With more details trickling in on the upcoming PS Move Heroes week by week, hope has been given to all for potential sequels for some of the most beloved Sony exclusive platformers: Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter. With Ratchet and Clank having seen many recent PS3 releases and the Sly Cooper collection going down a storm, the Jak series is the odd one out having missed a few core sequels in recent years. With their inclusion in PS Move heroes are we likely to see a new Jak and Daxter game sometime soon on PS3? And if we do see such a title in the coming months, exactly how to do we want the game to turn out?
The most obvious thing that we need from a Jak 4 would be a lack of compromise. Though the series has seen a few new entries in the past few years, the last entry into the main franchise was back in 2004 and it’s about time we got a full blown sequel. The racing cross over Jak: X was a decent title, but truly felt like little more than a spin off. Likewise, the two PSP outings we were subject to suffered from breaking from the core franchise dynamics and from being designed by other developers. If Jak 4 is to truly bring fans what they want, it needs to be a true sequel made by Naughty Dog themselves. That said, this seems like an unlikely scenario. With Naughty Dog no doubt focusing a large majority of their attention on the upcoming Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, it seems less and less likely that they would be willing to poor their time and resources into a true sequel to Jak 3.
In terms of what kind of direction we’d want to see the game take, it would be nice to see the game returning to its early roots seen in the original Jak and Daxter. As entertaining as the open world aspects and the gun upgrade mechanics were in Jak 2 and 3, going back to the proper old school style of platforming in the original Precursor’s Legacy might be a nice way to reintroduce the series to new players. It might also be easier to insert a new game into the story as a prequel by doing this, as opposed to a directly successive title that would have to potentially re-open closed plot threads from the original trilogy. Whilst I’m sure this would be an achievable feat, it might be difficult to fit another storyline into the complex chronological fragmentation the series has introduced into its story since Jak 2.
Speaking of plot threads, that would also be something we would like to see more of. For all my desire to see a game more in the vein of Jak 1, the dramatic and intertwining story of Jak 2 was definitely one of its highlights. Many consider Jak 2 to be the best of the original Jak and Daxter trilogy, and this is in no small part to its intense plot and time jumping narrative. The high difficulty level of Jak 2 is also what attracted a lot of, so called, “hardcore gamers” to its platforming shenanigans. Whether this would be a wise direction to take for a potential Jak 4 is debatable though, as it might make more sense to create a more accessible Jak and Daxter experience. With it having been a whole console generation since the most recent proper Jak title, the series needs to grab as many fans as it can get and it’s unlikely to do so by making the game too challenging for new players to the series.
I think the thing fans would most want to see out of a new Jak game would be value for money. It has been so long since a proper Jak game, that “quite good” just won’t be good enough. The original Jak trilogy wasn’t exactly short on quality, but we’ll need Jak 4 to be bigger, better and more brilliant than ever before if it is to make up for lost time.
Yet these are merely speculations for the time being. With no official announcement of a new Jak and Daxter game seeming likely any time soon, we can only check out how Jak and Daxter go down in the upcoming Playstation Move Heroes set for release on March 22nd. What other things do you want to see in a future Jak and Daxter game? As always, let us know in the comments section below.