Last evening, Sony hosted a much-hyped press conference to officially announce the PlayStation 4, the company's foray into next-generation gaming. It was quite a show, with both Sony and third party developers presenting some excellent software for the system.
What can we expect from the first round of games for the PlayStation 4? While we aren't quite able to break down gameplay strategies just yet, we can divulge what we've seen from the press conference, including some great new follow-ups to popular franchises, as well as some original ideas. Let's get started.
The latest game from Mark Cerny (formerly with Naughty Dog and the creator of Marble Madness) is an interesting cartoony-style platformer, one in which you guide an interesting hero as he can reshape himself, using particles in a surrounding level. He can become a big brute and smash enemies however he desires, or drop the extra baggage and drop back down to a smaller size to get through stealth-based areas with lasers and other obstacles. Though the human character design resembles that of some PS3 (and even PS2) games, the particle effects are quite good, and the gameplay should be promising to those seeking an old-school style of PlayStation adventure.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
The latest from Guerrilla Games – a team that did outstanding work with Killzone 3 on the PlayStation 3 – once again features high-impact futuristic first-person shooting action, this time spread out across a much larger city. Following the explosion of a building, you find yourself facing Helghast soldiers using what appears to be a high-powered pulse rifle, before engaging in an aerial chase across the city, with you barely hanging on with a cable. After dispatching of a pair of gunners, you're able to destroy the ship with some well-placed C4, before finding yourself facing more opposition. This is only a small fragment of the game, but both its single player and multiplayer should be bringing something big to the table.
What will no doubt be one of the premiere driving experiences for the PlayStation 4 when it debuts this holiday, DriveClub, a long-awaited project from the team at Evolution Studios (the creators of the MotorStorm franchise), focuses on team efforts. At any time over the course of the game, you're able to join up with teams and find rivals with ease, while keeping up the high-speed shenanigans you've come to expect. DriveClub looks dazzling based upon what we've seen thus far, with convincing car models and a realistic first-person view of the road. But the tech demo only scratches the surface of the game's true potential, especially when you invite friends along for the ride.
Infamous: Second Son
The latest Infamous adventure from Sucker Punch looks like it'll be focusing on a brand new protagonist for the series, rather than the electrically charged Cole McGrath. This time around, you take control of a spiritual anti-hero of sorts, fighting against government establishments using what appears to be red energy of some sort. You can teleport and blast enemies out of harm's way using supercharged blasts, while also maintaining a bountiful amount of momentum, so you can avoid incoming gunfire and enemy strikes. No actual gameplay footage was shown, but the CG segment is definitely promising. And you can bet there'll be new moves aplenty for this debuting hero.
We were able to get a glimpse of The Witness, the latest project from Jonathan Blow (the creator of Braid), during the conference, and it's a very interesting 3D game, one where you'll have to solve "point A to point B" drawing puzzles to open doors and activate beacons in order to explore the world further. Though how you execute the gameplay is a bit cryptic, it does look innovative, which is about on the level of what Blow and his team can create. We'll see how it fares in the months ahead.
The latest from Capcom, going under the code name Deep Down, is a medieval adventure that appears to have themes similar to Demon's Souls and the company's own Dragon's Dogma. In the game, you play as a knight working his way through the catacombs with a pair of allies, while facing off against horrendous dragons and other threats. Though only a small bit of the game was shown, the graphics look absolutely remarkable, and it appears to have some sort of "hardcore" gaming element involved. We'll likely see more on this one around E3.
Ubisoft's third-person adventure, which was first shown last year at E3, has really come a long way in its transition to the PlayStation 4. Featuring a dynamically designed city where you can pretty much play around with an unspecified number of electronics goods, Watch Dogs' demo focused primarily on chasing after a perp who threatens his (former) girlfriend, and how you can subdue him utilizing electrical objects, like an exploding panel, to throw him off.
The second part of the demo then featured policemen chasing after you, forcing you to scamper to the rooftop while using electrical traps to stop them, such as posts to stop a cop car in its tracks and a train that serves as a moving platform for your escape. It was a great new demo, one for a game that will no doubt get Ubisoft some attention over the next few months, leading into E3 and, eventually, the game's release.
Yes, the much-beloved PC hit is making its way to the PlayStation 4, thanks to a strategic partnership between Blizzard Entertainment and Sony. Though not too much is known about the game's port, it will support off-line play with your friends (as well as online functionality), and it should look absolutely amazing. We'll get a better look at it once the Penny Arcade Expo East rolls around in Boston next month, as Blizzard is scheduled to present there.
Finally, Bungie's much-anticipated return to gaming was featured during the close of the show, and while not too much new footage was shown, the developer did provide a better idea of what the game is about, with its first-person shooting and its vast universe. We'll have a further breakdown of what Destiny has to offer in the months ahead, as we learn more about this highly anticipated project.
Again, Sony didn't have much to reveal in the way of price, an exact release date, or even a system model, but there's no question this presentation was better than expected. And, hey, we can't wait to play that Killzone. Whoa.
Look for more coverage on the PlayStation 4 in the months ahead.