Fans of Sony exclusive franchises had a lot to be excited about during the reveal of the NGP. Sony displayed a brand new entry in the Uncharted series and announced that the Resistance franchise will also grace the powerhouse portable.
[Update: Check out Sony's Official Announcement Video to see the games in action!]
While those two series seem to be great additions to a handheld with two analog sticks, will they live up to the standards set by their home console big brothers? With Naughty Dog busy on Uncharted 3 and Insomniac occupied with Resistance 3, Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, and their multi-platform game, these NGP entries are being given to other developers. Will these games be in good hands?
In our story about the new Uncharted game for NGP, we mentioned that Sony Bend will be taking over the development duties for the title, with Naughty Dog playing an overseer role. If there is one PSP developer to give your flagship franchise to besides Ready at Dawn, it would have to be Sony Bend. They were responsible for Resistance: Retribution, Syphon Filter Logan's Shadow and Dark Mirror, all of which were well recieved additions to the PSP library. Given Bend's previous handheld track record, Uncharted appears to be in good hands. We will just have to wait and see if it shapes up to be a true entry in the franchise or a cheaply done side story.
The other big Sony franchise shown briefly in a promo video was Resistance. It was not discussed in any detail, and not much is known about this game other than that it will be a first-person shooter and is being developed by Nihilistic Software. Unlike Sony Bend, Nihilistic has yet to prove themselves in the handheld market.
They are probably best known for developing the God of War clone Conan for the Xbox 360 and PS3, and for their failed collaboration with Blizzard on Starcraft: Ghost. Besides Resistance, they are currently making the Playstation Move Heroes PS3 game Sony showed off at E3. While they have yet to produce a blockbuster title, Sony seems confident enough in them to hand over one of their premier franchises. Hopefully, Nihilistic can give us some great console-style FPS action in a handheld format.
In my view, Uncharted seems to be in good hands since I have enjoyed some of Sony Bend's past titles on the PSP. Nihilistic causes me to take a "wait and see" approach on Resistance, as they haven't really proved to me they can make a game I want to play.
What this does bring to attention is the question of why these franchises, no matter how successful, always get an outside team to develop the handheld version? It almost seems that Sony is saying handheld games are not as important as home console games. If they are hyping the NGP as the best thing on the market, they should have the best possible teams make games for it. I understand the money is in the console market right now, but that can never change unless console manufacturers let top developers make portable games.
This also brings up the question of who will be making Activision's Call of Duty game for the NGP. It will most likely not be Infinity Ward, as they are having to pull people from other studios to help finish Modern Warfare 3. I can't imagine it will be Treyarch, as they are too valuable right now as the prime CoD developer given Infinity Ward's recent issues. Who does that leave to make the CoD game?
So readers, what are your thoughts on these secondary developers taking over big franchises for the handheld entries? Wish the original team would take a crack at the handheld versions, or would you rather they stay making games for the console side of things?
Stay tuned to Game Rant for all future news on the NGP and the games for it.