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Commander Fury

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  1. Control is delightfully weird, y’all. The mid-century modern office hallways filled with floating bodies. The Lynchian janitor appearing at random moments to reveal secrets of the universe (or just let me borrow his Walkman). The dangerous items teeming with power sheltered behind glass — including and not limited to a stoplight, a refrigerator, and a rubber duckie. Jesse Faden’s first day on the job as the Bureau’s new director is a decidedly surreal adventure, with a parade of unusual oddities and kinetic gameplay that had me gleefully smiling my way to the Platinum trophy. See more Editors’ Choice picks at PlayStation Store Jesse enters the Bureau on a mission: to find and save her brother Dylan, who was seemingly taken by Bureau agents following a traumatic Altered World Event from their childhood that exposed Jesse to the wonders of another dimension. It also connected her to Polaris, an otherworldly force Jesse often shares her thoughts with, and who is the source of the unique powers that led her to the Oldest House’s doorstep. Remedy built an elaborate world within the mysterious and shifting walls of the Bureau. From the ominous red lighting of Hiss-infected zones to the kaleidoscopic and brutalist architecture, every new environment made an impression. The bold location text that consumed the screen as I discovered a new area was a stylistic flare that gave me the best kind of goosebumps. The spaces are filled to the brim with conspiracy and intrigue and I found myself creeping into every office space, leaving no heavily-redacted file untouched. I delighted in finding recordings from the Bureau’s increasingly deranged head of research, Dr. Darling, explaining the lexicon of phenomenon. I was delightfully disturbed stumbling across another unsettling episode of the Threshold Kids show. Throughout her journey Jesse’s narration speaks to the wonder I was having as a player, while also providing an emotional thread that grounded her in the ever-shifting world. And there’s a lot to wonder at. Control is filled with secrets, rewarding exploration with new abilities, thought-provoking lore, and delightfully disturbing side boss encounters. To be clear, sticking to the main story encounters is a wild and worthy adventure alone, but it’s these disquieting corners of the game that made Control a must-play for me. Encountering seemingly innocuous Objects of Power only to come face to face with the true horror within was addicting, and I found myself prioritizing side quests in an effort to find every monster under the bed. Interactions with Objects of Power that had been set loose in the world ranged from hilarious chase sequences, to dreamy logic puzzles, and morbid fights to the death. The Oldest House is ready to help and hinder Jesse in equal measure, and the surprise around the corner was always worth the detour. Between the research lore, Jesse’s literal fight for the truth grounds the game in style. The Hiss are a fascinating enemy, filling the halls with spooky murmurations that left me anxious to turn new corners. The variety of Hiss enemies increased throughout the game, making encounters constantly feel fresh. Just when I felt like I had the upper hand I’d be faced with an enemy that could dodge my Launch attacks, or a heavily armored Hiss guard packed to the teeth with explosives would blow me away. Even when retreading the same ground, I would find a new grouping of Hiss types, forcing me to rethink my strategy each time. The Launch mechanic that allows Jesse to telekinetically hurl rubble and office supplies at oncoming horrors is so deeply satisfying, nothing compares to pleasure I had running through office spaces nailing Hiss goons with a stapler or office chair. I found a hypnotizing rhythm of switching between Launch and the Service Weapon’s various modes that made me feel like I deserved that Director title. Peeking my nose into every corner of the Oldest House also helped me unlock new abilities that let the combat encounters flourish, especially in the game’s action-heavy third act. Unravelling Control’s mysteries was one of the most thrilling gaming experiences I have had all year. Weeks after earning the Platinum, I’m still diving back to find new spine-tingling research documents and luxuriating in the newly released Photo Mode. Control has a grip on me, and I’m happy to get lost in the Bureau’s halls. View the full article
  2. Yaga came out of our love for oral storytelling and old eastern European traditions, so we thought we’d let you in on our sources of inspiration and how each of them shaped the game. Fairy Tales The backbone of the game are old Russian fairy tales we used to read when we were kids. “The Little Humpbacked Horse,” a beautiful folktale written by Piotr Ershov, together with a collection of “Enchanted Russian Tales” set the initial spark. Some of the characters like Maria Morevna, the evil Tzar or Ivan the Fool were taken from these stories, expanded and reinterpreted by us, and put into the game. One thing that’s specific to these traditional tales is that they’ve been passed down from generation to generation by oral telling, so the stories are never told in exactly the same way twice. The story beats follow the traditional path of the hero being thrust into an adventure, seeking help, finding mentors, pushing through setbacks and winning in the end. But the hero’s personality and the choice he makes are different in each telling, based on the narrator, his mood and the audience listening. That’s something we considered vital in capturing in our game as well, and that’s where our personality system stems from. Playing as Ivan, you can be Selfish, Foolish, Righteous or Aggressive, and each choice has its consequences: an aggressive character will learn to fight better, a selfish character will learn how to make more money, and so on. And all the little choices throughout the game come together in the end, where you can discover several different endings. Folk Tales While fairy tales deal with magical creatures and epic stories of heroes facing evil, folk tales are the smaller stories told by peasants to explain things they didn’t understand or to warn others about misfortune. The life and beliefs of XIVth century peasants and the superstitions and magic they believed in, all of them completed our picture of the world we wanted to highlight. Stories about creatures haunting the swamps, superstitions, tales to scare little children away from the forest allowed us to create the grim and dark creatures you’ll meet and fight along the way. Many of the small roleplaying encounters you meet in the game have their origin in vaguely remembered stories heard from our grandparents, neighborhood kids, or the village drunkards. The humor and tone of these stories has its own specific charm, and you’ll get to find them in the game in the form of “the bear wedding,” “Vasili the drunken undead,” “the goat priest,” and many others. Folklore Visually, traditional clothing, storybook illustrations and old hand-woven art had a major influence in defining the look of the game. There are motifs and archaic elements very specific to the region, and they blend together to create a refreshing combination for a video game. Old folkloric music, traditional instruments, and songs find their way into the game, but have been refreshed and updated to modern times by being mixed with hip-hop and electronic beats and samples, in something the composers call “underground folklore.” That’s Yaga in a nutshell: our love letter to the folklore, characters, and stories we grew up with! To celebrate our release, we’re giving fans a 20% discount on the main game, the soundtrack, and the Bad Luck Bundle which includes the game, soundtrack, and theme! We can’t wait for you to play Yaga! View the full article
