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Upcoming game sequels you didn't know were being made

Some video game sequels hog all the hype. You'd be hard-pressed to find many gamers who don't know The Last Of Us Part II is on its way, or that we're (eventually) getting Kingdom Hearts III. But some sequels fly a little more under the radar, and deserve more recognition than they're getting. Here are some upcoming sequels to games you might've thought had finished telling their story.

Psychonauts read your mind and knew you wanted a sequel

In 2005, Double Fine Productions gave us Psychonauts, the story of a psychic named Raz, who can enter people's minds and destroy whatever evil's causing trouble in there. At the time, the game flopped, selling under 100,000 copies by the end of 2005 (according to VG 24/7). Since then, however, it's slowly gained a cult following as more people realized how good a game it actually is. By 2015, lifetime sales had topped 1.7 million.

So now, after all this time, we're getting another one. In 2015, Double Fine announced a Fig campaign to fund Psychonauts 2. Once the campaign closed in January 2016, Double Fine had raised $3.86 million, and development got the green light to go. They've since run into several red lights, causing their original release date of "sometime in 2018" to get bumped down to "sometime in 2019."

As project lead Zak McClendon explained in a video update, "We want to give it time to make it something that we love and that the fans love and continues the legacy of Psychonauts 1 in a real meaningful and special way." Double Fine clearly doesn't want Psychonauts 2 to become another Mighty #9, and neither do the game's fans.

Wasteland 3 will travel down the Rocky Mountain Way

The post-apocalyptic Wasteland series began in 1988, but didn't see a true sequel until 2014. Wasteland 2 proved highly successful — according to inXile head Brian Fargo, it earned the studio $12 million — and now the story's set to continue with Wasteland 3.

Crowdfunding and investing on Fig raised over $3 million, and Fargo plans to use money made with Wasteland 2 to round out the rest of part 3's budget. Based on trailers, it looks like fans will be in for a treat. Abandoning the desert for the snowy tundra that is Colorado, a single surviving Desert Ranger will face all sorts of monsters, not to mention monstrous humans who couldn't care less what you did anywhere else.

Unlike with other Wasteland games, the third installment will feature a multiplayer mode. If you like, however, you can wait until your partner's offline, then go adventuring on your own. But in Wasteland, every decision affects the game, so if you do go off without your partner, you might royally screw up your progress and theirs. Sometime in 2019, you'll get to decide for yourself if that's a risk you want to take.

Bayonetta will whip her hair back and forth a third time

The Bayonetta series, famous for its title character with the deadliest hair since Medusa, seemed like it might've been done after two installments. While the original game (available across multiple platforms) sold like crazy, the sequel became exclusive to the Wii U. As a result, the game made far less of an impact at retail. Even hardcore fans would be forgiven for thinking the series would go no further.

And yet, in December 2017, Nintendo announced Bayonetta 3, with no release date (or gameplay details) as of yet. Interestingly, like its predecessor, Bayonetta 3 will be exclusive to Nintendo, this time on the Switch. Only time will tell if console exclusivity will create yet another...hairy situation for the franchise's sales success.

Nintendo also announced the two previous Bayonetta games are being ported to the Switch, which could help the franchise two-fold. For one thing, long-time fans will get everything they love on one convenient console. Plus, this convenience will give new fans a chance to immerse themselves entirely in the series, which will hopefully make Bayonetta the iconic hero she ought to be.

Freedom Planet 2 promises to build a better Sonic

Freedom Planet from 2014 was almost literally born from the ashes of Sonic the Hedgehog. Creator Stephen DiDuro (through his independent studio GalaxyTrail) wanted to make a Sonic fangame, but as he explained on ModDB, "I felt more and more like it was becoming a waste of time because I was ultimately creaing [sic] something in the shadow of an established franchise and that it would never truly be my own work." So he changed the characters and created an original game called Freedom Planet. It's like how E.L. James' Twilight fanfiction became 50 Shades of Grey ... only, like, good.

In 2017, GalaxyTrail announced the follow-up with no official release date, though enough footage exists to make 2018 a realistic timeframe. The trailer video shows gameplay that certainly owes a ton to Sonic, but also to Rocket Knight, Gunstar Heroes, and even sports games (you can ride a giant baseball through the sky, which sounds so awesome you should barely care that it makes no sense). If you slept on Freedom Planet 1 (likely because you hadn't heard of it), the sequel might make you a bigger fan of freedom than William Wallace.

Serious Sam 4 seriously can't come fast enough

It's not like Serious Sam has been gone, exactly. Since Serious Sam 3: BFE, the last main entry in Croteam's first-person shooter franchise, hit in 2011, Sam Stone has appeared in a bunch of virtual reality remakes and "indie" games like Serious Sam: The Random Encounter and 2018's I Hate Running Backwards. See, despite the name, good ol' Sam really isn't that serious.

