I spent the whole time editing this podcast on a yoga ball. So Gabe, I get you.
Sony’s direction hasn’t changed much since E3. If you liked their E3 press conference, well, their Gamescom conference is more of the same. If you didn’t like their E3 conference, then there’s probably not a whole lot here that will please you. Here are the highlights:
Sony kicked things off with a new Bloodborne trailer. FROM Soft’s trailers have not done a particularly great job of showcasing their games in the past, so even though this is ostensibly a “gameplay trailer,” it may be wise to not look too much into it. The trailer depicts some fairly standard Souls-style combat, and it’s looking more and more like Bloodborne is Sony’s apology to FROM for not supporting Demon Souls properly.
Ninja Theory also announced a new game, Hellblade, which reminded me a lot of Heavenly Sword. The trailer provided was entirely CGI and had no gameplay, so it may be wise to hold back on the hype train until we have a better idea of what we’re looking at.
Sony made two new horror-game related announcements, both of which are interesting. The first is that Until Dawn, a game patterned after Hollywood vacation slasher films, will be a PS4 exclusive. Until Dawn was originally announced back 2012 as a a PS3 move title, but it seems that it has escaped hell and is now cutting up college kids on the PS4 instead. I’ve never really been a fan of slasher flicks, so I’m not sure that Until Dawn will really slake my thirst for more horror games, but if that’s your jam it does seem like it’s going to be coming out this time.
The second could probably a story in itself; A new horror title called P.T. was announced at the conference and subsequently released on PSN where it is currently playable, but it seems that P.T. actually stands for ‘playable teaser’ and that the game is intended to announce a new Silent Hill title being developed by Hideo Kojima. I do have some concerns over whether or not Konami will actually allow Mr. Kojima the freedom to do right by the Silent Hill name, but then again I’m also still bitter about Zone of the Enders. All things considered, I’d call this exciting news.
Lurking nearby, the not-quite-horror-game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is billing itself as an ‘occult detective game’ and it has a suitably spooky style. It’s from the team behind Bulletstorm, so we can probably expect a reasonably original spin on things.
Some new indies were announced, notably The Tomorrow Children, a soviet styled base defense (?) title that includes literally tunneling into the bodies of fallen enemies. The game is being developed by Q-Games of Pixeljunk fame, so it’ll probably be good when it comes out. Also interesting was Volume, a stealth game in the vein of the metal gear VR missions being developed by Mike Bithell, the creator of Thomas was Alone.
On the business side, Sony provided details on how Far Cry 4 players will be able to invite friends who do not own the game to play with them. Apparently, Sony intends to leverage its Playstation Now technology to deliver timed demos without requiring players to download the games they’re demoing. In the past I’ve expressed concerns over Playstation Now, but I must admit that the prospect of sending friends invites to play a timed demo with me in co-op is an exciting prospect.
Overall, I’d say I’m positive about the way things are going, even if alot of the announcements are ‘business as usual’ (Metal Gear, etc) type news. The attention given to indies is promising, and most of the new IP’s look to be pretty fresh. It seems like 2015 is shaping up to be a great year.