Sometimes we want more of our favourite franchises. Whether it is the setting, the characters, or just the gameplay, some games just have space for so much more. Perhaps the studio isn’t ready to progress the game just yet though, feeling like a sequel to the story would require a step up in graphics or new systems and weapons to really make it stand out as a sequel rather than a large DLC. In these situations, sometimes it is a good idea to flesh out the story by going back a bit.
That isn’t to say that all prequels and interquels are done without significant upgrades or new systems. I find that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this story format for a few reasons. For example, some prequels, just due to the rules of escalation and the team wanting to achieve bigger and better things, means that your “younger, less experienced” protagonist is somehow cooler, has more gadgets and hits harder and better than the character in their prime. (Arkham, I’m looking at you).
I think my biggest issue is that by their nature, prequels and interquels can’t move the story forward. Besides fleshing out characters or showing events that might have been referenced in the main game, the story is set in stone and nothing can be done to change that. Yes, it might colour your interpretation and give context to the main game, but it also runs the risk of feeling pointless. At the same time, I love being given a chance to learn more about characters and world events, to get that extra bit of nuance and colour for a certain scene, or to add weight and meaning when a character references those plot points later on.
Do you enjoy prequels and interquels? Am I thinking about this too much? Also which ones really stood out for you?