Sony Computer Entertainment held their annual PlayStation Experience 2015 over the weekend. It may as well have been a mini-E3 exclusively for PlayStation and their fans, considering the vast turnout and all the announcements they had planned.
You can now browse PlayStation’s YouTube channel for a long list of panels, livecasts, and trailers, as well as the two-hour keynote. There’s even an 11-hour day stream for anyone who lives and breathes under the blue banner. For now, we’ve handpicked a few things from the keynote that you absolutely cannot miss.
Uncharted 4 gets a dialogue system
Prior to Uncharted 4, nobody knew Nathan had an older brother. The trailer, once again a cut scene from the game itself, shows our retired lead hero getting a surprise reunion with Sam, and the two quickly get to catching up. Adventure clearly runs in the Drake bloodline.
Nobody knew Uncharted 4 would have dialogue options either. When asked about Nathan’s past escapades, three options appeared on-screen as viable answers. Naughty Dog’s Community Strategist, Arne Meyer, explains in a PlayStation Access interview that we shouldn’t expect a branching narrative, and that the feature was introduced to improve player agency and as a way to explore minor details.
Final Fantasy VII Remake gameplay, will be in multiple parts
We’ve finally gotten a better look at Square Enix’s big project. The trailer is set during eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE’s assault on the Sector 1 Reactor, and Cloud’s escape through the streets of Sector 8. Fans got their first peek at the new combat system too, which has been a hot talking point ever since.
Amidst the flashy chaos though, you’ll notice the series’ iconic command panel is still at the bottom left, with what appears to be an Active Time Bar on the right — it initially seems like an overlay but that ATB does change. Producer Yoshinori Kitase also says that the game is not completely action-based, though it does feature more real-time elements than the source material.
Yet Square Enix left us with an even larger announcement: the Remake would release in multiple parts. No further details were provided, other than it being a necessary move to ensure the game gets recreated in its entirety. They also mention that veteran players who know the game inside-out will get a few surprises too.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom’s unexpected reveal
Level-5’s unveiling of Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was met to rousing cheers and it isn’t hard to see why. Its predecessor, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 (English) to wide critical acclaim, winning over many with its combination of characters, story, soundtrack, and visual design – all the makings of a great RPG. For those that can’t recall, this was the collaboration with animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, along with star composer Joe Hisaishi.
Players are whisked back into the fantastical in this new story that follows Roland, “a visitor from another world”, as he helps the young Evan regain his rightful place as king. Unfortunately Ghibli isn’t listed in the credits this time around, although Hisaishi is still on-board for the music.
Nioh still looks like a spiritual successor to Onimusha
It may come from an entirely different developer (Team Ninja as opposed to Capcom) but Nioh looks stunning as a replacement for Onimusha. To be clear, there’s no official statement comparing the two but the combat and setting are a perfect fit — a happy medium between the lightning-fast pace of Ninja Gaiden and the slow, calculative duels in Dark Souls.
Originally developed for the PlayStation 3, Nioh is a PS4-exclusive that follows blonde swordsman William traversing 16th-century Japan during the Warring States Period. Facing off against Yokai (demons), the action RPG has players fighting multiple targets at once, in what Team Ninja says will be challenging encounters.
The King of Fighters XIV has 50 characters, shifts to 3D
King of Fighters XIV being 3D isn’t exactly news but it’s clear from the latest gameplay trailer that SNK Playmore aren’t experienced with the visual medium. That said, the fighting itself looks solid and players get to choose from the series’ largest ever roster of characters. Returning favorites such as Kyo, Iori, and Kula will be joined by a line-up of fresh faces in the new story arc.
They’re bringing back the three-vs-three battle system, while also heating up online fights with the new VS Online Party Battle, where each of those six characters can be controlled by a different player.
Adult Swim Games has six PS4 titles coming in 2016
The company jokes about their start in television but gamers should already be familiar with their publishing label thanks to Robot Unicorn Attack and, more importantly, Völgarr the Viking (though they did dabble in the medium much earlier). For PlayStation 4 they prepared a highlight reel showcasing Death’s Gambit, Ray’s the Dead, Duck Game, Rain World. Small Radios Big Televisions, and Headlander.
Of the six, Death’s Gambit by White Rabbit and Rain World by Videocult look amazing. The former is a medieval romp with monsters and beasts that promise a hard time, while the latter features industrial waste and slugcats. We promise it doesn’t look as disturbing as it sounds; in fact, Rain World’s animations look absolutely gorgeous.
And a few other announcements
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced Ace Combat 7 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. It’ll also support the PlayStation VR, making Sony’s headset seem even more desirable right now. Who knows why there’s a base-jumping scene interspersed with a dogfight, but the last main installment was all the way back in 2007.
Double Fine Productions showed off a new trailer for Day of the Tentacle Remastered, announced Full Throttle Remastered, and also revealed Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a standalone PlayStation VR exclusive. Let’s not forget they’re crowdfunding Psychonauts 2. How busy could a studio get?
Klei Entertainment are bringing Don’t Starve Together to consoles, starting with PlayStation 4. The survival roguelite, which has gained overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam, will be a welcome addition to the co-operative library. The indie developer is also bringing Invisible, Inc. along for the console porting journey.
Insomniac Games are really good at making exclusives and the (rebooted?) Ratchet & Clank happens to stand next in line. Originally started as a reimagining of the first game, the game has apparently evolved to include, among other things, new planets, new boss fights, and an updated arsenal. The game releases on April 12, 2016, ahead of a movie tie-in later that month.
Bungie will run a Sparrow Racing League exclusive to PlayStation 4 for three weeks. It’s exactly as it sounds, with players zooming across the landscapes of Mars and Venus on lethal courses – does anyone else sense hints of Star Wars here?
Epic Games are making a 5-vs-5 MOBA called Paragon. It makes for an interesting sight since it doesn’t go with a highly stylized art direction, unlike most of its peers. Seeing boulder-summoning mages fighting alongside androids and gun-toting men is invoking plenty of curiosity in its backstory, provided there’s even one in the first place. In any case, see it in action.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?