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  5. “Doubt is the demon that lives in the ear of every person in this industry…” — Cory Barlog It’s only fitting on the one-year Anniversary, we’re excited to share this peak behind the curtain of God of War’s very own Santa Monica Studio with a trailer for our upcoming film, Raising Kratos. This full-length feature documentary, coming very soon to PlayStation YouTube, is an exploration into the massive undertaking it took to change the course of the God of War franchise. More importantly, this is the first time PlayStation took a chance in telling a story about the ‘People’ who created this work of art. After nearly three years in production, and 400 hours of footage, please follow this cinematic journey of second chances rooted in family, sacrifice, struggle, and doubt. The ultimate goal was to go beyond a ‘making of’ piece and dig deeper into the experiences of those who spend relentless time and effort into making something great. All creative endeavors, especially those of this magnitude, require an incredible amount of dedication and focus that constantly toe the fine line that separates both success and failure. The hope is that once people see the experience of Santa Monica Studio unfold on the screen, they will recognize the undying passion for their work and the incredible respect they have for their craft. For God of War specifically, the fans have shown a great deal of love and loyalty which has earned them an everlasting seat at the Santa Monica Studio family table. We are extremely proud to share this window into a very long journey with those who celebrate God of War as much as we do, as well as those who will discover us soon. View the full article
  6. Email us at [email protected]! Subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here Days Gone is almost here! We invite product VP Connie Booth to give us a quick history lesson on PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios and learn more about what the gang at Bend Studio have in store. Plus: new releases for the week of April 22, 2019 and plenty of nerdy gamer talk. As usual. Oh, and at the very end, stay tuned for some bonus Game of Thrones chatter. Because, you know. Stuff We Talked About Mortal Kombat 11 Days Gone Deltarune Jupiter and Mars Game of Thrones Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Apex Legends The Cast Sid Shuman – Director of Social Media, SIEA Kristen Zitani – Social Media Specialist, SIEA Tim Turi – Senior Social Media Specialist, SIEA Thanks to Cory Schmitz for our beautiful logo and Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music. [Editor’s note: PSN game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.] View the full article
  7. Your harrowing adventure in the harsh wilderness of Days Gone is about to begin. Deacon St. John’s motorcycle is gassed up, he’s loaded up with molotovs, and his spike-bat is extra pointy and ready for the Freaker hordes. Bend Studio has created a challenging and unpredictable open world that will keep you guessing. Plan ahead or suffer the consequences. NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 11 also drops next week, with iconic characters like Sub-Zero and Scorpion facing off with newcomers including the time-shifting Geras and multi-limbed Kollector. Which fighter will you bring into battle first? For a full list of new games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy The Drop! A Chair In a Room: Greenwater PS VR — Digital This eerie and atmospheric thriller immerses you in your own horror story. Using a number of locations, flashbacks and memories that are often jarring and disorienting, you will solve clues and puzzles to piece together your past. Unlock your memories and reveal why you have awoken in the sinister Greenwater Institute. DayD: Through Time PS4 — Digital (Out 4/24) Brian is a gifted and eccentric scientist who has created a time machine and traveled into the past! But his former friend, Doctor Terrible, is already here! He created a time machine before Brian! Can you stop Doctor Terrible? This adventure is full of mysteries, adventure, and of course, journeys through time! Days Gone PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 4/26) Days Gone is an open-world action-adventure game set in a harsh wilderness two years after a devastating global pandemic. Play as Deacon St. John, a drifter and bounty hunter who rides the broken road, fighting to survive while searching for a reason to live. Jupiter & Mars PS4, PS VR — Digital (Out 4/22) Jupiter & Mars is an underwater adventure set in a future-Earth. Sea levels have risen from melting ice caps and climate change. As a result, the coastal cities are all but completely submerged. Since man’s disappearance, the oceans have begun to reclaim themselves. Will Jupiter and Mars succeed in bringing life back to the oceans? Mortal Kombat 11 PS4 — Digital, Retail MK is back and better than ever in the next evolution of the iconic franchise. The all-new Custom Character Variations give unprecedented control of your fighters, and the new graphics engine showcases every eye-popping moment. Mortal Kombat’s best-in-class cinematic story mode continues the epic saga over 25 years in the making. Zeroptian Invasion PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Cross-Buy) Taking inspiration from old school arcade shooters from the past and adding in some modern touches, Zeroptian Invasion is this decade’s answer to the arcade shooters of yesteryear, with increasingly difficult gameplay, stunning pixel art, and a chiptune soundtrack. The information above is subject to change without notice. Days Gone Soundtrack Hellboy Exclusive Playlist Reggaeton and Play Sech Takeover Playlist Avengers Sale The Prodigy My Hero Academia Uncut | Season 4 Season Premiere Thursday, 4/25 at 9PM PT on BBC America PlayStation Vue has your favorite sports, news and must-watch shows. The information above is subject to change without notice. View the full article
  8. With the April 26 release date of Days Gone creeping ever-closer, the PlayStation.Blog team took a trip to Bend, Oregon to visit the team behind Worldwide Studios’ next journey. We spent an afternoon with Jeff Ross and John Garvin, Creative Director / Writer and Game Director on Days Gone, respectively, to learn more about the brutal, unyielding world they’ve created. We’ll have a series of video interviews going live over the next few days, but there’s plenty of good stuff we couldn’t fit in the videos! So, as each one goes live we’ll have an accompanying PS Blog post containing a selection of additional quotes and context from our time with John and Jeff. Watch (and read!) each story over the next few days, and you just might make it out of the Farewell Wilderness alive. Today, we’re looking at the world of Days Gone — how they built it, what makes it tick, and how you can increase your chances of surviving it. Remnants of a Crumbled Society “One of the things that we decided very early on is that we’re only two years in. We hadn’t seen anything that was still this close to when things sort of blew up. So you don’t have massive forests that have overgrown everything, for example, and everything is completely falling apart. Everything’s still kind of intact. Nothing is overgrown, and yet, everything’s in disarray.” – John Garvin “If you ride into Marion Forks, which is a small town, you’ll see that, oh, everything’s been looted. There’s trash everywhere, but the buildings are kinda mostly still intact, and that was a vibe that we really wanted to explore, because, again, we hadn’t seen that in video games.” – John Garvin “NERO is the National Emergency Response Organization. It’s a fictional federal agency in Days Gone that, as the world was ending, was sort of responsible for trying to keep the pandemic from spreading. You’ll find NERO technology — injectors that allow the player to upgrade either their health, their stamina, or their combat focus.” – John Garvin A Test of Your Post-Apocalyptic Survival Skills “Days Gone started with us asking questions about what we would do in the apocalypse; what choices we would make to survive. Would we be ruthless enough? Would we have the skills and the instincts to do it? “What we’ve delivered on is a way for gamers to ask themselves those same questions and put those skills to the test in a world that is constantly coming for them in randomized ways. Everybody has their own unique experience, and they’re gonna have to think on their feet. They’re gonna have to strategize. They’re gonna have to have a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, all the way down the alphabet… and they’re gonna have to have more plans when those ones go to hell. It gives players a chance to answer that question: do they have what it takes to survive the apocalypse?” – Jeff Ross “We wanted to tell a positive story so it’s not all doom and despair. For example, clearing out infestation zones is one of the big things you can do in Days Gone, and there’s a benefit to it. “You’ll unlock safe travel routes, which make it easier to get around. But it also makes the world safer, because there are fewer Swarmers that will spawn in an area if you’ve cleared their infestation zones. The player