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Forward thinking: Sony’s risk with unique ideas pays off

Thursday, 1 March 2012 15:09 GMT By Johnny Cullen

This generation, Sony gambled on new ideas. Its latest risk, Journey, shows the strategy has paid big dividends for both publisher and developer. Johnny Cullen explains.

A lovely Journey

Developed by thatgamecompany, work started in 2009 after finishing Flower; announced in 2010.

Designed by Nicholas Clark and Bryan Singh.

Directed by Jenova Chen, Robin Hunicke produced.

Releases March 13 in the US, March 14 in Europe through PSN.

I’m trying to think of any first-party or even a third-party publisher that would balance out what Sony has accomplished this generation in bringing new ideas to the table typically not seen elsewhere.

The truth, however, is I can’t. This generation, it’s published some of the best experiences not found on any other platform.

Not only that, Sony has also given more support to independent studios with its Indie Pub Fund which has been used to develop PSN-only games like Okabu, Papo & Yo, Payday: The Heist and others. The firm also provided PlayStation Vita development kits to indie studios as an act of faith, and support such as this has been non-existant on Wii and XBL – particularly XBLIG.

Sony’s legacy in this department is exemplary leads with three glowing examples; one of which, out in two weeks, may just be its finest hour in this department.

Play, Create, Share

The first of these experiences Sony pushed for was LittleBigPlanet. Co-founded by a relatively unknown staff comprised of ex-Lionhead staff, Media Molecule’s greenlight pitch for LBP had a pretty hefty champion in then-SCE WWS boss Phil Harrison, with its unveil at GDC 2007 arguably one of the finest seen this generation.


LBP2 announcement trailer.

LittleBigPlanet also showed a more open online infrastructure with PSN compared to the likes of XBL and WiiWare at the time. As well as creating levels that let the player’s imagination go wild, those levels would be shared throughout PSN to be played and rated by the community.

Since the release of LBP, more games have started appearing on XBL that feature the ethos of Play, Create, Share. One example is Trials HD, where you can create your own courses. Its sequel, Evolution, seems to be blowing the house down in comparison to HD. But before LBP and Trials, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a game like them on Xbox Live.

Since LBP’s introduction, it’s now become one of Sony’s biggest mainstay series: seeing a main sequel on PS3 last January, a PSP version and an upcoming Vita version, plus a karting-based spin-off. In March 2010, following the success of the original game, Sony announced it acquired Media Molecule, and the firm is now starting to move away from the series.

The Play, Create, Genre Sony championed in the past has also given us ModNation Racers on PS3, PSP and VIta.

How far for love?

If LittleBigPlanet was something for all audiences, Heavy Rain was a completely different situation altogether. Sackboy skins for the Quantic Dream thriller’s four lead characters may have been released, but that was as flippant as the game would get.

If gamers harbored any apathy to mature stories in games, Heavy Rain dispelled such indifference at launch.

That aside, Heavy Rain showed Sony was open to new IPs, especially one with a mature story in an industry that isn’t just for kids and teens anymore. At least, that was what QD creative head David Cage said at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig during Sony’s press conference.

The main story centered around Ethan Mars, whose son had been kidnapped by a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. Three other playable characters in the game were also connected to the main plot in some form: FBI agent Norman Jaden, photographer Madison Paige and Scott Shelby.

It was an interactive story in the same vein as Quantic’s prior effort, Fahrenheit, which based on choices the player made, affected how the ending played out.

If gamers harbored any apathy to mature stories in games, Heavy Rain dispelled such indifference at launch. For a start, six months after it released in February 2010, Cage announced at GDC Europe it had hit 1.5 million in sales and launched at number one on the UK charts. It was popular to the extent that there was a shortage.

There may be no sequel inbound, but Quantic Dream is content enough with its relationship with Sony, that the firm will publish its next project – an announce of which has been expected for the past year or so. The studio is even set to debut new tech that’ll power the title at GDC next week.

Needless to say, Sony’s big gamble with Heavy Rain paid off.

Don’t stop believin’

Which brings us to Sony’s latest effort in this area.

Thatgamecompany, one of the more well known studios which has stuck with PSN route, released its PS3 launch title flOw in 2007 before releasing the incredible Flower in 2009 – my personal pick as downloadable game of the year.

Journey’s first trailer

Journey, however, is a completely different ball game. While flOw was about aquatic gameplay and Flower was about having a flower-based experience whilst revitalising the world around it, Journey is more of a pilgrimage. I’d give a theory on what said pilgrimage is, but I’d be ruining what is otherwise an amazing, classy experience that needs to be played to be seen.

