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E3 2014 wants The Last Guardian… but it needs Uncharted 4

The internet is ablaze with The Last Guardian speculation. Many sites are predicting a glorious re-confirmation of the game at Sony’s E3 2014 press conference, next Tuesday, and most agree that it’ll be on both PS3 and PS4. Other sites are feeding off speculation surrounding retail listings, such as the appearance of the game on Amazon US. There’s less than a week to go before we learn the truth to these rumours, and I--along with almost every hardcore PlayStation player--would love them to be true. But not at the expense of true, made-for-PS4 experiences.

I’d rather hear about Uncharted 4. Or God of War. Or a new Resistance game (never going to happen). Or LittleBigPlanet 3. Why? Sentimental as many are for the final game in the ‘ICO trilogy’, The Last Guardian has been in development for six years, and it’s going to come with old-gen baggage. It isn’t the glorious, full-on reason to buy into the new generation of consoles that an event like E3 2014 needs to be all about.

With so many leaks, early reveals, and pre-preemptive delays, this year’s E3 is desperately in need of some champions; those megaton announcements that we can all reminisce about until E3 2015. I’m talking about stuff like the Uncharted 2 demo at E3 2009, or the Killer Instinct reveal from E3 2013--things that made grown men stand up and scream like idiots.

Both Sony and Microsoft have made great starts to this current generation, selling millions of machines at relatively high prices. Sure, Microsoft has had PR disasters, but the numbers suggest that despite Sony’s resounding ‘E3 2013 win’, and subsequent higher PS4 sales, both companies are meeting expectations. That early momentum can be attributed to hype, and a reasonable crop of launch games, mixed with a genuine hunger for new technology (the last console generation was/is one of the longest yet) but now that initial wave of excitement is slowing. Fast.

These past few months have seen big hitters like Batman: Arkham Knight, The Order 1886, The Division, and Halo 5: Guardians all slip to an unspecified release window in 2015. All of a sudden, the millions who forked out £100s for new-gen consoles are staring at a measly diet of HD remakes, cross-gen ports, and indie titles for the remainder of 2014. E3 needs to reignite our faith in these consoles, to remind us that proper, new-gen games are on the way, and that 2014 is still an exciting year.

And The Last Guardian--great as it may be--isn’t going to do that. In fact, its reveal (along with the rumoured Halo 1-4 HD compilation) would compound the notion that we've all bought into PlayStation 3.5, or Xbox Sort-of-One. Yes, it’s fan-pleasing, but it isn’t all that exciting. And, er, history also tells us that--as beautiful and emotionally touching as ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are--that series hasn’t sold enough to be considered a commercial success. We want it, but we don’t need it. Conversely, Sony (and everyone else eagerly expecting great things from E3) does need something to carry PS4’s success forward.

It’s very possible that we’ll have both Last Guardian and Uncharted 4 at Sony’s press conference. And a new Fallout game. And more Battlefield. In which case, I’ll bust out the champagne and spray my monitor until it fizzes and pops into a sad pile of melted plastic. I’m just wary of putting too much stock in the reveal of Last Guardian, when we should all expect bigger and better things from the biggest video gaming event of 2014.

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2014 E3

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40 comments

  • brickman409 - June 8, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    You would seriously rather play another damn Uncharted game instead of the Last Guardian just so you can feel better about wasting money on a next gen console?
  • Redeater - June 7, 2014 11:10 p.m.

    Well, it's official. The Last Guardian has been cancelled. Can we all stop talking about this non existant game now?
  • Pooka - June 7, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    Who honestly cares anymore about The Last Guardian? At this point its been talked up and pined for so long that there is no way the actual game would live up to its own hype. We need some new IP's, we got a few the last gen that were excellent, and I'm excited to see what the PS4 and One can bring
  • n00b - June 5, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    I want some new ips and to genuinely be surprised and blown away i got enough of last gen's trilogies and would like to look forward to something new
  • mafyooz - June 6, 2014 2:47 a.m.

    I'm with you. I love Uncharted and God of War, and will happily keep playing them on my older systems, but I think they've run their course and PS4 (and XBox One for that matter) both need some fresh blood, not more sequels and reboots.
  • GOD - June 5, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    I think we can both agree Andy, that what we really is Resistance 4, with the chimera back with a vengeance and stronger than ever before, them becoming the focus of the game once again rather than a family man's struggle, and a new protagonist who functions as our proxy while we learn more about the chimera. It will then fix the horrid ending to 3 where a random lucky crash of a single ship lead to the beyond miraculous taking back of earth and stopping of the entire chimeran force that was alluded to in the art shown in the ending credits. It will also hopefully bring back unique boss chimera like in Resistance 2, rather than the same 2 boss creatures used over and over for the entire game including the last fight like in R3. The weapon wheel is great. Upgrading weapons is great. Crazy weapons is great. The plot to Resistance 3 is a blemish on the whole series that I wish didn't exist, despite it's gunplay being great. It's online was also horribly broken, a huge step back from R2's 60 player matches, and was quickly abandoned after a tenth of the lifespan of R2's online. It would be nice if they also brought something back similar to R2's unique to co-op missions that were up to 8 people and basically worked like 8 person FPS dungeon raid with classes that had to work together to succeed. Or they can just make a super HD Remake (not just a touch up) of Resistance 2 for PS4 with online included and I'll just play it for a few years again.
  • Darkhawk - June 5, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    GIVE US TRICO!
  • Jackonomics2.0 - June 5, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    Its about what the audience wants and Innovation wont sell shit unless it has a successful trope tied to it. Gotta give props to Last of Us though, so who knows, anything can happen.
  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    I'd rather see Sony announce brand new first party IPs rather than sequels, (which is all Mr. Hartup mentioned) but that's just me I suppose...
  • Vonter - June 5, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    The actual context of the industry doesn't favor creativity unless you're a small team, at least Sony is bringing the indies (and I assume they're supporting them). Business wise it's too risky putting a lot of money into a single thing, perhaps they could diversify with smaller projects, but I suppose that's not what people want.
  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    The best thing Sony did last year was The Last of Us, a high budget AAA game that was an original IP. It was super well received and sold great, despite the fact that not only was it a new IP, but it was sold during the consoles last legs. Is it really that weird to think that MAYBE they should keep going over that route instead of making sequels too frequently with diminishing returns? (Gow: Ascension sold way less than GoW3 for example, and Uncharted 3 sold marginally less copies than Uncharted 2)
  • Vonter - June 5, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Yeah but that was also because thematically it mainly nailed the dystopic setting MOST games have been having this generation. Don't get me wrong the game took risks, I could see Sony taking, I don't know a military shooter and give some personality. What I mean is that its a budget game is likely gonna be a established idea (a dark fantasy setting, a military shooter, a... Mass Effect type of game). I just don't see them making something original since they usually take an established idea and improve upon it. The only exception being the games of Team Ico (which are kinda like their Zelda team).
  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2014 6:12 p.m.

