I've realized something when playing Shadow Complex the past week or so is that this game brings to the table isn't anything ground breaking in any gameplay wise but something fresh in a genre we haven't seen in awhile. This game has been compared to Super Metroid and SotN and that is fine, great and I would agree with anyone who says that is the case. In a time where I have felt the urge to complain about the gaming industry and how it is no better than the movie industry in popping out sequels out of their ass to (try) and rake in triple A monies, I will accept that the industry can get away with spiritual successors when it comes to gaming.
I think Bioshock was one of the first (in recent memory) to really have the industry coin the term of being a spiritual successor of System Shock 2. I can only imagine that off in some gaming corner land, there were the shrieking cries of a System Shock 3 and god help us if they do make a SS3 but it was refreshing to have a FPS in the same "tone" of SS2 but have it be completely original subject tone that covers it enough to make it not seem like they just took SS2 and put it under water.
Personally, I find games like Serious Sam to be wonderful successors as well to the Doom series as well where its just wave after wave of monsters streaming out (which SSam does really well might I add) and I think I can add Titan Quest as one of those games that pass as a nice spirit successor of Diablo 2 as well. Games like Loki tried but couldn't really stand up as much as TQ did in its own way.
Although, this does not work in a way either. I'm looking at you Chrono Trigger/Cross + Blue Dragon!
It's a damn shame that when we look at what our big hitters are, we are looking at massive sequels. Let's just name a few.
Mass Effect 2
Assassins Creed 2
Left 4 Dead 2
Modern Warfare 2
Red Steel 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Mafia 2 (But I am looking forward to that one)
Guild Wars 2
Army of Two - 40th Day
Battlefield Bad Company 2
Dead Rising 2
Supreme Commander 2
No More Heroes 2
Lost Planet 2
---- Now on to trilogies and beyond----
Max Payne 3
Deus Ex 3
God of War 3
Yearly iterations of all sports games, wrestling games
And these are just in the next 12 months...
It isn't to say that we are completely void of actual original games. We have games like Rage, Brink, Borderlands, Shadow Complex that are out or will come out that actually look pretty fun to play. And while each one of those titles will probably bring in lots of money, I guess they will continue to milk that cow until it's all gone.