Hope everyone is having a great holiday season so far! 🙂

Are expectations actually too high for The Last Of Us?

It was the one thing I really wanted from the VGAs: A launch date for Naughty Dog's hotly anticipated title. But the instant I saw that date, it got me wondering- Has the hype train gotten a little out of hand for this one?

I mean, the developers have already set the stage for crazy hype because they've delivered some of the very best games of the generation. So it's inevitable that when they produce a new IP, the anticipation will be through the roof. Is that fair, though? While there are clear similarities between TLOU and Uncharted , the new title should offer a very different experience. I have plenty of faith in Naughty Dog, but should we all just assume that anything they make will be masterful? Isn't that putting a little too much pressure on the team, in addition to massive over-hyping that could inevitably lead to disappointment…?

I seriously doubt I'll be dissatisfied with The Last Of Us but before it comes out in May, we may have reached a point where the game has to score in the mid-to-high 9s if it doesn't want to be labeled a "flop" by the legions of negative naysayers just itching to joyfully point out that the game didn't meet expectations. I don't think any title should be in such a position going into its launch, that's all.

A spy-themed RPG? That could've been COOL

Not only was there a spy-themed role-playing game in the works that supposedly crossed James Bond with Jason Bournce, it was in development at BioWare . Yeah, they know how to make a pretty decent RPG, yes? But EA wasn't going for it, which I find interesting. On the one hand, I can see why it might give the publisher pause, as there's no proven track record for spy RPGs. Furthermore, they may be thinking- "Bond has historically been a simple FPS; changing it to an RPG will cause us to lose our established fanbase." My take is simple- A role-playing game that adopts a secret spy-type setting would be loaded with possibilities, and the very concept is universally accepted. Who the hell didn't want to be a secret agent when they were kids? What better way to live that dream than by putting it into a modern video game? Besides, EA has taken a few chances this generation; Mirror's Edge was one.

It just bugs me when such promising projects never make it into full development, simply because the publisher says "no." It'd be nice if BioWare had had the option of shopping it around elsewhere but of course, they didn't have that choice.

Personal gaming update

Still playing Assassin's Creed III and I've thought about going back through Journey . Its three VGA wins and that Grammy nomination has reminded me that the game is singularly amazing and well worth experiencing again. I also want to play more of Far Cry 3 if I get the chance, because that game is just tons o' fun from top to bottom. I think it's vastly more entertaining than its predecessor, just because it feels fuller and more robust, with a better-implemented story and more interesting characters.

Oh, and I hope people liked that Ryan Culver interview ; the guy is so much like Nathan Drake, it's a little creepy. He really seems like the perfect fit for the movie, and I'd hope whoever was in charge would give him some consideration. Looking down the road, I've still got several more reviews to deliver, so stay tuned for those.