In name only


Fuss in the mu­sic world, as Deep Pur­ple are in­ducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with­out leg­endary lead gui­tarist Ritchie Black­more. Deep Pur­ple were formed in 1968 and are still tour­ing – as you read this, they’re in Ja­pan. But only one of the orig­i­nal lineup is with the group. You might think it odd to draw par­al­lels be­tween sex­a­ge­nar­ian rock aris­toc­racy and the cut­ting edge of in­ter­ac­tive en­ter­tain­ment, but here we all are.

Just weeks ahead of re­lease, we fi­nally have our first play of the sin­gle­player com­po­nent of Un­charted 4 (p36). It is, its name im­plies, the fourth game in Naughty Dog’s Nathan Drake se­ries. But what does that mean, when se­ries cre­ators Amy Hen­nig and Richard Le­marc­hand have skipped off to EA and academia re­spec­tively, and cre­ative con­trol has been passed to the pair who helmed The Last Of Us? The re­sult is a game that seeks to ad­dress the most fre­quent crit­i­cisms aimed at Nathan Drake – and the an­swers, to some of them at least, come from Joel and El­lie.

This month’s Hype crop yields an­other first hands-on with a forth­com­ing plat­form exclusive, but the rel­a­tive lack of ex­cite­ment around Gears Of War

4 (p42) speaks to its rather mud­dled lin­eage. Gears has passed from North Carolina to War­saw, from Epic Games to Mi­crosoft, and is now be­ing made by a Van­cou­ver stu­dio that has been closed down once and changed its name twice. Will this still be a Gears game? Ab­so­lutely, res­o­lutely yes – though that’s not nec­es­sar­ily a good thing in 2016.

Epic Games seems to un­der­stand that. Paragon (p52) is a new IP from the Gears Of War cre­ator, though a MOBA is far from a new con­cept, and its maker is much changed from the days when Cliff Bleszin­ski held up a gun with a chain­saw on it and was treated like a rock star. Just like Deep Pur­ple, those who re­main at Epic Games carry on with­out their tal­is­man. We doubt, how­ever, that they’ll ever make it big in Ja­pan.

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