Why can't games just let a good thing end?
It's a topic I've started to think about in the wake of Mass Effect Andromeda just being a totally ok game. Sandwiched somewhere between mediocre and great, Andromeda is just the latest example in the (very) long and sad history of games not being able to end series and stories, of being unable to offer up a breath of fresh air or to strike out in a new direction.
Who's to blame for this though? Developers? Those dirty evil corporations that control the money and seek to make a profit(how dare they). Perhaps the makers and creators of games are just fearful of doing something new and different, perhaps they love the characters and worlds they've created too much to move onto something removed from that. Perhaps the allure and draw of the guaranteed money to be made from a sequel keeps everybody involved happy, art be damned.
While I absolutely believe theres a kernel of truth to all of those arguments and theories, to me the reason developers keep dragging out series and bringing back famous characters and games is for one seemingly obvious reason, we want them too.
How many people have been banging the drum for Naughty Dog to go back and make a brand new Jak and Daxter game. A JAK AND DAXTER GAME!! They would like the team behind the massively successful and beloved Uncharted series to step back in time and make another 3D platformer. They want the creative minds behind one of gamings greatest masterpieces in the Last of Us, to go back to the cartoonish and simple world of Jak and Daxter? Naughty Dog have become masters of creating emotionally powerful tales, offering deep, multifaceted, and endlessly compelling characters. They have created the most gorgeous, stunning, and cinematic worlds games have ever seen. They want this team to go back to Jak and Daxter?
I say all of this as someone who LOVES Jak and Daxter. That series is easily one of the defining titles of the PS2 generation for me and one of the best 3D platformers to come out. Funny, colorful, and ahead of it's time, Jak and Daxter is great, it's a joy, it's a large part of why I love games, it's just not anywhere close to what Naughty Dog has spent the past 10 years creating. Not close.
Yet, still people beg and demand ND stop what their doing and go back in time almost fifteen years to the days of cartoon mascots and George W. Bush's first term. The Naughty Dog example is just the most absurd and glaring case of gamers asking for series to come back, for series to never end, regardless of the business sense or artistic vision. How many people stewed over the fact that Halo had ended? Or that a new Gears game would never come out? How many people still complain about not getting a new Syphon Fliter game? For how many years did people moan about Mirrors Edge 2?
This is just the tip of the iceberg of my thoughts on this issue and there is definitely a lot of blame to go around but maybe those complaining and moaning about why games series never end and why we can't get any new ideas out of studios should stop for just a second and take a look into the mirror.
Hey, like this is a video game y'all. I think Aloy has finally clicked for me. I still think she's pretty flawed and I wouldn't exactly invite her to a party, but I am finally getting some of the appeal and greatness of the character.
This story and world really is fantastic. Particularly with regards to environmental storytelling, world building, and the larger cultures at play here, Horizon shines on a degree I haven't seen from a game in some time. The different cultures, religions, politics, and history that the game delves into and explores are breathtaking from an anthropological and human nature/history perspective. Guerrilla should be cheered for just how remarkable and real this world they've crafted is, and just how well it pulls from ancient human history and mythology. It truly is my very favorite part of the game.
Also it's real fun......but man it's take on human culture tho.
Get Out is fantastic. A psychological thriller, comedy, and piercing social commentary all smashed together in brilliant fashion by director Jordan Peele and company Get Out is a remarkable accomplishment in every way. It ranks among the most unsettling, tense, and thought-provoking films I've ever seen. Please watch this. I honestly can not wait to watch this a second time.
Plus it has Bradley Whitford in it and I love me some West Wing cast members.
The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.
As I mentioned on twitter yesterday I know that I'm a year late to the party but goddamn is this a TV show. Easily one of the finest shows I've watched in some time, it blew me away and that's with the very high expectations I had going in. Masterclass in acting, directing, writing, and more The People Vs. O.J. Simpson's first hour is as expertly done as anything else out there. Again, I've only watched the first episode and already think it's phenomenal. I can not wait to see what the remaining nine episodes have in store. Brilliantly done TV.
Dustin Furman is a super cool dude and you should go check him out. I had the good pleasure of meeting Dustin at Pax East and he is just an all around good guy who is doing great work out there on the interwebs. Go give him a follow on twitter @DustinCanFly as well as giving @handsmphantom a follow as well, their good people over there.
Anyway, I got more Horizon to play and more People V. O.J. to watch so until next time, have a good one everybody.
P.S. I went to my lovely college for the first time since I graduated a little over a year ago today. It was super weird and very jarring. Had a good few years at the ole Missouri State but I very clearly don't belong there anymore. Still, I saw a dog while there, so it wasn't a total loss.