Yep, I'm still here. As said in my last blog, I'm not expecting as many views/comments as usual due to the lack of a separate blogs feed. I hope that Gamespot adds a blog feed similar to the one used on the old site. But hey, the show must go on. I might post another blog post later this week with a link to this one with hope that it finds its way to more eyes.
With the PlayStation 4 out and the Xbox One set to release in a handful of days, the next generation is here. If you want to get technical, the Wii U started the next gen last year but I tend to exclude Nintendo from generations. Not only because of their inferior tech specs and lack of third party support, but because I think Nintendo has been niche since the GameCube and they continue to do their own thing with Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc. (which is perfect, in my opinion). Anyways, the next generation is here with games like Killzone: Shadow Fall, Resogun, and Forza 5 on shelves and in consoles. The big guns like Infamous: Second Son, Titanfall, and Watch Dogs are on the way. Look further down the road, games like Kingdom Hearts III, Uncharted PS4, and Halo X1 are in development.
But what are other talented developers hard at work on? Here are my hopes and predictions with what games we will 'most likely' see from the studios as well as a wildcard 'surprise' game:
Key Games: Batman: Arkham Asylum & City
Most Likely: Batman: Arkham 3 - Two of my favorite games from the PS3 era came from this studio and starred the Caped Crusader. That said (and unlike the recent Arkham Origins), both games feel entirely different. Asylum feels like a Metroid inspired adventure with Batman characters and an amazing atmosphere you need to explore every inch of. City puts you under the Bat-cowl and pits you in a sectioned-off Gotham City packed with Batman villains to take down. Leave it to Rocksteady to reinvent the series again. Batmobile? Civilians and car traffic in Gotham City? Takes place over more than one day? More linear and not open world? We'll see, but I don't think Rocksteady will walk away from this hot series just yet.
Surprise: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Two TMNT videogames came out recently and were absolute duds. With the Ninja Turtles as popular as ever with a great cartoon on Nickelodeon and a Michael Bay movie on the way, the videogame industry is wide open. Rocksteady knows how to take IPs and breathe life into them with cowabunga (do they still say that?) combat and cool atmosphere. They've denied it before but it seems like a match made in heaven.
Key Games: Bioshock 1 & Infinite
Most Likely: Bioshock 4 - As proved at the end of Infinite, there are so many places that this series could go. They just need to switch up the combat more this time.
Surprise: New FPS IP - It's hard to see the team that made arguably the best FPS ever made step away from that same series, but it would be interesting. Just look at what id Software or Bungie did.
Key Games: Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops, Black Ops II
Most Likely: Call of Duty 11 - The number is not a joke! It seems like yesterday people were calling World at War COD5. It is very likely that we will see a Black Ops III given how popular the last two in the series were.
Surprise: New IP - Activision has a lot of teams that can scrap up a Call of Duty B in 14 months. Imagine if Activision set out to have another monster IP. Treyarch has grown into a very talented studio and could finally have the chance to step out of Infinity Ward's shadow with a FPS fantasy/medieval game similar to Skyrim or a sci-fi FPS. "Back to reality" says Activision, *whip* "More Call of Duty!"
Bethesda Game Studios
Key Games: The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion & Skyrim, Fallout 3
Most Likely: Fallout 4 - There isn't one game series that I want on next gen consoles more than Fallout. Imagining where this series could go with a tech spec ceiling that matches their creativity and ambition is bind-bending. Bethesda has supposedly recently set up a mysterious teaser site and trademarked "Fallout 4" in Europe. I'm hopeful for a teaser at the VGAs in a few weeks! :D
Surprise: The Elder Scrolls VI - I will eventually beg for a TES game that works on a PlayStation console (there are no more excuses now, Bethesda). Skyrim sold insanely well and is probably a hotter IP than Fallout. Could they be skipping Fallout?
