I've been a gamer since, well, allways.
I remember playing NES game back when I was a Kid but I'll have to admit that it wasn't until the Ps1 era (when I was a bit older) that I really got into gaming.
Gaming is just and essential part of me, and while I do enjoy doing other stuff I couldn't imagine my life without gaming in it.
PS: As might have guessed, english isn't my main language, but I do enjoy posting in english sites ( it helps me practice my english... and talking about videogames is allways fun)
SPOILER ALERT: Some of the content posted above includes GOD OF WAR 3 spoilers.
This Thursday Sony will be hosting a big Ps4 launch event hosted by Geoff Keighley who has already confirmed that we should expect new content to be announced including a new Ps4 game.
This has obviously given place to a lot of rumors and speculations over the last few days and with Naughty Dog announing their last couple of games in the VGA's most people are looking at Sony Santa Monica as a likely candidate to announce a new game.
Now asuming that ends up being true I guess the question would be "Will they announce a new IP or a new God of war?"
I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who would love to see a new Ip from Santa Monica after 2 console generations of God of War. But lets be honest here... even though it's not as popular as it used to be it's still one of the best know sony franchises and it still has a lot of fans out there.
That being said, GOW is in desperate need of a new direction because as Ascension sales showed, "more of the same" is just not going to be enough specially in this Ip because:
1) The Story is already over:
Gow was, as a triology, a story about Kratos wanting revenge against the gods of Olympus and in GOW3, by killing Zeus, he acomplished it.
Santa Monica was clever enough to put just enough "what if" elements so they can continue the story if they want, but for me this story already feels finished and I don't really see many interesting ways they could take it without it feeling forced or simply unnecessary
2) The gods and the Titans are dead:
In a game based around greek mythology you just can't set the bar higher than the main gods (Zeus, Hares, Poseidon, Ares, etc) and the Titans. I'm sure there are more powerfull beings, but the main dish has been served and nothing they throw at us will feel quite the same.
So if they truly want to continue with this franchise my advice/idea would be:
-Keep the basic elements of the franchise:
Keep the gore and violence, keep the "epic scale" of stuff, keep the focus on mythology and keep the Hack and slash style in gameplay. But change the rest
-Change the setting:
Give us a whole new setting involving a new Hero/Anti-Hero and, most importantly, change the mythology. There are other places this franchise could go that could give us a new story, new context, new setting and a whole set of new mythological creatures to kill.
Egyptian mythology for example could be very interesting and with the likes of Anubis, Ra, Sobek, Osiris, etc there are more than enough "badass" gods to keep things fun.
Nordic Mythology has become quite popular over the past few years and with guys like Thor and Odin plus giant wolfs, snakes and ice giants and a whole mythological war going on there is plenty of content to take from here. It would also be nice to get a fresh take on these characters besides their popular Marvel incarnations.
Mayan mythology could also be a lot of fun because it would present a drastically different setting than current games and they also had a ton of gods and creatures which could be used.
-Same genre, different gameplay
Hack and slash is, after all, just a genre and with many different takes on it like Bayonetta, Devil may cry, Dynasty Warriors, Metal Gear Rising, etc it would be nice to see the franchise get an evolved gameplay that feels fresh.
It wouldn't be enough to just reskin kratos and his enemies and have the same game with a different look. To make a truly great game they would need to make several changes to the gameplay which would allow them to make it feel fresh and unique again. Change the combos and the weapon types, give a more active role to magic attacks or a higher focus on evading or countering attacks. Introduce new game mechanics built around the new mythology and based on research about how these gods obtained their power or what kind of rituals they had, etc
-Keep the name[/size]
Much like Infamous Second Son keep the name but present it as a new game rather than a sequel to the previous one. It would be a good marketing tool and would probably end up helping with sales (given how so many people go crazy over sequels but not new Ip's).
Expand the god of war brand and transform it into a hack and slash franchise based on mythology rather than just the story of Kratos and greek lore.
So yeah, that's just some ideas that come to mind but I'd love to hear what other people think about the franchise and what Sony Santa Monica could do with it to get it back to its glory days (in case they decide to go with a new GOW rather than a new IP)
To a lot of people, this generation was the downfall of Square Enix as the flagship of japanese developers and the downfall of the Final Fantasy franchise. Some might argue this started back in the Ps2 era with FFX-2 but I just count that one as a mistake because, other than the really annoying main character, I actually enjoyed my time with XII.
And then came this soon to be over generation and FFXIII with it. And I'll be honest here, XIII was probably my most anticipated game of the whole generation. I think I was never more excited about a game this gen as I was for FFXIII.
But when the game came out... I know I'm not alone when I say how dissapointed I was. Now, the games had several gameplay issues like the ridiculos linear dungeons, the lack of NPC's and town and the fact that for over half the game the combat system was basically "press X to win" (I did enjoy it more once you get full control over the paradigm shift).
I could have forgiven all of that, I really could have, if the other part of the experience, the story, setting, missions, etc, where as fun, imaginative and charming as in the old games. But instead what I got was some cheap drama filled with annoying characters and over dramatic/chessy writing.
