“Game On, Game Over”
It was a bustling week for games as we made our way into July. Naughty Dog reminded us they’re one of the best studios working today; voice actor Nolan North let the cat out of the bag on a few things; EA scoured the Internet for published Alpha footage and Leland Yee got what was coming. Here’s everything that made major headlines this week.
Uncharted 4 E3 2015 Extended Demo
If what you saw at the end of Sony’s E3 2015 press conference of Uncharted 4 wasn’t enough to get you onboard, the extended demo surely will be. Due to high demand, developer Naughty Dog has released the extended demo for everyone to see, having initially been a behind closed doors demo at E3. It’s an absolute stunner from start to finish, with captivating visuals, glorious action, unparalleled details, and plenty of narrative hints. The 17 minute demo goes to show Naughty Dog is on to something truly special. The only caveat being we have to wait until 2016 to play the game.
The Last of Us 2 In Development
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is my favorite video game of all time. It was both a critical and financial success. Last year’s visually enhanced remaster carried over the same emotionally enthralling journey from the PS3 to the PS4, which was also met with astounding success. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer for Sony and Naughty Dog to pursue a sequel, and voice actor Nolan North may have spilled the beans. Speaking at a Metrocon panel earlier this month, North told audience members that he is sure that The Last of Us 2 is in development. North is fairly synonymous with Naughty Dog by now, thanks to his work in the Uncharted franchise and the first, Last of Us, meaning he’s a reliable source. Though, at another convention, voice actor Troy Baker–who played a huge role in the first game–said he knew nothing of a Last of Us sequel when questioned about it. Last of Us fans seem to be in two camps when it comes to a possible sequel, either welcoming it or not. The Last of Us is a game that doesn’t demand a sequel, but could benefit from one. I believe the team over at Naughty Dog is the very best studio working today and have every bit of confidence they know what they’re doing. If they want to make a sequel to Last of Us, by all means, proceed full steam ahead.
Star Wars Battlefront Alpha Footage Leaks
Star Wars Battlefront was one of this year’s most impressive titles at E3. EA and DICE have been hard at work getting the game in shape for its November 17 release, with just this week launching an alpha for select PC players. The few fortunate enough to participate were asked in the end-user agreement to not publish videos of the game running online in any capacity. However, it’s the internet and some players expectedly ignored the agreement, resulting in plenty of footage revealing the game’s single-player and multiplayer. EA quickly rose to the occasion, assembling a takedown team to remove these videos across various platforms such as Daily Motion, Vimeo and YouTube. While most videos were taken down in a matter of minutes, a few lingered on various sites. I was able to catch quite a bit of both the single-player and multiplayer in action and was fairly impressed. Most played out similar to EA’s official demo, capturing both the magic of Star Wars and the intensity of Battlefield. I have faith in EA and DICE that what they’ve done with Battlefront will be enough to tide fans over until The Force Awakens finally releases this December.
Visceral’s Star Wars Project Inspired by Uncharted
In the shadow of Battlefront it’s easy to forget there’s another EA Star Wars game in the works, currently in development at Visceral Games. The project has been shrouded in mystery since we first found out it was happing, but voice actor Nolan North gave a little insight into the project. During the same Metrocon panel where he spoke on a possible Last of Us squeal, the voice actor stated the upcoming title will be in the style of Star Wars 1313, and the Uncharted series. This isn’t too big of a surprise considering previous Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig now serves as the creative director on the unannounced Star Wars project. This is likely the most we’ll hear about the game until Battlefront is behind us, with 2016 looking like a much more likely year to hear more about the peculiar project.
Justice Cracks Down on Leland Yee
It’s always great to see the law crack down on those in the wrong, but there’s something even more satisfying about watching it all go down when coated in irony. In this case, former California Senator, Leland Yee, has plead guilty to charges of accepting bribes, extortion and smuggling firearms from the Philippines for undercover FBI agents with possible connections to a New Jersey mob. The kicker here is, Yee has been very outspoken on his views regarding violence in video games. He’s on record of saying gamers have a lust for violence and lack credibility in posing any supporting argument on the subject. He also played a seminal part in strengthening California’s gun control laws, as well as introducing a bill for an assault weapon ban. Oh, the irony is too much! The anti-gaming critic rightfully faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. Best case scenario for Yee as he heads behind bars, he’ll be provided a console with Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto installed on it.
To keep up with my thoughts on all things video games, along with plenty of other shenanigans, you can follow me on Twitter @BraxHaugen