Pixel Count: Prequel Passions?

Prequels are all the rage these days. A word that used to hold little meaning before Star Wars made it commonplace in the 90s, prequels now span every medium of entertainment, from movies to video games and TV. For every Breaking Bad, there’s a Better Call Saul, for every Deus Ex, there’s a Human Revolution, and so on.

With Batman: Arkham Origins dropping next month, one of the more popular video game franchises in recent years is getting its own prequel treatment, putting us in the shoes of a younger, less experienced Dark Knight. While I’ve no reason to be suspicious of the game at all, I admittedly find it hard to get excited about not taking a step forward in the mythology, seeing as how I love where the story seemed to be heading with Arkham City. Likewise, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, while looking mighty impressive, sort of kills my desire to see its story unfold since we’ve already seen how the whole thing ends — and let’s not even mention that there’s a new voice for the iconic Snake.

So today’s Pixel Count focuses on prequels. Do you love them or hate them? Are you indifferent? Go!

What do you think of prequels?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

5 thoughts on “Pixel Count: Prequel Passions?”

  1. For the record, I’m somewhere between “like the idea but haven’t seen one done well” and “I hate prequels” depending on what day you catch me. In the end, I have to vote for “hate” since every time I see one for a franchise I’m already invested in, I sort of groan. Usually prequels add nothing new to a story or a series. I think a worthwhile prequel would turn some of your ideas about the characters or the story on their heads, rather than just fill in the gaps of what you know. Or in the case of a Metal Gear Solid 3 (probably one of the greatest prequels ever made), provide some hint as to where the whole thing’s going. Going back to point forward, that kind of thing.

  2. Totally agree with you Eddy. I find it really hard to get pumped for a prequel story, and when it comes to games and they’re long development cycles, if a prequel is announced that means that any potential sequels are at least 5 or so years out. That is what’s most crushing to me. For example, we had to wait through two (!) prequels and five years after Halo 3 until we finally learned of Master Chief’s fate. Reach was cool and all, but having read the book Fall of Reach already, it felt like there was little there for me. Reach ended up being great, but still, I had a far greater excitement for Halo 4 when that was announced.

  3. I think it depends on a number of factors. While Human Revolution can’t even hold a candle to the original Deus Ex, it certainly felt better than Invisible War, Deus Ex’s sequel, felt. Serious Sam 3 was another good prequel, although I wouldn’t say it was much different, plot-wise.

  4. I’m in the depends category. Like you Eddy, I’m not one for seeing small gaps filled in on a plot we already know. However I think if any series could pull a “holy shit didn’t see that coming” it would be MGS. Because they are insane.

    I think it really depends on the world and how invested you are. For example, a prequel in the Fallout series wouldn’t be a big deal (and yes please), because effectively it’s a fresh coat of paint and a brand new game that exists within the world you know and love, but could have an infinite amount of new characters and everything. Whereas a prequel to something linear like Mirror’s Edge is just a “who the hell cares” kind of thing.

  5. Drell and trogador mentioned the first two my mind went to for good prequels, unfortunately it was only those two. Firmly sat on the ‘depends’ line but there is a overwhelming feeling that prequels are made for cash rather than story.

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