can make the world safer by taking on hordes. These things kind of tie together in a way to unify who Deacon is. He’s this guy who’s not just gonna stand by and watch the world burn.” – John Garvin “The most important thing to remember if you want to survive in a world that’s trying to kill you is you have to be prepared. Don’t let your gas tank get low. Make sure you know where your next fill-up is coming from. Make sure you’ve got pre-crafted Molotovs or other explodables on you. Make sure you’ve filled up with as much ammo as you can possibly come. “I think a phrase Jeff Ross came up with a long time ago was “Prepare, go forth, and return.” It’s about knowing that, hey, I’m not just gonna wing this, I’m not gonna set foot outside my safe house or outside this encampment and just hope things work out. You’ve got to be ready.” – John Garvin Time of Day Has Critical Strategic Implications “We knew we wanted to build an open world that was alive. That meant it had to have weather, obviously, and it had to have a day and night cycle. Then we decided that we wanted to make sure there were important gameplay differences at night versus during the day. Generally, what that means is Freakers are stronger at night… but they’re worth more experience, so there’s a reason to go hunting at night.” – John Garvin “If you go out during the day, you’re going to have to watch out for marauders. They’re gonna try to knock you off your bike, or you’re gonna have to deal with a sniper up in a tree nest. You just don’t know what’s waiting for you.” – John Garvin “One of the features we put in recently is the ability to bunk down in your safe house. So, you have a safe house that you start the game with, but you have to earn the rest. If you don’t like playing at night, you can just bunk down and wait until morning to go out — or the opposite. It’s about your play style and what you want to do while you’re in the world.” – John Garvin Know Your Threats, Then Burn Them “Freakers are pretty much feral animals. They have some instincts, so they do wind up — they need to eat; they need to sleep. They wind up in a lot of human structures. So there’s no real life there, but there’s something that makes them tick. And they’re animalistic because they do understand danger. So while they’re pretty mindless, there’s still some root level intelligence there, some animalistic intelligence.” – Jeff Ross “Fire is an important element for fighting anything, really. But from a game mechanics point of view, fire is one of those really cool things when you’re building a sandbox because it’s got properties that we all have expectations for. And it actually does lead to a lot of really cool emergent moments. Fire is one of those things that’s just relatable — we all understand how it works. And it’s really cool to see how the game’s systems pay off on a player’s expectations.” – Jeff Ross Deacon is Tough, But Still Human “Deacon’s not very athletic, which, again, I think is what sort of differentiates him from other heroes of video games. He’s not sprinting up walls and he’s not sliding down ladders really fast. He’s not a superhero and he gets tired. On the other hand, he can ride a bike. So, the guy has got a bike, he’s really good at it, and as a player, you can help him get better at it.” – John Garvin Hopefully now you feel a little more prepared to ride into the harsh world of Days Gone. You’re going to need all the advantages you can get in the brutal post-apocalyptic world. Get more developer insights and gameplay tips as the Days Gone Countdown to Launch continues through the game’s release on April 26. View the full article
  9. Spring is in full swing at PlayStation Store with all of the fresh smells of a flash sale – like a field of wildflowers sprinkled with fighter jet fuel from Ace Combat 7, teeming with the enemy factions and hideous beasts of The Division 2 and Metro Exodus. Okay, so maybe don’t go into that field. Instead, head over to PS Store this weekend for savings up to 50 percent. Take a look at the full list of titles below, but put a spring in your step. This flash sale ends April 22 at 8 am PT. PS4 Games Title $Sale $Original ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN (VR) $35.99 $59.99 ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN DELUXE EDITION $63.74 $84.99 ALMOST THERE: THE PLATFORMER $5.99 $9.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY $19.79 $59.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY – DELUXE EDITION $26.39 $79.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY – GOLD EDITION $32.99 $99.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY – STORY PASS $23.99 $39.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY – ULTIMATE EDITION $39.59 $119.99 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY LEGACY OF THE FIRST BLADE $14.99 $24.99 CALL OF CTHULHU $35.99 $59.99 CRASH AND SPYRO BUNDLE $49.49 $74.99 CRASH BANDICOOT N SANE TRILOGY $23.99 $39.99 CREED: RISE TO GLORY (VR) $14.99 $29.99 DROWNING $1.79 $2.99 GENESIS ALPHA ONE $17.99 $29.99 HELLO NEIGHBOR $17.99 $29.99 HELLO NEIGHBOR: HIDE AND SEEK $17.99 $29.99 JUST CAUSE 4 – DIGITAL DELUXE $34.99 $69.99 JUST CAUSE 4 – GOLD EDITION $44.99 $89.99 JUST CAUSE 4 – STANDARD EDITION $29.99 $59.99 KILLING FLOOR 2 $9.89 $29.99 KILLING FLOOR: INCURSION (VR) $9.99 $19.99 KINGDOM OF BLADES (VR) $5.99 $9.99 LIFE IS STRANGE 2 – EPISODE 1 $3.99 $7.99 MASQUERADA: SONGS AND SHADOWS $9.99 $19.99 METRO EXODUS $44.99 $59.99 METRO EXODUS GOLD EDITION $63.74 $84.99 OMEN OF SORROW $27.49 $49.99 PLANET RIX-13 $2.99 $4.99 SENRAN KAGURA BURST RE:NEWAL $27.99 $39.99 SENRAN KAGURA BURST RE:NEWAL — TAILOR-MADE EDITION $34.99 $49.99 SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER $29.99 $59.99 SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER – CROFT EDITION $44.99 $89.99 SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER – DIGITAL DELUXE EDITION $34.99 $69.99 SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER – SEASON PASS $17.99 $29.99 SLIME RANCHER $11.99 $19.99 SONIC FORCES DIGITAL STANDARD EDITION $17.99 $29.99 SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE $14.99 $59.99 SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE GOLD EDITION $22.49 $89.99 SOUTH PARK: THE VIDEO GAME COLLECTION $31.99 $79.99 SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY $29.99 $39.99 STEEL RATS $3.99 $19.99 STEEL RATS DELUXE EDITION $4.79 $23.99 STELLARIS $29.99 $39.99 STELLARIS: CONSOLE EDITION – DELUXE EDITION $44.99 $59.99 TAIKO NO TATSUJIN: DRUM SESSION! $24.99 $49.99 THE BRIDGE $1.99 $9.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: 14000 CROWNS $64.99 $99.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: 1500 CROWNS $11.99 $14.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: 21000 CROWNS $89.99 $149.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: 3000 CROWNS $18.74 $24.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: 5500 CROWNS $27.99 $39.99 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: COLLECTION $24.99 $49.99 THE LEGO MOVIE 2 VIDEOGAME $27.99 $39.99 TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2 GOLD EDITION $79.99 $99.99 TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2 STANDARD EDITION $49.79 $59.99 TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2 ULTIMATE EDITION $95.99 $119.99 TUMBLESTONE $4.99 $24.99 VAMPYR $23.99 $59.99 YAKUZA KIWAMI 2 $24.99 $49.99 Note: All pricing is for U.S. only and subject to change. View the full article
  10. Spring has sprung, and filled some of our favorite games with stunning colorful blooms. While adventuring, fighting, sneaking and searching, you took a moment to smell the flowers and share using #PS4share and #PSBlog. Here are this week’s seasonal highlight: Aloy dons a colorful outfit in this Horizon Zero Dawn share by @CaliOcelot. Kratos and Atreus take in the lush home of the Witch of the Woods, shared by @ayghan. Kassandra is still fired up in this blue flower field from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, shared by @DpDwarf. @viirtual.escape shared this superbloom landscape from Far Cry New Dawn. Rapunzel gathers her hair while walking through this idyllic field in Kingdom Hearts III, shared by @lamelemonade_. Spring has even come in the world of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, like in this share by @AlexColey_. Search #PS4Share and #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in next week’s Share of the Week? Theme: Animals Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, April 24 Next week, we’re celebrating the critters and creatures of all shapes and sizes. From fierce furry foes to the friendliest pupper, share animals from the game of your choice with #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured. View the full article
