This may come as a bit of a surprise but Rare is still in the game, making new things that aren’t Kinect Sports. Killer Instinct is Double Helix, and the almost-great Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was a very long time ago. It’s time for Rare to do something to get the gaming world’s attention again, and there’s hints and clues that 2015’s E3 is going to be the show to spill the details on the studio’s next big project. Various Rare people have been dropping clues, and they point to the possibility of Banjo-Kazooie. Grab your biggest grain of salt and let’s see if we can string those clues together into something resembling information.
Today’s hint is from Robin Beanland, head music maestro at Rare, posting a tiny little tweet-pic of a few notes off a musical score while saying it’s going to be a big year for Rare. He also posted a pic of a busted banjo one day back in June, and a vine of the same banjo fixed and playing the next, although this seems more like an actual musical instrument repair than a breadcrumb trail of clues. On the other hand, a more solid hint is this bit of morse code from Rare developer “Kampfheld” which, when decoded, reads B K E 3 2 0 1 5. It didn’t take the internet long to figure Banjo Kazooie was going to show up on the E3 2015 show floor in one form or another.
While Rare hasn’t been quiet these last few years, it’s hard to get excited about Kinect Sports when the same company has Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll, and Battletoads in its past. Most of the old guard is gone, and it’s not even Grant Kirkhope (responsible for all the Banjos to date, although to be fair to Robin Beanland, Grant and Robin both worked on Nuts & Bolts) leaking music info. If there’s a new Banjo on the way it’s going to be a familiar name made by a new team, and we’re rooting for them to live up to the legacy that no amount of time or personnel changes can ever take away from Rare.