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Commander Fury

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  1. Like one of its own monstrous Behemoths: Dauntless just keeps growing. With every update, narrative, game design, and art come together to create interesting experiences for our players. So, what’s next? “For Escalation, we’re sending players into the depths of the Maelstrom, a storm of epic proportions. There, aetheric pressures cause physics to pretty much break, allowing Behemoths to grow terrifyingly powerful,” says Dauntless writer, Cory Herndon. The pressure of the Maelstrom’s heart causes normal archonite to compress into much denser lodestones that have their own powerful, and very unstable, aetheric fields. “Now that the residents of Ramsgate have learned what’s going on,” continues Herndon, “they aren’t taking any chances.” These Behemoths must be vanquished, thus destroying these unstable islands. Players will have to storm the storm, in a sense, taking on one Behemoth after another, sometimes in pairs. Thankfully, they’ll have help in the form of amps. After a Behemoth is slain in Escalation, their store of aether is released and absorbed by nearby lodestones. These massive crystals offer each slayer a boon for the rest of their run. These are amps, passive buffs that aid the player. “We wanted to distill lots of different roguelike elements and see what would work well in our game,” states Travis Day, Lead Designer. “After you finish a run, you get a bunch of experience that you can use to strengthen these amps. It’s meant to give the Slayer a progression system where they’re constantly unlocking new things and improving the amps they find in Escalation runs.” Failure isn’t the end in Escalation. It’s a stepping stone. These amps will also help players with the final encounter: the brand-new Malkarion. It’s important to choose the right amps before tackling this new enemy. Choose wisely, Slayers! “We also wanted these hunts to be randomized so that they’re a varied experience with nice, big, meaty rewards for the players,” says Day. Escalation themes will change over time, offering different rewards, enemies, and amps. It wasn’t all clear skies for the developers, though. Due to the rise of Behemoth activity, players will be challenging more than one enemy at a time, and with dual Behemoth battles being added to the game, the developers at Phoenix Labs had their work cut out for them. “Our Behemoths weren’t inherently built to be fought two at a time, so they did lots of things that felt unfair,” continues Day. “We spent a lot of time figuring out how to remedy these problems. An example of this was projectiles shooting through a Behemoth. Especially if you’re hitting it in the face, it didn’t feel good. We had to ask ourselves, should all projectiles impact the Behemoths? And if they do, do they damage them? The answer was yes to both.” Meanwhile, a few desks down from Day, the art team had begun breathing life into the Maelstrom. “We wanted players to feel compelled to take the fight deeper into the Maelstrom than ever before,” explains Jen Morgan, a Principal Environment Artist at Phoenix Labs. “The mood we were going for was wild, chaotic, and unpredictable with an escalating sense of danger. The closer a player gets to the eye of the storm, the more intense it would get. Its landscape is shattering apart, revealing the aether-charged lodestones that are the source of the island’s unpredictable qualities.” These narrative, design, and artistic pillars will stand over time, but the theme of each Escalation will change. “We want each version of the Escalation experience to go with a high-level theme. At the start, it will be shock aether but expect a different element in the future, and maybe even new enemies,” says Morgan. As Escalation continues, it will evolve and grow, just like everything else in the world of Dauntless. View the full article
  2. That does it for our fourth episode of State of Play! We hope you enjoyed all the new reveals, whether you’re counting the days until the goose is set loose next week or marking your calendar for the April release of Predator: Hunting Grounds. Personally, I’m counting the hours until I can see the rest of Sucker Punch’s new Ghost of Tsushima trailer at The Game Awards — Keighley, you tease! Capcom just had a banner year, but they aren’t taking it easy: Resident Evil 3 is officially official with a sooner-than-you-might-think release date. And a new action game collab between Square Enix and PlatinumGames? You didn’t even need to show me a trailer to sell me on that (but it helped). I’m already scratching my head over Superliminal and coming up with spell names to shout at my TV when I boot up Spellbreak, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Paper Beast (from Another World creator Eric Chahi!) when it launches for PS VR. I know this was an early one, so a special thanks to everyone who tuned in live — hit the comments and let us know which announcements tickled your fancy. ‘Til next time! State of Play Resident Evil 3 Makes A Return Trip to Raccoon City April 3rd, 2020 Babylon’s Fall: First Gameplay Footage Predator: Hunting Grounds Launching April 24th, 2020 Untitled Goose Game Coming to PS4 December 17 Dreams Will Steal Your Heart on February 14, 2020 Spellbreak Enchants PS4 in Early 2020 Perception is Reality: Superliminal Coming to PS4 Paper Beast: Explore a Dreamlike Ecosystem in PS VR View the full article
