Week in Review: 4/11/2014 – The Last of Us PS4 Paintjob and Borderlands The Pre-Sequel
Welcome to the Week in Review, a feature where Dan Oravasaari and Alex Osborn will break down what happened over the last week and discuss what it means to the industry as a whole, and to you the gamer. This week Alex is at PAX East, so Chandler Wood is stepping in to take his place.
Dan: This is one of those things that has me torn, as I really loved The Last of Us and would like to have another excuse to play through it. But, for me to justify purchasing it, there would have to be a significant amount of new content added on to it, or the price would have to reflect it being little more than a visual upgrade. This is where the HD Remaster of TLoU becomes more of a disappointment for me, as it really is little more than a re-skinning of the game, making it difficult to shake the feeling that this isn’t is just a used car with a paint job listed as new.
Chandler: It’s a great thing for anyone that missed the experience on PS3, but let’s be honest here, how many people actually missed this experience on PS3? Buying this game again a year after its initial release with little more than “prettier visuals” is a very hard sell for me. In fact, it’s more than a hard sell, it’s a lost sale. If this had come along in another five years or so, I may have been completely on board with revisiting the world, but as it currently stands, I will begrudgingly look upon this as the content that marks the capstone of defining the first year of the PS4 as a prettier rehash of last year.
Chandler: There are so many mixed feelings inside about this one. On the one hand… it’s more Borderlands! A winning formula like this one leaves fans continually desiring more, and I have no doubt that this title will deliver at least the same great Borderlands gameplay, humor and loot, if not a great improvement on previous titles. On the other hand, another entry exclusively into the PS3 and 360 generation could see the formula growing stale without the desire for new-gen innovation. You’ll want to read on to our next talking point for more on that. Dan, I know you mentioned you were growing a bit tired of Borderlands in its current state. Do the feelings still abide now that this is confirmed?
Dan: Yeah, I have been tired of Borderlands 2 for some time, but I can’t say if it is just that particular game that has just been lingering on for too long, or if it is just time for me to step away from the series as a whole. But, after having seen some of the images of the characters and it taking place on a moon, i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little curious about it.
Dan: This is one of those things that I think we are going to hear from a number of developers, as the install base across the world trumps the next-gen system install base by a wide margin. On one hand, this is great for people who have not made the leap to the PS4, but it is also something that will leave many consumers with the question of why if their brand new game, was on the latest and greatest piece of hardware. As I can see that developers are easily going to make more money by sticking with the status-quo, I find myself simply not wanting to pick up some titles, just because I am ready to move on. What about you Chandler, are there any games that you would have bought if it was on the PS4, but didn’t because it was only on the PS3?
Chandler: I was lucky enough to keep my PS3 around (and kind of need to for work), so I won’t be missing out on anything if it doesn’t come to PS4, but I agree with your wanting to move on. While I appreciate the support for last gen, I’m going to be a little selfish and say that I have a PS4, and I want PS4 games. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but it’s a little disappointing to hear that even some larger developers like Gearbox aren’t ready to hop on the new-gen bandwagon for another couple of years. I’m ready to see a mind blowing PS4 Borderlands game right now, but Gearbox isn’t ready to deliver.
Chandler: How can I manage to stifle the huge yawn that I have for this? I just can’t get excited for these re-re-releases anymore. I played Ratchet and Clank back in the PS2 years and loved them, then I played them again as part of the PS3 HD collection. It’s another sad case of ‘too little, too late’ that seems to plague the Vita when it comes down to releases like the HD collections, Borderlands 2 Vita, etc.. Titles like these should really be developed alongside their console counterparts and released within the same window, not so far after the fact. We’re seeing a streak of a lack of innovation, opting instead for the easy and expected money, though it is a testament to the Vita’s power that it can handle these games that originally released on the PS3. Where do you stand on this one Dan?
Dan: I am actually glad to see these come to the Vita. I know you aren’t happy with the rehashing we have been seeing over and over again, and I do agree. But, I honestly just think something of this magnitude is great for the little handheld that never got a shot, as it could use some AAA titles. As great as it would be to see a new game for the Vita, especially a new Ratchet and Clank title, I think that the install base just isn’t able to viably allow developers to invest in a unique product – especially one that could compete with 3 excellent HD remakes.
LEGO The Hobbit
Dan: I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, so this has been something I have been looking forward to for some time. I am glad that we are getting the 3rd part of the trilogy as DLC instead of some full priced product, but I do wonder just how complete this game will feel until then. As we still have to wait until December, when There and Back Again launches in theaters, just to complete a game we purchased 7 or 8 months beforehand.
Chandler: You have to wonder if the DLC will be offered up for free or if you will be expected to pay to finish out the story? Does this also set a precedent for DLC story content in LEGO games? As long as the developers don’t abuse this power, it could be used for much good in the future of LEGO. Without any other major releases this week, LEGO The Hobbit is one that I definitely have my eye on, even though my wife doesn’t understand the destroy and hoard obsession that I have for the LEGO games.
Strike Suit Zero
Chandler: This is a game that never piqued my interest at all. It’s a PC game that is now releasing on PS4, and appears to be little more than a space-shooter. Granted I haven’t looked into it all that much, but if there isn’t a big enough hook that makes me really want to dig in deeper to see what it is all about, then I highly doubt there is any chance this is really going to grab my attention even if I research further into it. I just don’t have the time to play anything that doesn’t have something special to it (or that I am not doing for review…).
Dan: This one had flown under my radar for some time, and it wasn’t until one of our viewers recommended it for PSLS Live that I paid much attention to it. This sadly is exactly for the same reason as Chandler mentioned, if I am not doing something for review, my time is usually spent on something else, like Week in Review or the other 4 or 5 weekly features I do. But, having checked out some footage, I think this game could have some real potential, especially for Macross fans or just space combat fans in-general.
I would love to be excited about this week, as it was one of the first weeks in a long time that we didn’t hear about someone losing their job. But, sadly, there really isn’t that much to get excited about, as most of the news has been surrounding The Last of Us getting a paint job for the PS4. Making the only real saving graces for this week the Borderlands news, and LEGO The Hobbit releasing, which is only of interest to Tolkien fans that don’t mind a bit of cheese with their Dwarfs.
Overall Score: 5.5