When Uncharted: Drakes Fortune came out people saw the creators of Crash Bandicoot / Jak & Daxter branch out. This was them saying “We have something much more to offer”. 10 years and 5 games later Naughty Dog has turned into the gold standard of what a developer can do when they maximize their efforts. Most impressively when the PS3 was on its way out, Naughty Dog released The Last Of Us. They pushed the system to the brink of its power while still bringing one of the most amazing video game experiences to date.
They continue to blow us away with Uncharted 4 and the fantastic conclusion that it was for that series. But we already know at this point Naughty Dog is one of the best developers out there. Now we have a new contender, Guerrilla Games.
For Guerrilla it started back in 2004 when they released Shellshock: Nam ’67 for PS2 & Xbox. The game was underwhelming ranging in scores of 58-60 within review sites. After that they followed with the Killzone series. It started off a bit weak but grew into this fairly good FPS with exceptional graphics. It was no doubt by the time Killzone 3 came out that Guerrilla knew how to make a pretty game. But other than it was your run of the mill shooter that just felt slightly different than the others.
So where did Horizon: Zero Dawn come from? The games concept was conceived in 2011. This was following the release of Killzone 3. Throughout the years a small team chipped away while the rest of the team worked on Shadows Fall (Killzone 4). Once that game was completed the entire team was working on Horizon full time.
The new standard has been set with Horizon. The game exceeded all expectations and has become this juggernaut that is sure to be the newest franchise for Sony.
So we have 2 developers under Sony’s wing that have become more than they could ever imagine. My question now is, who will be the next team to join the ranks? The next major release will most likely come from Sony Bend, mostly known for the Syphon Filter series (unless you’re a hardcore Bubsy 3D fan). I thoroughly enjoyed the Syphon Filter games back in the day for what they were. They had their shortcomings but had some great ideas. Unfortunately the series went down hill as it progressed slowly.
Next they release “Days Gone”, a open world zombie survival game. This probably has more in common with Horizon than your Resident Evil based on what we’ve seen so far. I make this comparison due to the open world nature of it and being able to play the game the way you see fit. A world to explore, surviving based on your surroundings and being outnumbered by the enemy. While I don’t think Bend will reach the heights of what Guerrilla and Naughty Dog have achieved, I do believe that they are stepping in the right direction.
My other guess would be Insomniac. Don’t get it twisted Ratchet & Clank on PS4 is one of my favourite games. I LOVE THAT SERIES! But it’s a remake of a PS2 game. Spider Man will be its first fresh AAA game in quite sometime. They have the complete freedom to do as they wish with that series without worrying about ties to a movie. Will they set a new standard for the superhero game genre? Will they do to Spider Man what Rocksteady did to Batman? Hopefully we find out soon
Yes all the developers I’ve mentioned are PS4 exclusive games. It’s obvious Sony is giving their developers time to craft masterpieces. Insomniac did do Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One but it didnt spark the interest as much as they would hope. It would be great if Microsoft gave a team the same amount of love and let them create something amazing to compete with the PS4 exclusives.
Who do you think is the next big developer? Tweet @pardonthegamer and let us know what you think!