FFXII-2 came soon after, promising to fix all the issues with the XIII gameplay and it actually did that (to some degree) with bigger gameplay areas and a combat system that was more "open" from the start. But sadly, the biggest problem of XIII just got worse, the characters this time around where even more annoying and, once again, the bad writing tries too hard to be "deep" and "emotional" and just comes of as chessy and over dramatic.
I've said it in some of the comments here in destructoid and I'll say it again, It feels like the current writers at square are 15 years old Otaku girls.
And the problems don't just stop in FF, Kingdom Hearts is yet another franchise with a ton of fun Ideas that I simply can't enjoy because of how bad the writing can be at times. As much as I love the disney worlds and how well they are recreated I just can't get into the main story because for some reason they decided to make Sora really stupid. And I'm not talking about the "Homer Simpson" kind of funny stupid. He just comes off as annoying and takes the "we can win because we are friends" cliche of many anime into extreme levels.
"But this game is also aimed at kids" you might say. And that is true. But go and compare the writing in KH to the funny, clever and chraming writing of stuff like Ni No Kuni and tell me you don't see a difference.
IF square is amining to make the FF franchise a more "gameplay centric" experience I'm fine with that, but in that case they need to adapt the game design to go in that direction. As it is now, with the inclusion of a tons of cutscenes and heavy focus on the main mission over the side tasks it still is a story driven franchise and that just dosen't work if the story is bad.
A good example is Lost Odyssey, arguably my favorite Jrpg of the gen (if you don't consider Demon/Dark Souls Jrps). But to be honest here the gameplay in that game was nothing spectacular. Sure it had towns and decent level design but the random encounters where annoying and the turn based combat was hardly impressive if compared to other turn based combat Jrpgs. But whay it might have lacked in gameplay it made up with an interesting story, with a varied cast of likable characters and decent writing, all of that supported by some really fantastic short stories that gave the player bigger insight into the characters, their lifes and motivations. That's a game where a more serious story worked well (though it did have humor too) because it came off as more "geniune" than the chessy/overdramatic FF counterpart.
Finally, I'd like to take some time to post 2 video, both FF trailers, both with a cinematic/story focus rather than gameplay...... but 13 years apart:
Sadly, what I see here is "Fun adventure in a magical world" vs "cheap action drama".
Mabye it's the lack of thechnological limitation that is to blame here. Now they can make great looking world while back into the day they had to use all the creativity and imagination they had at hand to make up for a lack of graphical power.
I've seen the trailers for XV and while I have to say I'm excited (Damn it!), I'm also keeping my expectations in check. Because no matter how great the gameplay, if square insists on making FF a story centric experience with that kind of bland storytelling. I just can't truly enjoy the games.
Just look at the destructoid "first impressions" of XIII-3. It was something like "the gameplay seems really cool, but the story is worse than ever"... and to me, that just can't be.
And that was my rant, hopefully some one out there enjoyed it
Over the past few days I've been playing a lot of the multiplayer mode of The Last of US.
I didn't really play it much when I got the game but a few friends bought it recently so I decided to join them and give the MP another try and I was surprised to find out that it is quite enjoyable. While it is, mostly, the same old MP modes we all know I did enjoy the slower, stealth gameplay from the Single player being used for the multiplayer (plus the crafting system is also there)
But one thing I've come to realize playing it (haven't played any online shooters since Battlefield 3) is how much I miss the "oldschool" weapons system in shooters.
By "olschool" I mean the time when the whole "unclock" system wasn't being used and you had to pick up weapons on the map rather than unlocking them and equiping them (plus perks or skills).
I've allways found that the old system gave multiplayer matches a more balanced feel. Experienced players would know where every weapon was placed on the map, and they had a general idea of when they would respawn. But new players, with some luck, could also pick them up and be on even ground, at least regarding equipment, with the more experienced players. In the end a lot of 1 vs 1 encounter would come down to pure skill and not the fact that your oponent has a notoriously stronger weapons and special skills just because he has been playing longer than you.
I don't really understand the balance of the unlock system, it seems to reward experienced player with even more powefull weapons, giving them an even bigger advantage (on top of the deeper map knowledge and overal experience they have with the game). I've often found myself playing online shooters where low level players get, for example, sinpers that kill with 2 shots while the high level players have 1 shot kill snipers at hand, making the gap already formed by game experience and map knowledge even wider.
Don't missunderstand me here, I do get the appeal of the "unlock system". While playing a game it's allways more fun to contstantly unclock new stuff rather than to have all the weapons from the start. But honestly, I feel that the need for "new stuff" can be replaced with unlockable customizations, weapons skins or stuff like that which reflects your higher level without giving you an in game advantage.
I'm also not saying that all game make a bad use of the unlock system. There are certainly some games that give you "different weapons" as you level up rather than "stronger weapons", but a whole of them don't get that and it become specially notorious in games like the Last of us which don't have as many online players as Cod or battlefield and, mostly, do a bad job at pairing you up with people of your same level (as a level 8 player I constantly have to go against people over lv 100).
So, what do you gus think?
Do you actually enjoy the unlock system or am I not alone in missing the old type of weapon pickup we saw in Unreal, Quake or Halo?