  11. Greetings PlayStation Nation. We are pleased to announce that our new online PlayStation Gear Store launches today with shipping to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. PlayStation Gear Store is your one stop shop for limited gear inspired by PlayStation, which is packed with newly designed products for you to enjoy. We’ve worked closely with some of your favorite studios to bring you a wide range of items, including apparel, accessories such as socks, hats, journals, mugs/drinkware, home decor, and more. It’s a great way to incorporate some of your favorite franchises into your everyday lifestyle. Let’s take a quick look at some of the items you’ll find on PlayStation Gear Store. PlayStation Gear Store Items Bomber Jacket It’s a PlayStation Classic inspired mashup in a contemporary style bomber jacket. This sleek look features a water-resistant taslan shell with a lightweight polyester lining, ribbed cuffs, and waistband. $129.95* USD Longboard Inspired by PlayStation Hit the streets with this custom longboard featuring PlayStation’s iconic symbols, made with 7-ply cold-pressed Canadian maple. $299.95* USD Monoline Design Kratos and Atreus Metallic Mug Start your day with this father and son pair. This stoneware mug features a glossy interior with a metallic exterior. $19.95* USD The Last of Us Part II Skateboard Deck Build a deck with some real character, complete with post-pandemic distressing. Made of 7-ply Canadian maple. Individually cold-pressed. $195.95* USD Bloodborne Hunter Hoodie Keep yourself warm as hunters do in this Bloodborne-designed hoodie. This mid-weight hoodie is made in an ultra-soft blend of 80% cotton/20% cotton with a jersey lined hood. $59.95* USD Concrete Genie Creatures Youth Tee Kids can express their creative side in this brand new Concrete Genie tee. This soft, comfortable shirt is made of combed, ringspun 100% cotton fine jersey, and is pre-washed to reduce shrinkage. Rib-knit collar. Side seamed. $24.95* USD Kojima Productions Logo Tee-Red Variant Get inspired with Kojima Productions in this black and red logo tee. Made of combed, ringspun pure-cotton fine jersey, the fabric is laundered to help reduce shrinkage. $28.95* USD Uncharted Artifacts Coasters (Set of 4) Protect your surfaces with some of the greatest treasures of the Uncharted series. This set of natural stone coasters feature cork backing and comes in a wooden holder. $29.95* USD Ghost of Tsushima Sling Katana Tee Show your love for the game with a tee that will soon become your go-to. Soft to the touch, this shirt is made of combed, ringspun 100% cotton fine jersey, and pre-washed to reduce shrinkage. $28.95* USD Head over to the PlayStation Gear Store to check out the products we have available from your favorite games and studios, such as Bloodborne, Concrete Genie, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, The Last of Us Part II, Uncharted and Kojima Productions, as well as iconic designs from the PlayStation brand. We’re working to bring even more items to the PlayStation Gear Store, including new limited edition items that range from collectibles, brand collaborations, and seasonal products to just name a few. Check out the PlayStation Gear Store regularly at gear.playstation.com and don’t miss out. So tell us, which items are you looking forward to getting? *Plus applicable tax and shipping. View the full article
  12. KINGDOM HEARTS III - Twilight Town / Pt 2 - HTG
  13. Hello everyone! My name is Masayuki Onoue. I am the Game Director of Giga Wrecker Alt. at Game Freak Inc. in Japan. It’s a real pleasure and privilege to talk about our game on PS Blog. Giga Wrecker started life through what we at Game Freak call the “Gear Project” — an internal competition or intrapreneurship. The Gear Project was set up with the intention to seek out and create new IPs by inviting staff to submit original projects. Those projects that passed the screening process could start a new life as an official project for the company. We are grateful that there is so much interest on the Gear Project even outside of the company, and actually, thanks to this interest, there are many new graduates that apply for a job at the company for this very reason. Because the Gear Project is such a challenging system, I think the bold idea of attempting to fuse a physics engine and an action game was perhaps the reason that Giga Wrecker stood out in the eyes of the judges. Even before development started, I thought that I was mentally prepared, but as soon as we started, we really struggled with the absurdity that came from the unpredictable nature of the physics engine. To be brutally honest, physics is a bad match with action games that require delicate controls. So rather than trying to bend the will of the physics engine to make a solid yet rigid action game, we took the direction to embrace those quirks instead as it felt more natural to lean towards the whimsical nature of the physics. As developers, had we taken the approach of being too obsessed or obstinate about the ‘intended behavior or strategy as designed,’ that would have surely killed the free and intuitive fun that the physics engine could offer and totally defeated the original purpose of the game. We did, however, subtly change the direction in some areas. For example, with the boss battles, the physics simulation is simplified, and the action aspects are prioritized instead. Our intention here was to intermingle the different elements: a puzzle mechanic that requires thinking and solving through trial and error, an action-based mechanic like dealing with “collapsing footholds,” and a boss fight that requires action game skill to defeat. We always knew that a fully integrated physics engine wouldn’t offer precise actions, but limiting the game to only puzzles would not offer a gaming experience with any tension for the player either… With that in mind, I think we were able to develop these two seemingly opposing elements and combine them into something that really complemented each other instead. “Giga Wrecker Alt.” started as a project with the intention to fuse the fun of a physics simulation and the game play of the Metroidvania genre. There are many games out there that uses a physics engine, but I had the impression that most of these games tended to specialize in either puzzles or limit the use of physics to just effects. When Giga Wrecker was still in the early design document stage back in 2013, (the official project started in 2015 so there is a bit of a gap) at least I didn’t think there were many games that fully utilized a physics engine in the style of a Metroidvania game. As such, I thought this would certainly be something worth pushing for, and if all went well, I also felt the potential that the game could end up being really quite unique. In the future, either through the Gear Project or otherwise, I hope I can continue to strive to offer pleasure and entertainment with more challenging ideas! View the full article
  14. For Mortal Kombat 11, I oversaw character concepts and character model creation. There are a lot of great character skins in MK11, and here are a few that are not only visually awesome, but also stood out as memorable moments during the development of MK11. Erron Black One of the primary objectives for the MK11 visual design of characters was to ensure that the characters are easier to read during gameplay. To achieve this, we used bold confident shapes and rich color. In Erron Black’s case, we added clean, flat colored armor plates to his arms and legs. Adding these made his punches and kicks easier to read during kombat. One of Erron Black’s concepts had a mask, which reminded me of an iconic Australian outlaw name Ned Kelly. This is how I got the idea of making a fully armored Ned Kelly skin for Erron Black. The quality of the final model and the fact that the Ned Kelly theme ties back to the stories from my childhood in Australia, make this skin one of my favorites. Shao Kahn Our goal was to have past and present versions of all characters. However, this did not work for Shao Kahn as he was meant to be dead in the present time. To solve this, we made a far past version of him. The idea was to make a version of Shao Kahn that would capture the way he looked when he was leading armies into battle. The concept turned out great, however, the execution of the model was not so easy and it took several artists to get it to this final quality. Not only does Shao Kahn have some of my favorite skins in the game, he has great gear as well. The helmets are especially awesome; one of my favorites can be seen here. (note: Shao Kahn available with pre-order) Raiden It’s hard to choose my favorite look for Raiden as I think they all look great. However, this skin is a combination of a number of creative ideas, seized opportunities and amazing technology. While building characters for MK11, we always look for the opportunity to create retro looks from earlier MK games. This Raiden’s skin is his MK2 look which, however, is presented here with one of the many different color schemes available in MK11. In addition to that, the skin showcases the silk material which is one of several new material shading models we added in MK11. Fans of NetherRealm games may notice that we have used the same facial talent for Raiden in MK11 as we did for injustice 2. However, to achieve higher fidelity we wanted for MK11, the person was rescanned and Raiden’s face was completely rebuilt. Cetrion This is the dark side of the Mother Earth theme for Cetrion. This dark Cetrion skin contrasts with her lighter ones, showing the dual role mother nature must play to ensure balance. It was hard to design a skin that would embody the destructive side of mother nature but would not come across as evil. Achieving this made this one of my favorite character skins in the game. We are excited for the player to see all the skins for each character as they are designed to work together to tell the player more about the character. Discover the rest of the fighters’ unique battle garb when Mortal Kombat 11 hits PS4 on April 23. View the full article
