The PlayStation Experience event kicked off last night, and Sony packed in a hefty number of trailers and demos into their two-hour keynote. The PlayStation Blog has gone and rounded up all of the info and announcements from the show in a very helpful post that you can find here, but here are six of our rather subjective highlights from the evening.
Well, the main highlight is a no-brainer from me – actual Uncharted 4 gameplay. After feeling pretty damn furious after the E3 presentation wasted my time, I was really surprised to see Sony show off the game at this inaugural event. But boy am I glad they did. Nathan Drake’s latest adventure is looking downright gorgeous and set to become one of the best-looking games we’ve seen on the next-gen machines.
I almost lost my shit when Drake used that rope grapple hook in mid-air. I’m going to spend ages doing that. While the gunplay itself looked largely the same, I was pleased to see how expansive some of the environments were, allowing Drake to flank the enemy from multiple positions. If Naughty Dog can blend these wide open areas with their usual flare for providing hugely exciting scripted moments (those tumbling rocks were just a tiny taste), I think we’re on for a winner. It’s nice to see a bit of Tomb Raider rubbing off again (well, blatant thievery) as Nate’s picked up an almost identical move where he uses a knife to climb up certain surfaces. The pitted walls even look the same as those found on Yamatai.
What a fantastic way to end the demo though, with the introduction of Nate’s older brother, who I’ve just learned is being played by Troy Baker. The two best voice actors in the business in leading roles? Yes Naughty Dog. Just, yes.
Square Enix being utter trolls
Some quick-witted fans went mental as soon as the words “17 years ago” were mentioned by the Square Enix fella on-stage, with immediate thoughts going to the long-running hope that we were about to see the announcement of a remake of Final Fantasy VII.
Alas, it turns out Square Enix are just porting over the recent PC release, that had slightly upscaled graphics, to PS4. So, after buying the game on PS1, then probably again on PSP/Vita, Square Enix is hoping we’ll hand over some cash for an almost-identical version on PS4?
For newbies who’ve never played it, it may be worth a look if priced sensibly. For the rest of us, it feels like another slap in the face. Although, it’s got to the point now where I can see the funny side. It’s like Square wants to piss off the internet this year (Tomb Raider’s Xbox One deal still burns) and now this. Remember, we’ve had three FFXIII games. Let’s face it, a remake FFVII is probably never going to happen, but I loved Square Enix’s bare-faced cheek at teasing us with it anyway.
Day of the Tentacle
Day of the Tentacle marks one of the few PC-gaming titles I ever bothered with and I absolutely loved it. I’ve still got the triangular prism-shaped box somewhere (hmm, eBay?). I’m sure there are all sorts of backwards-compatibility issues that would stop it working on my laptop and a sexy slap of remaster polish could really make the classic 2D cartoon art shine. Forget Monkey Island and Broken Sword, this is the best point-and-click adventure game and always will be. Right, where’s that old version, I have eBaying to do?
No Man's Sky
The more I see of No Man's Sky, the more I want it... and I'm still not completely sure what "it" even is! The scale of it is enormous, the possibilities seemingly limitless, and I'm intrigued to see if the universe that Hello Games are creating provides enough incentive to come back again and again, to explore new worlds, seek out new civilisations, and boldy go where... well, you get the idea.
There's something to be said for building a gigantic game world that's simply a joy to be in, and No Man's Sky certainly has enough aesthetic appeal to warrant my curiosity. But will it do more than that? Will there be missions to undertake, goals to strive for, little markers for players to check themselves against? People tend to like that sort of thing. I'm intrigued and impressed by the scale of Hello Games' ambitions with No Man's Sky, and the freedom of interstellar exploration is something that I've been enjoying enormously with Elite: Dangerous, but it'll be interesting to see how compelling the universe is when I have the game in my hands. I can't wait to find out.
I also love the fact that 65daysofstatic will be providing more soundscapes for the it. Fascinating band.
This was infuriating. See, the Uncharted 4 gameplay stuff gave me pretty much exactly what I expected: Uncharted coupled with the Tomb Raider reboot's expansive settings. It was glorious, it looked stunning, but it wasn't exactly a surprise. We'd already heard about Street Fighter V thanks to Capcom's clumsy leak. David Jaffe's handdrawn arena shooter was pretty cool, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Drawn To Death, but it didn't really get me out of my seat.
And then this happened.
I love the Katamari games. I love Journey too. So the thought of Katamari Damacy's developer, Keita Takahashi, teaming up with thatgamecompany alum Robin Hunicke to create a whimsical little game that sounds a lot like a bonkers, Japanese Toy Story is like crack to me. Except the trailer told us sod all!
Dammit, Sony, I want more!
Fat Princess Adventure
Grim Fandango got a January release date, which pleased me no end, but the other game that really grabbed my attention was Fat Princess Adventure. It looks like a personality-stuffed, isometric Castle Crashers-meets-Diablo affair, with pick-up-and-play appeal, and the sort of gameplay that's ripe for couch co-op too. I know that there'll be people disappointed that this isn't just a buffed-up port of the original Fat Princess, but there'll be room for that. For what it's worth, I thought that this looks like cracking fun.
I want to give a shoutout to What Remains of Edith Finch, too, which is the latest project from the develops of The Unfinished Swan, Giant Sparrow. However, we're going to have to wait until 2016 for it, which is a bit of a shame. Nonetheless, this collection of interactive short stories about a cursed family in Washington State, that sees you playing as different members of Edith Finch's family line, piecing together the warped family history, sounds deliciously inventive.
Those are our thoughts, but how about you, dear reader? What were your PSX highlights? Let us know in the comments below!