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.
CD Projekt Red has shown off a new logo for upcoming RPG game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The design cleverly incorporates the mask of general Eredin, one of the leaders of the titular Wild Hunt, into the ‘3’ of the logo.
The Polish developer has also released a description of the Wild Hunt for those not in the know:
The Wild Hunt has always been thought to presage war, great plagues and death. Their origin unknown, these ghastly riders instilled fear in the hearts of men and are believed to be able to steal people’s spirits that would later join the ghastly cavalcade. They come at night, in the winter and their appearance is always preceded by the aurora borealis.In The Witcher 3, the Wild Hunt are not mere bosses at the end of a corridor. They’re part of the lore, part of the system of folk beliefs, they’re both something that children say stories about to scare each other and an entity that can wipe out entire villages in one night. The Wild Hunt is essential to the whole Witcher universe and in The Witcher 3 it will finally take center stage.
We are rebels and rebels are free. Just like birds. The Northern Cardinal, or REDbird, is what we see ourselves in the industry: intrepid, bold and confident; flying high and aiming even higher. The color, cardinal RED, is something that connects it with another bird, a mythological creature close to our cultural roots and heritage—the Rarog, a small firebird believed to bring luck to people. RED stands for energy, the inner fire that drives us; it represents something very close to everyone here in the studio—the creativity and passion we harness from within ourselves to make the best RPGs in the world.
Bioware’s hotly anticipated RPG game Dragon Age: Inquisition has been given an official release date. The third game in the popular series will be hitting stores on October 7 in North America and October 10 in Europe. It will be playable on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. You can see the trailer below.
Bioware will be showing off the game in more detail at this year’s E3 in June.
Rocksteady has released three new images from Batman: Arkham Knight. The images, posted by Game Informer, show some familiar villains from earlier Arkham titles but they have been given a lick of paint for their debut appearance on next-gen consoles.
David Hego, Arkham Knight’s art director, explained the thinking behind the fresh designs:
We tried to add something to the characters, so you’re still excited about them even after meeting them for the third time. How can we make these guys exciting, even after seeing them again? Every time, we make them look better and better and better, but at the same time, how can we improve the story behind them?
Arkham Knight’s main villain, Scarecrow, unleashes a chemical attack on Gotham during Halloween, which influenced some of the changes to character designs. Speaking about Penguin, lead character artist Albert Feliu said:
This time, we went for autumnal mafia. We took the coat off, and the concept of Penguin was more of a dirty dude. Obviously his shirt is rolled up and sweaty, and he has food stains on it. But still, he’s really powerful. He’s got a golden chain, as well. We had to be a bit crazy with this character, and working with his design. And we shaved his head. He’s proper filthy, you know
Based on the screenshots the character who has changed the least is Two-Face, with Rocksteady already satisfied with his established design. “We just rolled up his sleeves and made him look really next-gen”, Feliu said, “He was already a really strong character, so we tried to push it, and keep going that way. We didn’t want to change it that much.”
The final character shown in the trio of images is the Riddler, who will have a more prominent role than in previous titles, “This time around, you see him throughout the game, and he evolves” Feliu Said.
The Riddler’s appearance will change throughout the game, similar to how Batman has shown signs of damage and fatigue as the adventure has gone on in previous games. The Riddler will go from dapper to dirty and become visibly distressed as his plans are continuously ruined by Batman.
The extra content will comprise of a series of episodic story missions, entitled ‘Paper Trail’. Developer, Sucker Punch, described the side-story as an “innovative online and in-game story arc”, with players tasked with uncovering the full story behind the D.U.P.’s occupation of Seattle. Players can also delve into “web-based investigations” through viral website, enjoyyourpower.com. The new content will me made available to players directly through the game each week, for six weeks.
A well as Paper Trail, the 300mb update includes the Cole’s Legacy content pack which is free to those who pre-ordered the game.
Besides the extra content the update also makes tweaks to difficulty, NPC density and graphics.
InFamous: Second Son is a Playstation 4 exclusive and releases tomorrow, March 21.
A new Batman game titled Arkham Knight has been announced for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, after originally being uncovered by videogamer.com who discovered a listing on UK retailer GAME’s website.
Development of the game is being handled by Rocksteady, who worked on the first two games in the franchise, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, before WB Montreal took over the reins for the most recent title, Batman: Arkham Origins. For the first time in the series you will be able to drive around the streets of Gotham in the Batmobile, and as usual you will face a wide array of Batman’s foes, including Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Penguin and Two Face.
US retailer Gamestop has listed the game’s release date as October 14th 2014, if you pre-order the game you will be able to play as Harley Quinn across four exclusive challenge maps. It has also been confirmed that the game is coming exclusively to next-gen consoles, meaning no PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii U versions will be released.
Rocksteady have also released an announcement trailer for the game which you can view below.
Sony has confirmed that it will allow Playstation 4 users to go by their real name when using the console’s online services. The option will be available from the system’s launch which is in contrast to the Xbox One – the feature will not be available until a later date on Microsoft’s new console.
Gamers are of course under no obligation to reveal their real names and can continue to use a chosen username if they prefer. The thinking behind allowing players to use their real names is to make online gaming more appealing and accessible to wider audiences and create greater integration with social networks.
Decide for yourself how you want to be known online when the PS4 releases, on November 15 in the US and November 29 in the UK.
Bungie and Activision have released the box art for their upcoming game, Destiny. It pictures three of the character classes you will be able to play as in the game – Titan, Hunter and Warlock. Collectively these characters are known as Guardians and it is their duty to protect the last safe city on Earth.
Destiny comes out next year on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Xbox One and Playstation 4.
Some interesting news from Gamescom for any retro gamers planning on getting a PS4, classic Amiga game Shadow of the Beast is getting the reboot treatment courtesy of developers Heavy Spectrum. The original game was a side-scrolling platformer produced by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis in 1989, so it’s fair to say the beast has been out of action for quite some time, although the original game did get several sequels and ports, the last of which was released in 1992.
Judging from the trailer the new game does not seem to be sticking with the series’ platforming roots, focusing more on brutal combat and action. Heavy Spectrum CEO Matt Birch wrote on the Official Playstation Blog, “We want to create a magical combination of unique combat and gameplay to enthral you as a player, with a mystical world that can engage you as a person.”
No release date has yet been announced.