  3. AVICII Invector launches today on PS4, available for $19.99 and created in collaboration with Tim Bergling himself. It’s safe to say the project has been an emotional journey for everyone at the studio and of course his friends and family. The game is part of an outpouring of support and recognition for Tim, with our launch following the selling out of the AVICII Tribute Concert, which was held in Stockholm December 5, and where names including Rita Ora, Kygo, David Guetta and more honored our friend. We wanted to talk about why we continued work and what we hope people will take away from the game… so read on. What is AVICII Invector? AVICII Invector thrusts you into a musical journey across six different worlds lit up with fantastical colors, wondrous sights, and 25 of AVICII’s greatest tracks. You’ll glide, float and race through each musical track, tasked with hitting the beat, swiping each fade while wrapping yourself up in each world and track — the goal: keep the beat and rock for that high score. Working with Tim Usually when people mention they worked in collaboration with an awesome celebrity or personality, they expect that they just put a tick or a cross in a box at the end of a project or have a different team watch over proceedings… We’re happy to say that in this instance, this was not the case! Tim was present throughout the majority of the development process, and when we say present, he really took it upon himself to get elbows deep into the thick of things — from scrutinizing mechanics, visuals and even digging into the minutiae of how each musical phrase was represented in game. Tim had a huge passion for games. He played a lot of games in his spare time and in our meetings he was always present and interested. I especially remember one occasion when we were supposed to have a quick playthrough of Invector. The meeting lasted for many hours. We ended up playing music; he showed me some new songs. He asked me if I could show him some Taekwondo stretching — he knew I’m a black belt — in the middle of a dev session. At first I was surprised! But then, okay why not? So we stretched for a while with laughter and had a really nice time. Fantastic memory. He came with a lot of valuable feedback, and we implemented his changes, which made Invector a better game. We also decided to create more games together in the future which unfortunately never will happen. I remember our meetings with great warmth and I will never forget it. The 2017 release In 2017 we launched Invector on PS4 with Tim. It was a fantastic moment for him and a phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us… We had more plans and were figuring out where to take the game next, and then everything changed. When we heard of Tim ‘AVICII’ Bergling’s passing, we were numb — the magnificent spark which burnt fierce with love, support and passion had ceased. With that, we stopped. A foundation of change After some time, we heard that a foundation was to be set up by Tim’s father, The Tim Bergling Foundation — a charity to recognize suicide as a medical emergency as well as funding support to those who struggle with their mental health. After some discussions, we decided to head back to the base of Invector and finish what we started with Tim — giving life to AVICII Invector, which includes new visuals, tighter mechanics, as well as a brand-new world to celebrate the memory of AVICII, including tracks from his posthumous album ‘Tim’. Handing a boxed PS4 copy of Avicii Invector to Tim’s father, Klas All of Avicii’s music royalties from the game will be donated directly to the Tim Bergling Foundation to support their phenomenal and important work, as well as an additional donation made by Hello There Games and Wired Production to Safe in Our World, a mental health charity set up to support those in need and break down the stigma and provide support towards mental health in general. So we’re very proud of having this privilege to work with this talented guy. He gave our studio and team his love and attention. After the fact, you wish you could go back to one of these dev sessions, give him a comforting hug and let him know how brilliant and loved he was — we can’t do that, so this is the next best thing we can do to pay tribute to his music and support his silent plight. For those of you who supported the original release of Invector, we’ve worked with PlayStation to make sure you can download this release for no extra charge. We thank you for picking it up originally and supporting Tim. We hope you enjoy his work. View the full article