Still, for players who want a fully-fledged Serious Sam adventure, there's good news: Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is on the way. People who have gotten their hands on early versions of the game say that you'll be facing off against werebulls, dumping monsters into combine harvesters, and teaming up with fellow survivors to fight off an alien threat. Planet Badass also has the biggest levels in the series' history, uses the latest version of Croteam's proprietary Serious engine, and has epic set pieces that feature hundreds of thousands of characters battling one another.

Oh, and by the way: that's just the demo. Yup, the full thing will be even weirder. By all indications, Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is shaping up to be the series' craziest installment yet. We can't wait.

Spelunky 2 completes the Circle of Life

Spelunky might've started life as a free indie game, but don't hold its humble lineage against it. It's still one of the very best platformers ever made, and that alone makes its upcoming sequel a big deal. At 2017's Paris Games Week PlayStation Conference, developer Derek Yu confirmed that Spelunky 2 is on the way, sending fans of 2D roguelikes into a tizzy. Don't expect Spelunky 2 to be more of the same, however. Yu says that the sequel is going to be different — in a good way.

For one, you'll be playing as the daughter of Spelunky's subterranean hero, and fatherhood is going to be one of the game's major themes. More than that, though, Yu wants to use the sequel to do something different, kind of like how the Super Mario games innovate and change with each iteration. "I want to extend upon the Spelunky world and upon all the mechanics in ways that I don't think I've seen before," Yu says. That might mean "replacing" some of the elements that made the original so special, but don't panic. If Yu can deliver a game that feels as fresh and polished as Spelunky 1, we're in for something very, very special indeed.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 is beyond late

After years in pre-production and at least one false start, Beyond Good & Evil 2, the long-awaited follow-up to Ubisoft's sci-fi adventure game, is in full-on development. It's about time. Since 2003, Beyond Good & Evil has become the very definition of a cult classic, and fans have been dying to catch up with photojournalist-turned-hero Jade, her pig-like friend Pey'j, and the rest for over a decade and a half.

Thanks to a showing at E3 2018, we finally know how Beyond Good & Evil 2 will play, too. Instead of controlling Jade, the ultra-delayed sequel will put you in charge of your own custom character who will start at the very bottom of the game's social system, and will slowly work his or her way up to the rank of pirate captain. Along the way, you'll recruit crew members, cruise around in a jetpack, team up with other players for co-op missions, engage in ship-to-ship dogfights, and more. Beyond Good & Evil 2 also features some sort of shared world mechanic, a robust city simulation, and RPG-style leveling.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 sounds really ambitious, and we'll see if Michel Ancel and his team can pull it off. They've certainly had the time. Oh, and while the game is a prequel, don't worry: Jade will return, although she might look a little different than you remember ...

Metro Exodus goes beyond Moscow, but not beyond danger

Metro Exodus missed its original 2018 release date, but that's probably for the best. Fall 2018 is already packed with great games, and Metro deserves a chance to get the spotlight all to itself. Continuing the story that started in the previous two Metro games (not to mention Dmitry Glukhovsky's novels, which started it all), Metro Exodus takes place over the course of a year and follows hero Artyom and his wife as they search for a new home in post-apocalyptic Russia.  

That means that Artyom, Anna, and their band of survivors are trading Moscow's subway tunnels for some of wide-open spaces, where they'll need to survive Russia's harsh and changing seasons and the requisite mutant hordes. It also means that you'll have a lot more room to explore. Metro Exodus isn't a fully open-world game, but many levels will take a "sandbox" approach complete with survival-based gameplay, enhanced enemy AI, and all kinds of side quests to uncover and complete. Exodus is still Metro, of course. It's just bigger — and more frightening — than ever before.

Evil Genius 2 reanimates a spectre from the past

Like a Bond villain's grand scheme, Evil Genius was full of interesting ideas that never quite came together. The first Evil Genius, a 2004 real-time strategy game from Elixir Studios, didn't set the world on fire, but its fun and silly premise — as an Ernst Blofeld-like supervillain, you must marshal your resources, build a villainous lair, hire henchmen, and ultimately conquer the world — was interesting enough to earn a sequel. Unfortunately, Elixir went out of business in 2005, taking Evil Genius 2 with it.