  3. Wattam, the new game from Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, finally has a release date! You can now pre-order this joyful new experience at PlayStation Store ahead of its December 17 launch on PS4. Not content to simply count the days until then, we reached out to Takahashi san to see if he’d be interested in a follow-up interview to complement our conversation earlier this year. PlayStation.Blog: You mentioned in our last Q&A that you’ve become something of a family man. Has fatherhood changed your perspective of game development or artistic expression? Keita Takahashi: One day, my kids told me there is Noby Noby Boy face on faucet, so I went to the bathroom to check it, but I could not find it. They just pointed out the mesh/filter that attached to water exit of faucet. Yes, it looked like a Noby Noby Boy. I have never tried to look at that place before, but they can see it easily because of their viewpoint, which is lower than mine because they are shorter. I think my kids wanted to tell me what we grown-ups could miss a lot of things naturally and easily :) I don’t know if my creative mind has been changing since having kids, but I feel a sense of responsibility more toward the future. (Not only our kids’ future, but the future in general.) PSB: All your games seem to be about connection, from bringing players together in Noby Noby Boy, bundling up people in Katamari, and joining hands in Wattam. What are you trying to say with your games’ themes? KT: I don’t think it’s reasonable to say Katamari is the game about connection, and I think each game has different themes. I just have been wanting to make something new and fun, and that is more important than the themes. PSB: Related to above, have you kept up with Death Stranding? What do you think about that game’s approach to connection and violence not being part of the core gameplay loop? KT: I have heard Death Stranding has a similar theme to Wattam, even it’s a totally different look. It’s very interesting if it’s true. But unfortunately, I can’t tell about it because I don’t have a PS4. Would you mind if I ask you to send me a PS4 Pro or PS5 to answer your question? I will return it to you after I finish Death Stranding. I promise! PSB: What is your favorite reaction you’ve seen from someone playing Wattam? KT: I have been trying to not look at people who are playing Wattam because I feel uncomfortable, so I don’t know. PSB: All your games are endearingly weird. Do you have to put additional effort into achieving quirkiness, or does it come completely naturally? KT: All my games are not endearingly weird. PSB: Would you consider yourself a “unique” (or “weird” in a good way) person in general? If so, what is your earliest memory of being “weirder” than the average person? KT: In general, I think all persons are unique/weird. PSB: The music in your games is always so delightful! Can you tell us what kind of work went into building out Wattam’s soundtrack? KT: We have tried making an interactive music system in Wattam. Each location (“locations” are also “people” though) has its own music, and every person has its own instrument sounds. So you can listen to different music and instruments by selecting different people and being at different locations. And if you connect to other people, all instrument sounds are mixed well with the music, which you might need to pay attention to in order to notice that change, but it’s fun, and you might want to connect with all people to hear all the different music. My wife composed the theme song. I wanted to sync the theme song to tutorial sequence, so the music had to be separated into some segments to sync with the tutorial progression. I was a bit worried if the theme song will be a good one, but she made a really good theme song despite such a condition. PSB: What are some of the final touches you are putting on the game before putting it into players’ hands? KT: I had made a huge mistake when I was making Katamari. I was tuning the game literally until the day before we submitted the build to Sony. The QA team mentioned that after we got a gold, the game missed an object so the collection mode wasn’t able to be completed. Unfortunately the object I moved to the underground was the sole object, so I think the company had to pay tons of extra money to fix this situation. My final touches is don’t touch as much as possible at the very end. PSB: Now that Wattam finally has a release date locked in, what do you think you’ll be doing on that day? KT: I’m gonna go to the local GameStop to see if they have Wattam physical copies. :) View the full article
  4. For many JRPG fans, the 90s was truly a golden age. Countless classic titles were released during this decade and have since entered a ‘hall of fame’ of sorts amongst fans and critics. For western and Japanese fans, there’s likely a lot of overlap between the titles they’d raise as all-time favorites, including titles like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Xenogears. Romancing SaGa 3, on the other hand, could be raised by any number of Japanese fans, though you might be hard pressed to find any western gamers who have played it. Until today, that is. An HD remaster version of Romancing SaGa 3 launches today in the west for the first time on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, twenty-four years to the day from its initial release in Japan. While the franchise itself may not be well known outside of Japan, western gamers should take heart in knowing that the series shares its roots with Final Fantasy, the SaGa series creator Akitoshi Kawazu having filled key development roles on the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II. Needless to say, Romancing SaGa 3 has the JRPG credentials behind it – but what sets it apart from other installments in the Final Fantasy or even Dragon Quest series? Keep on reading to learn more about what makes Romancing SaGa 3 so good, and why it deserves to be included in the pantheon of beloved classic JRPGs. The Roots Although the Romancing SaGa series is venerated as one of the definitive JRPG series, along with the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, in Japan, you might be surprised to learn that some of the series’ major influences are decidedly western in origin. Kawazu-san commented, “as someone who read novels by Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock, and Ursula K. Le Guin, and came into contact with tabletop RPGs through