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Naughty Dog Could Return to Crash Bandicoot & Jak Franchises

Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog

Developer Naughty Dog has today addressed the possibility of returning to two of the franchises that helped make their name, Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. Speaking to IGN Naughty Dog’s community strategist Arne Meyer stated:

It’s never off the table. It’s not too much time passing, but it’s the same issues we explored with the Jak game. Is it something that makes sense to us now. I mean we still have people that worked on the Crash games in the studio. We never forget our past and it’d be great for nostalgic reasons. It’d be the same reason as why there isn’t a Jak 4: I don’t know if it’s playing to our strengths right now.

Right now, what’s exciting everyone at the studio is continuing to work on narrative-driven games with strong characters. I think, at least for the time being, we haven’t exhausted the possibilities there, but that could change with something as simple as hardware. That’s what drove it before. I think we’re on to something really good though creating character-driven stories so that’s where our focus is going to be.

It comes back to our decision making process, whether it feels right. With Jak at that time we were really focused on making games grounded in a stylised but realistic world, and if you tried to transfer Jak to that you lose a lot of what made him special. It doesn’t mean though that at no point in the future will we get good at making stylised artificial universes however, and then it’ll work.

While it doesn’t sound like we’ll be getting new entries in either series any time soon, it’s nice to know Naughty Dog hasn’t forgotten about these two franchises, which are both still immensely popular. Naughty Dog has not worked on a Crash game since 1999’s Crash Team Racing, while their last Jak and Daxter game was 2005’s Jak X.

Naughty Dog is currently busy working on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which was announced at this year’s E3, while The Last of Us Remastered is due for release on 1 August.

How Solid Snake Got His Name

solidsnakeIn a series of tweets Hideo Kojima has explained how he came up with the name of his most famous creation, Metal Gear Solid protagonist, Solid Snake.

Kojima explained, “The reason I used Snake as code name in MG was snake was the most appropriate symbol of living thing that hides his presence, & sneaks w/o any noise. The reason I didn’t make any specific snake like cobra, anaconda, viper was because the protagonist is the player. The reason I use SOLID was to give opposite impression of soft image.”

He also revealed the naming process behind Snake’s twin brother and enemy from Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake.

“Like of all endings of the any series are, the appearance of strongest enemy was a must in MGS. It’s Snake who can surpass the Snake. Thus I brought about “clone”. SOLID vs LIQUID. That is MGS.”

Finally, in Metal Gear Solid 2, a third brother was introduced, “As to develop sequel, the 3rd snake was needed. Since both solid & liquid express state, means same true state. Naturally the next would be gas but gas snake is like gas human, not handsome name. So I borrowed from physics terms of “solidus/liquidus”. SOLIDUS is not state but implies the boundary of liquid and solid.”

The next game in the series, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, will be released on March 18 in the US and March 20 in the UK. It will serve as a prequel to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which does not yet have a release date.


N7 Day 2013: Bioware Thanks Mass Effect Fans

n7dayToday is N7 day, Bioware’s now annual celebration of all things Mass Effect, and the Edmonton based developer has created a special video thanking fans for their dedication to the series featuring voice-overs from some of the games cast.  It’s definitely worth a look if your a fan of the franchise, you can see it below:

Bioware has also been celebrating the occasion in many other ways which you can read about on their blog here.

Titanfall Not Coming to Playstation


Titanfall will remain an exclusive to Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC “for the life of the title”, according to Blake Jorgensen, CFO at Electronic Arts who was speaking at EA’s financial call.  This was reiterated by Microsoft’s Major Nelson who tweeted the following:

We will have to wait until March next year to see whether Titanfall is worth all the hype it’s currently receiving, and how much of a blow today’s news will be to anyone planning on buying a Playstation 4.

Next Mass Effect Game Will Be Unrelated to Shepard’s Story

Mass-effect-3-ShepardDuring a recent interview at New York Comic Con Mac Walters, Lead Writer of Mass Effect 3 revealed some of Bioware’s intentions for the next game in the series, including a desire to create a fresh experience that isn’t tied to any previous events. Walters said:

the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn’t relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever. Beyond that, that’s what we’ve been deciding for a while. But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can’t just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions.

Walters was also asked about his thoughts on those who were unhappy with the ending of Mass Effect 3, he responded by reasserting Bioware’s intention to look to the future of the franchise and was adamant that the company will not make any further changes to the ending:

It’s been 18-19 months since it came out and my thoughts on it are that we addressed it the best we could in the extended cut. We’re obviously not going to be changing anything now. We’re only going forward […] one of the things we really underestimated […] was how much ownership people would take over a character that they could do that. You know, you’ve been given free choice to make all these decisions with this character, with the fates of millions of people, and then, you don’t get to choose your own fate. And I’m not saying that our decision was wrong or right. I think we just underestimated the impact that would have on certain players […] because there was no choice, it was going to be right for some people, and for others, in the middle, and other people were obviously very upset about it. In hindsight, I don’t think there was anything we would have changed about that, but it is a really good lesson learned.

Solid details about the next Mass Effect game are still thin on the ground, including when exactly the story will be set, however Bioware have previously stated that the game will not be called ‘Mass Effect 4’ so it is clear that they want the new game to be judged on it’s own merits rather than compared with previous installments. It will certainly be interesting to see what direction the company takes with the series and we will of course bring you more information as it surfaces.

Sci-Fi Horror SOMA Headed to PS4 and PC

somaFrictional Games today announced a new sci-fi horror game, SOMA, which will be released on PS4 and PC in 2015. The title has apparently been in development in secret for the last few years and Thomas Grip, Creative Director at Frictional Games, said that it was “a great relief to finally be able to talk about it.” Grip went on to describe the game as:

a sci-fi horror game played from a first person perspective. You are not a space marine though; you’re a normal, very exposed person trapped in a nightmarish world. SOMA is a game about exploration, survival and immersing you inside an interactive narrative.

Frictional Games are previously best known for developing Amnesia: Dark Descent for PC. You can view official footage of SOMA in the video below.