  15. With so many great PS4 games on the horizon vying for your time, you might want some help navigating the embarrassment of riches. We’ve got your back! From the post-apocalyptic chaos of Days Gone to the bustling streets of Judgment’s Kumurocho, these are our most-anticipated games of Spring 2019 (April through June). Mortal Kombat 11 April 23 NetherRealm’s immortal fighting series returns in a new time-bending sequel. Timelines in the MK universe collide, letting the likes of a modern Johnny Cage butt heads with his cockier, younger ’90s self. Newcomers join the roster, like the mystical Geras who has weaponized the sands of time, and the godly Cetrion who commands the elements. Deep character customization allows players new levels of control, down to choosing move sets and selecting the design of Scorpion’s iconic spear. Choose from over 20 kombatants and memorize your favorite Fatality — it’s nearly time to risk life and limb. Days Gone April 26 Enter a world where routine doesn’t exist. A bounty-hunting mission into a bandit camp may seem straightforward, but a sloppy firefight can bring a lethal horde of Swarmers down on you. Or perhaps an infected Rager bear barrels into the fray, indiscriminately mauling all in his path. Survival depends on preparation, like keeping your motorcycle gassed up, tuned up, and within reach for a hasty exit when Freakers attack. Bend Studio has also spun up a gripping tale of loss with protagonist Deacon St. John desperate to find clues about his lost love. Top off your tank and drive into a chaotic world that’s out to end you. Rage 2 May 14 The FPS masterminds of id Software unite with the open-world heavyweights at Avalanche Studios to bring you a new breed of shooter. Wield brutal weapons like the potent pulse cannon and double barrel shotgun to reduce raiders to pulp. Scavenge hidden Arks to uncover unhinged abilities like Shatter, which flings your foes into oblivions, or Slam, which liquefies goons with a huge impact. Mixing and matching weapons and abilities to execute outlandish combos isn’t just fun, it’s the only way to survive against the droves of maniacal enemies. Toss in fluorescent flair and intense vehicular combat, and you have a recipe for frenzied fun. Blood & Truth May 28 London Studio caught our attention with the London Heist demo in the early days of PlayStation VR. Blood & Truth takes the potential of that gameplay and explodes it into the scale of a blockbuster action film. The immersive effect of PS VR transports you into the life of a gun-slinging risk-taker, with all the adrenaline-pumping moments you’d expect. Leap onto planes as they speed down the runway. Crash through windows in a daring escape. Rescue an imprisoned ally and escape in a high-speed chase while gunning down your pursuers. The precise motion control aiming blends perfectly with the sense of presence afforded by PS VR, making your action-movie fantasy feel real. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled June 21 Developer Beenox captures the magic of the 1999 kart racing classic and faithfully restores it to modern day standards. Crash and his furry gang are back in a high-speed remake that maintains the spirit of the original while improving the kart handling and visuals. Four-player splitscreen lets you rekindle grudge matches with old friends, or look for new competition online. The story mode has also been authentically recreated, with extraterrestrial baddie Nitros Oxide threatening the planet unless he’s out-raced. Whether your favorite racer is Cortez, Polar, Coco, or one of the others — a fun-loving reunion is around the bend. Judgment June 25 The creators of Yakuza are back with a new story told within the streets of Kamurocho. Takayuki Yagami is a private detective hired to track suspects, gather evidence, and beat down any goons that gets in the way as he aims to solve a serial murder case. The core gameplay blends the raucous, spectacular slugfests of the Yakuza series with the tension and intrigue of questioning criminal suspects. Plenty of entertaining diversions are available should you wander off the trail, like racing drones, hit the batting cages, or even playing a first-person arcade shooter reminiscent of House of the Dead. If tracking down murder suspects and killing time in Japan sounds like your jam, keep this one on your shortlist. These games are just our top picks. What games releasing this Spring are you most excited for? View the full article
  16. I’m back! James Mielke (call me “Milky”) from Tigertron here, to share some development stories about Jupiter & Mars before our game launches on Earth Day (April 22). First is the fact that Jupiter & Mars has been a concept since I worked at Q Entertainment back in 2009 until 2013. While my friend and mentor, Tetsuya Mizuguchi (“Miz”), was toiling away on Child Of Eden, and before I took on Lumines Electronic Symphony, I spent a good chunk of my time developing new IPs. One of these ideas was, of course, Jupiter & Mars, although it was not designed as a VR game… yet. When we did finally present it to Sony, many years later, it was as a VR game, and as such it was designed from the ground up for VR, although we also made sure that it would work without PS VR so anyone with a PS4 (basic or Pro) could enjoy the game, too. The image that started it all, by my friend Keisuke Shimura, circa 2011. This is what began the journey of Jupiter & Mars. Back in 2011, Miz once said to me “Milky, this is the game you were born to create,” which sort of made it my personal mission to see it become reality. Thanks to the PlayStation team, dreams have become real, and soon you’ll be able to play it for yourself. It was pretty awesome when we stopped at Miz’s Enhance Games studio to show him Jupiter & Mars in 2017. His words were “It’s a magical marine adventure!” as he reached out to touch a passing manta ray overhead. Sweeter words were never spoken. Tetsuya Mizuguchi on a magical marine adventure. No, Miz, you can’t touch that whale. Environmentalism Wikipedia describes an environmentalist as “a person who is concerned with or advocates the protection of the environment.” That’s me. That’s my partner Sam. That’s Tigertron. We’re not scientists. We don’t have degrees in marine biology. Nor do we live on a boat, eight months out of the year studying salinity levels. We do realize that games can be something more than just a new entry in a crowded genre, or a multi-million-selling sequel machine. So we tried to make Jupiter & Mars something unique, with a story that you would remember, with characters that a wide range of people would love. My kids, for example, refer to Jupiter and Mars as if they were family members, and when they learned of one crucial story element, their reactions were stronger than I expected them to be. If your children, or even yourself, walk away from Jupiter & Mars feeling something equally moving, it will mean a lot to me and everyone who worked on the game. We’re environmentalists because we do care about the health of the planet, and your health and your children’s health. We depend on so much of our planet’s biodiversity that most of us won’t realize it until it’s gone, and we can’t get it back. This is why Jupiter & Mars exists. Mars and an elder whale. Original concept renders of Jupiter, Mars, and…. Fortunately for us, two awesome organizations — SeaLegacy and The Ocean Foundation — joined our project early on. It’s not easy to approach organizations that have nothing to do with video games, and have them “get” video games. But these groups did; they saw the potential of being able to reach an enormous audience that may not regularly consume documentaries like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, or the recent Netflix series Our Planet. There are hundreds of millions of gamers in the world, and if you can imagine even a fraction of us all doing something different, or taking up a cause, or making a change in our daily lives to improve our children’s future, the potential of that is just tremendous. Gamers are a tech-savvy, socially active group. I fully believe with our numbers and influence that we can actually change the world. But if even only a small handful of us are concerned enough to try and make a difference, that still counts, and if a video game could be instrumental in that change, then I will sleep better knowing I tried. Original concept art of Jupiter’s echolocation effect in action. In Jupiter & Mars, you won’t find us preaching or lecturing. We’re just trying to create a unique world environment based on a possible outcome of our current habits, and as we’ve seen groups like SeaLegacy do, we can spark conversation through a powerful image alone. Scattered throughout this blog are concept images from Jupiter & Mars’ early days, as well as screenshots of the current game. Some unlockables you’ll find in the game