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What’s Next for Jak and Daxter?

Submitted by on Monday, 29 March 20103 Comments

Jak and Daxter was a popular franchise made by Naughty Dog. Spanning four PS2 games and a popular PSP spin-off, the series has been left alone for quite a while now.

So can we expect anything for the future of Jak and Daxter?

Jak and Daxter started off with the Precursor Legacy where Daxter, a short whiney orphan, accidentally falls in a vat of Dark Eco (Eco being a sort of fuel in the series coming in various colours) turning him into a strange hybrid of an otter and a weasel.

This sets up the story for the game, as the mute Jak and the ‘voice-for-two’ Daxter, traverse a beautifully varied and yet seamless world in search of a cure for Daxter. Throughout, they battle strange Lurkers and explore ancient Precursor technology and ultimately come face to face with the results of how Dark Eco could go wrong.

"Is it gone yet?" "Nope, keep running!"

The sequel, Jak II sees the main characters venturing into the future thanks to a device discovered between the games. This time, Jak uses guns in the sandbox-like Haven City, similar to GTA but with flying cars and set in the future. Jak also becomes infected with Dark Eco and gains an alter ego where he is temporarily more powerful and almost feral.

This game featured a more adult storyline than its predecessor, with many twists and turns and a fantastic ending, and it worked in terms of giving depth to the characters and their backstory.

Jak 3 saw a further addition to the universe by adding the wastelands, larger enemies and a massive ultimate foe, as well as some surprising news about Daxter and the Precursors.

"Aren't you a little... cold?"

Then came the time in many a developer’s lifetime, where they tried to ‘mix things up’. Jak X was the result, and it took the popular racing segments from the latter half of the series and made a tournament based game thereupon.

Not as successful as the previous games for obvious reasons, Jak X still kept interest in the series going, at least for a while, before the PSP was introduced.

Daxter got his own game after this, on the PSP. The successful “Daxter” told the story of what happened to the mischievous ottsel between the events of the duo landing in Haven City and Daxter rescuing Jak two years later.

Taking a job as an exterminator, Daxter battles his way through the city and ultimately kills off a potential foe, as well as finding a way of rescuing Jak.

Daxter finds things difficult without Jak.

Since then, we haven’t really heard about poor Jak and Daxter from Naughty Dog, since they’ve been busy with their new crush Nathan Drake and the extremely playable Uncharted series.

Ratchet and Clank breathed new life into the series by putting the characters into new territory and giving everything a new visual style.

Could the same be done for Jak? By putting them through a HD-machine and putting them in unfamiliar yet good-looking environments facing new and interesting foes, they could bring in a new set of fans as well as pleasing the old ones at the same time.

Of course, there is still Haven City. Imagine it rebuilt from the events of Jak 3, and in stunning HD, with new areas, people, buildings, cars etc. It would be glorious, but of course Naughty Dog would still have to get Jak to do something there, otherwise there wouldn’t be much point in making the game in the first place.

The series could go in another direction completely. Instead of full games, downloadable episodic adventures could be released on the PSN, possibly as a test building up to a full adventure.

Of course, the series may not have any need to return. Most of the major plot events have been tied up, with the exception of the whole Jak/Mar kerfuffle. This doesn’t rule out a new plot being written especially for it though.

I honestly think there is still some life in the franchise. Daxter proved this, and especially since “The Lost Frontier” didn’t bring the experience that we were all hoping for, fans are now more than ever crying out for a remastered Jak and Daxter on the PS3. Will Naughty Dog rise to our baying calls? Who knows. I’ll bet Nathan Drake does though.

Had enough of Daxter? Just want to see Ashelin and Keira in HD? Post your comments below!