Sony came out of last year on top, after delivering some killer blows to Microsoft directly that they are still recovering from. Their task this time around was to build on that, and focus on titles that are still to come this year as well as those that have been pushed back. I think they managed it, despite an dip in the middle that they really didn’t need.
The Destiny hype train started off their presentation, with a trailer focusing more on setting and story. It’s slightly disappointing that they appear to be going down the “you are the only one that can save us” thread, which never really works in an MMO where there are hundreds of thousands of other “heroes” running about. They did finally announce a date for the long touted beta, July 17th, with a “first look Alpha” available this Thursday. Perversion of software definitions of alpha and beta aside, I am still very excited by that game, and it looks like I will be able to actually play it a little before it’s launch on Sept 9th. It’s also going to launch with a shiny new White Playstation 4 bundle.
The Order: 1886 was up next, the utterly gorgeous looking Victorian horror shooter. I can’t actually describe how good this game looks, as well as looking like it could be pretty creepy too. The “artistic decision” to have widescreen bars on the game at all times is not necessarily one I can believe or appreciate, and is probably more likely a way to render 25% less pixels. Despite that I really do want to get hands on that game, even if it’s just to reinforce the next-gen-ness of the PS4
Sony have moved on from having an Indie section of there conference to simply placing smaller budget games next to their AAA titles. The first of these this evening was Entwined, a game from a collection of student developers and is available right now on PSN with Cross-Buy. It’s a very pretty looking game, but not a lot was mentioned about what it actually is. For £6.49 it’s probably worth a look.
Fans of Infamous: Second Son will be pleased to hear that a stand-alone DLC pack will be out in August, looking like it will focus on Fetch’s story and her relationship with Brent, the drug dealer who’s name she emblazoned all over Chicago.
As soon as the lights came up from the DLC announcement, two developers and a logo were on stage for LittleBigPlanet 3, to much rapturous applause. Sackboy’s new friends, Oddsock the dog, Toggle the strong dude and Swoop the bird, will help get Sackboy through the various stages. Despite a pretty poorly played demo, it looks a lot like a new LittleBigPlanet game, but not as sharp as I would have expected the next gen iteration to look. They also announced that all 8.2 million LBP2 levels that currently exist will be playable in the new game, which is a pretty great feature. Its out in August.
The leaked “Project Beast” from the developer of Dark Souls and From Software is now called Bloodborne, and looks like an dirtier and more gruesome Souls game, which I’m sure makes a lot of people excited. No date on that yet except 2015.
After the morning’s reveal of the first five minutes of Far Cry 4, I was very interested to see some actual gameplay. I was not disappointed. A mixture of wingsuit flights, vehicle jumps and elephants walking over gun toting bad guys. Kinda what you would expect from Far Cry game. The big reveal was drop in co-op campaign multiplayer, and even more impressive they announced that the second player does not actually have to own the game to join in. The exact details of how this will work were absent, but it’s a fascinating concept.
A couple of smaller announcements followed.
- Dead Island 2 is a thing, and based on the trailer it is taking a much more comedic approach to zombie murder.
- Disney Infinity is getting exclusive Avengers content.
- Magicka 2 is getting a console exclusive PS4 release.
- Giant Squid showed their new game with the artistic director of Journey, Abzu, an underwater adventure.
- Grim Fandango is getting a remastered version for PS4 and Vita. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
- Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PS4 / Xbox One in the Fall
- The Last of Us Remaster is real, and is out July 29th
- Gameplay from Mortal Kombat X looked pretty sharp and suitably gruesome, with some next gen bone breaking and face stabbing
- There was a new suitably batshit insane trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. I’m still on board but man is it difficult to try and sell that game to someone who isn’t on board with Kojima.
The hardware and services section was a real low point, killing the pretty substantial momentum with a lot of statistics and numbers thrown about. More details on PLaystation Now were revealed, with the game streaming service going into Open Beta in July 31st in the US and Canada, as well as being available on some Sony TVs. The Playstation TV is also coming to the US and EU territories for $99, the small set top box that can play PSVita cards and some titles from PSN.
They wrapped up their presentation with a pre-rendered trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and a 2015 date. This was a surprise considering the turbulent times that studio has just been through, and was under the impression that game would have to be a lot further off than next year. I was glad to be proved wrong.
Overall, Sony had a strong showing this year, building off the good faith and positive sentiment they accrued last year. Despite a slow section in the middle, they made enough new announcements and more details on the stuff we knew about already to give you faith that jumping on the next-gen bandwagon on day one was not a waste of time.