Let’s just take a deep breath, settle down and try to process just how immensely tragic this entire, sordid affair is. The leaked information that has emerged, detailing critical excerpts of one of this generations most anticipated sequels is unquestionably one of the most shocking examples of treachery the games industry has ever seen. Though I’m sure many would argue that the disagreeable story is exponentially worse. Speculation continues over the source of the leaks, as people debate whether the admission originated from a disgruntled former employee of NaughtyDog or whether Sony’s official position that it could actually be attributed to a hacker. Whatever the means the result is still the same. The damage is done and its unclear whether NaughtyDog can recover from such a catastrophic grievance.
People are hurt. Betrayed even. Which is totally understandable considering the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. But this leak not only tarnishes the credibility of an illustrious studio, one that has enriched story telling in games to the extent that even major Hollywood studios have tried to replicate the games cinematic refinement, but also demonstrates the inherent toxicity that afflicts the wider gaming firmament. People seem to relish in the failure of others, genuinely elated that a prestigious studio, with a highly ambitious sequel is being so vehemently condemned. Not because of any altruistic concern for the supposed mistreatment of employees, but simply because they get some kind of perverted satisfaction from seeing something so celebrated falter.
As valuable and as inclusive as social media is, it can also be interminably cynical. The involuntary disclosure of sensitive plot details is disastrous, something that can’t be underestimated nor diminished. A game that contains such a sinuous narrative, and relies heavily on the unexpected, as well as the discovery of these astonishing revelations through a profoundly affecting journey is vital. Without the preamble the entire journey is comprimised. But just because you know the broad, pertinent details that consolidates the story, doesn’t necessarily mean that it amalgamates the experience. And that’s the thing, you have to experience the journey. To vicariously endure the same struggles that torments these characters. To really feel what they feel. Just because you know specific details or watched revealing material, doesn’t mean you know. It would be like summarising “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy by saying its a 9 hour long expedition to return some unwanted jewellery!
Whether or not you are/were going to buy “The Last Of Us II” is entirely at your own discretion. Personally, despite being an advocate for gaming sequels, particularly one of a game of such esteemed notoriety, I had little interest in a continuation of a story that depicted a final, if not conclusive ending. Just don’t let the leaked footage be the contributing reason for not getting “The Last Of Us II”. This is a game that has to be experienced, not dismissed.
Have these leaks put you off? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Its been a rather sobering experience for Sony of late. Not since a Vietnamese abattoir replaced its floor with steel grates and industrial sized air conditioning has shit hit the fan quite so consistently. The persistent rumours about the PS5’s build quality and concerns about overheating. The Last Of Us II’s premature reveal and May’s PS Plus exclusive games being as well received as a tounge kiss from a pangolin, which has lead to an online petition to boycott this month’s free games. With the PS5 shrouded in a fog of corporate annonimity and any new information regarding it’s existence being as elusive as Boris Johnson in a pandemic, is there cause for concern? Perhaps. Sony are a notoriously stubborn brand. Secretive and protective in their approach to communicating information to consumers. Yet their reluctance to project the usual Sony posturing that has become emblematic of the success of the Ps4 hasn’t gone unnoticed. This uncertainty however provokes the insufferable engagement of rival “fans” and defence from “supporters”. The amplifiers of discord and bluster.
When it comes to gaming fanatics, with a preferential exclusivity to one gaming device, rational thinking just up and disappears like Carol Baskins husband. The sordid “rivalry” between PlayStation and Xbox is extensive as it is stupid. Not to mention beneficial for both parties. Two rival companies, vying for your patronage don’t much care for your allegiance. Unless that loyalty is financially beneficial. So of course this incites the eternal, yet asinine “console war”. A skirmish instigated with as much logic as an M Night Shamalan movie and diologue to match. You have the “Xbots”, recently sentient beings, in a network programmed to antagonise, enhanced by its own belligerence. Then you have the Sony “Pony’s” trotting in like Princess Ann at an Olympic dressage competition. Gesturing with their pipes, stroking their beards and regaling their contemporaries with tales of their exploits in some great, narrative driven single player game. Discussing the deep philosophical significance of a Sony exclusive and how those Xbox acolytes will never play them! Nor the poultry, mediocre games available on PS Plus every month.
Corroboration. Logical reasoning. Civility. All take a back seat when these keyboard warriors instigate the internets most absurd rivalry: one between gaming companies. Which invariably attracts the attention of a far more fiendish and condescending element of the gaming industry: the entitled opinions of elitist PC gamers.
I can honestly say, in all of my 33 years on this planet, that I have never described myself as aghast. Shocked: sure. Astonished: certainly. Disturbed: everytime John Barnes speaks. Shooketh: sometimes to the actual core. But never aghast. Never! Aghast is reserved for some 18th century aristocratic that’s been mistakenly handed a dessert spoon for her soup. But with the indefinite delay of Naughty Dogs much venerated Last Of Us sequel, as well as Sony removing it from the PlayStation store and offering refunds to customers who have a pre-order, its fair to say my aback has certainly been taken and my flabber well and truly gasted!
This shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise considering the current respiratory sabotage being disbursed by Covid 19 at the moment. Not to mention the controversial speculation concerning the studios rampant mistreatment of its staff that may have jeopardised the mental and physical health of their employees. Yet an indefinite delay, a very evasive term for a game that has been in development hell for much of its inception, really puts into perspective the severity of the situation facing the industry. How the decision to postpone such an anticipated project, one presumably in the latter stages of development and so commercially lucrative for Sony will impact other upcoming titles remains to be seen.
Though their will be a relatable contrition from the developers to a situation that must be devasting for them, ultimately it’s the right decision considering the veiled ecological similarities depicted, very loosely reflecting our own public restrictions. But mainly a concession of financial necessity. There are more important things in this world than gaming right now. Not many mind you, but still. Sadly with the continued isolation that is likely to be extended until May here in the UK. The escalating number of unemployed and furloughed individuals growing. No short term solution in place to eradicate Covid 19 and resolve the economical decline, the gaming industry is looking particularly uncertain. Don’t expect this delay to be the exception. This unfortunately won’t be the last of it.
Can you believe that PlayStation is 25 years old. They grow up so fast don’t they? No one deserves to celebrate more than Sony’s flagship console. It pioneered an exceptional slew of franchises, challenging the established loyalty of its rivals fans, including handing SEGA enough rope to hang themselves from. Selling an estimated 104 million units worldwide, 71 million more than its most fierce competitor, Nintendo’s N64, the PS1 revolutionised the industry by proving that the future of gaming was on CD-ROM, not the traditional gaming cartridges that was the accepted conformity. Whereas SEGA’s painful deficiencies where all too evident with the Saturn, PlayStation strolled into the mire with a confident swagger you’d expect from a well established company like Nintendo. Whether it was Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil or Final Fantasy VII, PlayStation always had a game that catered to any proclivity. My own PlayStation, long since lapsed into an eternal slumber, nestled securely amongst other vestiges of gaming nostalgia was the first games console I exclusively owned. Up until that point ownership of a games consoles like the Sega Mega-Drive and SNES were shared equally with my sister, with the added proviso that we’d begrudgingly relinquish control over to our parents when the inclination suited them.
This perpendicular little unit, with its boomerang controller and grey aesthetic was my muse as an adolescent. I’d buy accessories, peripherals as well as memory cards in a variety of iridescent designs, like a penguin gathering finely coloured pebbles for a potential suiter. It was something that relatively speaking was mine and mine alone. Sheltered from the prying intrusion of my inquisitive sister behind my locked bedroom, my PlayStation did admittedly promote the social emancipation that has become a defining attribute of my life, but also gave me great comfort at a time that couldn’t have been less enjoyable. Whatever I was going through, however apprehensive I felt, the PlayStation was always there to placate any anxieties I had, supplying a remedial solace I so desperately needed. Something I’m particularly greatful for now.
PlayStation as a brand, as well as an institution has left an indelible mark on so many. An influence that has only flourished with each successive generation. Sony have made many mistakes, most of which can be attributed to their own burgeoning hubris. But even their most eminent blunders can be excused by the years of joy created by its most prestigious progeny. So let’s raise a glass of your favourite libation and toast a games console that deserves not only recognition for its committed exultation but our indebted respect. Cheers!
Okay, it’s finally happened. The interminable “Uncharted movie” has reached peak “what the fuckery?!” with this incredulous casting. Markey Wahlberger, once designated to play the role of Nathan Drake, has instead been cast as Sully, Nates friend and tutor. In essence the film has taken so long to be made that he is now old enough to play the mentor of the character he could have been playing nearly a decade ago! At which point between the innumerable directors that have abondened the project, as well as the revolving door of horribly miscast actors and screenplay alterations do you just accept defeat, simply put the whole sordid business down to experience and just move on to the next poorly realised video-game adaptation, conceived within the corporate maelstrom of financial exploitation and conceptual ignorance? A rather expansive and convoluted question I’ll grant you, but not one that can be answered by casting Marky Mark!
I’ve always maintained that if an Uncharted movie has to be made then Bruce Campbell would be the only sensible choice to portray the cigar chomping patriarchal treause hunter. Who else could escort a hooker to church with the same beguiling groove? Markey’s attachment to the project, in any capacity is frankly insulting. If we’re honest we already have an Uncharted movie, 5 of them if you include Chloe’s extension to the series, which you most definitely should. A cinematic interpretation of Uncharted is like adapting “Raiders of The Lost Ark” into a novel: Sure it could be done, but why would you want to when the spectacle of the story is already encapsulated, besides money of course. You can’t get blood from a stone and cinema certainly can’t make Uncharted anymore cinematic than it already is.