What Journey is, however, is beautiful. It’s obvious, but it still needs stating: it’s gorgeous. From start to finish, its art design fits ridiculously well, and the latter parts – which were not shown in the multiplayer beta from last year – are utterly breathtaking. This may seen vague now, but when you play it, it’ll click.

Online also makes sense. Journey comes with a co-op component where you team up with an unknown on PSN throughout the game. You won’t know the username of that person – or any other people you’ve teamed up with, for that matter -until the end credits have rolled.

Continuing with the non-traditional online support, there’s no voice support, The only form of communication is the mere press of the circle button, which makes brilliant sense. Minimalist contact, but you’ll easily read signals like a call for help, and know to wait until you’ve caught up, or to go on ahead.

In short: I love Journey. A lot. It is, bar none, my game of the year, even though we’ve just entered March. What thatgamecompany’s created is nothing short of incredible. While flOw and Flower only scratched the surface, Journey finds the studio Jenova Chen and Kellie Santiago founded in 2006 breaking through as one of the best independent studios today, and one of the best in its class.

Chen has since told Push Square in an interview it’s looking at “a bigger audience” for its next project now its three-game deal with Sony has ended.

Yet, the undying support Sony’s shown for Journey and thatgamecompany, new IPs like Heavy Rain and independent studios, proves that such risk-taking for mature, new IP is needed in our industry – and it pays off with enough work.

Sony’s continuing journey will see thatgamecompany get off at the next stop to go elsewhere, but the road ahead is looking rather golden. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Journey launches on March 13 in the US and March 14 in Europe for $14.99.

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82 Comments

  1. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    Sony really has an advantage here. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a 360 exclusive as original and creative as Journey or LBP or even Heavy Rain. And I still don’t get why MS cancelled Project Milo.

    Good read, by the way ;)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen

    God, I completely forgot about Milo writing this article. That’s the biggest crime of all, considering it was the reason why I bought a Kinect. :(

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gadzooks!

    What a load of ill-researched horseshit.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Gekidami

    The sweet sweet smell of fanboy rage fills the air.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Joe Musashi

    @3 That’s pretty harsh. Just because the article overlooks the Project Milo bait-and-switch Kinect/Natal stunt doesn’t mean it’s ‘ill researched horeshit’.

    /goes and looks at Gadzooks!’s past comments on this site.

    Oh. Well I just guess we’ll wait for a pithy comment from OrbitMonkey then.

    JM

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Butcher8

    Did you receive your cheque from Sony yet? Seriously Journey looks good but it’s hardly worthy of sticking your tongue so far up their ass and bashing xbl at the same time. Awful article.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. speedxl01

    Nice article, @6 have you played Flower? or Journey? the game experience it’s different and excellent, it’s not only limited to how graphics look.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Gadzooks!

    #5

    Get a leg to stand on, hypocrite.

    Seriously, this article is fucking shameful. It certainly is not objective journalism.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Butcher8

    Agreed Gadzooks, hey I’m sure Journey is amazing and if it ever comes out for steam I’ll get it in a flash but this article is shameful and well fanboyish, man I’m angry, I expect fanboys in the comments but knowing a website is run by (at least) one makes me sick to the stomach.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    Fanboy outrage confirmed. It’s not 2006 any more kids.

    JM

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Johnny Cullen

    Outstanding. I was wondering when this day would come, so glad to see its arrived today of all days.

    in all seriousness, bear in mind that this is an opinion piece and that my opinion may not reflect those you or anyone else outside this comments section has.

    So if you think I’m going to retract this “fucking shameful” article for merely expressing an opinion – if you want to play it as “fanboyism,” go for it: that’s your opinion after all – sorry to disappoint chaps.

    That’s all I’m gonna say on this.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Gadzooks!

    Mentioning indie gaming yet ignoring one of the most significant developments in indie development ever (XNA). Thats poor writing, very poor indeed.

    #10

    Shut up asshole.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. daytripper

    Well written Johnny although I would not go as far in praise for Sony as your article but each to their own. There are some great games on XBLA and Steam also.

    @10 aren’t you one of the cryers when anything negative is written about Sony? If not my mistake apologises

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Joe Musashi

    @12 Hey, with your charming attitude of calling people names in every single post you write (oh, not EVERY person, just those that don’t subscribe to your very particular sense of ‘objectivity’) why would anyone shut up? You’re just a rage-fuelled roller-coaster of fun!

