Even though I haven't engaged with Video Games for as long many others, I've watched the art form that I love transform into something very serious. And that's not just with regards to the way in which it is approached and discussed, it's a comment on the tone and very nature of the games themselves. As a child, the first game that I ever played that I considered to be an adult title was Metal Gear Solid. This is obviously why I feel so emotionally attached to this series and indeed it's incredible conclusion, [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985).
But the West has become far too serious in terms of game design for the last two decades. Realism has taken the place of imagination as we've been thrust into countless war zones and endless realistic or futuristic settings. While I love The Last of Us and Neil Druckmann's fine work with it, it is a part of this trend and I'd love to see more AAA titles break the mould with future release dates. Am I alone with my desire to see Naughty Dog return to their roots after the release date of Uncharted 4?
The Last of Us 2 & the Naughty Dog Sequel I'd Love to See Get A Release Date in its Place!
Seeing as I've mentioned it before, let's take a brief look at Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is a very serious game in the grand scheme of things. It's an adventure that deals with the darkest aspects of the series and our own world. But Hideo Kojima is masterful in terms of balancing deep, realistic immersion, and reminding us of the fact that we're playing a game after all. Whether it comes from a character in an intense situation who turns and says "Press the action button to do this!", or just simply including a cardboard box with a bathing model on it to distract enemy soldiers.
Naughty Dog have certainly transformed from the developer that brought us Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. They are far more interested in cinematically engaging a gamer with this medium nowadays. At times I think they've failed in doing so, but more often then not they don't disappoint. However, with The Last of Us being so dark and so depressing, numerous games are going to attempt to replicate its success.
I can see a barrage of similar titles coming our way. That's why I'd really love to see Naughty Dog take a step back from the likes of Uncharted and The Last of Us following the release date of Uncharted 4, to return to the incredible third-person platformers of their youth.
Could Naughty Dog Return to Crash Bandicoot & Jak and Daxter Style Games?
Whether it be Jak and Daxter, or even purchasing the rights to Crash Bandicoot again, I wouldn't mind. Heck, I'd even love to see them come up with an entirely new platforming series. What these two franchises could do, no other medium can replicate. I would love to see Naughty Dog revitalise the power of third-person platformers in modern gaming. But with publisher's desires to best their realism-focused competition, this sort of game doesn't seem to be something Naughty Dog will be making anytime soon, certainly not on the same scale as The Last of Us 2.
Am I alone with my desire to see more ridiculous and fun games? I want more of the madness of Crash Bandicoot and the innovation of Jak and Daxter! No game is ever going to top what cinema does, but no other medium is ever going to be able to accomplish what video games can either.
Therefore, I'd love to see a lot more focus on gameplay and the actual medium in Naughty Dog's future. Let us know what you think in the comments below and whether you would pick The Last of Us 2 release date over the return of Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter or a new third-person platformer.