Ben's Week In Review: February 23
Putting the Lightning Returns debacle behind me and focusing on Thief. That is all.
Totally on the fence regarding The Order: 1886
I always applaud new IPs, especially when they come from one of Sony's uber-talented first-party studios. Furthermore, I have no doubt that Ready at Dawn's The Order: 1886 has a boatload of potential. I'm just not ready to leap aboard the bandwagon and the weird part is this:
I'm not really sure why. Can't put my finger on it, so my reluctance remains at least a partial mystery... I mean, I saw the new footage this week and I guess it's good. I really enjoyed the historical aspect of the trailer and the gameplay had a lot of promise. It wasn't quite cohesive enough for me, but I got the point.
I just can't seem to come to any sort of conclusion. I'm not speaking of the conclusion one can reach only after playing the game; I'm talking about the conclusion we all reach after viewing preview material. We end up saying either, "Yeah, that's for me," or "eh, not so much." For me, I'm very rarely waffling; I usually know after the first few trailers if it's the kind of game I'm going to like. The Order: 1886 is an anomaly. The potential is there but right now, I believe it has a 50% chance of being a top-tier AAA title and a 50% chance of being another generic third-person shooter. No in-between.
Isn't that strange?
Oh, like I wasn't going to mention Kitase's FFVII remake comment...?
We actually haven't heard much about this ongoing torturous story. For a while there, I thought it was dead. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your interpretation of producer Yoshinori Kitase's comments, the Final Fantasy VII remake is back in the news. Now, on the one hand, it's disappointing because he's giving us the same excuse/reason we've been hearing for a decade: They just don't have the necessary resources. The project would be absolutely gargantuan, they'd need all the original team members back (still have no idea why this is necessary) and of course, the requisite motivation. Yeah, heard all that before.
But on the other hand, I don't think I've ever seen so much emotion on the part of Kitase. Based on the wording of his statement (i.e., "I would love to do it"), I'm actually a little encouraged. I don't remember any Square Enix executive saying anything about whether or not they wanted to do it. They just always told us why they couldn't. Now, the game's producer is saying that if it were attempted, it'd be the equivalent of his "life's work"? Doesn't that sound like someone who really, really wants to make it happen one day?
Or, is Square Enix just leading me down the primrose path yet again, at the end of which I get clobbered with some piece of action junk called Final Fantasy XVI?
Personal gaming update
I had a lot of fun with that Left Behind DLC for The Last Of Us. I've been saying it for years: Naughty Dog is simply a cut above. As for all that ruckus about Ellie kissing Riley, I'll just say again that Naughty Dog gave the press the 100% correct answer, and leave it at that. A couple great downloadable games on the PS4 definitely had my attention this past week; Outlast was legitimately freaky and extremely well done, and Strider represents the return of an iconic classic. Double Helix preserved the game's retro core while implementing a fair dose of modern slickness and depth.
But like I said above, this week is gonna be all about Thief. Bring it on!
2/22/2014 Ben Dutka