And yet, like Blofeld himself, you can't keep an Evil Genius down, and after a couple of social and mobile games, the series is coming back for a full sequel. This time, the game is being developed by Rebellion Developments, the studio behind the well-received Sniper Elite series as well as Alien vs. Predator and a handful of other licensed titles (including one legit 007 adventure). That's enough to pique our curiosity, although it sounds like Evil Genius 2 is still a ways away: it's the first RTS game that Rebellion has made using its Asura engine, and there are some challenges that come along with that. No worries. Fans have been waiting a long time to get their bad guy on again. A couple more months (or years) won't hurt.

The Talos Principle 2 should be a-maze-ing

Of all of the narrative-focused first-person puzzle games that emerged in Portal's wake, The Talos Principle is one of the best. It's not as funny as Valve's iconic jaunt through the Aperture laboratories, but its take on philosophy is a lot more interesting than what you sat through in your Freshman year seminar, the post-apocalyptic storyline finds interesting ways to address some well-explored themes, and the puzzles are absolutely killer.

So, sure, we'll take more of that. It's not clear how far along The Talos Principle 2 actually is — aside from a stealth announcement in 2016 confirming that the title is in development, developer Croteam hasn't said too much about it — and the first game had a fairly definitive ending. Between The Talos Principle and its DLC, Road to Gehenna, there aren't a lot of dangling plot threads to tie up. Still, in The Talos Principle, the puzzles are the main draw. If Croteam can deliver the same type of beguiling mazes that it did the first time around — and there's no reason to think they won't — you'll be in very good hands.

Mount & Blade II will give you a medieval playground of your very own

Even back in 2008, Mount & Blade wasn't the prettiest game on the market, but it and its stand-alone expansion Mount & Blade: Warband managed to stick around while other games faded away for two reasons: it's got an innovative combat system and mods. Don't care for Calradia, where Mount & Blade takes place? Don't bother with it. Among other things, TaleWorlds Entertainment is very modification-friendly, and if you want you can take Mount & Blade to exotic locales like Westeros, the Clone Wars, Middle-earth, and many more.

Still, the Mount & Blade engine is really starting to show its age, and it's hard not to imagine what modders could do with more modern tech. That's just one reason to be excited about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Like its predecessors, Bannerlord will still be a medieval sandbox where you can fight, raise armies, dabble in politics, or pretty much whatever else you want. This time, though, you'll also be able to run your own criminal syndicate, craft your own weapons, and build your own castle. The only problem? Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has been in development for years, and there's no endpoint in sight.

All your favorites are coming back for System Shock 3

Even if you haven't played System Shock, you're probably familiar with one of its so-called "spiritual successors." Did you like Deus Ex, BioShock, Prey, or Half-Life? You've got System Shock (and its sequel) to thank. Still, while we're awash in games inspired by System Shock, it's been two decades since the second entry in the influential series hit PCs. It's well past time for a third.

Well, not only is System Shock 3 coming, but it's got System Shock producer Warren Spector back at the helm. Spector isn't the only friendly face that's returning, either: SHODAN, the genocidal AI that serves as the series' main villain, will be back, too. Sure, in this day and age, "immersive simulators" and cyberpunk themes are a dime a dozen, but Spector doesn't see that as a problem. System Shock is an innovator, not a follower, the latest entry included.

Just don't expect System Shock 3 to hit any time soon: as of May 2017, the game was just entering pre-production. That means that System Shock 3 still has a ways to go. In the meantime, you can keep yourself busy with the totally separate System Shock remake — although that's been delayed until 2020, so then again, maybe not.

The wolf is among us once again

With Clementine's journey coming to a close, The Walking Dead's Telltale Games is finally returning to what is secretly its best series. The Wolf Among Us may not have had the same impact as Telltale's Choose Your Own Adventure-style take on Robert Kirkman's undead epic, but the two franchises have a lot in common: they're both based on mature, critically-acclaimed comic books (The Wolf Among Us is a prequel to Bill Willingham's Vertigo series, Fables), they've both got moody, cell-shaded graphics that reflect their ink-and-paper roots, and they're both packed full of gut-wrenching plot twists.

They're not exactly the same, though. While The Walking Dead has received a number of "seasons" and a handful of short spin-offs, The Wolf Among Us has long been a one-and-done. That'll change in 2019, when The Wolf Among Us' second season launches, plunging players back into the fairy tale-filled metropolis known as Fabletown, and reintroducing them to Bigby Wolf, town sheriff and reformed villain (remember the wolf of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs fame? Yeah, he's that guy). Fans have been waiting for more Wolf for a while. In just a few months, they'll finally get it.

Can The Surge 2 change the tide of the franchise?

The Surge didn't get a lot of attention when it launched in May 2017, but hey, between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the one-two punch of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale, it was a busy year.