    JM

    #14 3 years ago
  15. fearmonkey

    First off, I don’t own a PS3, so I have not played any of the games mentioned in this article. I cannot comment on the games for the PS3 mentioned here.
    However, I don’t see how this article is “fanboyish”, it’s just an article stating Johnny’s opinion. If you disagree, that’s fine, but getting all upset about it seems silly.

    To those that disagree, lets see reasons why you disagree, countering Johnny’s claims, rather than lazily throwing the “fanboy” tag out there.

    As a Xbox 360 fan who read this entire article, I would have to side with Johnny’s view for the most part. Where MS took chances on the original xbox, the 360 didnt enjoy as many of the quirky original titles. MS themselves (Peter Moore at the time) stated at the beginning of the 360′s life that they were going for fewer titles but bigger budget AAA games meant to sell a ton, which mostly meant shooters really. They dropped Fasa’s games for that reason, they felt that Mechassualt, Crimson skies, AND Shadowrun were not selling the amounts they wanted. MS has focused most of their money on Halo, Gears, and Kinect. Most of the Kinect games are in reality not that creative. As mentioned, Milo was along that line, but cancelled (or was just pure hype).

    MS made the better development tools in the beginning, which really helped XBLA at first. But then MS got cocky, and many developers as Tim Schafer have noted, indie developers are fleeing.

    MS is more reactive these days when it comes to games. They react when something gets their eye and create a game like it, rather than try to be original.

    MS’s first party lineup is very disappointing these days, they have really went downhill since the Xbox. They rely on third party way too much, and that could hurt them next gen.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. klewd

    “If gamers harbored any apathy to mature stories in games, Heavy Rain dispelled such indifference at launch.”
    no, it had the opposite effect because the writing was utter shit.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. daytripper

    @monkey

    ps3 has some good games mate, retail and download, should try and give it a good go at some point.

    as for your view on ms’ exclusives, i understand where you are coming from and halo is a series i cant get into but they might turn around and say look at the numbers some of our exclusives have done, its business after all.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Psychotext

    “MS made the better development tools in the beginning, which really helped XBLA at first. But then MS got cocky, and many developers as Tim Schafer have noted, indie developers are fleeing.”

    Have you seen their XBLA line up for this year? The length and depth of quality is ridiculous. How people could think the service is going through a downturn is beyond me.

    That aside, that the article above completely ignores XBLIG, which is the most open / easiest way of developing a game on any platform, seems a little odd. That most of the developers using the service couldn’t promote their way out of a wet paper back is something else entirely. It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t had some significant wins via working with indie developers on XBLA games though… and many titles have found themselves grasped from the XNA / XBLIG realm to be featured as full XBLA titles thanks to Dream.Build.Play.

    However, it is certainly true that Sony is willing to take chances on far quirkier titles that Microsoft would do and for that they should be applauded. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed titles like Flower and Nobi Nobi Boy and I’m very much looking forward to Journey.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Gadzooks!

    #15

    My problem is not that someone is in love with Sony, but that this is a news site and is supposed to be able to report impartially and with appropriate context. This article ignores too much.

    Knowing this site is no longer impartial just means I’ll go elsewhere for news. There are still good articles here, but I’d prefer to not have to read opinions from authors. Theres enough of that in the comments.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Gigabomber

    Let’s not think forward, lets think back. Sony clearly has better exclusives than Microsoft in nearly all areas (although Forza is more fun than Gran Turismo), but it is a pyrrhic victory: they still managed to completely lose the console war for a dozen reasons.

    Up until a year and a half ago, you could bank on the ps3 version of a game being inferior to the xbox version solely due to Sony’s system design, Sony’s online service makes it more difficult to get friends together and looks stone aged compared to Microsoft’s, and there’s but two good games for the PS move while the Kinect has added voice commands to xbox navigation and a bunch of Tim Schafer exclusives: it feels like a real step forward.

    But wait: there’s more: Sony made it far more difficult to get tons of new indie content up even if MS doesn’t advertise it very well, Sony pitching the PS3′s exclusive 3D capability for months, and then getting absolutely crushed by MS just patching in 3D without a big announcement, the GTA4 and Fallout DLC release timeline was huge considering they were two of the most popular games this generation, making Sony user’s envious. Whenever a patch comes along it is almost always release a week or more ahead of the patch for the PS3 – once again – because of Sony’s code design. Gabe Newell said the PS3 is “a waste of everybody’s time,” remember that? Word’s from your beloved HL2 Devs lips, even when he did bring Portal 2 around, the credit card debacle squelched any co-op that could be done with the ps network being down for over a month (I bought my xbox about a month before it happened, thank god, yes, god).