  4. In Paper Beast, I want the player to feel like they are the first explorer of a virgin land. This is how we created the game: as a journey through a unique wilderness where no human being has ever set foot. The game leads you to discover fauna and flora made from origami paper, folded metal, coral… Some elements seem familiar, such as water and sand, while others are more surreal, such as the creatures. As you go through the game, you solve puzzles and obstacles, discovering a lot of surprises. The creatures help the player progress through their journey intuitively, without a word, since the game’s narrative is non-verbal. You share a common goal with these animals: to progress and evolve in this world. You’ll create a strong bond as you interact and travel together. This is also how we designed levels: as a journey, a migration. The challenge was to create a credible wilderness. Thanks to our physical simulation of locomotion, the animals move as if they had muscles and bones. This technology is the core of the gameplay: the engine calculates the creatures’ movement in real time to allow them to react to all the player’s actions. Creatures will also adapt their movements to the terrain and the obstacles on their path. In this trailer we present how the player can manipulate the terrain to solve certain puzzles, like the creature you attract to help build a dam out of sand over the water. The ground and the various elements adapt automatically to the player’s actions. Everything is calculated in real time by the game’s engine. One of the things you can see in the video is that when you move a ball of sand, it leaves a trail on the ground. The video focuses on a part of the game where the player helps metal creatures climb a slippery slope. The player enlists the help of the sand and nearby plants to move them. They manipulate their environment to help them progress. Once they reach their destination, the creatures use the fruit from the tree to fly away, tipping the player off as to how to continue the adventure. The adventure you’re about to live is unique, full of surprising and unexpected events. That’s why Paper Beast is a true VR odyssey. View the full article
  5. Hello everyone! We are Pillow Castle, a six-person indie studio based in Seattle, WA, USA. After six years of development, we’re excited to say that Superliminal is finally coming to PlayStation 4 in April 2020! In this first-person puzzler, players solve optical illusion puzzles using their perspective as they attempt to escape a dream therapy program gone wrong. Everyone has tried to play with perspective using their imagination. Maybe you’ve pretended to pinch and pick up the Eiffel Tower, the sun, or maybe just a friend that’s standing far away. And we thought, well what if you could do that in a game? What if you could pick up the Eiffel Tower from far away and actually put it on a table? And that’s how Superliminal (or originally a prototype called “Museum of Simulation Technology”) was born. We wanted to create a surreal, dream-like experience that would keep players on their feet and thinking outside the box. In order to do that, we have other optical illusion related mechanics in the game as well. One of them is called trompe-l’oeil, which you probably know as chalk drawings on the ground that look 3D from a certain perspective. In our game, from the correct angle, 2D images can sometimes become real 3D objects. Part of our belief in making this game is that there are so many interesting and unexplored video game mechanics out there. Video games can be about anything, and hopefully game developers have barely scratched the surface. We’re looking forward to see what kind of video games come out in the future! View the full article
  6. I’m incredibly excited to announce today that Spellbreak will be coming to PS4! And we’re pleased to confirm that we’re working on a beta that will be available to PS4 players in early 2020. Spellbreak is a fantasy battle royale where you play as a battlemage, casting huge spells, combining primal elements, and literally flying through the world (or Teleporting, Shadowstepping, or a myriad of other movement abilities.). Guns and grenades can only take you so far and we wanted to explore something different, something that harkens back to the fantasy books that we grew up reading. We took our inspiration from old-school shooters with skill shots and crazy mobility and we added in some modern twists to make a combat system that truly embodies fantasy action spellcasting. Add to that our spin on battle royale with elements of rogue-like games and RPGs, along with a gorgeous art style, and you have something we feel is totally unique. Our team has been hard at work bringing the ravaged world of Spellbreak to life with sublime, painterly, cel-shaded visuals inspired by traditional animation and anime. You’ll be transported to the Hollow Lands, and while you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny, don’t get too complacent; there are enemy mages around every corner trying to put an end to your journey. Go on quests, discover ongoing content, and experience the deep backstory and universe we have created around the game. Master Your Magic Choose your gauntlets wisely. In Spellbreak, you can dual-wield magical gauntlets that each have two different abilities, giving you four active combat options and a myriad of combination possibilities. Runes provide powerful movement and support abilities to round out your magic arsenal. The balance of fast movement and numerous skillshot abilities