There’s a pretended pun somewhere in the title but it didn’t turn out as good as I hoped for. I guess that is the same feeling that Sony itself had for this handheld.
The thing is, the Vita has been Sony’s least successful console but, five years since it initially released, there’s still games planned for it. However, if you look at those upcoming games, you’ll realise that the companies supporting the console are indie developers and Japanese companies. You would think that the last company supporting a console would be the one that originally created the machine (Sony) but, in this case, that’s just not how it happened.
Sony’s support of this console at first was actually pretty strong. They published big Sony names like Uncharted or Wipeout and things were certainly looking bright when they made the Vita the home of the best Little Big Planet game up to date. They also created new unique franchises exclusive (at the time) for the handheld like Gravity Rush or Tearaway but that was then…
The console wasn’t as successful as Sony expected and with the arrival of a new console, the PS4, Sony couldn’t afford that new project to fail so they focused all of their resources into the home console instead. Since then, the Vita has been surviving out of third parties.
However, how would Vita’s lineup of games would look like if Sony didn’t drop its support for the platform? That’s really what this article is about. Here I’ll be using my imagination to show you what kind of games Sony could have brought to this underrated system but unfortunately never did.
Today I’ll be bringing you not one but three game ideas. They’re all based off pretty successful first party Sony exclusives which I think are the kind of games that the company would publish to entice customers into the platform. Also, as you’ll probably be able to tell, I used the PSP as an “inspiration” to come up with these ideas. Playstation’s first handheld sure wasn’t as successful as its competitor the Nintendo DS but it certainly caught up with gamers way more than the Vita managed to do so I think those would be some sturdy steps for Sony to follow.
Let’s not waste any more time though and let’s start with the first game idea:
Killzone Liberation 2
Told you I used the PSP as an inspiration, didn’t I? The Killzone franchise was born on the PS2 era, gained more fame during the PS3 days and even managed to appear as a launch title on PS4 those and Vita’s own Killzone Mercenary were all futuristic first-person shooters but this franchise also appeared on Sony’s previous handheld. The thing is, making FPS games (and 3D shooters in general) for the PSP wasn’t easy. That console had only one stick, so the classic layout of moving the character with one of them while aiming with the other just wasn’t possible. The FPS games that came out for that system used the face buttons to aim but that system was far from ideal. The makers of Killzone Liberation for PSP just scrapped the whole FPS out of the formula and provided a spin off that played with an overhead perspective and they made a great game out of it. So much so that I would certainly love a sequel of it.
Now that the vita does have two analog sticks, It could be played as a twin-stick shooter a la Helldivers. With the added power of the Vita the battlefields could be bigger and maybe add some great vehicular combat sections as well. The designs on the vehicles (and the technology as whole) in the killzone franchise has always been a favourite of mine.
The thing is, if you look at previous handheld Killzone titles, Liberation and Mercenary are two of the most beloved iterations within this series and it’s clearly been proven that this franchise is very appreciated among “on the go” players. Also, it’s been already 10 years since the first game came out so there might be a nostalgic factor as well that could make this title stand out.
Infamous: The Beast’s Dusk
There were many gamers who expected an Infamous game to appear on Vita sooner or later and, to be honest, there should have been. As you can probably guess by the name I just made up for the title, this would be some sort of spin off.
Story-wise it would go as follows. At the beginning of Infamous 2 we have Cole facing the Beast at Empire City and failing miserably. Next thing we see is Cole way south, at New Marais, trying to gain more powers before the beast goes down there as well. The story of this game would happen in that meantime but with a different protagonist and on a different city halfway between Empire City and New Marais.
It would be a minor conduit forced to watch those events from an outside perspective. Knowing that the path of the beast itself is indeed a countdown to his doom and the city he lives in.
Unlike Infamous 2 the whole arrival of the beast isn’t staged mission based but all will run in real time. Think about Majora’s Mask or Dead Rising and it’s indeed on that second game where this game will take plenty of inspiration. Let’s not forget that the Vita is indeed a handheld so the kind of gameplay has to be altered. Missions would be smaller and not so story-driven with a huge enphasis on side-quests.
As the time runs out, the city would go crazier, pillaging and riots everywhere and plenty of people in need that will require your help. Like in Dead Rising, managing your time will be a key aspect and I think that making the gameplay revolve around satisfying people’s requests would match very well with infamous’s own morality systems. This time around it wouldn’t be so much about decisions you make during story parts but about what you really do in the game, who do you decide to help and to what extent.
The added gameplay mechanics and different character would categorize the previous idea a spin off but in this case, the result product is certainly way more different to the mainline series than any of the other two.
The Resistance series started on PS3 as a first-person shooter, the PSP title played on third person but it was still was a shooter. However, those are very used genres and we already got a FPS Resistance on Vita so I’m suggesting here something different, a turn-based strategy game.
They are not my favourite genre but they can work really well with the Vita’s touch screen and I think that a Resistance strategy game would be quite unique. The setting, an alternative version of the 1950’s is quite unique on its own and so are the creative weapons that Insomniac imagined for the game and that would be obviously be present in this spin off.
What I’m pitching here is the idea of making what would be essentially an Xcom title set in the Resistance universe. It’s a simple idea but the market is clearly there. Nintendo was very successful with its own wars series, back on the PSP Sony tried it with Field Commander which was decent. Recently the Vita was given Xcom Enemy Unknown + and, although it wasn’t the best port possible, it showed that the core strategic experience can be pretty enjoyable on a portable device and, if done right, I’m sure this could be quite successful.
And this would be it. It feels pretty bad to know that those games will never be made but I’m certainly not the one in charge at Sony so I can’t change anything. The chances at seeing any big fist party releases on Vita is small to say the least but we can always dream.
Anyway, what did you think of the games pitched above? Would you buy any of them if they existed? Do you have any ideas of your own? Comment below and tell me!