are videos from SeaLegacy and The Ocean Foundation speaking for a couple minutes about what they do and why. It’s there for you to watch, or save for later when you’re in the mood. I reckon, however, that if you’ve read this far, that you’re already on board with us, and I just want to say that I’m glad you’re here. With SeaLegacy, we met with co-founder Paul Nicklen, in New York City to show him the game, too. Not only did he love it, but he gave us some great tips and insights about the world of oceanic environmentalist (he even pointed out that our whale tails were anatomically incorrect — whoops!). His partner and SeaLegacy co-founder Cristina Mittermeier graces our game as the narrator, adding a feminine, worldly voice of experience and wonderful storytelling ability to Jupiter & Mars. I get goosebumps hearing her voiceover, every time I hear it. I hope you will feel the same way. Tigertron with Paul Nicklen of SeaLegacy. Thanks to SeaLegacy, Jupiter & Mars made its European premiere at the Fotografiska museum in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of its Turning The Tide gallery exhibition. The opening day turnout included dignitaries like the prime minister of Sweden, and Jupiter & Mars was there, playable on PS VR. How many video games can say they’ve been a part of something like that? This is one of the prime examples of how Tigertron’s goal of doing new things with the video game medium is being accomplished. I would also like to say thank you to The Ocean Foundation. The work they do with planting seagrass in crucial areas where erosion has wiped out so much natural seagrass is vitally important. I’ll let you check out their site or dig up info on your own time, but while it might seem like such a mundane environmental effort, seagrass is one of the most important natural lifeforms absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Reducing our carbon footprint reduces the planet’s overall temperature, which in turn has myriad beneficial effects. That’s my science lesson for the day, but rest assured, they’re doing important work. You’ll see seagrass in Jupiter & Mars, but the real stuff is much more important. Don’t Just Share It, Wear It If you’re interested in displaying your love for Jupiter & Mars — and a lot of folks have indicated they are — we’ve teamed up with the amazing folks at Fangamer to create a shirt that is way cooler than anything I would have come up with myself. If you like old-school vector graphics games with a digital aesthetic, you’ll probably want to snag one of these beautiful tees designed by Fangamer’s Tony Kuchar. Adding a Rez-zy flair to the shirt are reimagined wireframe versions of Jupiter and Mars, color-coded appropriately (blue for Jupiter, red for Mars). A nice perk is the free sticker sheet that comes with each shirt, and I’ll probably buy 20 of these shirts myself just so I can slap these stickers all over the place. A Family Affair I would like to share one Easter Egg that eagle-eyed gamers might spot. Throughout the game, Jupiter and Mars are aided by the Elder whales that enlisted them to help in their quest to restore the oceans. One subquest features an elder whale who implores Jupiter and Mars to help bring her lost baby back safely to her side. If you’re paying attention you can see the kanji “朝子” atop the head of the mother whale. This is the kanji for “Asako,” which translates to “morning child,” and was my mother’s name. She passed away during the making of Jupiter & Mars, followed by my father only eight months later. This game is dedicated to both of them, as well as Tigertron co-founder Sam Kennedy’s grandparents. So, that’s all I have to say about Jupiter & Mars for now. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer. I appreciate you having read this far, and on behalf of everyone at Tigertron and our co-developers, Tantalus and Wicked Witch, I hope you enjoy your time in our big, beautiful blue world. View the full article
  17. Have you ever taken a trip to Asakusa? It’s a beautiful district of Tokyo that makes you feel like you’re peeking back in time. There’s the historic temple of Sensoji, which overlooks the hubbub of Nakamise: a shopping street filled with all manner of intriguing knickknacks, souvenirs, and traditional snacks. But can you imagine visiting this iconic district, hungry for delicious satsuma-imo cakes — and instead you’re greeted by a frightening glimpse of an apocalyptic hellscape? Our World Is Ended is a brand new visual novel from Red Entertainment that’s out today on PS4. It follows the story of Judgement 7, a team of young developers who create a revolutionary new game program called the W.O.R.L.D program. When wearing an Augmented Reality headset, it has the power to change the surrounding environment before their eyes, but when it starts to glitch during a test run, it shows a very unsettling version of our world. Could this just be a glitch? Or could their program actually be altering reality? Either way, the familiar scenes of Asakusa look very strange indeed, and the members of Judgement 7 need your help to escape and make sure that fiction and reality continue to be kept separate. Our World Is Ended is brought to life by a vibrant art style and some gorgeous character designs. But if you’re going to join Judgement 7 on their mission to save the world, then you need to know who your friends are. Take a look at the profile for each character below, and get to know the cast of this intriguing sci-fi visual novel, brought to you straight from Japan. Meet the Characters Reiji Gozen The plain part-time director; Reiji is the main character, and the story of Our World Is Ended is told from his perspective. He’s a university student with dreams of becoming a game designer, working part-time while attending university. As a relatively normal and sociable kind of guy, he certainly stands out among the other members of Judgement 7. Sekai Owari The perverted programmer Owari is the founder, and main programmer, of Judgement 7. While he technically represents the team, he isn’t exactly a respected leader… mostly because of his perverted personality. He’s exceptionally talented though, and it’s the slightly twisted mind of his that allows him to create complex programs that no one else could possibly conceive. Iruka No.2 The delusional planner As the co-founder of Judgment 7 and Owari’s oldest friend, Iruka No.2 is in charge of planning game settings and scenarios. He’s a massive nerd with some particularly specific preferences, so the other members of the team have a hard time relating to him. He’s often called the “Vocal Madman” due to a habit of raising his voice for no reason. Asano Hayase The unfortunate sound designer Although she’s a little hard of hearing, Asano is a sound designer that composes music and sound effects. She’s also got quite the temper, which probably explains why she likes to regularly destroy everything within her reach – including her own synthesizer. Keep your PS4 well away from her! Natsumi Yuki The chaotic designer Natsumi is a designer that lives in the office of Judgement 7, and oversees the designing of characters, environments, UI, and logos. She’s very strict with herself, along with everyone else, but while she always takes her work seriously she likes to unwind through drawing. Tatiana Alexandrovna Sharapova The childish programmer Known as “Russia’s Hidden Treasure,” Tatiana is a super genius born in Russia — but has lived in Japan for most of her life. She usually works as a part-time programmer at a research institute while attending junior high school in Hokkaido. She might be a genius programmer, but otherwise Tatiana is generally lacking in all social and living skills. Yuno Hayase The airheaded assistant Yuno is Asano’s little sister, with a laid-back, often happy mood. She’s currently a student but works part-time at Judgement 7 as an assistant – doing all kinds of odd-jobs. She also happens to be a very good judge of character. Our World Is Ended. is out now on PS4. If you buy the game today, you’ll get the Day One edition that includes an exclusive artbook, a keyring, and your own boxed version of the game. View the full article
  18. XIII is a first-person shooter where you play as “Thirteen,” a talented soldier who lost his memory and has been accused of killing the President of the United States. You first wake up injured and amnesic on Brighton Beach with the only clue being a small key and a mysterious tattoo that reads “XIII” next to your clavicle. It’s now your job to search for answers through a 34-level solo campaign. Don’t worry, you will find the appropriate weapon arsenal along the way. So many questions… so many bullets! The original quest for identity started for XIII in 2003 on PlayStation 2. The video game sublimates the ups and downs of the most wanted man in the United States. It conquered gamers’ hearts mostly thanks to tight FPS gameplay inspired by the best in the genre, and its unique cel-shading design. Original Game Screenshot The idea for this remake idea came naturally, as we felt this unique kind of story-driven FPS experience was missing in today’s gaming landscape. Our goal is to bring XIII’s compelling story to a new generation of players with the best possible graphics and animation. The result will be nothing short of spectacular as we promise to celebrate the amazing work done on the original game. Stay tuned for more details. XIII was created by Jean Van Hamme and William Vance, and is famous worldwide. It’s a real honor for us to work on such a masterpiece, and I hope you are as excited as we are! Cover of the original comic book. For now, we have that first teaser for you! XIII will be available on November 13, 2019 on PS4. View the full article