creates a deep, skill-based combat system for players to master. Create Elemental Spell Combinations Use wind to launch yourself skyward or create a tornado that will pull your enemies in. Then light the tornado on fire or electrify it with lightning to ensure maximum damage. Grab a frost gauntlet to lay a path of ice that you and your teammates can skate down at super-speed or melt it with a fireball. There are dozens of spell combinations in Spellbreak and you will need to master all of them if you want to outlast your enemies. Choose Your Class, Craft Your Build In addition to the over-the-top combat, we wanted to bring the joy of RPGs and character customization to Spellbreak. Not only can you dual-wield gauntlets, but you can choose a class that unlocks various skills, as well as equip a vast array of powers to further customize your playstyle. Play your own way or team up with friends to synergize your builds (or accidentally set a teammate on fire. Whoops.) Become the Ultimate Battlemage To win in Spellbreak, it takes quick combat skill, clever magical tactics, smart strategic choices, and a little bit of luck. We know that Spellbreak will be at home on PS4 and we can’t wait to share it with all of you. View the full article
  7. It’s true, we are officially releasing Dreams worldwide on Valentine’s Day, 2020 and the game is available for pre-order now. This year has been wild for us, launching Early Access in April, watching the growing Dreams community create amazing things and continuing work on all the exciting additions we have planned. At the top of this post you can watch the brand-new trailer that debuted earlier today on State of Play and features some of our favorite games from the community and a sneak peek of the game we’ve been working on for the launch of Dreams – made entirely with the same tools we give our players. Since Early Access began, we have seen skilled creators emerge to develop their own original characters and series; build their own fan bases, create viral content, make new genres of games, and collaborate across the world. More importantly, we’ve been updating Dreams based on users’ feedback, improving the experience and making it easier than ever to find and make cool content. We have also been working on a whole host of new things to inspire players at launch, including a totally new introduction to the game, a new season of tutorials, tool improvements, new game content and a feature-length game, titled Art’s Dream. Art’s Dream was made by us to show the endless possibilities in Dreams; it crosses genres, features some amazing characters, and shows our love of music in a big way. We’ve also got some really cool stuff planned for post-launch too… but let’s save that for the next blog post! If you don’t already have Dreams Early Access, you can pre-order now from PlayStation Store and you’ll be able to get in and play Dreams on February 14 for $39.99. As a thank you to all of our Early Access players will get upgraded to the full version of Dreams via a downloadable update at no additional cost at the same time. Update requires Internet connection and a PlayStation Network account. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of making something, but don’t know where to start, could spend hours getting lost in new worlds and new experiences, or you just want to connect with creative people around the world – we hope we’ll see you in Dreams in February. If you want to see more of the awesome experiences made in Dreams, please do join us on January 26th for the first annual IMPY Awards where we celebrate the most creative Dreams and Dreamers from our Early Access phase. And of course, a HUGE thank you from all of us at Media Molecule to our Early Access players. You have shaped this game, you have made this launch possible and the kindness and encouragement you’ve spread throughout our community inspires us every day. You make Dreams a wonderful place to be. We cannot wait to welcome you all to Dreams in February and we hope you enjoyed the trailer! Mm View the full article
  8. Oh, hello again! It’s us, House House , a small videogame studio from Melbourne, Australia. Last time we wrote a blog post like this we were releasing Push Me Pull You , our wriggly local-multiplayer sports game. Now we’re back to announce that our next thing, Untitled Goose Game , will be coming to PlayStation 4 on December 17. Maybe you’ve heard about Untitled Goose Game already, but in case you haven’t, we’ll catch you up: it’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose. That’s pretty much it. It’s been a busy three years for us as we turned an offhand joke in our internal Slack channel into a real videogame, but we’re glad we did. We’re very excited for you to play our videogame. We put in a thing where the controller’s light bar flashes orange when you honk. No one made us do it! We just thought it would be fun. It’s releasing on December 17 and will retail at $19.99 USD — but with a special limited-time launch sale price of $14.99. Lots of love, House House View the full article