Maybe The Surge 2 will have better luck. In 2019, Deck13 Interactive will release the follow-up to its action role-playing game, and if you've ever wished that Dark Souls had dabbled a little more on the sci-fi end of things, you should take a look. The Surge 2's new setting, "a sprawling, devastated city," sounds super creepy, while the game's combat system, in which players can target specific enemy limbs in order to affect loot drops, will be getting a major expansion.

Throw in a bunch of new weapons and abilities and more complex level designs, and you've got a potential sleeper hit in the making. Yes, "Souls-likes" run the risk of overexposure, but it's hard to say no to a good game — and The Surge 2 is shaping up to be a very good game indeed.

It's always a good day for Payday 3

Starbreeze knows that it takes time to make a good game. After all, the company's gameography, which includes titles like The Chronicles of Riddick and Syndicate, is full of 'em. That's why Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint promises that the studio will give Payday 3, the latest in the series of co-op crime simulators, as much time as it needs. "This is our single most important brand today and the cornerstone of our business," Klint says. "Updates in the near future might be scarce and far between. You simply don't rush Payday 3."

Unfortunately for us, that means that we still don't know much about what Payday 3 will entail, although we've got a wishlist: more of the tense, critically-acclaimed multiplayer heists that serve as the game's main feature. Fewer glitches and bugs. Better tutorials. Improved teammate AI for those times when we can't manage to round up a crew of friends. A less stingy progression system, and more of the crazy pop-culture crossovers that kept The Payday 2 fresh well past its original expiration date.

Payday has a great foundation, but it's always felt a little janky. This time, however, Starbreeze's developers have the time to do things right. Let's hope that they do.

For Two Worlds, maybe the third time's the charm

It's pretty remarkable that Two Worlds got a single sequel, to say nothing of two. The first game, quite frankly, stinks. Not only does the open-world RPG fail to hold up when compared to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which came out around the same time, but the graphics and user interface are downright ugly, and the voice acting is legendarily bad. Two Worlds 2 was much better, but don't put too much stock in its reviews: shortly after release, developer Topware was accused of paying for positive press coverage, and admitted that its employees had been picking fights with outlets that gave the game less than a seven out of ten.

Still, Topware has kept the Two Worlds train chugging. Not only is the game still getting DLC add-ons, but a fully-fledged sequel currently scheduled for 2019. Maybe some of the recent additions to Two Worlds 2 will shed some light on what the follow-up will be like. Since its 2011 launch, Two Worlds 2 has seen some massive graphical upgrades, the addition of multiplayer co-op, a bunch of new maps, and more. At the very least, Two Worlds is heading in the right direction. Maybe with Two Worlds 3, the series will finally become the blockbuster franchise that Topware desperately wants it to be. Only time will tell.

Underworld Ascendant offers a new take on an old favorite

The Ultima series might be on hiatus for all kinds of reasons, but one of its spin-offs is about to make a triumphant return. Underworld Ascendant may not have Ultima in the title, but don't be fooled: the game is a sequel to Ultima Underworld, the first role-playing game to feature first-person 3D graphics. Who cares if the Ultima brand isn't coming with it? Ultima Underworld's lead designer, Paul Neurath, is, and he tells Engadget that Underworld wasn't originally supposed to be an Ultima game anyway. "That was done initially as a way to brand it, because Ultima was [publisher Origin Systems'] big brand at that time. And it made sense — fictionally it was a pretty good fit."

The public doesn't seem to mind. When Neurath took Underworld Ascendant to Kickstarter, fans sacrificed $860,000 worth of funds to make the game a reality. Underworld Ascendant didn't meet all of its stretch goals — sorry to anyone who was hoping for official modding tools — but it's enough to deliver a new take on the core Underworld experience. Neurath promises that every in-game problem will have multiple solutions, that the world will react dynamically to your decisions, and that Underworld won't hold your hand. "This game is not made for casual players," Neurath says.

For better or for worse, Travis Strikes Again

No More Heroes is one of the weirdest titles made for the Nintendo Wii, and it's clearly not for everyone. It's a game that forces you to make a lewd gesture if you want to recharge your off-brand lightsaber, that makes you do chores in-between battles, and that features one of the most bizarre storylines in video game history. It's got more style than substance, but that's okay: No More Heroes was designed to become a cult hit, and lo and behold, it is.

No More Heroes did get one sequel, Desperate Struggle, but it sold poorly and the franchise subsequently disappeared — until now. In 2011, creator Goichi Suda revealed that the slacker-turned-assassin Travis Touchdown would return in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, an action title that pokes fun at the entire video game industry. In addition to standard No More Heroes-style hack n' slash challenges, Travis Strikes Again features seven different genres, including racing and Shovel Knight-inspired retro platforming. Is it weird? Oh yeah, but this is No More Heroes. We expect nothing less.