Ben's Week In Review: October 18
It has been a good week...all because of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. But I'll get to my editorial dedicated to that game next weekend; for now:
Exclusives just rule the school
I've had a growing respect for Naughty Dog over the past few weeks, and it's not all because they produced one of the most satisfying games in history, IMO. It's also because every team member seems to conduct themselves quite professionally and with a great deal of humility, which isn't as common as it should be in the world of development studios. I especially respect what co-founder Evan Wells said about the continual platform debate; we often lose sight of the fact that it's not all about the hardware. While the PS3 technically has more potential, it's meaningless if they don't have the right group of people to effectively tap into that potential. And this rings true time and time again, as one can easily see how exclusive titles on both systems are often head-and-shoulders above even the best multiplatform productions. For instance, while Grand Theft Auto IV is awesome (and I will always maintain that), I do believe that both MGS4 and Uncharted 2 surpass it in certain areas.
And as for the 360, the only reason I have that system is for the exclusives; Gears of War, Halo, Left 4 Dead, and, while they're not good examples here, some of the RPGs like Lost Odyssey and Fable III. But the point is this, and Wells is absolutely right: if you give a talented team that is dedicated to uncovering as much of the platform's potential as possible - rather than working to keep two different versions basically the same on both - you will get something very, very special.
Let's have that inFamous 2 announcement, Sucker Punch
While I do believe that Killzone 2 is the superior overall game, I admit to having even more fun with inFamous, which surprised the hell out of me. I never stopped having a blast with Sucker Punch's excellent action/adventure GTA-esque title, and this unofficial confirmation from a voice actor came as great news. I figure it's only a matter of time before they clarify the rumor, and when that day comes, I'll be grinning from ear to ear. I never got into their Sly Cooper games and for the most part, I really don't like "superhero adventures," but inFamous was a different breed in my eyes. I think the key to my entertainment was the fact that while we had an expansive, sweeping environment, the designers knew enough to make the main character fast and agile. Furthermore, because you were almost always battling invaders, the size did not cause the gameplay to slow to a crawl, which is always the danger of wide open environments.
I just hope they keep the same formula and format. The game became a giant success for a reason; please don't get it into your heads that you need to "innovate" in order to keep the elitists happy. Sure, we need a new story and a whole new city, along with new skills and new types of missions, but the core gameplay had best remain intact.
Personal gaming update
So I beat Uncharted 2 today and I won't get into it too much here because of that aforementioned editorial I'm planning, but let's just say the game had a definite impact on me. I will absolutely play it through again after I'm done with Brutal Legend, and I might just play it through again after that. And again. And again. It's just one of those games that comes along every once in a great while that really grabs me, even though I know I've got reviews to do and a few other titles this year I want to try (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Halo 3: ODST, Dragon Age: Origins, etc.). I'm a few hours into Brutal Legend by the way, and although I'm not the biggest fan of the sandbox-style in this particular game, it's still great for the metalheads out there. You can't play that game for more than fifteen minutes without smiling (at least, I haven't done so yet).
Nothing else to report, really. I know we had a ridiculous amount of people who participated in our Treasure Hunt for the Fortune Hunter Edition of U2; thanks again for that. :) And maybe it's just because I remain gf-less, but I have to admit, Chloe's ass should be bronzed and mounted in a museum somewhere. And she's just my type the whole way 'round; I believe the first thing I said when I saw her was, "holy sh**, give me some of THAT." Yes, yes, I'm 31 and well aware she's just a drawing but hey, I believe I'm a still a guy. ;)
10/17/2009 Ben Dutka