  9. Are you ready to enter the hunting grounds on April 24, 2020? We are so excited to bring the Predator** universe to both your PlayStation 4 system and PC next spring. We have been eagerly awaiting this State of Play announcement because there has been so much we couldn’t wait to share with the community. And now we get to show you a ton! If you haven’t seen the latest State of Play, be sure to check it out to see our new trailer that focuses on the Predator. One of the secrets we have been keeping since announcing Predator: Hunting Grounds has been the inclusion of the female Predator. When we first came up with what this game would be, I knew we had to create a world where this ultimate female warrior would exist too. We had fun imagining her back-story which helped us create a fierce warrior that any gamer will have fun playing. She is agile, fast, and relentless. She is a huntress without fear and she thrives in the hunt. In the trailer we see her with a weapon that IllFonic created, the Yautja Bow. This is no ordinary bow, it deals massive damage to its prey and will pin the enemy to walls and other structures at death. She has access to the entire Predator arsenal as well. Speaking of the Predator arsenal…this trailer was one of the hardest but rewarding to make because we had so much to share about our Predators. We wanted to be certain we conveyed that the Predator, male and female, is truly the universe’s deadliest adversary. As far as weapons go, the Predator has crazy off-world tech at its disposal. Did you happen to catch the scene with the Smart Disc making multiple kills? It is personally one of my favorites. We have been demonstrating the wrist blades and plasma caster at events since August, but this trailer lets us show off even more. Like the bow and Smart Disc, the Combistick is another weapon that is super deadly. In battle, the Combistick extends to become a spear both useful in close combat or from a distance. In the trailer, there is the close combat scene where the Predator impales an NPC and lifts him into the air on the Combistick. This is exactly what one should expect when fighting a Predator wielding this weapon. In our game, we wanted to make sure players had a way to customize their own Predator depending on how they want to hunt. On top of choosing your own armor design, we created three Predator classes with different styles of play, strengths and weaknesses to select from. Play as a ‘Hunter’ the balanced killer, the agile ‘Scout’ that can quickly stalk their prey, or the brutal ‘Berserker’ that is strong and able to take massive damage. Predator fans will not want to miss out on our pre-order content. Pre-order today and you will get bonus in-game items at launch inspired by the original movie. First you can hunt as the Predator from the original film with the ‘87 Predator Skin and for the Fireteam players, get early access to the powerful “Ole Painless” mini-gun. It’s perfect for those, “who don’t have time to bleed.” Ultimate Predator fans will want to get the Digital Deluxe Edition on the PlayStation Store which gets you awesome content including exclusive in-game items like PlayStation-themed Predator and Fireteam skins and even a digital copy of Predator: Hunters by Dark Horse Comics (120 pages!) As we get closer to launch we will have more fun stuff to share. Looking forward to seeing you in the hunting grounds on April 24th! *Gameplay required to unlock some Predator weapons, skins, and classes. **PREDATOR TM & © 2019 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. View the full article
  10. Good news for fans of lightning-fast action combat: During today’s State of Play, we got our very first look at gameplay for the mysterious new collaboration between Square Enix and PlatinumGames: Babylon’s Fall. Watch the debut trailer above, then read on for a note from Square Enix to PlayStation fans: Babylon’s Fall is a brand new game from Square Enix, developed in partnership with renowned action specialists PlatinumGamesInc (Bayonette series, Nier: Automata) In our new teaser trailer, unveiled during the State of Play broadcast earlier today, take an early look at the game’s fluid action gameplay for the first time as well its striking brushstroke visual art-style delivered by the original “Brushwork Filter”. Keep your eyes open for more information about Babylon’s Fall this summer. View the full article
  11. Just announced via State of Play, Resident Evil 3 is coming to PS4 on April 3rd, 2020! Survival horror fans need no introduction to this true PlayStation classic, and for those who have never seen Jill Valentine’s desperate escape from Raccoon City but played Resident Evil 2 earlier this year, you’re in for one terrifying treat. If you thought RE2’s Tyrant was frightening, you’re in for a whole new kind of fear when the relentless Nemesis drops in with only one mission: to ensure Jill Valentine never sees daylight again. September 28th, Daylight Taking place a few months after the original Resident Evil ends, Resident Evil 3 takes place both before and after the events of Resident Evil 2. While Leon and Claire’s stories occur after the city has already been infected for some time, Jill’s story provides a new perspective. Starting with the early days of the outbreak, you’ll follow Jill’s fight for survival as the population of the