Dungeons & Dragons and computer RPGs through Ultima and Wizardry, being able to offer a title for the West is a great joy.” You can clearly feel the influences from tabletop RPGs mentioned by Kawazu-san in the branching decisions present in Romancing SaGa 3. While you as the player do take control of one of eight main protagonists who does have a set archetype, at various points in the game you’ll have to make a decision that will greatly impact that character’s outcomes and the greater narrative. Similar to tabletop RPGs, the fun comes from roleplaying as a certain character and making decisions based on who they are in order to see that character’s story through. While other JRPGs of the same era also touted sweeping stories and dramatic character arcs, none quite captured the direct decision making that Romancing SaGa 3 features. The Story So, decision making plays a key role in Romancing SaGa 3 – but what is the overarching narrative? Every 300 years the world befalls a tragedy known as the Rise of Morastrum — a deadly eclipse during which any living thing that is born is destined to die, except for a few extremely rare exceptions. These sole survivors are fated to either become forces of evil, or righteous saviors. The story of Romancing SaGa 3 picks up roughly a dozen years after the last Rise of Morastrum, so needless to say, the drama of a purported ‘child of destiny’ will play out as you explore each of the eight characters’ own personal stories. In terms of characters, there’s plenty of variety to choose from. The main cast is also perfectly split with four male and four female characters, making the game unique for its time. It’s completely up to the player as to which character they choose to play as, but as each character has their own individual path with branching decisions throughout and there are multiple sides of the story to uncover – replayability is high for this title. Many of the characters have secret, and not so secret, ties to one another, such as Ellen and Sarah being sisters, or Katarina being Monika’s bodyguard, so you’ll definitely want to experience their stories from each perspective. The Look and Sound Alongside Kawazu-san, the SaGa series has two other longtime veterans who have helped mold the series: Kenji Ito, who has lent his prowess to the music, and Tomomi Kobayashi, whose colorful illustrations have defined the look of the series. Fans of the Mana series will likely recognize Ito-san from his work there, but the SaGa series has remained a special one to Ito-san: “[The music of SaGa is] quite special to me because it’s a project that helped me build my skills as a composer.” From Romancing SaGa 3’s driving battle themes to its hopeful, if not whimsical, opening theme, there’s plenty for players to look forward to throughout their journey. Ito-san also composed eight themes to accompany each of the main protagonists, his approach to which began “by reviewing documents regarding the characteristics, physique, and other aspects for each character. Then, we try and create a melody or mix that lets you feel that character’s determination or will, so that the character’s personality and ‘feeling’ really come across within the music too.” Keep this in mind as you play through and come across all the different themes in the game. Kobayashi-san has worked on the Romancing SaGa series since its inception and has lent a colorful and dynamic look to the various games. Her style incorporates soft, sweeping brushstrokes, a large color palette of watercolors, and plenty of intricate details in the characters’ clothing and backgrounds. Japanese manga fans may find her style reminiscent of the art found in shoujo manga — something that Kobayashi-san has actively tried to leverage in her character designs. “I assumed that more men than women played these types of games, so it was my goal to add more elements that would be appealing to women in my art.” Although nefarious villains and horrible monsters are a common occurrence in RPGs, Kobayashi-san has made it a point to keep a cohesive sense of elegant design in her work on Romancing SaGa 3. “I try to turn things which are dark or frightening into something beautiful. Rather than eerie, I try to make things elegant, romantic, and dream-like.” Really, though, Kobayashi-san’s art speaks for itself, so take a look at some of her beautiful creations throughout this blog. The Battles So, Romancing SaGa 3 has it down pat in the story, music, and art categories, but let’s get down to brass tacks and talk battle systems. Like many other staples to the genre, Romancing SaGa 3 employs turn-based combat for you and your party of five characters, plus your enemies. What’s different here is that positioning and your party’s formation plays a big role in how you can maximize your offense while mitigating your weaknesses. It can also enable you to perform powerful attacks that would otherwise be impossible. ‘Inspiration’ also plays a major role in battle. With this system, every time a character attacks, there’s a chance inspiration will strike (in the form of a lightbulb appearing above that character’s head!), and they’ll launch a new attack. Your character will be able to execute this new attack at any time afterwards, so suffice to say it’ll be beneficial to partake in as many battles as possible to grow your characters before taking on any major baddies. There is also a unique battle system called Mass Combat within the game. When you opt for Mikhail as your main character, you can partake in large-scale battles where you’re in command of an army. Naturally this battle system differs quite a lot from the normal battle system, but it’s one you’ll definitely want to try out as you play through the game. There are also other mini-games present in Romancing SaGa 3, so keep your eye out for these different modes while playing. The New Being that Romancing SaGa 3 is an HD remaster, this version features gorgeous optimized graphics for modern platforms. Additionally, there is a new dungeon called the “Phantom Maze” for players to explore. There’s also a New Game+ function where you can carry over some items, learned abilities, money, skill levels, and more to a new game. Romancing SaGa 3 truly is a game to be experienced. With its eight main protagonists, multiple possible endings stemming from the free-form scenarios, revolutionary player choice and battle systems, there’s plenty for JRPG lovers to look forward to here. It’s been a long time coming, but in the words of Kawazu-san: “[…] being able to offer a title for the West is a great joy. I hope you enjoy playing.” Romancing SaGa 3 is now available on PS4 and PS Vita and is available at a 20% discount from today until December 4. New fans can also look forward to the upcoming release of SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions on December 3 for PS4. View the full article