    So, how did Sony win? Naughty Dog’s exclusives, That Game Company, and folding @home don’t make up for it being an inferior console in almost every other way. I bought an xbox two years ago (avoiding the RROD debacle) and had the PS3 before that, and outside of Twisted Metal (utter disappointment), Uncharted 3 (UC2 was so much better), and now Journey, I have no interest in the console.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. ManuOtaku

    I dont know what to think of this post, because it has not a clear objective IMO, first the tittle “Sony’s risk with unique ideas pays off”, just for supporting indie developers, then going with heavy rain and little big planet as another example as well, becuase both developers are not that indie, especially quantic dream, so i dont see the correlation, i think sony supporting indies is not a unique idea , as steam and microsoft (XBLA) were doing the same thing, which in all 3 cases is great IMO, i think this is a great idea dont get me wrong iam not arguing this, but foremost because it wasnt a risk at all in my eyes, for me it would be a risk if they did put all their future solely on this factor and depend on this for their success in the business, and IMO this was not the case at all, a risk for me was the Wii and the DS, becuase if it wouldnt suceeded the way the did, well we were not talking about nintendo anymore, therefore iam not sure what is the point this post is trying to make really, becuase it put some points that i dont see relevance on the main topic at hand, but maybe is just me.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Bojangles

    LOL at the crybaby fanboys moaning of lack of objectivity and impartiality. Funny how your ideas on objectivity and impartiality extend only to your single platform of choice and not ALL platforms.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Gadzooks!

    #22

    Probably best to not comment on things you don’t understand.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. OrbitMonkey

    @23, especially if he hits the nail on the head, eh dear chap? ;-)

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Dragon246

    @Gadzooks!, start your own barking site if you want to. Name calling poorly reflects on you. Do not start barking just because you are an xbot or nintendog or pc nerd.
    If this article is not objective, feel free to state your opinion and give some enlightenment to others here by stating some facts not mentioned here and not saying bs.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. sb319

    I don’t really see how anyone can assert whether these big gambles on risky new IP has actually paid off or not. Perhaps they’ve paid off critically in terms of building goodwill among games journalists, but certainly not commercially. Think: Heavenly Sword. Home. Killzone. Flower. Heavy Rain. The Last Guardian. Move. Eye of Judgement. Echochrome. I doubt any of those made money.

    I love that Sony have been so willing to invest in IP, but let’s not assume that has worked out well for them.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Gadzooks!

    #25

    Already stated the facts, that too many omissions have been made for this to be taken as anything but a biased, innacurate article. This is supposed to be a gaming news website, not an opinion platform.

    #24

    Why so smug, hypocrite? You have no reason to be.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Dannybuoy

    Christ on a bike. Shame the comments section of this site gives a platform to such trollage. If you don’t like it don’t read it. I was quite happily reading away myself.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. speedxl01

    @26 True, economically may not have been a huge success, but for us gamers and not only among journalists its really good that Sony keeps betting for new (risky) IP, so more kudos for them.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Clupula

    I wonder if the same people bitching would be doing so if the article was praising Microsoft instead of Sony.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Telepathic.Geometry

    Nice article Johnny. I think it might be worth mentioning that Sony supporting the mentalists behind ICO, SotC and The Last Guardian is also praise worthy, rather than just canning them. I’m sure that Sony sees the benefit to their bottom line in supporting ‘prestige’ titles that might not necessarily make a lot of direct profit, but nonetheless, I appreciate it.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. polygem

    i get the point. but it is not that sony is taking many risks here. not at all. they support really mainstream approach indy stuff and sink money in it. they don´t do it because they love you, the gamer, or even games, they do so because they believe it will pay off in the end. they want to establish a name, a brand and sell stuff to you. nothing wrong with that, but it doesn´t make them gurus. there isn´t much risk involved here. it´s not even indy really. this is mainstram in an indy dress. it´s like “machete” for example. must not be a bad thing, but it´s not really ambitious either.
    heavy rain and lbp for example are among the most unambitious (and boring) games i have ever played. yet sony is never too lazy to tell you how great and innovative this stuff is. to me it is not. it´s not what i want from the gaming industry. i want something truly fresh if there is a new ip. like i said before, nintendo is trying to do fresher stuff even with their methusalem ip´s. zelda ss and spirit tracks. compare them. spirit tracks was risky. an interactive crime movie/ game which was poorly written, modnation racers? come on…they are dressed as innovations but do you really buy that??? you do believe mc donalds only serves healthy food too then right? and bp cares about trees and stuff. i agree with the thatgamecompany stuff. but again not that much of a risk.
    there are extremeley ambitious games on wii, ds and dsiware too also on xbla and steam….
    i don´t know…the compnay which i want to support the least because of their superarrogant attitude, overly agressive (and dumb) marketing and unfair pricing strategies is sony. i don´t hate on them and there have been some great games only on the ps without a doubt. still it has a bitter taste to buy stuff from them – though you could hate ms even more…. i kinda don´t.
    both have lost me though.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Ge0force

