Ben's Week In Review: May 12
It's almost time for Metro: Last Light, and it could be the year's biggest sleeper hit...
Ubisoft says Sony has done their job with the PS4...know why?
We've heard a lot of praise from a lot of developers concerning the PlayStation 4. And of course, that's a good thing. In retrospect, we never heard such praise for any of the previous PlayStations, and that's simply because game makers were petrified of having to deal with that complex new technology. And while many sorta wish Sony had gone the ultra-expensive architecture route, the one that leaves developers in a fog at the start of a generation, I do like the fresh accessibility. And Ubisoft goes and says the PS4 is like a "perfect jewel." Well, all right. But what I'm not quite understanding is this, and bear with me here:
If the PS4 does indeed just use off-the-shelf middle-grade PC components as the naysayers claim, why would developers be excited? I get that they love a more accessible system, and I get that they want to produce top-end games right off the bat (as opposed to spending several years learning wicked complicated new hardware). But designers typically are not interested in outdated technology. They don't get excited by mediocre components just because they're easier to work with. What I think we're seeing with the PS4 is a gaming machine that strikes a nice balance. I'm all about balance in life, anyway. And the PS4 appears to be extremely well-balanced; accessible enough so developers won't feel lost, and powerful enough so they'll still feel excited about the future.
Am I wrong?
I may be bored with the story in inFamous: Second Son
Don't misunderstand, the new inFamous is absolutely tops on my Most Wanted list in terms of launch software for the PS4 (assuming it is indeed a launch title). But do we really need another "I'm so oppressed and I'm gonna fight the 'man'" storyline? According to the early plot details, the protagonist is on the run because the government has set up an oppressive task force to hunt down "his kind," so-to-speak. ...one big fat yawn. Are we at all bored with this story yet? It's everywhere; this "fight the power" theme has been buried down our throats in movies, music, books and now games. As brilliant as Bioshock Infinite was, the idea of a government oppressing people and running amok was a central theme. Hell, it was at the core of all the "X-Men" movies. You just can't get away from it and I'm bored.
This isn't high school sociology. We got it already. Do something new, do something original, do something unique. Come up with a storyline that actually deals with really intriguing concepts, those that revolve around contrasting philosophies and theories, or those that present us with interesting and multi-layered characters. If all Delsin Rowe is going to be doing in Second Son is battling faceless government dudes and unraveling the ultra-cliched story about how "the man" is keeping him down...I'm gonna fall asleep in my chair. Well, hopefully, the action will keep me awake.
Personal gaming update
I'm still slowly working my way through Tomb Raider, searching for every secret and collectible. My girlfriend and I are also right at the end of Portal 2 and I'd say finishing it is quite the achievement. ;) Bear in mind that she almost played no video games before we sat down to try this. I'm looking forward to trying out Metro: Last Light, as I said above, and then there's Fuse at the end of the month. By the way, although the information is embargoed until Tuesday, I was part of a roundtable conference with Insomniac boss Ted Price. He had some really interesting things to say about a variety of topics (in addition to his new game), and I really urge you to play the demo. It may not be quite what you're expecting...that was a common topic of discussion, actually.
Then there's The Last Of Us in June, which should be absolutely stellar. Anything less and I'll be disappointed. Lastly, I have high hopes for Remember Me, although it does concern me that developer DontNod Entertainment is completely unproven... Cross your fingers!
5/11/2013 Ben Dutka