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Naughty Dog needs to take another stab at a Jak & Daxter reboot

Dec 9, 2019
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There are so many elements of these games that are too good to just leave the series dead.

From what Naughty Dog tried to do before with rebooting Jak & Daxter, I think they had the right idea, but their execution was just.. not what it needed to be. Trying to make Jak & Daxter with a more realistic art style is not a bad idea in my opinion, but it takes some very careful handling to do it right.

These could easily pass for a Jak & Daxter level still, the style is on point:


Where as this looks forced and a bit off from what we've saw of these characters previously - too re-invented:


You look at the concept art that was released for the cancelled reboot and the problem I see is not with the overall art style but specifically what they tried to do with the presentation of the characters people so fondly remember. I think the correct approach would be to present the characters of Jak and Daxter in the CG-like art style captured in the wallpaper for Jak 3 below. It would be a natural evolution for today's current graphic fidelity:



There is no need to re-imagine the characters in the way they were trying to do in their cancelled reboot. The level of realism in the above picture is ideal - more detail could be added to this even still, but the core of the artstyle (of the characters specifically) should not be changed. You can also see an animated version of this type of CG artstyle in the Jak 3 commercials:



Aside from artstyle and how they should handle that, the storyline and gameplay of Jak & Daxter is a goldmine in the context of a reboot where things aren't as tightly tied down to previous entries. There is definitely room to expand on existing concepts and add new ones still. One thing in particular that I wish they would re-incorporate more gameplay wise is the blue eco jump pads and general function of blue eco from the original game. In general, a restructuring and retelling the original story with better development/handling of potent ideas (Dark Jak, internal struggles, etc. etc.), and then moving forward with it from there (please dont let this die again..) would be killer.

From what I've read about regarding why Naughty Dog cancelled the existing reboot they were working on, I gather the main reasons for cancelling it were as follows:
  1. As development progressed, the game was not playing to Naughty Dog's current strengths of crafting realistic worlds (as apposed to J&D's stylized cartoony world)
  2. Naughty Dog felt like what they were making wasnt really Jak & Daxter, team working on it wanted more of the studio working on it but they were busy with Drakes Deception
  3. Naughty Dog felt like they'd be doing the fans a disservice by releasing something that wasn't really Jak & Daxter but calling it Jak & Daxter (which they wanted to avoid after The Lost Frontier)
I think Naughty Dog just needs to spend the time (however long it takes to adjust) and really dive into the core of what Jak & Daxter is and then take another stab at a reboot. The problem becomes that as time passes, more and more people who worked on the original J&D games leave the studio, and with them leaving so does valuable perspective on how to handle new entries.

It's not really something they should be putting off forever, though I think ND's concerns that they weren't making a real J&D game were valid due to how they were approaching it. I believe the J&D series would lose it's soul if they mishandle new entries too hard, so I can understand why development was cancelled if they were feeling that it wasn't right. But they still need to take the time to figure it out and successfully reboot the series - the sooner the better.

Damn lol, with the amount I care about these games I should just work at Naughty Dog...

What are your thoughts on a Jak & Daxter reboot and how that should be handled? What would you like the devs to explore or expand on? Ideas and concepts you'd like brought back from previous titles?
 
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Dec 9, 2019
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The new era of their studio is completely based around realistically grounded mature experiences. I don't ever see them going back to this franchise.
These words were echoed by Naughty Dog, I know. But I think they could do it. The J&D series was heading in more mature direction as it progressed already and I think they could apply some more grounded realism to it if they did it right.
 
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Dec 9, 2019
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No, give it to someone else
Last time they did that we got The Lost Frontier. I'd be skeptical of how it'd be handled by another studio if I was in ND's shoes.

