Sony’s last conference for the year, Playstation Experience, has now become the place where they typically announce the games that will be coming out in the very near future, say about 3-4 months from now. They’ve used it as a platform for launching Bloodborne, for example, and have chosen it to also be the launchpad for the hype train departing to Uncharted territory early next year. This year’s keynote was filled with a few surprises, but there was a stronger focus on VR gaming than last year, with some possibly compelling games thrown into the mix. Still, it seems that Sony has no interest in slacking now, and they’ve even set themselves up for a big reveal at E3 next year of the return of a much-loved series. Let’s check out some of the trailers of the announcements.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End story trailer
Things started off with the story trailer for Uncharted 4, introducing us to Nate’s new life as a desk jockey, possibly eking out a living as an insurance salesman or harbour master, because his new home is right on the edge of a harbour. In walks his long-lost brother Sam, missing, presumed dead, but recently out of jail and looking for a solution to his problems. I won’t spoil the major gameplay change for you, but it does add a bit of depth to the story, and Uncharted 4 might finally give us different endings or even different cut scenes depending on the choices we make in the game.
Shawn Layden wears a Crash Bandicoot t-shirt for a while
What the hell is this? Why are you doing this to us, Sony?!
Why are you gesturing at the shirt you’re wearing, Shawn? Why are you doing that so many times? What do you know?!
Give us more information!
Final Fantasy VII Remake gameplay
We finally have gameplay footage from the new Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the game looks a lot different from what people will remember. The fighting system looks like a mesh of Crisis Core and the combat system from Final Fantasy XV, but there are some hints in the menu systems that you see for a handful of frames at a time that suggest you’ll be able to switch characters and direct the flow of the battle, similar to Dragon Age. This was also an interesting reveal because there are clearly frame rate issues with the game in its very early stages, and it’s very unusual for Square Enix to be showing off a game in a state as rough as this.
Call of Duty World League sponsorship announcement
Sony officially confirmed their partnership with Activision and launched the Call of Duty World League at Playstation Experience, calling the PS4 “the home of Call of Duty“, which is a big turnaround from how things used to be in the past. There’s a $3 million prize waiting for the winning team, with the prize pool being sponsored by Sony and Activision. With collaborations with DICE in the picture as well, the Battlefield and Battlefront franchises might tend more towards Sony’s side as well to produce something similar. Interesting times ahead!
Street Fighter V adds F.A.N.G. to the roster
Honestly, playing with F.A.N.G. looks like it’s going to be heaps of fun. F.A.N.G introduces a series first mechanic; poison. Whenever his poison attacks connect, they continuously deal damage to the opponent’s life bar until he gets hit or the poison runs its course. F.A.N.G’s sinister long range attacks and slippery movements, paired with his ability to poison, will leave his opponents feeling ill (read this Capcom blog post to learn more about his abilities).
More Indie titles hit the PS4 and PS Vita
Invisible, Inc., developed by Klei Entertainment, is a turn-based tactics and stealth game incorporating elements of roguelike gameplay that seems to borrow heavily from some aspects of the X-COM series. This game has been available through Steam since May 2015, and currently runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Don’t Starve Together is a multiplayer expansion for the original game, and now allows players to survive together in a local co-op session, or in a private server online. It’s set for an early 2016 launch on the PS.
Dead Star is a team-based multiplayer arcade-shooter/strategy hybrid. As a pilot banished to the far reaches of known space, you’ll fly a variety of starships through procedurally generated regions of space as you battle against your fellow criminals. Dead Star is set for a 2016 release.
Side-scrolling turn-based JRPG Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey will debut on the PS4 and PS Vita next year.
Adult Swim games finally making their way to PS4
Starting with Headlander, Death’s Gambit, Ray’s the Dead, Rain World, Small Radios Big Televisions and many more, Adult Swim will finally have their games appear on the PS4. Sony made quite a fuss about this, bringing out a comfy couch for CEO Bruce Taylor to sit on while he filled in the audience about why they’ve decided to come over to Sony’s platform.
Yakuza Zero is being translated and localised for western markets
I don’t think anyone thought this would be possible. Hell, everyone thought that Yakuza 5 was going to be the last in the series to be localised for markets outside of Japan, and that SEGA might decide to cease distribution entirely. Sony and SEGA seem to have also set a record for this announcement, because the release date for the game is set for 2017!
