Back before Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Ellie from The Last Us defined the heroic roles that are the face of the PlayStation brand, there was Jak and Daxter. The duo were hugely popular on the PS2 way back in the day, and now the classic Jak and Daxter games are coming to the PS4.
Over on the PlayStation Blog, SIA associate producer, Bryan Pardilla, revealed that several classic Jak and Daxter games will be available to download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4 starting December 6th. You’ll be able to purchase Jak II, Jak 3, and Jak X Combat Racing for $14.99 each, or you can get all three games as part of a bundle pack for $39.99. If you weren’t fond of the PS Vita Jak and Daxter Collection from a few years back, you can enjoy the games on your PS4 for just $15 each.
The post explains that the re-release of Jak II comes after the game’s original release more than 14 years ago. It’s amazing to think that the series is already that old, and a bunch of people who grew up playing the games are now likely married with kids of their own. The significance of Jak II was that the game introduced a voice for Jak, so that he and his buddy Daxter could communicate for the first time.
Pardilla says the voice of Jak was such a monumental moment in the development of the franchise and for Naughty Dog as storytellers that it actually opened up the door for the studio to explore more unorthodox ways of telling stories with highly popular franchises like Uncharted or The Last of Us.
I can’t say for sure if simply giving Jak a voice is how we ended up with a multi-award winning series like The Last of Us, but a lot of gamers enjoyed the Jak and Daxter series over the years for the progressive story-driven gameplay, and out-of-the-norm character developments that took place over the course of the handful of games.
The original games started as sort of colorful, kiddy action titles but Naughty Dog began moving away from the Crash Bandicoot-style depiction of the animal duo and started focusing on tying in the narrative elements with the gameplay to create something completely different.
The combination of melee combat, projectiles, and platforming all helped turn the series into yet another big-time blockbuster for the PlayStation brand, alongside the likes of Ratchet and Clank.
It’s interesting to note how both Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog evolved over the years to move away from the typical family-friendly icons and toward more mature-themed franchises like Resistance and The Last of Us.
Nevertheless, if you want to rekindle those moments of PlayStation 2 nostalgia you can do so starting December 6th via the PlayStation Store. It’s not quite backwards compatibility, but most gamers at this point are happy enough to settle for re-buying remastered games if they’re done well enough.
As an extra bonus there’s also a Legacy Dashboard Theme that will also be made available, along with the re-release of the Jak and Daxter collection. However, the retro theme for the PlayStation 4 is not freely available to access and you will have to pay $2.99 for it.