Ben's Week In Review: October 5
October is here, which means the big games are just around the corner...
If some Japanese developers can learn, why can't others?
To me, it's plain that at least some Japanese designers have figured things out. Those involved in the creation of survival/horror games have gotten that genre back on track, have they not?
Between The Evil Within and Silent Hills, it's clear to me that developers have either A. listened to the fans, who have been screaming about an overabundance of action infecting the genre for years, or B. have realized on their own that such a genre should be maintained, not bastardized. Then again, maybe it's both. Either way, when I read that great statement from Shinji Mikami, it told me everything I needed to know: Survival/horror was back. Hideo Kojima, the man who has called out the Japanese industry several times over, is also part of the new Japanese horror binge, and he only knows how to produce quality.
So, if these guys can learn what needs to be done, why can't others? Top-tier devs like Mikami know the fans want the genre they've come to know and love, and they have no interest in changing the genre. They have an interest in bettering the genre, of course, but that is not the same thing. For example, if the most prominent element of a game is action, it's an action game, first and foremost. That's exactly what Final Fantasy XV looks like and that's why the long-time fans hate it. To reiterate, it has absolutely nothing to do with the death of turn-based. Rather, it has everything to do with a role-playing series becoming something else.
So, what are we thinking? Gran Turismo 7 and a next-gen God of War?
The hot rumor is that Sony will unveil two AAA PlayStation 4 exclusives in "early December." Supposedly, these are "big-budget" games, so we can rule out downloadable or indie titles.
I'm sort of hoping it's Guerrilla's new game, but I think it might be more likely that we'll see new entries in the Gran Turismo and God of War franchises. Two things: First, GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi was quoted numerous times as saying the next franchise installment isn't that far off. About a year ago, he said it was only "one or two years away," which is why many thought GT7 might actually launch this holiday season. Second, God of War has always been a system-selling IP for Sony, and they'll want a GoW title early on in the new PS4 generation. Sony Santa Monica has hinted at an all-new story arc - presumably, one without Kratos - but we haven't heard much from that team for a while.
Then again, maybe one or both of these mystery titles is a brand new IP...
Personal gaming update
I played a lot of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is really a fun game. It's definitely one of the most entertaining titles of 2014 and I'm glad it came out so well. I've always liked the "Lord of the Rings" universe but I've never gravitated toward any of the games. This is the first one I definitely like, maybe because it is indeed very similar to Assassin's Creed. The Batman influence seems pretty clear, too.
I also finished Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and now I'm going through it on Hard. I just want to max out my Crusader and then I'll be done. Next up for me is Driveclub and Alien: Isolation; I've got very high hopes for both, although I hear Isolation isn't all it was cracked up to be. Will we ever get a AAA Alien game? 'sigh' It makes me miss the Jaguar.
10/4/2014 Ben Dutka