  19. There are a lot of amazing multiplayer experiences out there that let you have a great time with friends while exploring new universes, taking on nasty aliens together, or going up against each other in the search for victory. These days it mostly requires being in different places on different consoles, though — personally I like the kind of game you can play with someone while sitting next to them on the couch, where you can grab a beer and take on the world side-by-side (and shout at your friend in person as they let you die in a hail of bullets *again*). That’s partly what we were thinking when we made God’s Trigger, a brutal, stylish top-down shooter with two playable characters (Harry and Judy) tasked with preventing the apocalypse. What is it then? I know what you’re thinking; top-down shooter means Hotline Miami, right? Well sure, that game is dope and my colleagues and I spent a long time playing it. But we wanted to build on that awesomeness and bring more to the genre. Along with a natty modern-grindhouse aesthetic and a lot of blood, one of the key elements of God’s Trigger is how creative you can get with dishing out death. Using different special abilities in combination with your fellow player’s different weapons and environmental traps lets players turn destroying their enemies into a beautiful and deadly co-operative art form. For example, one of you can use a special ability to summon hell’s energy and create a Wall of Fire, while the other shoots through it and imbues their bullets with demonic power to make them explode on impact. Sweet. The deadly duo So there are some great combat options — but who are we playing as? Please allow me to introduce Harry and Judy. The stereotypes of Angel = Good and Demon = Bad are a little twisted in God’s Trigger. Put simply, both Harry and Judy are lethal badasses and seriously good at killing. Harry is a fallen angel armed with a sacred blade, while Judy is a demon trapped on earth and wielding a bladed chain. Outside of those default melee weapons there’s a ton of guns to pick up and have fun with too. What about solo play? We don’t want to leave anyone out! God’s Trigger is designed to be stunning to play in co-op as I’ve mentioned, but we also designed from the ground up to be excellent for solo players too. With all of those special abilities, different tactics and a bunch of environmental traps around, any solo players can get just as skillful and lethally artistic as a duo can. The enemy In their mission to stop Armageddon in style, Harry and Judy are going to run into a lot of nasty creatures. This includes possessed humans, doomsday cultists and supernatural beings from the depths of hell — each of which will require a different, creative method of killing. There will also be no less than five bosses, who are tough to take on and will present their own unique challenges, becoming the ultimate test of your individual skill and coordination with your couch co-op partner. It’s been an mind-blowing journey through Heaven, Hell and Earth bringing this title to you and your friends today. Thank you and I look forward to answering any questions or thoughts in the comments below! View the full article
  20. We are proud to announce that Caravan Stories, a top-rated MMORPG game from Japan, is coming to PS4 in North America this summer. Begin your journey in a never-ending fantasy world across many different races in this free-to-play game! Discover vast open prairies, mystical forests as far as the eye can see, barren lands covered in rocky outcroppings. There are many beings living in the fantastic world of Iyarr — those who fly, those who walk, those who leap, and those who prowl. Form bonds with the many creatures living in this land from the back of your magical fortress, the Caravan. Together, challenge the mysterious Enigma — the greatest enemy of all! And make allies with over 100 different species of beasts to be tamed to build up your team and explore new lands. When it comes to battle style, enjoy it co-op, PvP, or solo — play it your way! There’s no wrong way to play. As you progress, you’ll build up new skills, your tamed creatures will grow into more intimidating allies, raids will be even more thrilling, and new lands will open up to you to take you on grand new adventures. Races First, pick what race you’d like to play on your adventure. Entice characters into joining you on your journey, then explore the endless landscapes to your heart’s content. Ork: Toughened flesh and a fierce will to battle. This race considers defeating powerful enemies to be the highest honor, and they find all forms of weakness disgusting. Elf: Watchers of the forests, prideful of their magical abilities. Elves are said to descend from the ages of the gods, and their self-confident grace goes hand in hand with this lineage. They’ve used a high magic since time immemorial which contributes to their apparent mastery. Human: The most common race in the world of Iyarr. Generally industrious and daring, their zealous self-temperament won’t allow them to walk in the shadows of the other races. They tend to have a strong sense of fellowship and place importance on their families, but the differences between individual personalities can be quite large depending on their environment and the circumstances of their birth. Gessy: A race comprised of humanoid beasts. They have large eyes and a wealth of fur, and while there are individual differences in strength, the Gessy do generally have a keenness to them akin to that of a wild animal. Dwarf: Short in stature but fairly tough craftsmen who take pride in their work. Dwarves boast a toughness that defies the imagination despite their lack of height. They do have uniquely skillful hands, but they are known to be a rather eccentric and blunt race. In addition to the main story explored by the player’s avatar, the unique stories possessed by each of the over 100 heroes will be connected like puzzle pieces to unleash the mystery of the world. So get ready this July and join us on this grand adventure. Write your story! View the full article
  21. Hello PlayStation Blog readers! It’s Konami’s 50th anniversary this year, and we’re celebrating by bringing several collections of our much loved, retro games to PS4. Last month we announced three of them: Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection (out today at PlayStation Store), Contra Anniversary Collection and Castlevania Anniversary Collection. We’re still working on finishing up the Contra Anniversary Collection, but today we’re happy to confirm the Castlevania Anniversary Collection will be coming to PlayStation Store on May 16, and we can also finally unveil the full lineup of games. All you amazing Castlevania fans have been vocal with your requests and we’ve been listening! In addition to the already announced Castlevania, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Castlevania II Belmont’s Revenge and Super Castlevania IV, the four titles completing the collection are: Castlevania Bloodlines Released over 25 years ago, Castlevania Bloodlines has been a sought-after classic by retro game collectors worldwide and now will be playable on a PlayStation console for the first time ever. Castlevania Bloodlines follows main protagonist John Morris, and is one of the few times a Castlevania game did not include a member of the Belmont Family. Kid Dracula Kid Dracula is a rare gem in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. Since its original release in 1990 as Boku Dracula-kun in Japan, Kid Dracula is a cute and light-hearted take on the Castlevania franchise and is rumoured to be one of the first times we meet Galamoth, better known as one of the bosses in Symphony of the Night. Castlevania the Adventure Originally released in 1989, Castlevania the Adventure was the very first Castlevania game made for a portable console. As Christopher Belmont, players will experience new experiments in Castlevania gameplay adapted for a handheld console. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest Simon’s Quest evolved the gameplay from the original Castlevania, encouraging players to explore Transylvania in search for the scattered pieces of Dracula’s body. The game’s soundtrack, specifically is still one of the most recognizable pieces of video game music to this day with its iconic song, Bloody Tears. I’m sure you’ll agree — that’s a whole lot of retro Castlevania goodness. We hope you’re ready to sink your teeth into all eight of theses classics when the Castlevania Anniversary Collection launches as a digital exclusive at PlayStation Store on May 16. View the full article
  22. Welcome to UF, we are just about to finish Season 2 of AAPG Boot Camp if that is what you are referring too... we will start Season 3 soon