    A serious dystopic setting hasn't been really that prevalent during most of the generation, it was only in the last 2-3 years that it started to become more apparent. And even then, it's not nearly as prevalent as the gritty, in your face action spectacle set in present or near-present settings. Furthermore, unlike most other zombie or dystopic apocalyptic games, the setting and the zombies are NOT the main focus, and actually are just a backdrop to focus on a much more personal story of survival, and it's one that makes story decisions that games RARELY do. Even if the setting wasn't the most original thing to come up with, it still took a LOT of risks, more than your average game certainly, and definitely more than any Nintendo game has taken in the last 10 years. And again, originality doesn't solely mean making something aesthetically foreign or unique, or delve into a new gameplay genre. (Which at this point is really difficult because... well, most genres have been explored thoroughly at this point.) Originality means doing something that hasn't been done before, whereas it's a gameplay mechanic, or a different kind of story/storytelling. God of War might feel tired as a series at this point (because essentially every GoW after the original did the exact same thing the first one did, only prettier.), but when it came out it was pretty refreshing, yes the core gameplay was similar to other melee action games, but it mixed it up with QTEs, (Which by then were unheard of and they DID work really well in that game) a setting seldom explored in gaming, and a really dark tone of fantasy storytelling that didn't happen often back then. So yeah, Sony is actually pretty good at coming with good, new ideas when they feel like it. I just wish they felt like it more often than not >_>
  • Vonter - June 5, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    Well I had Fragile on Wii, didn't get the execution that well, but it was basically the same idea, but with a japanese perspective, and also bit more poetic. Also it seems you didn't play Mother 3, that is one of the few examples of good storytelling by Nintendo (or mainly because of Shigesato Itoi). But yeah can't argue with the lack of risks, it more or less seem they been on a loop because the games are still good (continuous success can make some not try hard, like COD or Assassin's Creed). The same could be said about Gears of War. At the time it refined shooting concepts, both from RE 4 and another game that I think it was on PC. Anyways, it also made horde and several modes that other games will rip off. But still that's my perspective, most developers just want to do that concept, and even if TLoU takes risks with another perspective of the same setting, it has become a tired one. Kinda like Nintendo's NSMB series.
  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    Should mother 3 even count? considering Nintendo hasn't officially released it out of Japan, I'd say that's a clear sign that they DON'T want to take the risk of putting it out here. So that actually goes AGAINST what we're talking about. Also, considering I actually haven't even heard of Fragile, I think it's safe to assume they never even bother to properly publicize it or back it up, because they didn't want to take a RISK :P TLOU was a ris not only because it was a NEW IP and what it attempted to do, but because Sony went all out in supporting it, all the money they spent on publicity made it more of a financial risk. ...Also, I'm sorry, but i fail to see how the NSMB games have EVER taken any fucking risks. Whatever semblance of "new" mechanic they introduce, is either shallow or barely consequential, and never really changes the core of a Mario game.
  • Vonter - June 5, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    The example of NSMB was one of visuals and setting. That I'm as tired as dystopic futures.
  • Vonter - June 5, 2014 8:01 p.m.

    Also yeah, that's something I can argue, Nintendo is kinda of incompetent at promoting games outside their own. I suppose that's another reason 3rd parties don't like them.
  • Jackonomics2.0 - June 5, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    I find it funny that people bitched about no 2D Mario since Super Mario World, and what they got was NSMB. Now they are constantly bitching about NSMB
  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2014 8:40 p.m.

    That's because compare the leap from SMB1 to SMB3, then from SMB 3 to SMW. And I'm not talking graphically here, I'm talking about the game mechanics they introduced, and how they expanded the world to the point that SMW is fucking massive, chock full with secret levels and surprises. All the NSMB feel like CoD sequels in comparison, Safely made to have the same game-play without ever bothering to expand on what the above mentioned 2D games did. All the NSMB games aren't nearly as carefully crafted nor filled with content like SMW was, and of course, there's the fact that the games are easier and hand-holdy now. They aren't bad games by any means, but it's clear that they don't try with them nearly as hard as they did in the past, and they release them mainly because it's an easy, safe way to make money. You love to complain about people complaining about Nintendo, but you rarely ever stop to think WHY they complain.
  • Jackonomics2.0 - June 5, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    I know the problem of NSMB, I'm just pointing out that there was a time people were bitching for 2D Mario.

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