once-lively metropolis turns into hordes of undead. Despite providing a thorough report on the Umbrella Corporation and the incident at the Arklay Mansion a few months prior, Jill’s investigation has largely been swept under the rug. Even though she’s been suspended from the police force, Jill is still on a mission to bring the truth to light. To do that, however, she first has to escape with her life and her investigation in tow. Setting out to put the wreckage of the city behind her once and for all, Jill runs headlong into one giant problem that all of her training and her harrowing experiences in the Arklay Mountains couldn’t prepare her for… An Ordinary Day in Raccoon City Nemesis. Those of you who have played the original Resident Evil 3 remember this monstrosity on a mission, and Jill is the last-standing fixation of its relentless pursuit. A variation of the Bio Organic Weapon (B.O.W.) series that the infamous Tyrant (who you may know as “Mr. X”) hails from, Nemesis has one purpose, and one purpose only. It exists to prevent the truth of Umbrella’s experiments from getting out, by exterminating any traces of the S.T.A.R.S. team. Further complicating things is that Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.), Umbrella’s private military force, has been dispatched into the city to rescue any remaining civilians – at least, that’s their purpose according to one of its members, Carlos Oliveira. Between Jill and Carlos, you’ll get a new perspective of the doomed city and revisit iconic locales that were first featured in Resident Evil 2. You’ll need to keep your wits about you, though; the shambling hordes of the undead aren’t the only things out to get you. You never know when you might hear that iconic, low rumble… “STARRRRRRSSSSS….” A City Controlled by Umbrella A big part of the original Resident Evil 3 was the introduction of a constant pursuer in Nemesis. You could never be quite sure where he’d pop up next, and if you did encounter him, you had another problem on your hands: He could follow you from one area to the next. Sounds just like a certain fedora-wearing, boot-stomping creature from earlier this year, doesn’t it? Nemesis, as something of an “upgrade” to the line of Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) that Tyrant hails from, was also a bit more intelligent and capable using weapons – even those who haven’t played the original game likely know he’s fond of rocket launchers. Alongside Nemesis, the original Resident Evil 3 introduced a number of new features, including a unique dodge mechanic that, with just the right timing, could let you get out of the way of nearly any attack, and cutting-edge polygonal graphics mixed with fixed camera angles to create a sense of dread. You never knew what was around the next corner, just a camera cut away. Of course, bringing a classic game into the present day means improved tech and modern flourishes. Resident Evil 3 follows its predecessor by swinging the camera over Jill’s shoulder to put you dead-center in the horror that’s unfolding all around, while cutting-edge photogrammetry is used to scan in actors and create true-to-life performances – that includes scanning in real people for the zombies, too! The undead certainly never looked so life-like. Just like with Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 7 biohazard before it, you can expect heightened horror and plenty of terrifying encounters among the city streets. Last Escape Also included with Resident Evil 3 is Resident Evil Resistance, a 4v1 asymmetrical, co-op multiplayer game set in the Resident Evil universe. Previously revealed as the working title Project Resistance, this unique game pits four kidnapped Survivors against a single Mastermind in a deadly experiment. As part of today’s reveal, we’ve also lifted the veil on two new Survivors: Becca, a local Park Ranger and skilled markswoman, and Martin, a mechanic who’s got a knack for machines and technology. They’ll be joining Samuel, January, Valerie, and Tyrone in their bid to escape from the clutches of Annette Birkin, one of multiple Masterminds with an array of traps and monsters at their disposal. You may have seen Daniel Fabron and his ability to control the Tyrant during the open beta for Project Resistance, but Annette has a different monster to unleash – William Birkin, mutated by the G-Virus. Keep an eye out for more info on Resident Evil Resistance in the coming months! I’m a Member of S.T.A.R.S. Get ready for a return trip to Raccoon City when Resident Evil 3 launches on April 3rd, 2020! If you’re the type who’s already packing your bags and always, always brings a souvenir back from your trip, we’ve got something special for you: the Resident Evil 3 Collector’s Edition, available for purchase in North America! Complete with an incredibly detailed Jill Valentine statue, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this Collector’s Edition before it’s sold out. A digital soundtrack, art book, and reversible poster are also included, all packaged up in a familiar item box. Perfect for fans who are looking to display their Resident Evil collection in style! As an added bonus, all pre-orders of the Standard or Collector’s Edition will include the Classic Costume Pack, which features costumes inspired by Jill and Carlos’ appearances from the original Resident Evil 3! (Please check with your retailer to confirm they’ll have this pre-order bonus available.) With the acclaimed RE Engine bringing the city back to life, both veteran fans and series newcomers will get to return to Raccoon City once again when Resident Evil 3 launches on PS4 April 3rd, 2020. View the full article