Sony Santa Monica
Key Games: God of War, co-worked on Warhawk, Twisted Metal, Journey
Most Likely: New IP - Nope, it's not in the wrong column. God of War Ascension was met with mixed reviews and poor sales. The multiplayer did not catch on as hoped either. We know that SSM is working with Ready at Dawn on The Order 1886 and with indie developers on PS4/Vita games, but they are a large studio that constantly helps other, smaller developers with their wisdom. As to what they are working on themselves, I have to think that the studio is working on something brand new. They are too talented to beat a dead horse and they must be itching to spread their wings. Sony needs some new IPs, why not let your second or third best team give you one? We are already getting Infamous and Uncharted. Something new and exciting would be awesome. Personally, I like the sound of a samurai game.
Surprise: God of War IV - It just seems too safe and boring. Kratos has slayed enough Greek myths and gods. But it does make sense seeing how God of War I-III were huge for Sony.
Key Games: Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, Bully
Most Likely: Red Dead Redemption 2 - I loved Red Dead Redemption like no other game. It's the multiplatform gem of this generation that everyone must play. It's unfair to call it Grand Theft Auto: Wild West because the two series are very different. RDR sold extremely well and went over great with critics and gamers alike. R* has stated that they are working on an addition to an existing non-GTA series, it must be Red Dead. There are a lot of possibilities as to where the game could go but I'm hoping it steers clear of John and Jack Marston (for two different reasons).
Surprise: Agent - Rockstar revealed this game as a PS3 exclusive back in 2007. Nothing has been said about it since other than a 'still in development' statement in 2011 and a couple of trademarks in July of this year. A page for it is still on R*'s website with the Spider-Man PlayStation 3 text but I think if it ever does release, it will be multiplatform on next gen consoles.
Key Games: Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls
Most Likely: New IP - Beyond underperformed with sales and was met with mixed reception. David Cage and company are working on a PS4 as we speak and it will without a doubt be something brand new and decidedly unique.
Surprise: Heavy Rain spin-off - David Cage has said that he hates the idea of sequels but what about setting a game in the same universe as the 2010 hit Heavy Rain? It was an unforgettable game that made gamers start to question just what games could be. I think this path is too safe for a visionary game director to go down but still, it would be welcome.
Key Games: Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, The Last of Us
Most Likely: The Last of Us 2 - We know what one half of ND is working on, but what about the TLOU crew that is most certainly starting to jump to the next gen? I think that the studio is too in love with their post apocalyptic world (and too invested) to let it be a one-and-done. It doesn't have to follow Joel and/or Ellie, it could easily follow other characters trapped in the same hell hole. I'd love it.
Surprise: Jak & Daxter 4 - They did start to develop the game before coming up with TLOU. J&D is my favorite game series (by far) and I'd love to see it happen but it is a longshot.
Key Game: Sly 4
Most Likely: Sly 5 - Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the rookie developer when they made Sly 4, a love letter to the PS2 era of platformers. It did sell surprisingly well with its cheap price tag, why not another round on the PS4?
Surprise: Jak & Daxter 4 - A Sly 5 for $60 would be a hard sell and I'm guessing it would be an expensive project on Sony's end. Sanzaru has revived one classic PS2 platformer, why not another? Jak was much more popular than Sly back in the day and the public demand for more Jak, especially after the HD collection, is at an all-time high. I'm guessing Sony was patiently waiting for Naughty Dog to return to it, figured out they don't want another stab at Jak, and will now let another developer at it. Sony is too smart to sit on money.
Key Games: Bubsy 3D (I actually loved this game), Syphon Filter, Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Most Likely: Syphon Filter - I really do think that Logan could come back as a reboot with the right marketing and be successful. Bend has been held back since the PS1 days and has popped back on the radar recently. It's been confirmed that they are working on a PS4 game, it could be any number of things.
Surprise: Jak & Daxter 4 - I just really want another Jak game :P See Sanzaru's 'surprise'.
It feels great to be blogging again! Expect more soon including my in progress Top 35 PlayStation 3 Games blog series that I can't wait to post (holding off until I beat Mass Effect 3, Ni no Kuni, Killzone 3, and Dishonored). It will most likely start in mid to late December followed by my 4th Annual GOTY Awards. Thanks for reading and please comment :)
Videogame Music of the Day: Heavy Rain - Before the Storm by Normand Corbeil