The PS4 Event: The Software – Games galore!
So, hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to digest all the exciting hardware news, and are ready to see some games for this new PS4 thingamajig. Well worry ye not, we’ve got a handy primer on everything shown over the monstrous 2 hour show, so you can make sense of the mighty mountains of media!
First up was Knack, an adorable game about a little golden robot man made of floating bits. It seems like he can make himself larger by adding more bits to his body, and looks like a fun little action platformer, in the vein of Ratchet and Clank. The graphics were delightful, showing a Pixar-ish style of animation that really popped off the screen. Whether the gameplay lives up to the prettiness is another matter, but it was a decent reveal.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Oh look, another Killzone! Taking us back to the glory days of that Killzone 2 demo, Sony kicked off the games proper with it’s flagship shooter. It looked tasty, with the lighting work and animations standing out in particular. The explosions, bullets and madness looked great, and the footage shown was real-time gameplay. Bright and colourful too, which is new for Killzone! Our only reservations about this one is that the gameplay just looked like a shooter, not really going above what we’ve already seen (graphics excluded.)
Vehicular pornography! This new racer from the Motorstorm guys is a bit of a departure from their dirty, smashy titles, and is focused on a more realistic driving experience. The cars have been painstakingly recreated from the real things, even down to the way the carbon fibre reacts to light. The focus here is on making a club with your mates, and driving together, as a team. Best part of this bit though? When the presenter said that he wasn’t allowed to talk about Drive Club. That’s rule 1 and 2 people, don’t forget it!
A mysterious reveal by the head of Sucker Punch, but it soon became apparent we’re getting a new InFamous title, something which fills me with joy. This time, the fear culture of America is playing a key role, what with big brother watching you, airport regulations, that sort of thing. The important thing to remember though, is that this ear culture has stemmed from super powered dudes, punching tanks to bits. It’s pretty much X-Men, in a really good way.
Indie darling Jonathan Blow (Braid) took to the stage next, to show off his newest project, The Witness. It’s an explorey, puzzley, pretty little game, with an open world designed as compactly as possible, so within 20 seconds you can be in a new area. Looks a bit like Myst, with mysteries and puzzles all around, and should be one of those bonkers little titles that does well. PS4 console exclusivity at launch too!
The studio that brought us Heavy Rain didn’t have a game to show us, but a fancy tech demo. Studio head David Cage took to the stage, talked about the subtleties of emotion briefly, and showed off a model of an old chaps head, running real time. Frankly, it looked alive, with the uncanny valley left far behind. The eyes in particular were incredible, showing off tiny emotions with the smallest movements, but distinct enough to pick up on. It will be interesting to see what they actually do with this tech.
Another company showing off a fancy tech demo or two. Studio head Alex Evans chatted to us about the problems of designing games these days, and the so called “Tyranny of the polygon” when it comes to modelling. The PS move controller, Sonys oft forgotten wand controller was championed as their saviour of creation. What followed was some cool looking 3D sculpting, using the new PS Eyes depth sensing technology. He also told us that you can take others creations, and essentially point and shoot to put scenes together. From here, they then demonstrated a real time puppeteering demo with the Moves, having a couple of characters dance and play instruments. It was kinda pointless, but oddly exciting at the same time.
Capcom’s turn next! A delightfully excitable Yoshinori Ono (Street Fighter) introduced us to Capcom’s new Phana Rhei engine with a look at Deep Down, which is a working title. What followed was dungeons, dragons, men in armour and gouts of flame. It looked a bit Skyrim, a bit Dark Souls, a bit Lord of the Rings, but most importantly, a bit Dragons Dogma. The DD alliteration heavily points to this being Dragons Dogma 2, and if so, it’s coming along nicely.
Bit of a letdown from the Squeenix boys this time. They showed off their Agnis Philosophy demo again, which we’ve all seen before. It looked nice, but it would have been better to show us something new. They finished off their part with their Final Fantasy director coming on stage, announcing that they were working on a Final Fantasy game, and to see them at E3. It was a good tease I guess, but a little out of place here, and a hard pill to swallow when Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still not out.
Ubisoft’s turn to impress did not disappoint. They showed off their next-gen title, Watch Dogs again, using a different scenario than the one at E3. What followed was what looked like a next-gen Assassins Creed, with a dense, detailed open world and a crafty sod pottering about hacking everything in sight. You can use your phone in-game to hack anything, and one great bit was popping up some of those traffic bollards to stop a police car dead. Nice free running too, with chases looking fun, varied and bombastic.
The biggest shock of the night was seeing Blizzard show up, a primarily PC developer. They announced that they would be porting Diablo 3 over to both PS3 and PS4. It’ll support local 4-player co-op, and be fully optimised for consoles. Honestly, this one was a let-down too, Diablo 3 is not a new game at this point, and anyone who desired to play it probably has by now.
The big one. Activision and Bungie presented their next generation shooter, the worlds first shared-world shooter if you use their terminology. A lot of details for this already dropped last week, but we got to see some more gameplay footage, as well as hearing that the PS4 will be getting some exclusive content. A strange thing to announce, given Bungie’s strong Microsoft ties, but it’s a brave new world, anything is possible!
There you have it, a look at all the games and tech demos shown off at the Playstation Event. We also got a look at a graphic showing that Sony have been in touch with almost every developer to get PS4 content coming, and it’s good to see them taking the bull by the horns here. Now, we get to wait to see more at E3!