The pleasure and pain of excavating old treasure
More than any other kind of entertainment, videogames are obsessed with the future, and we don’t always make time to look back. As 2015 kicks in, are we thinking hard about all of the great games we didn’t get around to playing in 2014, vowing to try them now that release schedules have calmed down? Or are we fixated instead on the new PS4 games from Sony’s PlayStation Experience? Is it too soon to be thinking about what may be at GDC? Is it out of order to even consider E3’s lineup in June?
With regulars such as Time Extend, we make an organised effort to consider the past, and our recent replay of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves provided a timely primer for this issue’s cover story. In E275, we focused on the considerable strengths of Nathan Drake’s best adventure to date, but playing it again, five years on from its release, also reveals a number of cracks we simply didn’t notice the first time around. What once felt so slickly executed now seems weirdly clunky in places. ( And we’re not talking about that Lazarevic fight, which was always rough.) The reality, of course, is that every high-octane thirdperson action game of 2009 was clunky in places. Our expectations have been ratcheting up slowly, year on year, as technology has evolved alongside game makers’ artistry, to the extent that even the most seemingly bulletproof games of the PS3 era feel a little ragged around the edges in the unforgiving glare of 2015.
That Uncharted 2 feels this way today is good news for Naughty Dog because it leaves plenty on the table to work with. And it’s doing so not by papering over cracks, but by rethinking Uncharted at an elemental level, creating something with aspirations of standing alongside The Last Of Us.
As Naughty Dog moves on, so do we by opening our doors to new freelance contributors. If you’re interested in being a part of Edge – and particularly if you have experience working on features, interviews and reviews – submit your copy samples via firstname.lastname@example.org.