It was Sony’s turn to shine on Tuesday evening with a whole host of titles to be announced and re-announced, as well as some very questionable and quirky additions.
The keynote started off very organised with trailers firing left, right and centre, in-between some questionable upbeat music that didn’t really fit the tone of the evening. Starting with a gameplay trailer, a common theme throughout the evening, was InFAMOUS First Light. Ready for release in just a couple of weeks, it featured a female protagonist, a slightly different direction than Sucker Punch’s previous InFAMOUS lead characters. To be expected, the game is download only as it had little hype before today’s announcement. Look forward to that on August 26th.
Next up was The Order 1886. Another gameplay trailer highlighting just how incredible the game looks. The steampunk game set in the industrial revolution featured some high-octane gunfights and really polished movement and audio. With the exclusive release date set for February 20th 2015, this really is one to keep an eye on if you haven’t already.
With still no sign of anyone human on-stage we moved onto a trailer for LittleBigPlanet 3. New characters and features were announced for the series including the Share button on the Dualshock 4 controller used to share player creations across the PlayStation Network, on social media sites and YouTube. 18th of November for that one.
Bloodborne made an appearance with another gameplay trailer showing off gunplay and hand-to-hand combat in a substantially gothic setting. No release date for that one but expect the game to be launched in the next six months.
After showing off a few more games in a mash-up trailer, it was time for Jim Ryan, CEO, to take to the stage. First, giving a slight dig towards Microsoft, he mentioned that PlayStation was available “everywhere” at the same time upon release last year. He then went on to tell of Sony’s success with the PS4, noting the console has now sold over 10 million units to consumers since launch. Ryan promised that this was “just the start” for PlayStation with many more things to come in the next months and years.
Indie developers and titles were a huge focus to begin with titles like The Tomorrow Children from the developer of PixelJunk. A game set in what appeared to be a bland, open-environment, possibly sandbox communist Russia, featuring workers mining to uncover relics and statues, was sure to raise a few eyebrows for being rather strange on the face of things.
A cryptic looking trailer for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was shown, being a possible point and click adventure title, maybe even murder mystery. As well as this, an odd looking stealth game named Volume. Borrowing the voices of popular YouTuber Charlie McDonnell and voice of Shaun Hastings in Assassin’s Creed, Danny Wallace, the game that apparently takes on the story of Robin Hood set in the near future and is down to be released in 2015, looking to be currently close to completion from what the trailer suggests.
Paradox Interactive gave us a glimpse into co-op side-scrolling shooter Hollowpoint, another 2015 release and the announcement that Paradox console games have some exclusivity to PlayStation with another title, Runemaster, to be thrown straight to PlayStation at some point in the future.
There was little hold-up in the announcements of games with DayZ’s creator Dean Hall on-stage next to talk about a PlayStation 4 adaption of the game. This was a strange one, as the game isn’t technically released on PC where it was first available, continuing to be in its “Early Access” phase. Hall didn’t mention as to when the game would be coming out, but he did mention that advancements in the game’s technical background would benefit players on both platforms - a possible hint to cross-platform play.
Continuing with the indie theme there were trailers for Hellblade, a strange looking game from Ninja Theory and a stunning cell-shaded title named Rime from Tequila Works. The gameplay for Rime felt excellent in a very innocent, intriguing open-world setting following a little boy who’s pure goal seemed to be just exploring his world.
Another mash-up trailer showcasing some more indie games to be released on PS4 rounded off the first portion of the keynote nicely, paving the way for some hard-hitting titles in the second half; of which there was plenty.
CEO of Activision, Eric Hershberg announced that 4.6 million people managed to play the Destiny beta and that it’s the most pre-ordered new IP of all time according to Gamestop. Destiny had a world exclusive trailer showing off some game modes that can be found in the multiplayer portal of the Crucible. Jonty Barnes from Bungie also noted that exclusive first-to-PlayStation DLC would be launched in December featuring some new multiplayer maps and missions.
FarCry 4 gloated how vast the game is to be with multiple ‘worlds’ to venture through. Most notably however was the free set of ten ‘Keys to Kyrat’ that will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 upon purchase. The keys can be gifted to fellow PS4 players to access the game for a couple hours and join in with the fun online in co-op.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor didn’t seem to live up to the graphical prowess of the other PlayStation 4 titles soon to be available but still showed off some epic battles, as well as a very cinematic looking playing experience.
Then, something weird happened. Hideo Kojima, creator of Metal Gear Solid comes onto the stage to talk about MGS V: Phantom Pain but not in the conventional sense. Being his first time on stage at gamescom you would think he had something epic to show. Instead, Hideo displayed how the infamous stealth cardboard boxes have been “improved” for the game. In an obviously lighthearted approach to proceedings, Snake is seen scurrying around in a box that can be broken out of to be used as a decoy, or have a bikini model transfixed to the side, to allure enemies from afar. Let’s just say it was a little strange given this was his only showing with such a grand reveal onto the stage. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough for you, we go from that straight to a super serious trailer for the upcoming survival horror game P.T.. A very strange contrast in events that left the live audience a little baffled.
**Sidenote** Unknown to us at the time of writing this, it turned out that P.T. was actually an announcement for the new Silent Hills game. Read more about it and see a trailer here.
Software update 2.0 will give players the opportunity to share clips of gameplay footage straight to YouTube, in the first non-game related content of the evening. It also allows PS+ members the chance to invite friends to play their games remotely from their own homes without download or install. A strange and quite vague addition but more will be revealed soon for sure.
PlayStation Now, Sony’s game streaming service is also coming to Europe early 2015 in the form of a beta and PlayStation TV will be dropping on the 14th of November for all PAL regions with a 99 EUR price tag, likely to be the same in GDP, allowing the streaming of games around your home.
Back to the games (I told you it was packed), Michael Denny from Worldwide Studios reintroduced Until Dawn. “A horror game unlike any other” gives players the chance to decide the fate of all eight characters in the game. Save them all, kill them all, it’s all down to how the player sees fit as they are stranded on a mountain with an unknown horror to fend off.
DriveClub was shown with some very pretty rendered cars and some truly stunning environments with great looking weather conditions tailored to the player’s wants. Multiple player clubs were again re-iterated as well as a new trailer.
Makers of Tearaway, the BAFTA award-winning Vita game came on-stage to announce they couldn’t bring Tearaway to PS4 - instead, they made a new game, Tearaway Unfolded. A unique title that gives players high amounts of interactivity with the television they are using, all directed from the Dualshock 4 controller and its touchpad, motion sensors and speakers.
Housemarque brought on an adventure/bullet-hell/hack ‘n slash looking title in the form of a futurist alien shooter called Alienation and Wild Sheep Studios showcased Wild, an open-world adventure game boasting the ability to play as any creature in the world, human or otherwise.
That pretty much wrapped up Sony and PlayStation’s gamescom keynote. With no word about Uncharted and pretty much zero content on the future of the PlayStation Vita, some may have left a little disappointed but there is certainly an awful lot to look forward to on Sony’s flagship console in the months and years to come - even if some of it does seems a little bonkers.