  23. New to this, but we are ready roll! When is the next sign up for clan battles?
  24. KINGDOM HEARTS III - The Journey Begins! / Pt 1 - HTG
  25. Vivagames is a relatively small studio based in Beijing, and Immortal Legacy: Jade Cipher is only our second title (and our first VR title). We have a very talented, passionate, and experienced team of creators here. We are also very passionate about Chinese culture and sharing the folklore of our people with the world. As you are probably aware, the New Year is a big event in China. What you might not know are the stories that surround it. Immortal Legacy Photo Gallery In one such story, it is said that long ago there was a beast called Ksi” (夕). As each year waned, the beast would unleash itself upon the world, causing chaos and destruction. But the gods passed down a secret to humanity, one that would allow them to defend themselves against this fearsome creature: the beast feared the color red and loud noises. Hence why on the last night of every year we set off firecrackers and fireworks to drive it away. The story of Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher is inspired by this story as well as other Chinese legends. In our story, Ksi” (夕) is an emperor who, having conquered space, yearns to conquer time as well. He seeks immortality, and is willing to stop at nothing to attain it — even sacrificing his own people. That search for immortality is just one reason that brings you to Yingzhou Island, located deep in the Dragon’s Triangle. Playing as ex-special forces soldier Tyre, you’re also here to discover the truth behind your mother’s mysterious death. Finding out how that event and her enigmatic past are tied to the secrets that lie at the heart of the island will see you battle through not only a mercenary army sent in to excavate it, but the horrors they’ve unwittingly set free. Descend into the unknown and uncover the secret of immortality in this immersive PS VR* blockbuster, out today on PS4. *Please review and follow all safety guidelines for use of PlayStation®VR. PlayStation®VR is not for use by children under age 12. PlayStation®4 system, PlayStation®VR and PlayStation®Camera are required to experience VR functionality. View the full article
  26. For the first time ever, two gods will rise. Horus and Set — the legendary Egyptian rivals — will both become playable characters in Smite later this month! This is the first-ever simultaneous God release for the free-to-play Battleground of the Gods, and we’re thrilled to give you an exclusive first look at these two incredible characters here today. The story of Horus and Set is a tale as old as time. It’s a tale of jealousy, murder, and revenge — at a divine scale. Osiris, the god of earth, ruled over the two kingdoms of Egypt. It was a golden age of peace, but anger brewed in the heart of Osiris’ younger brother, Set. Set found peace… boring. And so he took action. Set murdered Osiris, cut him into pieces, and claimed his brother’s throne. To Set, this was an act of liberation. But it was a call to war for Horus, Osiris’ son. Horus pledged himself to justice, to reclaim his father’s throne not just for himself, but for his people. Horus will not rest until Set is defeated. And so the two rivals are now locked in eternal battle for the crown of Egypt… and Olympus. Horus is the Rightful Heir to Osiris’ throne. It is his right, his duty to see his kingdom thrive. He will avenge his father’s death and stand against his uncle, the murderous Set. Horus is represented as a falcon in ancient mythology, so we stayed true to that in Smite. His head and birdlike proportions are important, but it’s Horus’s wings that define him. These massive wings bring personality and impact to his abilities… and are actually used for his basic attacks. Horus is a Warrior in Smite, but a very atypical Warrior. Though he can hold his own in fights, he’s best when he’s fighting alongside his teammates. His gameplay is true to his character: A truly selfless leader will only help himself when it also helps his allies. Horus is often seen diving into the fray to protect his teammates from danger. No matter where a friend is, Horus can — and will — bring in reinforcements to turn the tide of battle. Horus and Set are opposites, both in personality and gameplay. While Horus is calculated, defensive, and focused on his team, Set is aggressive and violent, trusting only himself to overwhelm his opponents. Set is The Usurper, a leader only because of his ruthless displays of strength and brutal rule. He murdered Osiris for the throne, and now Horus stands in his path. Like many Egyptian gods, Set is animalistic. But uncommonly, Set is never referred to as a single animal, but as a unique creature with features of multiple animals. This uncanny, otherworldly creation covers his face with lightweight armor to remain agile in his movements. Set is an Assassin in Smite, relying on his own strength and mastery of the sands. Who needs teammates when you can create your own allies from sand? Set conjures spawns to attack swiftly before they dissolve back into dust. Beware when the rage consumes Set — he drops his staff, unleashes his claws, and embraces his animalistic urges. He attacks faster and faster, letting his inner chaos free and ensuring his opponents’ doom. There’s so much more in Smite’s upcoming Sands and Skies update. There’s an all-new event — Battle for Olympus — featuring amazing skins like Helheim Ullr. This incredible skin reimagines the Norse God of Glory as a mighty warrior felled by disease, now trapped in the Norse afterlife of Helheim instead of taking his rightful place among the warriors of Valhalla. If you can’t wait to get your hands on Helheim Ullr, Horus, and Set, you don’t have long to wait. The Sand and Skies update is scheduled to release April 30! Horus and Set are Gods 102 and 103 in Smite, and we’ve got a lot more incredible deities on our calendar for the rest of the year. Don’t miss one moment of divine action — play for free in the Battleground of the Gods now, and prepare for the Battle for Olympus! View the full article
  27. Hello, everyone. James Mielke of Tigertron here to talk about what went into creating the Jupiter & Mars soundtrack — aka ‘an audio specimen of future Earth, vol. 1’ — our underwater adventure game launching on Earth Day, April 22, for PS4 and PS VR. I’ll confess that — as many people have guessed — the title of Jupiter & Mars is inspired by the 1954 Bart Howard jazz standard, ‘Fly Me To The Moon,’ made famous by Frank Sinatra and, perhaps less logically, Evangelion. This was back in 2011. The words “let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars” gave me an idea for two characters. How it relates to two dolphins is not something I can easily explain, but the pairing of “Jupiter and Mars” was the first spark that led me to designing the game featuring these two inseparable characters. The second catalyst was the movie The Cove, which after seeing it made me want to take action on behalf of dolphins, which are beautiful, super intelligent, amazing creatures that we should be protecting, not hunting. With music as my starting point of an idea, I imagine the characters, story, and cinematics and ending first, often ending up with a narrative concept fully formed before I’ve even decided what kind of game I want to make. Such was the case with Jupiter & Mars, which started with Frank Sinatra and eventually became the PS VR-compatible game you’re reading about today. The games I’ve worked on have always had music at the forefront of the experience — Child Of Eden, Lumines Electronic Symphony — and Jupiter & Mars allowed me to assemble a soundtrack as unique as any mixtape I’ve ever slaved over. The lessons I learned when I worked at Q Entertainment in Tokyo have always stayed with me, and without a strong audio experience, I feel like the player isn’t getting a complete gaming experience. The ebb and flow of the soundtrack in a game is as important as the sequencing of songs on an album like The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. My equation is simple: The right sounds for the right moments equals memories. Choosing the right music for the right situation is what I call a “Say Anything moment.” The iconic point in Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age epic — where John Cusack holds aloft a boombox playing Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ — is how I want to use music in a game. Not as BGM, but as an integral part of the game experience. Our drowned London, revealed with echolocation. Enter multi-instrumentalist, Jon Atkinson, a key member of George Martin’s (Beatles) production group, who joined the project after we first met at a Howard Jones concert in Tokyo. After some discussion, we decided that the deep blues and greens of this ocean world deserved to be adorned with the Moog-y synths of the Blade Runner and Tron soundtracks. Fortunately Jon was up to the task with what moods we wanted our soundtrack to evoke. You may be surprised to hear something so distinctly synthetic in a game about two dolphins, but I wanted something that reacted to the pulse of the moment, so a documentary-styled score wasn’t going to achieve what we wanted for the game. Enter Nami Miyahara. A successful Japanese solo artist, collaborator with Japanese group Rip Slyme, anime voice actor, and vocalist for Genki Rockets (you might remember “Heavenly Star” from Lumines II and No More Heroes). I