To those who wait
The PlayStation Europe Twitter account recently announced that Horizon Zero Dawn would be released in the territory two days early. Within seconds, some wag had replied: “So a day later than the rest of the world, then.”
A day? We used to wait months for the localisation of the latest big thing from Japan – and by the time it finally arrived, it would be bordered and running 17.5 per cent slower. Frustrating, sure, but when a long-awaited game finally arrived on local shop shelves, it meant something.
It’s a feeling that’s somewhat absent from the modern game industry, with its simultaneous – or, in Horizon’s case, as good as simultaneous – worldwide releases. Nowadays the closest we get to that tantalising anticipation is hammering F5 on a webpage while waiting for a dispatch confirmation, or cursing our console’s download speed.
Until this month. It has been nine years since Fumito Ueda began work on The Last Guardian (p106). We have spent most of that period under the grim impression that we’d never get to play it; that Ueda or Sony would decide it was never going to happen, and put it in the bin. But it is here, and the phrase ‘worth the wait’ has rarely felt so apt. Indeed, the wait might have made it even better, the longing, the anticipation, only intensifying over time.
Final Fantasy XV (p110) has been just as long in the making, with an even more troubled gestation, seeing changes of name, game, and even those making it. The wait has been painful, and the results can be too. But would you rather have FFXV and The Last Guardian, or Dead Rising 4 (p114), a game made to a deadline and a fixed template that offers little beyond punctuality? If you like, Sony, delay
Horizon again. We’re getting a taste for waiting.