Ben's Week In Review: January 31
After this week, you should start seeing new posts at PSXE by new contributors. Fresh flavor never hurts. :)
Beyond Good & Evil 2 IS vaporware until we see something concrete
Granted, it has been an incredibly overused - and sometimes mis-applied - term over the years but there are several projects that absolutely do qualify.
The ill-fated Duke Nukem Forever was the poster-child for over a dozen years, and I'd say The Last Guardian also qualified as vaporware until it was re-revealed last year (even though I'm worried about the fact that Sony has once again lapsed into silence concerning this title). Another that might be accurately dubbed "vaporware" is the long-awaited Beyond Good & Evil 2. Everyone was very excited to hear about it back in 2008 when it was initially announced and that's because the original was a huge cult classic (if you haven't yet had the pleasure, I highly recommend Beyond Good & Evil HD). But that was over seven and a half years ago and while we've gotten lots of excuses and explanations, we've seen nothing more beyond that first teaser trailer.
And you know, I understand the encouragement in hearing creator Michel Ancel basically confirm the sequel again. Yes, it's coming. But how many times can we hear that before we finally start rolling our eyes? How many times can we listen to it before we ultimately stop believing it? In my eyes, that's the hallmark of true vaporware: When the developers keep saying "it's coming" but there are zero concrete updates; i.e., nothing in the way of new footage or even the most basic game-related info. At that point, you just have to ignore the so-called "updates" until there actually is an update.
Size isn't everything, so give Insomniac a shot
I know it isn't Resistance 4 or a brand new Ratchet & Clank or something like that. And you could argue that they gave Microsoft the big-budget, full-fledged Sunset Overdrive and then the next muliplatform effort is just a smaller, perhaps less ambitious $15 digital title. I understand. But let's not forget one thing: This is Insomniac. Despite a few merely average titles over the years (Fuse was one such example), they really don't make bad games. So, let's give the newly revealed Song of the Deep a chance, shall we? It's really unfair to dismiss the game because it isn't a massive $60 production; after all, haven't some of this generation's very best experiences come in smaller packages? Look at Rocket League, Bastion, Joe Danger, and oh yeah, how about every Thatgamecompany effort?
I'm not saying Song of the Deep will be another Journey but let me say that I wouldn't be surprised if the game is good enough to warrant comparisons. Actually, as we press forward in this generation, and as every single new game announcement appears to fall into the same open-world action/adventure category, I'm starting to care more about these smaller, often more creative and innovative, productions.
Personal gaming update
I really like The Witness and I'm hoping I can finish it. I don't get the motion sickness issue but it can strain my eyes something fierce, just because you're so intent on those puzzles. When I'm done, I've decided to restart Assassin's Creed Syndicate. During last year's holiday hullabaloo, I just kept going back and forth between this and a bunch of other games. I kept losing the thread of the narrative, forgetting where I was and exactly what I was doing when I left off, etc. That stuff just drives me nuts and as the game is fantastic and I really want to experience it as it should be experienced, I'm starting over. I'm gonna play it straight through and I'll have a blast.
I'll have time, too, because there's really nothing I care about until February 23, when Far Cry Primal comes out. I'm not really a fan of the series but I have good reason for thinking this one could be something special. I didn't get into The Division beta this week but the game's release isn't that far off, anyway. I wonder what people think of the test...was chatting with Mia Rose a few days back (remember when we did that interview way back when?) and she freakin' loves it.
1/30/2016 Ben Dutka