Maybe if Amy Hennig or Bruce Straley hadn't been pushed out of Naughty Dog, as they'd be perfect for the project. But, new Druckman Naughty Dog? Hell no. They'd just ruin it.
This is a valid concern, hard to tell how it would turn out. Personally I think Druckman isnt a bad storyteller/writer, and he could add value to it. You may not like what an artist paints, but their skills remain. Druckman also worked on the original J&D games as a gameplay programmer, which while it is a different role than a writer/director, he has some perspective on how the originals were.

I hope they expand a branch within to handle it. It's a wonderful IP, as good as Ratchet to me and could even end up in the movies as well to multi-serve Sony as a whole instead of milking Spiderman to death.
Agreed. Shame that J&D has been left dead while R&C has continued all these years.
 
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bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
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Jak and Daxter should have been one and done. Jak II was the epitome of chasing trends which isn't surprising coming from Naughty Dog but was still egregious even by their standards.
 
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Soodanim

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Feb 24, 2012
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I only have one thought about Jak, and that’s that it (1) is the only game I bought full price and refunded after a few hours playing because I had completed a high percentage of it far too quickly. I realised it wasn’t worth full price.

The good old days of refunding a disc.
 
Dec 9, 2019
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Jak and Daxter should have been one and done. Jak II was the epitome of chasing trends which isn't surprising coming from Naughty Dog but was still egregious even by their standards.
I disagree regarding the series being one-and-done - it deserved expansion.

Your not wrong in that Jak II was chasing trends at the time, there's no denying that it was influenced. But if you didnt know it was influenced by trends, would you look at it different?

If yes then its trivial. I think after much time has passed most people aren't going to care if something was influenced by trends at the time or not, it doesnt matter as long as the end product is good.

People say Jak II was a GTA rip off but it's more interesting than GTA imo. People say Jak II was edgy but that's not necessarily a bad thing imo, especially when you look at how everything is so damn PC these days.

Maybe im just a bit of an artist but I think a body of work should just be compared to itself at it's greatest. Comparisons to other things aren't as relevant, though they can be drawn.
 
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Banjo64

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Dec 8, 2020
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Jak and Daxter should have been one and done. Jak II was the epitome of chasing trends which isn't surprising coming from Naughty Dog but was still egregious even by their standards.
The Precursor Legacy is one of the best 3D platformer collectathons I’ve played.

2 & 3 were a real slog, and not enjoyable for me. I got the plat in both, but wish they’d just stuck with the original vibe.

A Naughty Dog Jak 4/reboot just doesn’t even make sense with where the studio are now. Similar to how Rare don’t have the ability to make a Conker or Banjo game.
 
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bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
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I disagree regarding the series being one-and-done - it deserved expansion.

Your not wrong in that Jak II was chasing trends at the time, there's no denying that it was influenced. But if you didnt know it was influenced by trends, would you look at it different?

If yes then its trivial. I think after much time has passed most people aren't going to care if something was influenced by trends at the time or not, it doesnt matter as long as the end product is good.

People say Jak II was a GTA rip off but it's more interesting than GTA imo. People say Jak II was edgy but that's not necessarily a bad thing imo, especially when you look at how everything is so damn PC these days.

Maybe im just a bit of an artist but I think a body of work should just be compared to itself at it's greatest. Comparisons to other things aren't as relevant, though they can be drawn.

Jak and Daxter wasn't exactly an original concept to begin with, for the sequel they just threw it in a blender with Shadow the Hedgehog, Ratchet & Clank and GTA. It's a shame as there is some good platforming to be found in the game, but it's not worth all the trappings surrounding it.
 

ZehDon

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"You know Daxter, we really are... Jak and Daxter".

Anyway, the game designers who made those games what they were are long gone; I don't think Naughty Dog could make a purely mechanical game work that well if they tried. No matter what, you'd end up with massive stretches of walking and climbing so dialog can play, with very little in the way of evolved or interesting gameplay. The closest they've come to gameplay evolution in the last ten years is throwing bottles and context-sensitive grappling hooks.
 

Duchess

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I honestly thought that the new Ratchet and Clank reveal was going to end with a cross over of the two franchises..!
 