Day of the Tentacle Remastered
If you’ve never played the original (like me), this will be a great time to get into this classic from LucasFilm. Produced and developed by Double Fine, Day of the Tentacle Remastered will be available for PC and PS4 in March 2016.
King of Fighters XIV for PS4
Set for a 2016 launch, King of Fighters XIV will be a PS4 exclusive, and will include a new saga that continues where the previous game’s storyline ended. This is the series’ first transition to 3D visuals, and will include modes like the 3-on-3 battles.
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
Set for a 2016 launch on PS4, Rhombus of Ruin will be a Playstation VR exclusive developed by Double Fine. You can relax, though, because this doesn’t replace Psychonauts 2, and fills in the gaps from the first game. I’m not sure how well this will actually work on PS VR, and it seems Double Fine didn’t want to reveal gameplay too early either.
Brutal, for PS4
Launching in 2016, Brutal seems to take inspiration from Disney’s Tron, dropping your chosen character into a procedurally generated world constructed entirely from ASCII art that really looks like it’s all made out of neon tubes. Your goal is simple: reach the 26th floor, and defeat the Guardian of the Dungeon. It sounds simple, but it’s probably going to be devilishly difficult.
NIOH is a dark, samurai-centric, action RPG currently in development by Koei Tecmo Games for the PS4. There’s a funny bit about this game – when it first appeared on the Playstation channel, somebody at Sony mislabeled it as Ni No Kuni 2, causing widespread confusion in the comments.
A new title that was released on the Playstation Store yesterday, Guns Up! is a free-to-play tower defense game, in which your mission is to command your troops on a series of military raids to take out your enemy’s defenses. It was originally a Vita game, but it looks like that plan was scrapped for some reason.
Fat Princess Adventures
Well, know you all know what was keeping Sony Santa Monica studios so busy. Fat Princess Adventures was released on 5 December 2015, and is available for PS Plus subscribers at a discounted price of R269.10. The regular price is R299. If you buy the game before the 15th, you’ll get, for free…
Balloon weapons. That’s right, weapons that are made out of balloons. This looks like fun.
And now an assortment of Playstation VR games in development!
This is like that Flower game, right?
Basically Crazy Taxi, only set in a zombie-infested British town, with awesome ragdoll physics.
Wut? Seriously, wut?
Take stapler. Insert stapler into printer. Press “copy”. Receive your new copied stapler. Now dual-wield!
Highwire Games is developing this PS VR exclusive that lets you play as a giant doing giant-ey things. Golem is set for a 2016 release.
A new Ace Combat? In my veins! This is another PS VR exclusive.
Yep, SEGA is doing a remake of Rez. Called Rez Infinite, this remake has all of the original game’s visuals, but is now remastered for gameplay at 1080p with a smooth 60fps framerate. Sony hid this one very well until the unexpected announcement.
Ratched and Clank for PS4
The legend begins again. It looks so beautiful. Now where’s my Jak and Daxter?!
Destiny: The Taken King, now with sparrow racing!
Available for three weeks only, Activision will soon unleash sparrow racing into The Taken King expansion. It might become a permanent thing later, but for now it’s a once-off thing presumably to gauge player interest.
Paragon, a MOBA by Epic Games
Paragon is Epic’s new MOBA set for a 2016 launch. Is this their answer to Blizzard’s Overwatch? Paragon is being developed for the PS4 and Windows PC platforms. Cross-play between the two isn’t impossible, but highly unlikely at this point.
Ni No Kuni II: Renevant Kingdom
Why yes, I did save the best announcement for last. Ni No Kuni II is set for a 2016 launch.
Overall, Playstation Experience 2015 was an interesting event. Not only is Sony selling the VR component of the PS4 hard, it actually has resulted in a number of games that might make the optional headset a must-buy for some people, especially those of you interested in seeing how long you can last without losing your breakfast while playing Rez Infinite. 2016 is going to be a busy year for Playstation, and my brother Matthew and I are already hooked on the idea of saving for a Playstation VR headset next year.
You can kick back and watch the entire show below if you’re more comfortable with that.