  5. When presented with the opportunity to work with an expansive franchise such as Doctor Who, deciding where to begin can easily become a daunting task. After weeks of research involving copious amounts of reading and episode-watching (in fairness, it’s a serious perk of my job!), we presented three possible routes to take for this VR experience. On one end of the spectrum, a classic Who-focused concept involving fan-favorite characters, and the other end looking into the new show direction and incarnation of the Doctor. We all agreed on the latter and to fit in somewhere after series 11 but with some classic monsters along the way. One of these was a definite must-have… The Weeping Angels – mysterious predators who move very quickly and silently towards their prey when unobserved, but become “quantum locked” and freeze when observed. Originally inspired by playground games such as Statues, Red Light Green Light, and Grandmother’s Footsteps, it’s perfect for the medium of VR, which uses a player’s head rotation and probably the only way you could actually get to experience their terror outside of the screen. We love the Angels episodes and they’re behind the reason we got to work on this project initially. In 2017, we invited the BBC into the studio to try an early concept demo of a VR experience we were working on. From there we started talking about Doctor Who and how well the show translated into this new medium. At its best, VR acts like a teleportation device allowing players to travel to distant worlds, faraway places and go on incredible adventures in space and time. It was obvious to us straight away in that meeting that Doctor Who would translate into a perfect VR title. By chance, The Doctor Who Experience, a live attraction in Cardiff that documented the show’s 55-year history and exhibited many of its props, sets, and characters was about to close. We got talking about photogrammetry and next thing you know we were down in Cardiff creating a digital record of the whole experience. It’s all on a hard drive in our office. With access to a wealth of incredible data, we couldn’t help ourselves and made a Weeping Angels demo in VR, and things just snowballed from there. One of the main challenges was how to balance the timings of looking away and how quickly the Angels advance in turn. In the show’s lore, they can move incredibly fast but in gameplay that can prove incredibly frustrating. There’s a balance between the distance they need to travel and the tension that ensues. We’re also playing with lighting just to add to the fear — if you’re suddenly dropped into darkness, they can change tactics and adjust their pathway. On the other hand, if all you do is stand on a spot and stare at a statue, then you’re looking at the world’s longest standoff. This means we have to keep the player on their toes, making you interact with items that require you to change direction. Then it’s about the setup of the scene, the environment and the accompanying sound effects from the show to make it feel authentic. The Angel models themselves are based on the original outfits from the show’s costume archives which were scanned through photogrammetry techniques to match as closely as possible. Doctor Who: The Edge of Time releases tomorrow on PS VR and we can’t wait for you to jump in the Tardis and take it for a spin. View the full article
  6. Email us at [email protected]! Subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here Connect to the Chiral Network and listen in to this week’s Blogcast, where Sid, Tim, and Justin discuss their initial impressions of the long-awaited Death Stranding. Plus, the gang reports back from their trip to NYC and the Fractured Worlds pop-up gallery. Stuff We Talked About Death Stranding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Audica Bagels The Cast Sid Shuman – Director of Social Media, SIEA Justin Massongill – Social Media Manager, 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. The Jedi Order has fallen, and it’s up to surviving Padawan Cal Kestis to complete his training and stay one step ahead of the Empire. Respawn Entertainment created a galaxy-spanning adventure in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which drops one week from today on November 15. Who’s ready to topple an AT-ST all by themselves? Earlier in the week, keep your senses sharp while playing escape-room-adventure Last Labyrinth. You and fellow captive Katia will have to rely on body language and non-verbal communication to survive a treacherous mansion. For a full list of new games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy The Drop! Astroneer PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 11/15) Astroneer is a space sandbox adventure, where players can work together to build custom bases above or below ground, create vehicles to explore a vast solar system, and use terrain to create anything they can imagine. A player’s creativity and ingenuity are the key to thriving on exciting planetary adventures! Bee Simulator PS4 — Digital, Retail See the world through the eyes of a bee! Explore a world inspired by Central Park where you can take part in bee races, collect pollen from rare flowers and defy dangerous wasps. Play with friends or family in three game modes, including co-op and PvP on split screen. Contagion VR: Outbreak PS VR — Digital Dive deep into the events of the initial zombie outbreak. Explore the world through different perspectives and experience the beginning of the end in our single player campaign. With limited resources, make your way out in Free Roam. Familiarize yourself with each weapon in the Firing Range and best your scores if you can! Doctor Who: The Edge of Time PS4 — Digital A new mysterious enemy threatens to tear apart the universe and only you can stop them! Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time lets players embark on an adventure through space and time. Travel across the universe, visit alien locations, pilot the TARDIS, and solve the mystery of the controlling force behind the Reality Virus. Fractured Minds PS4 — Digital (Out 11/14) Fractured Minds is an immersive artistic short game, exploring anxiety and mental health issues. Embark on a journey through the human psyche to experience the everyday challenges associated with these conditions. Winner of the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award. Golem PS VR — Digital (Out 11/15) Enter a mysterious storybook world and take the role of Twine, an adventurous kid who has been seriously injured in an accident. Even though you are unable to leave your bed during your recovery, you never stop dreaming of exploring the outside world. That is, until you discover that you have the ability to create and control stone creatures called golems, seeing through their eyes and controlling their actions. Kitten’d PS VR — Digital (Out 11/14) Take care of cute kittens – lots and lots of cute kittens! Get points for keeping them happy and lose points for everything they destroy. Use points to upgrade your tools. Get an automatic food dispenser or clean up poop faster with the PoopScoop 3000! What awaits inside the next box?! Last Labyrinth PS4 — Digital (Out 11/13) Escape a merciless mansion alongside a girl words cannot reach, in an escape-the-room adventure game that can only be experienced in VR. Players must work to escape a mansion full of hidden dangers with a mysterious girl that appears before them. Mad Games Tycoon PS4 — Digital (Out 11/14) In Mad Games Tycoon, build your own Gaming Empire. Start your own game studio in the early 80s. The journey begins in a small garage with little money and limited resources. Create new game concepts, set up your team and develop the next million hit. Research new technologies, train employees and buy new and larger office space. Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix PS4 — Digital (Out 11/13) Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is a tactical RPG in which players take control of mercenaries for hire. Hired by a King on a mission to reclaim his kingdom, the group of mercenaries are sent to fight a rebel army as commanded, risking life in exchange for precious coin. Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition PS4 — Digital Slink through the shadows as a deadly half-elven rogue, wield fearsome magics as a powerful gnomish sorcerer, vanquish your foes as an armor-clad dwarven paladin… whatever hero you create, incredible adventures await. Romancing SaGa 3 PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Out 11/11) The celebrated RPG classic comes west for the first time! Developed by industry veterans, Romancing SaGa 3 was originally released in Japan in 1995. This HD remaster of the legendary RPG masterpiece introduces optimized graphics, a new dungeon to explore, new scenarios and a new game+ function. Sparklite PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 11/14) Sparklite is an action-adventure set in the whimsical and ever-changing land of Geodia. Battle foes in top-down action using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear. Explore dangerous corners of the procedurally generated world, take down titans of the mining industry, and harness the power of Sparklite! Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 11/15) A galaxy-spanning adventure awaits in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a 3rd person action-adventure title from Respawn Entertainment. An abandoned Padawan must complete his training, develop new powerful Force abilities, and master the art of the lightsaber – all while staying one step ahead of the Empire. VR Ping Pong Pro PS VR — Digital, Retail Rackets at the ready! VR Ping Pong Pro is the follow up to the hit table tennis simulator of 2016, VR Ping Pong. Test your skills with a variety of challenging game modes, as you rise up the ranks to become the true Ping Pong Pro! Do you have what it takes? Pick up your virtual racket and find out! Woven PS4 — Digital (Out 11/15) Explore a woollen world where stuffed animals once lived in peace. Search for hidden secrets and customize your character with different animal shapes to solve puzzles. An epic adventure with two very unlikely heroes and a story narrated in rhyme. Yaga PS4 — Digital Smash, clobber and bash the murderous legends of Slavic mythology in this darkly funny action role-playing game that changes every time you play. Play as Ivan, a one-handed blacksmith with incredibly bad luck, who must take on the impossible tasks given to him by the tzar. SuperM – K-Pop and Play Takeover LA Noire Playlist Gang Starr: ’80s Rap Retrogamer Rick and Morty | Season 4 Angel Has Fallen Danger Close The information above is subject to change without notice. View the full article
  8. Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean things won’t get a bit spooky. Last week we asked you to share spine-tingling moments from your favorite games. From undead heroes to haunted settings, here are this week’s highlights: themarkplumb wades through a pit of grasping horrors in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. There’s always a spooky corner to share in Bloodborne, like this one from tidymice. Gnarled trees frame Deacon in this Days Gone share from Virtual__vp. JRPyznar shares the realm of the dead in God of War. Sir Dan keeps things spooky in this MediEvil share from Michael_Jambor. scojer13 shares a hair-raising moment from Evil Within 2. 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: Death Stranding Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, November 20 For the next two weeks, we strap on some boots and make a trek through the world of #DeathStranding. Share your journey to save America using #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured. View the full article
  9. We are happy to announce that the award-winning narrative game, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, is coming to PlayStation on December 2! Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a game about wandering Depression-era America, collecting stories ranging from tales of terrifying ghost children to the legend of Pecos Bill. After gathering these tales, you’ll share them across the campfire with the characters you meet. The game has 16 different characters, and in a unique twist, each was written by a different writer. Here are a few: There’s Jimmy, the wandering preacher. Written by Austin Walker, Jimmy tells the player about his family, his faith, and the communities that he interacts with along the way. He also talks about his time in World War I, and because Austin is a wrestling fan, he talks about the wrestling circuit, and his father’s time performing on it. There’s Althea, the blues performer. She sells her soul to the Devil to be the best, but his deal doesn’t work out so well for her. But is it any worse than her alternatives? The talented Gita Jackson wrote her story, and it’s an amazing ride. The voice actor Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect 3) brings Althea to life as she tells you her story. And Bertha, the dust bowl refugee. She’s played by Cissy Jones (Firewatch), and written by Emily Short. Bertha’s farm in Oklahoma fails when the droughts and winds hit, tearing up the ground and making life nearly impossible in the new wasteland. She goes to California in search of a better life for her and her family, but at every stage she’s denied fair pay, places to live, and almost everything she needs. And then there’s Quinn, the hobo kid. They were kicked out of home, like many older children when the Great Depression hit, and now they ride the rails with their trusty dogs – and a sharp knife. Voiced by the amazing Melissa Hutchison (The Walking Dead) and written by Claris Cyarron, they tell the player stories of travel and life as a hobo in the worst hard times the US has ever seen. There’s far more to these four stories, and there are twelve more characters to meet! And in addition, there’s the person who gives you your quest — the mysterious wolf. Voiced by Sting, the wolf-headed man wins a game of poker and consequently curses you to wander the land, spreading the stories you find far and wide. You’ll see him at other times, too — each time you succumb to hunger or exhaustion, or if one of your adventures leads you to death. And then one final time when you finish your task… I hope you find what you’re looking for! View the full article
