November 6, 2001
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
7/12/2001SonyNaughty Dog1$99.95

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Two friends helping each other out.
Where would Sony be today without Naughty Dog? Would they still have dominated the 32bit console world? Probably, but Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot games were, and still are, extremely popular on the PSOne. Unfortunately, Universal took control of the rights to Crash Bandicoot and development was handed to Traveller's Tales, who have kept up the series' high quality with the release of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex last month. However, following the success of the little orange guy Sony actually bought Naughty Dog and got them working on a new title exclusively for the Playstation 2. The result: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. As you can probably tell from the surrounding screenshots the developers haven't strayed too far graphically, or gameplay-wise really, from the Crash games, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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The birds are all superbly animated.
The storyline for Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is as follows; While exploring some ancient ruins on a forbidden island off the coast, your best friend Daxter, is knocked into a vat of Dark Eco; a terrifying and deadly substance that could corrupt the world forever. This transforms him into a weasel-like rodent. You seek the advice of the village sage, Samos Hagai, who tells you that there may only be one person who holds the secrets to transforming Daxter back. Now, Jak and Daxter must set out on a quest in search of a wise old sage who has the power to restore Daxter to his former self. You are plunged into a a world of new adventure, exploration and discovery.

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This guy certainly looks funny.
There are a couple of big differences between this game and the Crash games. The first is that the worlds are now a lot more 3D and free roaming. Although there will be paths to follow at times the game is a lot more open and allows for a lot more exploration of the levels. Naughty Dog are also promising no load times through the game which, given the size of the levels, is quite impressive. It remains to be seen how long it will take to complete this game, but as with the Crash games it won't be overly long like Final Fantasy. Hopefully, Naughty Dog will also realise that the Playstation 2 is being purchased by older gamers who are after more of a challenge.

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Preparing to fire the big cannon.
This action adventure game is looking absolutely stunning. The animation of the characters is astonishing and their humour is unequalled. What can't be seen from the surrounding screenshots is the level of detail in the game world. Birds, butterflies, trees, windmills, waterfalls and more are superbly animated and active throughout the levels. The characters all speak as well, and most of the time it's pretty funny. Naughty Dog are also including over 40 minutes of cut scenes in the game to flesh out the story. Expect plenty of humorous moments throughout the game.

Many people said that this was one of the best games at the E3 last May, and I can't disagree. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy looks like another awesome title from Naughty Dog and it should give Playstation 2 owners something to be very excited about upone release in December this year. Sony will no doubt be putting a lot of marketing muscle behind the title, and along with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (which has slipped to February 2002) this should be one of the top titles on the system. This is a very exciting title, showing tremendous, promise and will hopefully be as exciting and polished as the Crash Bandicoot games.