I'm currently on tender hooks waiting for Mass Effect from Bioware on the 360 later this year. However, something has come to my attention as a result of this game and a few other upcoming releases. Game developers are becoming obsessed with trilogies. Is it that they've been looking at Star Wars, Back to the Future and The Godfather and decided that is how it has to be done?
Apart from the aforementioned Bioware game, Silicon Nights are finally going to be releasing their Too Human based on Norse Mythology (which does sound quite cool) and it's slated as the first in the trilogy. XBox 360's "biggest game" Gears of War is part of a trilogy. Knights of the Old Republic is rumoured to be a trilogy, and certainly the second game left a few plot points unresolved but I don’t know if it was originally intended that way, the fact it is Star Wars probably means LucasArts did mean for it to be.
Not only that but this year we've got the end of the Halo trilogy starring Master Chief. Two more games have already been confirmed by other studios expanding the universe, and making me actually play a RTS game.
Bioware and Bungie aren’t new to this trilogy business either. Bungie had the Marathon games on the Mac. Baldur’s Gate was intended to be one but in the excitement and moving technology of Neverwinter Nights the third part, Throne of Bhaal, was relegated down to Expansion Pack rather than a fully fledged game.
Not every game can be a Halo though and have its trilogy play out. Shenmue was a fantastic game, but the second came just as the Dreamcast was about to fall in it’s grave. It was later released on the XBox but low sales figures have left the third instalment on permanent hiatus. Then there’s Advent Rising a game that promised to blow everyone away and proceeded to not sell at all. No doubt there are people who enjoyed it and they only got part one of its three part story.
On the other foot we have Valve with Half-Life that was intended as a trilogy but they have now said that they're just going to keep going while they still have ideas and people are still playing. Notice how there is three Half-Life 2 episodes. Coincidence? You decide.