  10. In Death Stranding, the herculean task of reconnecting humanity is far from the only burden placed upon your shoulders. Piled on top of this metaphorical weight is the real-world heft of countless packages that must reach their destination. Tucked inside these parcels are food, games, supplies, medicine, data — anything that splintered citizens might need to feel like they’re truly connected to a wider civilization. Like any pioneering journey, the first steps across this fractured America are uncertain. Hoofing precious cargo across rough terrain can be challenging, so we’ve gathered a handful of general tips and suggestions that’ll have you reconnecting people in no time. Delivery Tips Once you have the resources to make multiple deliveries per trip, hit ‘em hard. Delivering requested goods will often unlock enhanced tools, fun cosmetic options, interesting plot points with survivors, and an increased chiral connection for that area. The stronger the connection, the more chiral bandwidth that’s available for online structures like bridges, roads, watchtowers, and more. These structures can turn previously arduous treks into simple trips, and it’s all thanks to you and other Death Stranding players making those deliveries. Whether you’re delivering requested goods or lost cargo found in the wild, these will net you Likes that increase your reputation as a transporter. As this rating rises, your cargo capacity (among other things) will improve. Give a little, get a little! Anytime you’re on the move, you should have an open order. Always have something on your back, on the bike, or in the truck. If you’re especially generous, steal a MULE truck and start loading it with all their ill-gotten goods for huge Santa Claus-style deliveries up and down the highway. Speaking of the highway, auto pavers demand a lot of resources, but you’ll be rolling in Likes if you activate a section. As other players make use of the highly convenient path, you’ll receive notifications and Likes, yet another sign that you’re not rebuilding America alone. Find a spot that needs a ladder or rope anchor? You could replicate your own at a base, sure, but also check out online postboxes, MULE postboxes (and MULEs themselves) and share lockers. The whole world is playing alongside you, so odds are someone tossed a ladder your way. The same goes for transportation – borrow someone else’s reverse-trike, but down the line maybe toss one of your own in there to return the favor. Have too much stuff, but still want to grab more? Try locating a Postbox where you can securely stash items out in the wild, then return when you have a vehicle or more carrying capacity. Handling Your Cargo When accepting deliveries, be mindful of how many items are in the order. Some requests may contain one lightweight object, while others could include a dozen hefty containers best suited for a vehicle. Optimize your cargo load. Initially, this means being mindful of which items are stacked on your back versus attached to brackets on your shoulders and hips. Later on, use vehicles, pouches and other gear to efficiently balance your load. Even if you can bear the weight, consider the height of all those packages. Cargo can poke outside of cover, compromising your position to MULEs, and ladders extend a bit higher when hung on your tool rack instead of on your back. Making sharp turns can also be tricky if you’re overloaded. Recklessness can lead to tumbles and damaged cargo. L2 and R2 are lifesavers! Maintaining balance is key, but these steadying motions also let you regain stamina while in waist-deep water or during a steep climb. Battling BTs Early on, avoiding BTs is crucial. The world just doesn’t have a surefire way to deal with them in a combat situation. So, keep your eyes on your Odradek scanner. It points ‘em out and spins like crazy when they’re near. Hold your breath and walk slowly to sneak on by. Successfully sneak by without an encounter and your connection to BB can improve too. If you’re grabbed, you can break free or let them drag you into battle. Taking down one of the larger BTs will shower the area in chiral crystals and vanquish the whole BT zone for a short period. If you have the appropriate weapons, it’s a nice way to obtain crystals and clear out the area. Have a speed skeleton or a reverse trike? You can probably outrun the encounter altogether. But if your bike is gobbled up, make sure to come back after the tar subsides – your goods will still be there. Make sure you’re using the shower and restroom facilities when you stay in a private room. Believe it or not, your support team will, uh, make use of your time in there to create some handy items. Finally, make those deliveries! You never know who might come up with a new way to combat BTs or make your life easier in some other way. Minding Mules Watch for yellow poles. These sensors ping your package locations, revealing your location to cargo-obsessed MULEs. Avoid the poles at all costs, and get ready to break line of sight or hide in tall grass if you set one off. Make use of scattered watchtowers (or make your own) to keep a vigilant eye out for MULE encampments. These guys want your packages, and they can sour a promising delivery mission fast. Serpentine! Move unpredictably when outrunning MULEs, as their electrified spears can knock your packages loose. Same goes for vehicles, which can be temporarily decommissioned from MULE electrical attacks. Bola to freedom. If you’re swarmed by multiple MULEs, lean on the Bola gun to bind up immediate threats. Don’t dally, though, as more MULE baddies are usually on the way. If you’re about to raid a MULE camp for a mission (or just to take what you can), consider going in without any delivery cargo on hand. Bring weapons, but leave lots of space for that sweet, sweet cargo you’ll obtain by infiltrating their base. View the full article
  11. Don’t pause! Press play! Bringing new music and new collaborations to Beat Saber is always so much fun and we are proud to welcome another popular video game title on board. There is something, what brings Beat Saber and Rocket League together: both well-known video game hits defining its genres; set in the futuristic dark scene; the competitive character is what makes the game experience even better, and of course: our teams just love pulsing beats boosting the immersion to the next level. Rocket League has always been our favorite PC game, so the moment we connected with Psyonix and Monstercat teams and discussed potential collaboration, we knew it’s gonna be siiick! And with the support of Monstercat, what could go wrong? Our goal was to connect these three worlds, who have similar values, philosophy and feel the same about the music and its importance in the game industry. Together, we created a tracklist of songs, which are loved by the players around the world and will be a great fit for Beat Saber. Rocket League x Monstercat Music Pack contains six pumping tracks from Rocket League together with brand new Rocket League-inspired custom environment. Check out our tracklist: Tokyo Machine – ‘PLAY’ Stephen Walking – ‘Glide’ Slushii – ‘LUV U NEED U’ Tokyo Machine – ‘ROCK IT’ Dion Timmer – ‘Shiawase’ Slushii & Dion Timmer – ‘Test Me’ Our selection is a combination of the most popular tracks together mixed with fresh new releases. Our players can be excited, because their favorite artist Tokio Machine is making a return with two insane songs ‘PLAY’ and ‘ROCK IT.’ You won’t stop moving! Alongside today’s release in Beat Saber, Rocket League is adding two new customization items into the game. Starting today (10:00am PST), Rocket League players will be able to get free customization: Topper and Boost with iconic Beat Saber cubes and original slashing sounds. Just log into Rocket League to get the items and celebrate with us! The Rocket League x Monstercat Music Pack is available at PlayStation Store right now and it’s an absolute must-have for every true petrolhead. GO TRY IT! View the full article
