Sony’s Paris Games Week Conference

Yesterday was Sony‘s Paris Games Week press conference and boy was it packed with a load of exciting new announcements. Let’s drive straight in…

There were 23 games in total so stick with me, but they kicked off the show with two 3rd party games each with PS4 exclusive content. Call Of Duty Black Ops III opened proceeding with a trailer for a zombies bonus map called “The Giant.” I didn’t care too much for this personally, but Call Of Duty is a huge deal and it is good for Sony that they now have that exclusive deal ahead of Xbox. Following this was the gameplay launch trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront, which you can see below. Sony took this as an opportunity to remind people about the Darth Vader console bundle. This game continues to look impressive, even if it’s not for me.

Next up was the fighting segment of the conference where we saw both Street Fighter V and Tekken 7. The big news for Street Fighter V was that Dhalsim, the veteran yoga master, has been added to the roster and the game will be arriving on February 16th. The announcement of Tekken 7 for PS4 came with a trailer that looked back of the history of the series. There was no indication of a release date, other than after the arcade version, or if it has any exclusivity deal with Sony. I’m not a fighting fan so I won’t give my opinion on these, but I know that fans will be happy to see these two franchises return to consoles.

We then got another trailer for Gearbox‘s arena shooter, Battleborn. The main announcement from Sony’s perspective was that there will be an open beta for the game, coming to PS4 first. There was no firm date given, but with a scheduled release date of February 9th, you can’t imagine the beta is too far off. I like the art style in this game, but multiplayer arena shooters are just not for me.

Ok here is when we start getting into the exclusives. First up was a brand new exploration game called Boundless. The trailer, which can be seen below, shows a character wielding a hammer exploring strange worlds and entering new world through portals. In some instances we see Minecraft-like structures, made from cubes. It still isn’t clear exactly what this game will be, but consider me intrigued.

Next up we had a rhythm-based game called Avicii Vector. I say it is rhythm-based, but to be honest I didn’t really have a clue what was going on. The game is a collabaration between Hello There Games and DJ-Avicii. I’ll let you all make your own decisions from the trailer below.

Next up was the big one everyone was waiting for, No Man’s Sky. There has previously been rumours flying around that the game could actually launch this week, before Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray shot those rumours down earlier this week. What we did get though was another gameplay trailer and then, at the end of the trailer, a release window. June 2016 is the scheduled month for the space-exploration title. I think this is a perfect summer game, you are going to need a lot of spare time to play!

The good news kept on rolling when the Housemarque logo blessed the conference screen. Some may have thought it would be an update on their upcoming game Alienation, but it was actually a brand new game, Matterfall. What exactly Matterfall will be is not yet known, as the trailer doesn’t show any gameplay, but based on Housemarque’s track record we can probably assume it will be a twin-stick shooter of some kind — that is what they do, and do excellently!

We then got to see some more of the upcoming Ratchet & Clank game. The action-platform franchise from Insomniac Games makes it return to PS4 next year, and it has never looked so good. With the animated film also set to release next year, 2016 is sure to be a great year for Ratchet & Clank fans. Check out the trailer below:

Possibly Sony’s biggest game for 2016 is Guerrilla GamesHorizon: Zero Dawn. Having already been impressed with the game at E3 this year, the latest gameplay walkthrough, which can be seen below, only did more to excite me for this action-RPG title. I know it is very early to say, but I think Guerrilla Games might have something very special on their hands. The post-apocolyptic world is one I can’t wait to explore!

Next was a couple of expansion packs for two of Sony’s more successful AAA releases. First up we have Bloodborne: The Old Hunters, the first (and only) expansion pack for From Software‘s action RPG title. The expansion pack is set to release on November 24th. The second announcement was Driveclub: Bikes. Unsurprisingly, this expansion pack bring superbikes to Evolution Studios‘ excellent racing title. The expansion pack is available now and existing Driveclub members can pick it up for £12. Alternatively, players can pick it up as a standalone game for £16. It even comes with its own Platinum trophy!

It wouldn’t be a Sony conference without some sort of Uncharted presence and they delivered with details of Uncharted 4‘s multiplayer. It appears that Naughty Dog has again tried to do something a little different with their multiplayer gameplay, and the same over-the-top action gameplay remains as previous. Remember, if you purchased Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection you will have access to the beta later on this year.

Then there were a couple of games I don’t really care for, for different reasons. First up was Gravity Rush 2, which is coming to PS4 next. The trailer revealed looked fine, but I kept thinking it was a remastered version of the Vita game — something they are already doing as well! Maybe they will prove me wrong, but it looks all too similar. Next was Media Molecule‘s Dreams. I was a big fan of Little Big Planet, but Tearaway didn’t grab me. Again, it is not that there is necessarily anything wrong with Dreams, but I just don’t understand what this game is. Am I going to have to create worlds? I don’t want that, I want to play a game, not build one.

The next segment of the show was heavily focused around PlayStation VR, with Shuhei Yoshida introducing us to four VR titles. First up was RIGS Mechanized Combat League. I have included the trailer below, but recommend you actually check out the footage from the conference, which shows the game in more detail. The objective is not solely to kill the opposition, but rather jump your mech through a ring to score — think Titanfall crossed with Rocket League! After initially writing this game off when I first saw it, my opinion couldn’t have changed more. Consider me excited!

We then have another very interesting VR experience in the form of Robinson: The Journey. This exploration game comes from the people at Crytek, and puts you in the position of a young boy who has crash-landed on a strange planet that appears to be inhabited by dinosaurs! After this and RIGS, I’m starting to think I might need to invest in PlayStation VR!

The final two VR games didn’t grip me as much, but are still interesting none the less. First up was Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood. The game is a fast-paced arcade rail shooter, that takes place on a “terrifying” roller-coaster ride. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the game, but I really don’t see how this game is connected to Until Dawn. Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but I really hope they don’t tarnish the franchise name. The final VR title was Battlezone, the re-imagined version of the classic tank combat game. Of all the titles, this isn’t one that would make me buy the VR headset.

Only three games to go, and possibly the biggest new announcement of the show was a new Gran Turismo game. Titled Gran Turismo Sport, the latest racer from Polyphony Digital will be coming to PS4 in 2016. Creator Kazunori Yamauchi revealed how the PS4 will allow the team bring a revolutionary title to their racing fans. The biggest addition to the series will be to race for either your country or a manufacturer in FIA-sanctioned online championships. A beta is expected to launch in Spring 2016 for gamers to get their first hands on. Oh, and this title will also fully support PlayStation VR — is the headset finally becoming a must have?!

The penultimate game was the action-survival game, WiLD. Coming from Wild Sheep Studio, this open-world game takes you back in time and places a big emphasis on survival. In order to survive the many terrors that you will encounter in WiLD, your character has unique abilities to take on the spirit of many animals. The trailer below shows you take on the form of an eagle and ride a grizzly bear. It looks interesting so far, but I will need to see more before I am sold.

Closing out the conference was, as expected, a new title from the French studio Quantic Dreams. The studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls has confirmed that their next game will build on the previous Kara tech demo that they revealed back in 2012. Detroit: Become Human will tell the tale of what happens to an android with emotions when she left the factory and entered the real human world. I really enjoyed Heavy Rain back in the day, so can’t wait to see the story that Quantic Dreams has in store for us this time.

Phew…I realise that this was an extra long post today and thank you for sticking with me. So let me know what your favourite game of the show was, and I’ll be sure to bring you the rest of the news as it breaks this week.

Have a good one.

Matt