    Very nice article Johnny. I’m playing Journey for review purposes and know exactly what you mean. And Heavy Rain and LBP are two of my favorite games for this generation. It’s obvious that investing in new IP’s is a better thing for the gamer than buying (timed) exclusivity for multiplatform content.

    @polygem: how could you hate Sony for unfair pricing strategies? They have free online gaming, free services like vidzone and home, allow sharing of PSN-content, brought play-create-share to console and now bring Vita games that you can play on PS3 for free? While Microsoft is the one charging for p2p-gaming, first week demo’s, access to free services etc… and restricts free DLC and other community made stuff on Xbox Live.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Petulant Radish

    You people are why other folk look down upon gamers. I am talking to you…yes, you. Take a good hard look at yourself.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. polygem

    “…you could hate ms even more…. i kinda don´t.
    both have lost me though.”
    that´s what i said. personally sony are the ones i dislike most out of the bunch, can´t say why really. probably just because of the way they represent theirselves. i hate their marketing. their pricing modells are far from being fair. what they are doing with the vita memory cards is even worse than all the stuff ms forces upon us. at least i have a great service if i pay for xbl gold. i get 32gb from sony for 90$ while i can get a 32gb sd for 20$. not even a 4gb included when i buy a vita? how am is supposed to use that thing without one? forcing me to buy extra stuff? fair this is not imo. what can i do with the vita without it…surf the net? that´s cheap and totally unacceptable bullshit. they couldn´t charge you for their online experience either or could they?
    sony is buying timed exclusivity as well btw.
    “Heavy Rain and LBP are two of my favorite games for this generation.”
    well not for me. not at all. i found both absoluteley mediocore. lbp is trying so hard to be stylish, modern and fancy that it just almost makes me puke. this game has no soul yet tries so hard to be unique. i don´t know, i am just not buying it. this pseudocoolness is what i dislike about sony. they try so hard to be the cool kid…

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Christopher Jack

    So many extremists. I personally find the 360 ones the most annoying based on their nativity, arrogance & insulting anyone who disagrees with them. Sony’s fans on this site don’t go out of their way to insult someone but are likely to defend the PS3 from the 360 fanbois which doesn’t really help, best off just ignoring them.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. nikk900

    @Gadzooks! Raging fanboy much?

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Ge0force

    @35 “what they are doing with the vita memory cards is even worse than all the stuff ms forces upon us. at least i have a great service if i pay for xbl gold.”

    Now that’s nonsense. If you pay for xbl gold you get “permission” to host your own games, because that’s exactly what p2p-gaming does. I don’t pay for online gaming on Steam and PS Vita, and I get a great online service too.

    Vita memory cards ARE overpriced, but this is in no way worse than paying for p2p-gaming – or the also overpriced x360 hdd’s. Sony should have included a memory card with every Vita tho.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. daytripper

    @36 I know what you mean but to be fair you have forgotten about theevilaires and plenty on here bigging him up and wanting him to keep on insulting and trolling, it was ridiculous

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Coheno

    WTF is up with this comment section!?

    Anywho great article, can’t wait to play this on the 15th!
    Wonder what ThatGameCompany means by “a bigger audience”? iPhone/iPad game development?

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Joe Musashi

    @24 I knew you wouldn’t let me down. :)

    JM

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Christopher Jack

    #38, Brings an excellent point to this pointless Sony vs MS debate, Microsoft also charged an extortionate price for their HDDs which many will deem essential but here’s the kicker, it’s the exact same 3.5″ SATA that you’d shove into your desktop computer. I believe MS charged $80 for the 20GB 3.5″ SATA (correct me if I’m wrong but I believe 120GB HDDs retailed at the same price back then) while Sony charges $60 for 16GB.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Da Man

    Ge0force, you’re mistaken not all Xbox games don’t have dedicated servers, recent example is GoW3. The game uses p2p only for campaign co-op, beast and horde.