  12. In the scattered world of Death Stranding, it stands to reason there aren’t many occasions to meet up and discuss art, games, and shared experiences. Thankfully, for us in the real world, the apocalyptic imagery that fuels the game is used to pull us together rather than push us apart. Fans are encouraged to visit Fractured Worlds: The Art of Death Stranding, a gallery in New York City loaded with behind-the-scenes production info, official artwork, and fan art inspired by the game. Get a peek inside the gallery with these photos, which I snapped from within its very walls: Full Gallery The space is open from 11:30AM-9:30PM, November 6-9, with a limited number of walk-up guests admitted each day. Reserve your space by visiting the RSVP site. Our shared mission to reconnect America begins this Friday. Are you up for the journey? View the full article
  13. Last Labyrinth is an escape-adventure title releasing worldwide on PlayStation VR next Wednesday, November 13. The team behind the title includes creators whose previous works include PlayStation titles such as ICO, The Last Guardian, Shadow of the Colossus, Puppeteer, and the Doko Demo Issyo series. Ahead of the game’s release, we sat down with Producer/Director Hiromichi Takahashi, Lead Character Animator Atsuko Fukuyama and Director/Game Designer Tetsuya Watanabe for an exclusive interview to discuss their new project. Director Hiromichi Takahashi, can you give us an overview of the game as well as its themes? Hiromichi Takahashi: Simply put, Last Labyrinth is a VR escape-adventure game. Players are tied to a wheelchair and have to work together with a mysterious girl named Katia, in order to solve puzzles and escape from the mansion they are trapped in. It’s our attempt at creating a new type of VR experience. There are also various portrayals of death in the game. When players solve puzzles incorrectly, both the player and Katia meet their ends in various gruesome ways. Communication and dis-communication, life and death are woven into the game’s themes. So one of the themes is “dis-communication,” which sounds like a pretty interesting concept to build a game around. What made you decide to do this? Hiromichi Takahashi: Communicating with “other beings” has been a constant theme throughout my career as a developer. Doko Demo Issyo featured Toro, better known as the Sony Cat, and the main theme was about conversing and communicating with animated characters. It never got released overseas, unfortunately. For Last Labyrinth, we thought about what forms of communication could utilize the uniqueness of PS VR, and we decided that “non-verbal communication” would be a suitable theme. Katia speaks in an unknown language, so players cannot communicate with her through words. We made this choice so players would experience non-verbal communication, regardless of the languages they speak. More specifically, players communicate with Katia through body language; when working together on puzzles, Katia will indicate that she’s seeking the players input through her movements and reactions, and players respond by literally nodding or shaking their heads to reply yes or no. It’s a design that only works in VR. In the game, players have a laser pointer attached to their heads, which shines in the direction they look at. Players can use it to point at items or areas of interest for Katia to interact with. The laser can be activated, and the game played, with either two PS Move controllers or a DualShock 4 controller. Which brings us to Atsuko Fukuyama, the Lead Character Animator. In the past, you’ve worked on characters such as Yorda from ICO and Agro from Shadow of the Colossus, both well-known examples of partner characters who use “non-verbal communication.” Now that Katia is taking up that role, so to speak, are there any aspects you’re focusing on when creating her animations? Atsuko Fukuyama: Takahashi told me to create Katia in the image of a young girl, somewhere between 10 to 12 years old. It’s the period of time when you’re transitioning from childhood to adulthood, so I wanted to reflect that in Katia’s body language. She looks like an adult when standing still, but when running or moving her actions are closer to that of a child’s. The player is also constantly staring at Katia because of the way the game is designed, which means we risk making her feel like just another NPC if we used the same movements repeatedly. We added a lot of variations so that players will feel like she’s an actual, living partner. For the animations to feel natural, I worked together with the engineers and game designers, which was the same in my previous works. There was a lot of back-and-forth between the team to get Katia to feel lifelike. Having an interesting concept is one thing, but building a game that works around it is a different story, a challenge handled by the director, Tetsuya Watanabe. What are the challenges of designing for a fairly unique game like Last Labyrinth, in PS VR nonetheless? Tetsuya Watanabe: How to guide player vision, meaning where they look, is the first thing that comes to mind. Compared to non-VR games, you don’t have the option of forcing the camera to view a specific direction. We have to encourage players to look where we want them to, through events and design. That’s really hard. On the flip-side, it heightens the level of player immersion significantly, because now they’re seeing and experiencing events of their own will. Compared to other VR titles that allow free-roaming movement, we have to rely on movement, design and lifelike animation to immerse the player in the world of Last Labyrinth, and I think we’ve managed to achieve that. It’s interesting that you’d choose to do a VR title, given that it’s still a comparatively new market. Any insights as to why you chose this medium? Hiromichi Takahashi: We wanted players to have a never-before, completely new experience through PS VR. There still aren’t enough VR titles that make full use of the medium, and we also need more unique VR games. We figured that we should start by making one ourselves, a unique experience that only VR can deliver, which is something I feel we’ve got with Last Labyrinth. Finally, what do you hope players to experience on November 13? Any surprises? Atsuko Fukuyama: It hasn’t been shown before yet, but in the game, there’s a small bell in their left hand that players can ring to get Katia to come close, so if they ever get tired of solving puzzles, I want players to relax with her. Tetsuya Watanabe: I’d like them to experience the type of unrealness that only a VR title can give. Life and Death is all around you in Last Labyrinth, and I hope they’ll look forward to enjoying it first-hand. Hiromichi Takahashi: I hope they’ll enjoy communicating with Katia, and spending time with her. We want players to experience all of the journeys with Katia, so please try for all the endings. View the full article
