out to create a more immersive experience for gamers.
Many gaming franchises have created prequels as ways to tell the history of a game series, and flesh out narrative points and moments that are often only mentioned or discussed in the original games. However, there are still some titles that are yet to get a prequel or series of prequels that definitely should.
7 Dying Light
Dying Light was a breakout title in 2015. As unique and polished as it was fun and immersive, developer Techland took all the best elements from their 2011 title Dead Island to create an even better zombie game. In Dying Light, players are thrown into the city of Harran, and placed face to face with the horrors found within. The game's sequel, Dying Light 2: Stay Human, was released earlier this year — and has been just as popular and well-received as the first.
Throughout the two games, the lore and history of the outbreak and its creation are heavily discussed, and often central to the overall story. However, both games take place long after the events of the initial outbreak. A prequel that focuses on the early moments would be a great way to reinforce and expand on the lore of the universe, and provide a change-up to the gameplay of the series.
6 Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a classic indie title that highlights the value and enjoyment of the simple life. It allows players to fully immerse themselves in their farm and small-town life. The game will have you raising livestock and growing crops, then selling said produce for profit. It also encourages you to interact with other characters and build relationships.
While a prequel to a farming sim may seem odd, fans of the game have expressed a deep desire for one to be made that focuses on the player's grandpa. While this character has sadly passed away before the events of Stardew Valley, he is the one who gives over the farm, the catalyst for the game. Grandpa also leaves a letter detailing how his move to Stardew Valley was what helped him find belonging, after losing sight of his purpose. A prequel could focus on Grandpa and the origins of the farm.
5 The Witcher
Between the books, TV shows and games, The Witcher has become a juggernaut in the entertainment world. This is in large part due to the massive success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. While the games have seemingly ended the journey of Geralt Of Rivia, who’s to say a future title couldn’t take a step back and focus on his earlier experiences? Or, better yet, focus on a separate character altogether.
One of the best elements of The Witcher 3 was the introduction of Geralt’s adoptive daughter, Ciri. As the child of the Elder Blood, Ciri has special abilities that allow her to travel through time and dimensions. While she mentions some of her experiences in Wild Hunt, a prequel game that centers on her and her travels through time and space would be a fantastic addition to the series. With the rich history of Ciri's origins still open to being explored, it would be exciting to play through her earlier experiences and struggles before she reunited with Geralt.
4 Sly Cooper
Cunning thief Sly Cooper was a character that gamers know best from a string of titles released on the PlayStation 2. Instantly recognizable, the Sly Cooper franchise is well overdue for another game. A prequel could be the best way to reach old fans of the character, as well as bring in newer and younger gamers who might not be familiar.
The first game in the series, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, introduces Sly Cooper and his pals Bentley and Murray as a pre-existing gang of thieves. A prequel could focus on Sly's earlier life and his original adventures. Given that Sly comes from a long line of thieves, who have passed down their skills in the family book the Thievius Raccoonus, playing as one of these ancestors could also make for a great prequel and worthy addition to the PlayStation classic.
While the Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite essentially serves as a mini prequel to the original game, the underwater city of Rapture still has so much left to give. As one of the most iconic settings in all gaming, a prequel delving back into the city and the characters found within would make for a great narrative.
BioShock 1 and 2 take place after the rise and fall of Rapture, and offer up a gaming experience that is dark and haunting. The beauty of what the city once was is long-lost. A BioShock prequel that takes place during the city’s initial creation, and fleshes out the creation of the Big Daddies, Little Sisters and Plasmids would be a great way to round out the Rapture narrative. Players could interact with the likes of Andrew Ryan, Yi Suchong and Brigid Tenenbaum, as they discover ADAM and the consequences this has on the city and the people living in it.
2 The Last Of Us
While the first The Last of Us game teases the early moments of the outbreak and infection caused by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus, it quickly jumps ahead 20 years and largely takes place in an established post-apocalyptic world. What makes The Last of Us such a compelling and immersive universe is the characters found within it, many of which are fleshed out enough to be protagonists of a prequel.
While focusing on the earlier years of the outbreak from Joel’s perspective may seem like the obvious choice, characters like his brother Tommy — and even Marlene — would make for great central figures for an earlier Last of Us title. A prequel with Tommy could focus on his life establishing the community of Jackson, while one with Marlene could detail the origins of the Fireflies and focus on the dynamics of power between the government and those revolting against it. Given how divisive the Last of Us Part 2’s ending and narrative were, moving away from Ellie and instead focusing on the early moments of the breakout might be the best direction for this franchise to go in.
1 Mass Effect
The Mass Effect franchise, particularly the original trilogy, is one of the most beloved and well-respected series of the 2000s. Players fell in love with the rich lore and universe, and the epic sci-fi narrative that came with it. So much of the lore is discussed and detailed in the games that the prospect of a prequel — or even series of games — would be a great opportunity to bring to life all the stories and events of the past.
With the Reaper Threat having existed for thousands and thousands of years, a Mass Effect prequel series could even focus on any of the cycles that came before. Or, for something more closely related to humanity and the other known and beloved races, a prequel that chronicles the First Contact War would also be a fantastic experience to play through. Despite the disappointment of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the overarching universe has such capacity for expansion that surely it will, in time, have more entries. Let's hope some of those are prequels.
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