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Quantic Dream’s Kara tech demo impressions

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Quantic Dream, company responsible for the likes of “Fahrenheit” and most notably “Heavy Rain” recently published a new tech demo “KARA” during the GDC 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dou4Gy0p97Y

For those of you who are familiar with it, it might beg the question of what QD was trying to achieve. It is marvellous piece of graphics, as everything is run on PS3 hardware and the visuals are mostly impressive. The lip synchronisation for example is real step forward from what’s out there on the market and it really does take the “visual communication” as well as the emotional boundary closer to the viewer.

However what troubles me most, is where are they were going with it?

Don’t get me wrong, it looks impressive in its showcasing of great graphics and interesting plot (disregarding the feeling of  thematic déjà vu from films like “A.I.” and “I, Robot”) but what troubles me most is the fundamental question of : “Why bother in first place?”

There is no doubt in my mind that the PS3 is very sophisticated hardware, having been proven many times capable of generating impressive visuals and so on, but launching a tech demo doesn’t really do any justice to it. An early example of that is Square-Enix’s demo of FF7 on PS3; as pretty as it looks from a consumer point of view it means almost nothing.

Part of me somehow feels that the level of graphics achieved on that were possible only because it was just a demo. If you try to develop a game that looks anything like that, then you have to ask yourself the question: “How do I render such high caliber graphics, while allocating system memory to A.I, physics, etc.”

Yes, it’s very pretty to look at. I would like to believe it showcases what the current generation of consoles is capable of, except I can’t. And that is because there is nothing else out there that looks alike. I would like to think of it as some kind of statement: “video games can also convey emotions and impressive visual image”, but is there a need for that? We already know that thanks to the likes of Heavy Rain, Mass Effect and others.

All in all, I am a bit sceptical toward it. I understand why QD would like to show off during GDC and why they did it, but ultimately for a normal person, a consumer it changes nothing. To me it’s like building a giant triangle in say… the middle of a desert that doesn’t do anything except stoke the ego of the creator. It makes a stand, but I think, in this case, it’s too late and too irrelevant.

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Interview

Troy Baker Discusses His Return as Joel in The Last of Us Part II

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Troy Baker has spoken about his return to the role of Joel in Naughty Dog’s upcoming title The Last of Us Part II.

During an exclusive interview with OnlySP at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming, Baker was asked how he felt to return to the role alongside Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie in the sequel to the acclaimed 2013 title.

“The first day we were on set was when we shot [the PSX reveal] trailer,” Baker revealed. “We go through rehearsals and stuff, and we walk through it, and things get real serious all of a sudden, when we heard both of our voices. When you put everything together, that’s when Ashley goes away and Troy goes away, and you’re left with Ellie and Joel.”

Baker noted that the first time creative director Neil Druckmann spoke to him about the potential of a sequel was during the British Academy Video Game Awards in March 2014.

Check out a clip from our exclusive interview with Troy Baker and Nolan North—including the revelation of North’s return as David and the significant musical numbers featured in the game—below, and stay tuned for the full interview.

Druckmann recently revealed that Baker and Johnson had completed their main work on the game, describing it as “the most ambitious cinematic shoot we’ve ever done.” Before that, he stated that the final scene of The Last of Us Part II has been shot, with Laura Bailey recently completing her performance capture for the title. Druckmann also revealed that the rapper Logic and actor Travis Willingham will also be appearing in the game.

Earlier this month, a screen of the game’s weapon upgrade system was leaked in a promotional video, with some noting that weapon variation may be present in the game’s revision of combat.

To stay updated on The Last of Us Part II and the world of single-player gaming, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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