  14. PlayStation Bandicoots, it’s time to gas up and hit the track in the latest Grand Prix season* for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled — the Neon Circus Grand Prix! This Grand Prix starts at 7AM PST (3PM UTC) this Friday, November 8**. As always, the Neon Carnival Grand Prix comes at no additional cost to anyone who’s purchased Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and downloads the update. First and foremost, you’ll want to experience Koala Carnival, the new track that comes along with this Grand Prix. Before you get out there, we’ve got some track-mastering tips and all the details on the new content. Back to the Track It’s a circus or “carnival” of fun on the new track, Koala Carnival! A new character, Koala Kong – the headliner of this season’s Nitro Gauge reward set – is the master of ceremonies on this course that is as colorful as it is death-defying. Race around this track fit for a circus hand while dodging cannon bursts, avoiding fire blasts from the ground, and be the first to cross the finish line. Also, don’t forget to put on a spectacle… this is the circus after all. On Koala Carnival, you can get in the race with three new karts that are available in the Neon Circus Grand Prix: The Nitro Bumper Kart, the Pressurizer, and the Daredevil. If you’d like to channel some carnival, pick up the Nitro Bumper Kart in the Pit Stop. Or earn the Daredevil and Pressurizer – a Crash Tag Team Racing throwback – through the Nitro Gauge. Circus Tricks and Tips Want to be a master of the Koala Carnival? Try out these three tips to see if you can outrace the competition: Track Knowledge: With any track, knowing the curves, bends, and details makes it that much easier to navigate. Make your first few races on Koala Carnival a “Crash” course in the track, so you can work your way to being on top of the big top. Power-Ups: Collecting power-ups during the race can be the difference in getting an edge on the competition. Consider always grabbing a power-up — you never know it may just what you need. Practice: Like all things, mastery takes time. Practice the track and try out different karts, driving styles, and routes to find what works best for you. Rally Up and Get Rings A new game mode that puts your skills and endurance to the test – Ring Rally has arrived with the Neon Circus Grand Prix as a new game mode. The time continually counts down from the moment you take off, making this a race to survive the longest and earn a high score. Time is added onto the clock for each ring you collect, and rings give you a boost to help you get down the track even quicker. Earn points in this mode by collecting rings and by finishing a lap with the time remaining on the clock to set a new record. In each successive lap the rings – laid out on the track’s optimal route – get smaller, making it even harder to collect and keep on driving. Endure on the track as long as you can and once you clock in a time face the ultimate challenge: can you beat your own record? If you’re looking for some tips to master Ring Rally, we’ve got you covered: Boost Power: The more you boost, the faster you go. Collect the rings to get boosts and help maintain top speed. Get Those Rings: The goal if Ring Rally is to finish each lap and gain a high score. Rings add seconds on to your timer and give you more points making them twice as important. Navigate: Some shortcuts contain rings, others don’t. Choose your path wisely to master the best route on the track and take that knowledge into other game modes. Style Points: Sometimes you might need to change up your driving style to clock in the best time. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and experiment to find what works best. Keep On Going: Each lap, the rings get smaller and smaller, upping the challenge to collect them. Consider changing your strategy and speed as you progress to keep hitting those rings. Hit the Big Top Koala Carnival and the Ring Rally aren’t the only pieces of new content in the Neon Circus Grand Prix. There’s a new set of rewards in the Nitro Gauge, a host of Challenges to earn Nitro Points and a new set of customization items in the Pit Stop — most importantly, new fan-favorite racers make their way to the scene with Pasadena O’Possum, Ebenezer Von Clutch and Koala Kong, himself! Plus, you have a chance to earn this season’s Signature Decal and Champion Kart (if you don’t already own it) if you make it to the top 5% of the Neon Circus Grand Prix Champion or Nitro Leaderboards. Experience the joy and the fun of the Neon Circus Grand Prix in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Good Luck, Bandicoots! *Internet required for Grand Prix, Wumpa Coins, Nitro Points, online multiplayer (gaming subscription service sold separately), access to the Pit Stop and other features. **Grand Prix content and timing subject to change. View the full article
  15. Some big new games launched in October, and three of those big new games topped the PS4 charts at PlayStation Store. Congratulations to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (well-deserved, I’d say), Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and The Outer Worlds! No big surprises elsewhere, as Beat Saber and Fortnite continue to dominate the PS VR and free-to-play lists. Finally, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep claimed the number 2 spot on the DLC / Expansions side. Two months left this year decade! What are your predictions for November? PS4 Games 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint 3 The Outer Worlds 4 EA SPORTS FIFA 20 5 Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition 6 NBA 2K20 7 Madden NFL 20 8 Grand Theft Auto V 9 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 10 Borderlands 3 11 TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX SIEGE 12 Mortal Kombat 11 13 Red Dead Redemption 2 14 Rocket League 15 God of War 16 Marvel’s Spider-Man 17 WWE 2K20 18 STAR WARS Battlefront II 19 THE FOREST 20 NHL 20 PS VR Games 1 Beat Saber 2 SUPERHOT VR 3 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR 4 Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted 5 Job Simulator 6 Creed: Rise to Glory 7 Borderlands 2 VR 8 Firewall Zero Hour 9 Blood & Truth 10 PlayStation VR Worlds Free-to-Play Games 1 Fortnite 2 Apex Legends 3 MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM BATTLE OPERATION 2 4 Brawlhalla 5 Dauntless 6 Warframe 7 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2019 LITE 8 Paladins 9 H1Z1: Battle Royale 10 CARAVAN STORIES DLC and Expansions 1 Fortnite: Battle Royale – The Red Strike Pack 2 Destiny 2: Shadowkeep 3 Fortnite – The Wavebreaker Pack 4 Fortnite – The Final Reckoning Pack 5 Call of Duty Modern Wafare – C.O.D.E. Defender Pack 6 Fortnite – P-1000’s Challenge Pack 7 Fortnite – Batman Caped Crusader Pack 8 Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 9 Beat Saber: Panic! At The Disco Music Pack 10 Fortnite: Save the World – Standard Founder’s Pack View the full article