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We need a Jak & Daxter 1 true sequel done by another studio. We don't need a GTA clone like what they have tried to do with Jak 2 and 3. I am afraid the current Naughty dog studio don't know how to do a true magical platform game anymore. The last one they did was 19 years ago with Jak 1. After that game they started doing shooters games.
 

RJMacready73

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Jun 25, 2020
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You are aware that ND make mature narrative driven games nowadays that make them millions and garner massive amounts of awards? Why in the fuck would they go back to making kiddy games?? Nah let the boys and girls keep doing what they do best and leave that shite for other studios
 

kretos

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Oct 2, 2019
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That ship has sailed a long time ago, ND = Cinematic blockbusters

but i hope Sony create a new studio for games like Jak and Sly etc...
 
Oct 2, 2019
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All these plebs who disrespect Jak 2/3...


The series was done with Jak3 and I'd rather it stays that way over giving it to some incompetent devs so they could shit out another "The Lost Frontier".

Most of the people who made the Jak series great has been long gone i presume and with SIEs current strategy i don't think they're interested in low-mid budget platform adventure, which is very sad but money is everything in business.
 

Ar¢tos

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Sure... If you don't mind it becoming a cinematic linear 3rd person stealth/shooter game with hot furry sex scenes between Jak and Daxter.
 
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Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
Apr 26, 2018
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Just remaster the brilliant original and give Jak a pair of tits to keep it in line with ND's agenda/philosophy.

Everybody is happy.
 
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Blue Spring

Read my tears about xbox here --->
Sep 2, 2020
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I really like Jak and Daxter but ND already moved away from cartoony games and I think they are better for it.
Even Uncharted is a little too vanilla for my taste. I Hope they will continue with the grittiness of TLOU but in a new IP as their next project.
 

yurinka

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No, Jak & Daxter should remain dead. This type of games don't fit in Sony's AAA catalog anymore, and in the AA tier they already have it covered with Astro Bot and Sackboy/LBP.

After TLOU2 multiplayer ND should make a new IP and TLOU3 after it, in addition to overview and mentor whatever studio (maybe the new Sony San Diego studio) who will make Uncherted 5 in addition to -as a very secondary task- support Uncharted and TLOU movies & tv shows.
 
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Con-Z-epT

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Dec 3, 2019
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Jak II is one of the best games ever made.

If it hurts you that it's different than Jak I, that's a whole different srtory.
I played them all and 2 and 3 are sure realy good games.

I just loved the first one so much that it did hurt to see how they went away from the first game.

Suddenly it was just so serious.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
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Naughty Dog have absolutely no interest in that kind of game now, and haven't done in 13 years. Let it go. ND will never go back to this kind of thing.
 
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Feb 24, 2018
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Unless they add some new backstory, Jak is a problematic character. Not going to happen. If it does, most people won't like the results. No one wants to see Jak get his teeth stomped in by a non binary bipoc anthropomorphic zebra in the second level.
 
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Fbh

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After their first gen ever with no new IP I hope we get something new from them this gen instead of more sequels.

Besides, they shifted to a cinematic heavy style on the PS3 and have now adopted a "story first" mentality under Druckmanm. I doubt they have any interest in this franchise.
 

Iced Arcade

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Canada eh
always found Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank too similar (design-wise).

Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank mash up worlds combined co-op game would be pretty awesome
 

Ammogeddon

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Would be cool but not too bothered.

Hopefully they’ll break from the same formula they’ve been using since the first Uncharted. The quality is always top notch but I think something different is well overdue.
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Daxter for PSP was great too...but they're not the same studio. I only see them fcking it up.

Remember what the new studio did with crash 4 and adding ...this:

 
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Kokoloko85

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Sep 26, 2019
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Rather Naughty dog work on something new and another Studio work on Jak and Daxter.
There was alot of change between Jak 1 and 2/3. What would you prefer?