Playstation Experience 2017 Opens With New VR Titles and Special Announcements
Alongside E3 and Game Awards, the Playstation Experience has over the years become one of the key events for gamers, especially since it has played host to new trailers and gameplay premiers. This 4th year was held in Anaheim and certainly was no different, their opening ceremony hosted by Shawn Layden (Sony Interactive Entertainment) and Sid Shuman (Playstation.Blog). Unlike last year though, the show focused more on developer updates, emphasizing their VR prospects with the trio of exciting titles.
Firewall Zero Hour VR
Building upon the success of Rainbow Six Siege, this 4v4 squad based shooter was confirmed as a PSVR exclusive and certainly adds to their growing catalogue of titles which includes Doom VFR and Farpoint.
The Last Guardian VR
The Last Guardian suffered from continual delays of its original release and then some buggy gameplay. Sony, however, are clearly keen to maintain interest with this latest version, a game that will serve as its own standalone experience as you embody Trico’s human owner, allowing you to interact with him in a much more immersive ways than before. While certainly from the brief footage we saw, it perhaps seems a little more awkward than immersive, the demo out next week will no doubt highlight if changing the perspective from third person to first person works or not.
WipeOut: Omega Collection VR
2017 saw the release of the WipeOut: Omega Collection in its collection of remasters of the year. In early 2018, it is also heading into PSVR packed as an update to the game. It will hold the immersive 3D audio and new ships among the features that fans of the franchise love.
The panel side of things was kicked off by Herman Hulst, who picked up on the single player gaming experience theme, which seemed to have emerged at the Game Awards perhaps in a response to the large amount of titles being more focused on the multiplayer experience. Hulst emphasized its importance while promoting the release of the Frozen Wilds DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn.
Cory Barlog from Santa Monica Studios was also on hand to provide an update for God of War, which will be introducing a new setting based around Norse mythology while this 7th game in the franchise also looks set to be its most epic as it runs between 20 to 35 hours. Barlog also walked through the footage from the Playstation Paris showcase and even with the game set for a release in early 2018. It is still being tweaked to provide the best experience possible especially when the game has been such a “labor of love” for the development team.
After grabbing the attention of anyone who watched the previous night’s Game Awards, it was certainly a welcome appearance from Media Molecule’s Siobhan Reddy to explain Dreams, a game where Media Molecule will provide players with a toolbox to create their own games, examples of which we can see throughout the trailer as Reddy outlined the company’s aim to build upon what they started with Little Big Planet. The game will also come with a story mode made up of three interwoven stories based in sci-fi, noir and horror setting elements.
Thankfully for such a complex concept, we will be getting a beta prior to the game’s launch next year and as with Little Big Planet, it’s as exciting to see what the community do with the game and its seemingly unlimited possibilities as it is to get our hands on the game’s story mode. Needless to say this, along with Concrete Genie, could be the sleeper property that we all want to talk about next year.
Certainly one of the more unique promotion spots of the evening came from Quantic Dreams Guillaume De Fondaumiere, who for Detroit Become Human took a cue from the first Playstation Experience by attempting to replicate the mass co-op gameplay demonstration done for Until Dawn. He took us through a large chunk of gameplay following the prototype android Connor (one of three androids you will get to play as) as he deals with a hostage situation, the audience here getting to decide on the choices being made. A clever move for them to use the scene from the first reveal trailer of the game last year but expanding into the context of how it all works including an impressive mind palace function that helps locate that can be interacted with.
In much the same vein as the Telltale Games, the choices the player makes will have impact upon the fate of the characters, while at the same time we saw that the control system and game design are heavily reminiscent of the company’s previous games such as Heavy Rain. After a long time in development and somewhere around 200 pages of script, Detroit Become Human is expected to release in Spring 2018.
Due to the ceremony being booked on the night after the Game Awards, there was perhaps a larger amount of crossover than previous years as we got to see the trailers for Soul Calibur VI and Death Stranding again, though the latter was hard to fault when it meant getting to see more of Hideo Kojima, who was on hand to not only further tease elements of the game but also share his anecdotes and experiences of working with Andrew House.
Continuing the current interest in updating classic Playstation titles, which saw both Crash Bandicoot and Wipeout getting 4k upgrades, while Shadow of the Colossus is set for a re-release in 2018. Interest was of course high to see what would be the next game to receive this treatment, which if you didn’t get the hint from Shawn Layden was revealed to be MediEvil.
Something of a forgotten classic, MediEvil, released back in 1998, sees you playing the skeleton knight Sir Daniel Fortesque in a hack and slash adventure to defeat the evil sorcerer Zarok. While the game has over the years gained a small cult following it’s great to see the game getting its hero a chance to redeem itself and charm a whole new generation of players.
Wrapping things up was Pixelopus’ Concrete Genie an absolutely stunning game that first came to our attention at Paris Games Week, in particular for its jaw dropping graphics as you play a young boy called Ash who has the power to bring his paintings to life which he uses to help defeat his bullies and bring life back to the grey dull walls of his hometown Denska. Certainly the painting elements to the game have us especially interested with players being able to create and bring to life their own creations. However, Concrete Genie was confirmed to be a third person action adventure game. While the art aspects of it are emphasized these first looks, Pixelopus will reveal the action adventure elements in the coming year.
A fantastic opener to the weekend with Playstation’s current line up for 2018 unquestionably looking exciting with a great mixture of Triple A and Indie titles on the horizon while much like Xbox they are still keen to celebrate their history as they continue to revamp classic titles. Considering the stacked showcase we saw from Microsoft at E3 and what Playstation have shown here, 2018 might be one of the most competitive years ever between the two video game titans.