really wanted to work with her on Jupiter & Mars. Fortunately, she was eager to collaborate on this game with us. We wrote and recorded the song with her and Jon Atkinson over the course of a couple intense days in London, starting with lyrics that I wrote with Nami while wandering around Primrose Hill and ending in a day-long recording session at the legendary RAK Studios in Camden, London. The resulting track ‘(We Are) Shooting Stars’ is an upbeat piece of pop music, with ABBA-like chord progressions and multi-tracked vocals, sung from the perspective of the female lead character Jupiter. I think it’s a catchy earworm, if I say so myself (Jon and Nami cranked out a nuanced but hook-filled melody to accompany the words), but gamers who play the game will find deeper meaning in the song’s lyrics. Although we actually recorded the song in September 2017, I met up with Nami in Tokyo just a few months ago to shoot a music video with her, a full year and a half later. Besides the tracks created by Jon Atkinson, the game features a few songs licensed from other artists. The first song, ‘Automatons’ by Anything Box, will be familiar to veterans of Lumines Electronic Symphony. While its presence in Lumines is memorable, the way it’s used in Jupiter & Mars is how I originally envisioned using it, in a pivotal scene in the game, where a long dormant industrial city awakens. I’ve known Anything Box songwriter and lead singer Claude S. since 1990, and he was super helpful in licensing the song to me again for Jupiter & Mars. Another artist who appeared in Lumines is trance legend Ferry Corsten, and his music returns in Jupiter & Mars, too. We felt that one song he’d written for his then-unreleased Gouryella album ‘From The Heavens’ was perfect for a climactic scene in the game. So, when you hear his track ‘Anahera,’ know that we knew exactly what we wanted, two and a half years in advance of when you’ll finally see and hear it in-game. That’s how important music is to the genesis and planning of our games. Left: Myself, holding a copy of the single ‘Gouryella’ by Ferry Corsten’s trance side project Gouryella, and Sam Kennedy. Right: Jon Atkinson and Nami Miyahara work on Jupiter & Mars’ theme song ‘(We Are) Shooting Stars’. The final track was written for us by a Brooklyn-based keyboard wizard and session musician, Scott Wozniak. When a song I wanted to license fell through (can’t win ’em all!), I turned to Scott and explained the context of the song and what it represents, to see if he could compose something that matched the tone of our original choice. Gentle and shimmering in its piano-led electronic pulse, I think the song “朝子” (“morning child”) is perfect for the game’s epilogue. Blue Moods Each area of the game’s soundtrack is built in layers, adding in tracks when the tension rises and subtracting them when the tension subsides. For the purpose of a soundtrack, however, we had Jonathan assemble 20 tracks as complete ‘songs,’ and I’m excited to say these songs will be released digitally and on vinyl, via BraveWave Productions. The songs that won’t make the cut on vinyl due to playtime restrictions (it’s a maxed-out double album) are Jon’s version of Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero,’ and Scott Wozniak’s track “朝子.” They will, however, be included digitally with all vinyl and digital versions sold. The two licensed songs by Anything Box and Ferry Corsten also aren’t included on the album, proper, since you can purchase them separately via your favorite music source. Regarding the album jacket design, BraveWave Productions (our soundtrack publisher, who will be releasing the album on vinyl and digitally) enlisted Dan Clarke, aka Arkotype, an excellent graphic designer out of the U.K. to create the cover designs, and it turned out beautifully, reminding me of some of my favorite covers by New Order and The Pet Shop Boys. The minimal gradients in each of the album jacket’s ‘portholes’ were created from actual screenshots in the game, twisting and pushing the colors from each screenshot’s hues (themselves taken from individual biomes in the game) into one beautiful, pearlescent shape. Jupiter & Mars – an audio specimen of future Earth vol. 1 Here’s what Dan had to say about his process: “My own style has always been influenced by the graphic design culture of progressive house & trance from the 90’s and early 2000s (particularly labels like Bedrock and Global Underground) — I believe that this album feels as if it could have been born in that era, so the direction for this project takes inspiration from that. This soundtrack has its own personality and identity, with that in mind I wanted to make something unique in order to make that clear. “The ‘porthole’ theme came from an idea to visualize a window/view into another world, and to represent the tone of the soundtrack using simple color and texture rather than specific imagery. This continues with the typography on the reverse, which has been set in a circular ‘shoal’. Each graphic was created using sections of stills from the game so that the palettes used are truly representative of the game’s vibrant hues.” Lastly, on the topic of the vinyl release, my good friend and mentor Tetsuya Mizuguchi wrote the introduction to the album. So if you’re a gamer who likes things like Child of Eden, Lumines, Rez Infinite, and Tetris Effect, and has to have all the Mizuguchi things, this should make a nice addition to your collection. Ocean Blue So hopefully this gives some insight as to how integral the music is in our games. Jupiter & Mars revolves around two characters who depend on each other, who share special times together, and are above all intelligent beyond our understanding. They experience emotions as profoundly as we do. In Jupiter & Mars we want to tell a mostly wordless, musical story, where the actions and deeds of our two cetaceans penetrate your heart more deeply than any text box could ever do (I hope). My personal wish, when you play our game, is that you grow as close to these characters as I have through the years. They first swam into my head almost a decade, and they’ve been like family ever since. Moreover, I hope that even after you power down your PS4 or take off your PS VR headset, and walk away to do something else in your life, that a bit of my friends Jupiter and Mars goes with you. View the full article
  28. Heaven’s Vault is an open-world adventure where you play as an archaeologist, Aliya Elasra, exploring ancient ruins, translating inscriptions, and uncovering the four-thousand year history of the Nebula that we created for the game. But it’s not all dusty temples and lost mines — when Aliya isn’t exploring the past, she’s talking to people in the busy cities and markets of her world, to find new clues to follow. It’s taken us four years to make Heaven’s Vault. Building an entire civilization from scratch isn’t easy! We found that for everything we decided on, there was another choice waiting to be made. Say we figured out what the people ate — well, then we needed to know how it was grown, how it was distributed, and how it was paid for. And was it shared out fairly, or unfairly? To help us we did a lot of research, drawing from sources as varied as the barter systems of the Polynesian islands to the intricate trade routes of the Silk Road. We borrowed and adapted ideas from a whole host of cultures and historical periods, while trying to include nothing that in our society hasn’t been real somewhere, at some time. But there’s one question that history was critical for answering: what do the people in our world look like? Heaven’s Vault contains a wide range of characters: some friendly, some unfriendly, and some out to trick you. It’s all too easy when designing a new world to try and stay true to your inspirations by making all the people look the same. Say your game is inspired by Ancient Rome: you make the characters all look Italian. Except the history tells a different story: Rome was a melting-pot, set at the intersection of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. It was easily as diverse as modern-day London, or New York. Big cities have always attracted people from far and wide. So we went back to the geography of our world, and to our four-thousand-year history, and began asking questions. How did this world begin? How did it develop? How did people spread? Where did they go? Where did they congregate? Where did they avoid? Where did society prosper? And where did it fail? Aliya has a history with several of characters in the Nebula, but how much you explore those relationships is up to you. And from the answers to these questions arose the vibrant and diverse populations of Iox, Elboreth, and all the other moons. The people of each one — and the cast of characters you’ll meet on those moons — are the result of their positions in the Nebula, their relationships, and a core truth from all of history: people move around. The result is a world that’s mixed-up as Ancient Byzantium, or Middle Ages London, or modern-day Brooklyn. A world that, we think, feels coherent and exciting and surprising, full of people of all colors, sizes, shapes. A world that refuses to fit inside its box. You can enter that world, explore its mysteries and meet its inhabitants for yourself, today, because Heaven’s Vault is out now. Come sail the rivers of the Nebula, and let us know who you find in the comments below. View the full article
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