    #42 – it’s not a desktop hdd, it’s a notebook one.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. DrDamn

    I like the general gist of the article. What I don’t see is a need at all to mention the other platform holders. It wasn’t needed in this context and minimal inclusion without context of the good work they also do was always going to elicit the sort of comments above.

    One of the things which attracts me to Sony machines are the quirkier more risky games they fund and encourage. Certain titles from this generation (e.g. LBP, Flower, Journey, The Last Guy, The Last Guardian) are instantly linkable as Sony titles because of this. I.e. if you had shown me screen shots and a little gameplay without telling me what platform they were on I would instantly have said Sony.

    The other point I’d make is whether the risk has actually paid off. For me personally yes, I love a number of the titles this sort of approach has turned out. I don’t know whether they have financially paid off for Sony though. You can’t just look at bottom line, was there profit or not. You have to ask if the time, money and effort were directed elsewhere would it have been better spent? There are also less tangible aspects to it too. The image Sony wants to build up and the pay off associated with that is not so easy to determine.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. Christopher Jack

    @43, Yeah, my bad, wrongfully assumed 3.5 while looking at the casing on the HDD right in front of me but it doesn’t change the bulk of my comment.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. Ireland Michael

    Any industry that doesn’t allow itself a certain degree of creativity is going to stagnate. This is something the movie industry has been aware of for a very long time, and its also the reason why the PC will always remain the most important format we have in gaming.

    Still, Sony’s support of this kind of creative output is one that shouldn’t be under-appreciated. Their strength has always been in their ability (and more importantly, their willingness) to balance their output of creative ideas alongside more mainstream games, and they deserve full kudos for the fact.

    Its an approach that Microsoft could never comprehend even if they tried. If it isn’t ultra safe and derivative, it doesn’t even register on MS’s radar.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. Da Man

    Anyway, think I’ll be playing Fez a few weeks from now on.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Ge0force

    @Da Man: there are a few more x360 games out there with dedi’s, including Battlefield BC2 and Left 4 Dead 2. But EA/Valve host their own servers for those games, for all platforms (pc/PS3/x360). And I don’t think they get a piece of the gold subscriptions for doing so. ;)

    @Ireland Michael: QFT

    #48 3 years ago
  49. manamana

    Sword & Sworcery on iPad FTW! :D

    #49 3 years ago
  50. Da Man

    #48 – True, I just wanted to point that out because I figured you think all of them are p2p. And I don’t know about that, I do think they shouldn’t charge for the multiplayer per se but then Live never goes ‘under maintance’ ;)

    Oh, and MS not supporting unsafe projects is complete rubbish tbh. Anyone is more than welcome to make the such for Xbox, recent Child of Eden comes to mind, as well as the fact that they pioneered indie dev on consoles to begin with..

    Funny how Last Guardian is being constantly mentioned when the game is borderline canned.

    #50 3 years ago
  51. Joe Musashi

    @50 “..but then Live never goes ‘under maintance’ ”

    Never? You sure about that?

    JM

    #51 3 years ago
  52. Ireland Michael

    @50 Child of Eden is an exceptionally rare exception in a mountainous sized rule.

    As for the 360′s indie output, that’s getting others to do the hard work for you. It doesn’t help that 99% of the games on the Indie channel are garbage. Microsoft’s inept support of the service is also well documented.

    And no, they didn’t pioneer anything. Sony has had software available for this sort of stuff available to people as far back as the earliest days of the PS1. It didn’t have the online infrastructure of the Xbox Live sevice to support it, obviously, but it “pioneered” nothing.

    The Last Guardian is “borderline canned”? Seriously? Its just had a long development cycle. 5 years is not an exceptional lenght of time for developing a new game from scratch. I mean, its not optimal, but even cut-and-paste titles like Call of Duty take about two years to make.

    Anyway, its one game. There are tonnes of other examples in this generation alone beside that game of Sony working on creative risks or heavily supporting third party developers developing such games – the PixelJunk games, LittleBigPlanet, Flower, Journey, etc.

    Cue accusations of me being a Sony fanboy. I guess calling me an Xbot is so 2010.

    #52 3 years ago
  53. daytripper

    you have been called worse than that michael ;-)

    #53 3 years ago
  54. Ireland Michael

    @53 I don’t doubt it.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. Ge0force

    I wouldn’t call Child of Eden an unsafe project, since it’s more or less a sequel of Q-entertainments succesful Rez. Also, Microsoft was in desperate need for good Kinect games for a non-casual audience.

    But they pushed the game to an overpriced retail release so no one bought it. I did, but I regret it because the game is not that good imo. I find “marking” enemies instead of actually aiming rather boring in an on-rails game.

