In the history of video games, there have been countless franchises that have seen incredibly long waits between sequels. Whilst Duke Nukem is infamous for the fourteen year wait for the less-than-worthwhile Duke Nukem Forever, other sequels have proved much more fruitful. Blizzard made players wait twelve years between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, whilst Team Fortress 2 was released after over nine years in development.
Because of the precedent set by other franchises, fans of series with long overdue sequels have refused to give up hope, even when information has proved scarce. Beyond Good & Evil 2 has flittered in and out of development hell, with creator Michel Ancel repeatedly stating the project was still on the cards. Even with the various examples of eventual sequel releases, fans of multiplayer vehicular combat game Hardware: Online Arena will have been unlikely to expect a sequel any time soon.
The original Hardware: Online Arena was released for the PS2 back in 2002, and was one of the pioneers of the PlayStation Network. Now, after thirteen years in the wilderness, Sony has decided that the title is due a much-needed revamp. In a post on the official PlayStation blog, the publisher revealed that Hardware: Online Arena is receiving a sequel in the form of Hardware: Rivals.
Hardware: Rivals will be released exclusively for the PS4, and is being developed by the Connected Content Group, which is an internal development team at Sony Network Entertainment. The title looks set to bring back some of the standout aspects of the original game, with fast-paced, frenetic vehicular combat on the cards, along with the choice to choose from a variety of vehicles, from fast-attack buggies through to firepower-laden tanks. Some of the development team from the original title have even been made part of the creative process, which hopefully means the tone of the original chaotic title will shine through.
Connected Content did go into some details surrounding how the game will play. Hardware: Rivals will feature a variety of game modes and multiplayer maps, as well as challenges and special events. According to Connected Content, there will be a “constantly updating schedule of special events” that will give a new dimension to the gameplay.
It remains to be seen just how Hardware: Rivals will pan out, but fans will be hopeful that the title can bring an interesting new dynamic to the PS4’s online library. Racing games on the title have faced a few hiccups, with DriveClub in particular suffering from tremendous issues since launch. With Twisted Metal hitting up the Free PS Plus games for September list, and Mad Max providing ridiculously fun action, it looks like car combat still provides a thrill in the gaming world.
Hardware: Rivals does not have a release date, but will launch exclusively for the PS4.