I never liked Killzon – when I heard the brand, which Guerilla Games runs in collaboration with Sony, just shook my shoulders … and that was the case. I wasn’t crazy about the series, didn’t get too deep into the plot and always treated it as a quick adventure that I would soon forget. It wasn’t any different with Killzone: Shadow Fall, whose campaign was so cute that I don’t even remember the names of the most important characters.
The Dutch in charge of the aforementioned IP performed much better with Horizon Zero Dawn, which also covers science fiction. Aloy’s history – although not the best of flying – has been interesting, and squeezing the latest juices from PlayStation 4 consoles is doing a huge job even today. This is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, game available for the previous “blue” genes. So I’m glad Guerilla can now safely develop Horizon Forbidden West and not think about the next Killzon.
However, with the initially mentioned trademark text being frozen, the Sony shelf containing the inscription “Science Fiction Production” went down, however – during the eighth generation – it was not fully full. Sure, we have Horizon Zero Dawn, Detroit: Become Human or inFamous: Second Son, but it’s still not enough to know how much you can squeeze out of the genre. And BioWare has shown this in its glory years thanks to the Mass Effect trilogy.
What effect would I like Betheside?
In my opinion, the Japanese giant still lacks a brand in its portfolio that would happen in the distant future, and at the same time, would allow interested parties to travel between planets in space, or even beyond the Milky Way. And yes, I realize that sounds like another part of BioWare’s most popular branding, but I still can’t understand why none of the publishers have attempted something similar when looking at John Shepard’s popularity online. We remind you that it has been more than 8 years since Mass Effect 3 premiered.
Only Bethesda – arguably – will occasionally look at Canadian developers’ work. Skyrim shares many features with the Dragon Age franchise, and now Todd Howard is also developing Starfield – a space RPG that promotes immersion by expanding the role of NPCs, often overlooked by other developers. In addition, the creators will give us the opportunity to explore the huge world, which will be very interesting thanks to the new graphics engine, among other things more complex animation than the ones we have seen so far in American production.
A break from the hallways?
Going back to potential Sony project, I don’t wish it to be another linear arcade, like the aforementioned Killzone: Shadow Fall. However, I know I’m asking the impossible, because the Japanese aren’t enthusiastic about creating titles full of choices (not counting, of course, interactive adventure games, because they focus on them), let alone any RPGs.
It’s a pity, because, as I mentioned above, Sony definitely misses out on such a brand – a sci-fi RPG that’s set in the open world, full of moral choices, well-designed side quests that make you think, or interestingly written characters – not just The main characters, but also the least important ones in the main plot. On top of that, creating games like this (and the Starfield release) would be a big kick for BioWare, which ultimately – I hope – will rub their eyes and notice that the new Mass Effect (2023) announced at the end of last year may be crushed by Competitors’ production, as long as it does not offer the expected quality.
Since I’ve already submitted my dream science fiction project from Sony, you now have to think about which studio could work on it. It’s going to be a huge game, so I think Santa Monica and Naughty Dog should be taken into consideration (maybe Bend is busy with the new Days Gone, Insomniac will likely start working on another Spider-Man, and Guerilla has shown that they’re not very good at “working on” the future” ).
Santa Monica …
First, let’s focus on the first team that will spend this year still preparing God of War: Ragnarok (Business Title) for the premiere on Sony devices. It should be remembered that Cory Barlog has repeatedly mentioned – or rather mocked by playing with the community – about a potential sci-fi title, changing profile picture and background on Twitter, or by posting coded messages multiple times.
Moreover, during 2012-2013, Santa Monica allegedly worked on two productions at the same time – God of War: Ascension and – to our surprise – a science fiction project (the developers dug for two and a half years, according to the British Eurogamer), which was canceled in 2014 for unknown reasons. At the same time, the American team left an example. Stig Asmussen, who worked as the lead designer for the canceled game.
If we look at the release dates of titles developed by Santa Monica Studio, we can see a huge gap between 2013 and 2018. The fourth installment of the God of War franchise (intro to the Kratos trilogy) debuted in 2013, and God of War (2018) appeared on PlayStation 4 in 2018, so it’s safe to say Sony’s science fiction project has already been thrown in the trash (its concept art (see below)).
But let’s focus on the present. Santa Monica is already arms for the next game, where she is looking, for example, for an art director who will be interested in creating a new, yet to be announced, project. And since we already know about God of War Ragnarok, there’s a good chance it’s a new IP from Cora Barlog – a huge fan of the science fiction genre.
Obedient dog …
Naughty Dog is free now. The team has brought The Last of Us Part II and has worked on a new production since September of last year. Team leader, Neil Druckman, said in a recent tweet on Twitter that they are making “something very cool”. Very cool thing, so I can easily bring up Uncharted 5 and The Last of Us 3, as well as a new IP address, because I’ll accept everything from coding professionals with open hands.
However, the alleged art concept of the new Naughty Dog game released yesterday stimulated the PlayStation community and gave them hope that Americans were making something up on the Dragon Age, because in the pictures we can see a shaman with green eyes and a warrior sitting on the head of a dragon – its cup. This is definitely not my dream space and intergalactic travel, but it is more of a fictional world.
More like Druckmann Syndrome
To summarize – I have the impression that Naughty Dog would be better at creating an open world or designing planets that we could explore next. Santa Monica has had a chance on this topic in the past (the project I mentioned above was supposed to be an open world with a heavy focus on exploration), but their project was probably thrown in the trash not because of Sony’s whim, but due to other, more serious problems during Development. Plus, I have a feeling that Cory Barlog is more likely to create a Dead Space or Alien-style arcade from a non-linear world, as his Twitter feed might suggest.
We can only speculate at the present time. However, I’m sure at least one of the aforementioned two domains would definitely count as a new 9th generation IP address, which would be related to the science fiction or fantasy genre. I’m very happy about this and I hope we don’t have to wait for the first details until mid / end of 2022.
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