    #55 3 years ago
  56. Gekidami

    What exactly does Child of Eden have to do with MS? Its a multiplat game both developed and published by third parties. Are we really calling timed exclusivity ‘a risk on MS’ behalf’?

    #56 3 years ago
  57. Da Man

    #51 Yeah, compared to Sony never.

    #52 You’re talking the most ignorant, naive nonsense in your usual hysterical, sensationalist manner. That uh, ‘sort of stuff’ was in comparison to XNA what Basic is to Code Libraries. Sony have had a chance to implement that ‘infrastructure’ a gazillion times, they chose to rush PS2 to the market and sell it on Gta instead.

    XNA is free, comprehensive set of tools which literally anyone can use if they have an internet connection.

    Alan Wake is no more ‘unsafe’ than that Heavy Rain which in turn is another Fahrenheit, which in turn is just a glorified point and click adventure made with the lowest common denominator in mind.

    Now keep in mind that Sony have Gods of War, Killzones, Uncharteds, Resistances, GTs, and so and so forth. All that compared to one-two ‘quirky’ games. Sony just don’t have any Mario of their own, which is why their portfolio is pathetically spread in futile attempts to find that one.

    There’re no tonnes, and pretty much all of those weren’t developed by Sony.

    Last guardian has been mentioned since about oh.. well the start of this gen, and last I heard the lead dev left, and it’s making ‘slow progress’. By all means keep the faith.

    Oh and Child of Eden a sequel, but glorified point and click adventures alongside level editors which were around since forever aren’t, that’s a good one.

    #57 3 years ago
  58. Da Man

    #56 – Last I checked thatgamecompany were considering bringing their games to other platforms.

    #58 3 years ago
  59. TD_Monstrous69

    I agree with the points that Johnny Cullen has made. I believe that Sony has done some of the most remarkable creative work this generation, and thatgamecompany’s titles are only proof of this (as well as Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet). I’m looking forward to what Sony’s got coming this year, as well as hearing on what they’re working on for the future. And now, let the internet rage commense.

    #59 3 years ago
  60. Joe Musashi

    @57 – So this is not actually “Never”. Its a new definition of “never” with a special technicality that works when you compare it to a specific company in a specific context.

    Glad we got that cleared up.

    I do so like it when people meticulously take one company to task over every detail but then go out of their way to completely overlook pertinent details of another company and apply vague generalisms in their favour.

    JM

    #60 3 years ago
  61. Da Man

    #60 Have you ever heard the word ‘figurative’ ? I really don’t think you cleared up anything.

    #61 3 years ago
  62. Joe Musashi

    Oh look. Semantics. How cute.

    JM

    #62 3 years ago
  63. OrbitMonkey

    Ah, I love it when a comments thread descends into semantics and sophistry ;-)

    Off on a tangent here, but I think you could argue that the Kinnect was quite a risky move (arf) on MS’s part.

    #63 3 years ago
  64. Gekidami

    @58
    You didnt answer my question; What does Child of Eden have to do with MS?
    Oh and Sony actually financed and published ThatGameCompany’s games, so you fail, hard, as always.

    #64 3 years ago
  65. Mike

    Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft.

    #65 3 years ago
  66. Da Man

    It wasn’t semantics, rather you’ve missed my point.

    #64 I did. I just never put it in the same sense you do. It has just as much to do with MS as tgc with Sony. It’s a third party game. MS have both offered the Kinect to do so and greenlighted it. As I said, they hardly aren’t keen on indies, if anythinng they only encourage them.

    If Sony really financed them so much, and made this game a reality like you keep on suggesting then they would have some kind of contract that would limit tgc from making it multiplatform. Which they don’t.

    What ‘s that, Gekidami, we’re angry? I don’t really intend to diss Sony btw, just saying. I do think they’ve produced one of the most important games ever, Ico, a game which was one of the defining titles last gen.

    #66 3 years ago
  67. DrDamn

    @66
    I think they did didn’t they? TGC were signed up to a 3 game deal (Flow, Flower, Journey). They are now free to go multiplatform which they have hinted at.

    @65
    NintendoNintendoNintendoSEGACommodoreCommodoreAtari

    #67 3 years ago
  68. Joe Musashi

    The only point you made was how you like to use words like “Never” and “canned” to assert fabrications as fact. Once you made that point perfectly clear any other points you had magically evaporated.

    But feel free to continue bluffing and posturing as if you made some fantastically airtight counterpoint. It may draw another pithy quote from my favourite commentator ;)

    JM

    #68 3 years ago
  69. Gadzooks!

