Ben's Week In Review: December 13
Christmas is fast approaching. Got all your shopping done?
Naughty Dog says what a lot of studios say
I mean, in regards to their working relationship with Sony.
This past week, the Uncharted developer said Sony basically lets them make "whatever game they want to make." I always love hearing this and in point of fact, we've heard this a lot over the years.
It seems clear that Sony's first-party studios just love being first-party. They really do. I'm not saying there isn't some push-and-pull; I'm not saying Sony, as the publishers, never pressure their teams to produce a certain element for a game, or a certain type of DLC, or whatever. However, whenever you hear a studio talk about their dealings with Sony, they aren't just like, "oh yeah, that's a pretty decent relationship." It's more like high praise; some of these teams are absolutely gushing. Yes, I know Sony is the company that publishes their product and makes them money but let's face it, there are a ton of developer-publisher relationships in this industry, and never do you hear teams speak so highly of their partners.
I well remember Sucker Punch making very similar statements during the build-up to the last inFamous, for example. And speaking of which, it seems we might hear about their new project at some point in the near future, as Sony executives say the new game is internally playable. I really hope it's another inFamous because I adore those games. But no matter what it is, I will always respect Sony for giving their teams so much in the way of creative freedom. Without that, I'm sure we never would've seen games like Heavy Rain; an admitted gamble by Sony that paid off big time, and Quantic Dream is forever grateful. If you don't take risks, if you continue to shackle yourself to the current trends ('cough' Microsoft 'cough'), you'll end up with few new IPs and those new IPs will feel nothing but safe, if not contrived.
I really can't say how gamers will respond to PlayStation VR
Sony believes that with the virtual reality explosion next year (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR), this new interactive endeavor will really get rolling. As a result, the company thinks PlayStation VR will experience a "snowball" effect in regards to sales. Simply put, with more VR devices in homes, more people will think about taking the leap. But I'm not sure it's going to happen all that quickly, primarily because a lot of people are still leery about this technology. Not only do those with long memories remember all the prior attempts to turn things like 3D into a mass consumption item, but as far as most concerned, this new tech isn't proven. I know we hear plenty of positive feedback from those who have tested it out, but gamers are really going to want to try it before plunking down $400, or whatever it costs (Sony said to expect a price tag similar to a new gaming platform).
Then there's a vocal contingent that also questions the safety of these devices. What effects these things will have on developing vision in children and even the day-to-day workings of the brain are completely unknown, and anyone who believes something like this can't possibly have any effect is just childishly naive.
Personal gaming update
I finally got done playing enough of Rainbow Six Siege to deliver a review and in short, if you want a tactical co-op shooter, get it. If you want a simpler, faster-paced, less thoughtful shooter, don't bother. It's really that simple. I'll be going back to Assassin's Creed Syndicate but I do have a few other reviews I want to finish before the year is out. I do like Just Cause 3 more than I thought but not enough to finish it. I'm still thinking about which games should win which awards at the end of the month; 2015 is over and the decisions are always difficult. By the way, do you agree with the Game Awards winners?
12/12/2015 Ben Dutka