    OricOricAcornTRS

    #69 3 years ago
  70. DrDamn

    @69
    BallandCupStickandHoop

    #70 3 years ago
  71. Gadzooks!

    #68

    You sure use a lot of words to say fuck all.

    #71 3 years ago
  72. Da Man

    “Joe Musashi”, do look up ‘figure of speech’.

    Stating that compared to constant ‘maintances’ of Sony Offline Entertainment , Live practically never goes down (seriously, it does once a year?) isn’t a ‘fabrication’ of any sorts. It’s a reasonable notion.

    Why do you keep coming back ;)?

    #72 3 years ago
  73. Joe Musashi

    @71 Whereas your contributions have been fantastically informative and erudite.

    Don’t mind me. I’m being ‘objective’. ;)

    @72 “Never” isn’t a figure of speech. It’s a word with a text-book definition understood and used by millions of people everyday. You weren’t using it as a figure of speech until you got called up on you big bold-sounding claims.

    You kids. Big and bold and brash until you get rumbled. Then it’s all excuses and name-calling!

    JM

    #73 3 years ago
  74. DrDamn

    @66
    “If Sony really financed them so much, and made this game a reality like you keep on suggesting then they would have some kind of contract that would limit tgc from making it multiplatform. Which they don’t.”

    http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2012/02/interview_thatgamecompany_journey?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Quote: “Thatgamecompany had a three game contract with Sony, so the past three games had to be Sony exclusive. Right now we are very much exploring ways to bring our games to a bigger audience, beyond just PlayStation. We are still in the process of negotiating, but I hope that we can announce it [soon]. But right now it’s still in the process.”

    In fairness you probably read the EG news post on this which was a poor regurgitation and implied the previous games could come to other consoles.

    #74 3 years ago
  75. ManuOtaku

    All this jibber jabber,and no one mentioned that sony let pass Demon Souls 8D.

    #75 3 years ago
  76. DrDamn

    @75
    That was SCEE – as a collective they couldn’t find their own arses. SCEJ was reasonably involved with the development of Demon’s Souls.

    #76 3 years ago
  77. Gadzooks!

    Less ‘objective’, more ‘pseudo-intellectual pedant with nothing of worth to say’.

    Wink.

    #77 3 years ago
  78. Joe Musashi

    @77 Oh my, given how much you call others ‘hypocrite’ you really seem to have no appreciation of the word.

    Gadzooks, you’re priceless. You go around lashing out, name-calling, claiming how objectivity isn’t present but only care to mention one company in such context. You’re so utterly oblivious to your own behaviour that it’s stupendously compelling.

    Do you write your own material?

    JM

    #78 3 years ago
  79. Da Man

    No I was, it has always been intended as in comparison. I really don’t see how you still have issues figuring it out.. What if I get a headache once in a year, and you once in a week. Then that would make me pretty much perfectly healthy in regards to headaches in comparison.

    You.. “Joe Musashi” ;)

    You see things that aren’t there. Again. And again.

    #74 Indeed, thanks for clearing that up then. I recall an article from this website, that’s what I ‘ve read.

    #79 3 years ago
  80. Gekidami

    @66
    Journey publisher: Sony.

    Child of Eden publisher: Ubisoft.

    TGC had a contract to make 3 games for Sony, and you can bet it wasnt out of the goodness of their hearts. Child of Eden on the other hand was a multiplat game with only about 3 months between the release on both platforms.

    How exactly do you find these comparable? How is it even an example of ‘risk’ on MS’ behalf? Nah, it doesnt hold up.

    #80 3 years ago
  81. fearmonkey

    All this about Child of Eden and MS?
    No one yet mentioned, at least that in the comments I read, that MS was offered to show Child of Eden for their Kinect demo at E3 the year of the Kinect launch.
    They declined…… and showed very underwhelming videos which they got flack for, but was saved a bit thanks to Ubisoft’s Eden demo at their own conference and on the E3 floor that showed more of what gamers wanted out of the Kinect.

    So MS declined to actually show the demo of the game so they could show their Wii-clone games, and they are just as forward thinking?

    #81 3 years ago
  82. Ireland Michael

    @81 Becauae clearly one game at E3 (that wasn’t even published by Microsoft) is comparable to an entire mountain of creative and unique first party developed and third party published titles spanning 18 years and 5 different pieces of hardware.

    Clearly.

    At least in Da Man’s mind, anyway.

    #82 3 years ago

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    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]