  12. Season of Dawn is nearly here, and everyone at Bungie is excited to share this next chapter of the ongoing Destiny story with the world. I’m fortunate to work with tons of passionate and creative people — a few of whom you saw on our Season announcement live stream this week who shared a bunch of awesome info (and this action-packed trailer). Today, I’m here to share a few new looks of what you can expect to see this season. Our story picks up where the last Season ended. Tomorrow, we’ll join Guardians all over the world as we travel through time in an attempt to rescue the legendary hero, Saint-14. The story in Season of Dawn is told through new quests, bounties, and a six-player encounter we’re calling The Sundial. In that encounter, the Cabal are attempting to change the events of the Red War by rewriting history. We’ll enter the fractured timeline and stop them before they succeed. A new Season of Dawn Artifact is ready to be powered up. As you level your Artifact throughout the Season, you’ll unlock new mods that you can slot into brand new weapons and armor to customize the way you play. At Bungie, when we talk about the game we want Destiny 2 to be, we’re having conversations about exploring a living world that changes with every Season. We want there to be a through line that connects each of us to a unique moment in time with hopefully less Cabal meddling. It also gives way to new adventures on the horizon. The Sundial’s conceptual origin was: “What would Osiris do with his vast knowledge of Vex technology?” “How would he repurpose it?” It’s taking that knowledge from the Vex, smelting the technology down, and repurposing it to create a machine that can manipulate time. One that he built through countless simulations, but now it exists in reality. Our reference material covered a multitude of things including astrolabes, typewriters, ancient cartography, compasses, and of course, sundials. Bringing Saint back was something that we have always wanted to do. And luckily, since we’re able to play with time, we had a unique opportunity to give you a peek into an earlier moment before he was the legend we all know. Rusted lands has been a team favorite for some time. This map was our primary test bed for PVP and it was the one where we honed in PVP as a whole within the studio. It has been exciting to bring it back to both new and old Destiny players. This image illustrates the players being pulled through time within The Sundial. Conceptually we wanted to take fragments of The Sundial itself and stretch, tear, and warp them throughout the experience to show the echoes of its existence throughout the space between realities. From the very beginning, we explored themes, conflicts, and moods that would connect the Seasons. This early work guided many of our design decisions and I’m always glad for the opportunity to share some of the more iconic elements that end up in the game. Thanks for stopping by and taking an early look at Season of Dawn. See you in the Tower tomorrow. View the full article
  13. It’s time! After a year chock-full of huge new games (with a few surprises along the way), the polls are now officially open for the annual PlayStation.Blog Game of the Year awards. As always, these awards are decided entirely by you, the readers, so get in there and go to bat for the games you think deserve the win. We’ve got the categories you’d expect — Best PS4 Game, Best PS VR Experience, Best Soundtrack, Best Art Direction, and more — but we’ve added a couple new ones this year too. What was the best gaming moment of 2019? Polls are open now, and we’ll keep them live until Sunday night. Then we’ll reveal the winners before 2019 draws to a close. Important note: As always, any game that previously won a Platinum Trophy in the “Most Anticipated” category is barred from another nomination in that category. Finally, I know we’ve said this a lot over the past few weeks, but it bears repeating: Thank you! It’s because of our readers that we’re able to do fun stuff like this, so we — and I, personally speaking — sincerely appreciate your continued support. Now then, let’s vote! Best Narrative Best Narrative Best Graphical Showcase Best Graphical Showcase Best Art Direction Best Art Direction Best Soundtrack Best Soundtrack Best Multiplayer Best Multiplayer Best Role-Playing Game Best Role-Playing Game Best Action Game Best Action Game Best Sports Game Best Sports Game Best Ongoing Game Best Ongoing Game Best Independent Game Best Independent Game Best PlayStation Console Exclusive Best PlayStation Console Exclusive Best Performance Best Performance Gaming Moment of the Year Gaming Moment of the Year Best PS VR Experience Best PS VR Experience Best PS4 Game Best PS4 Game Most Anticipated Game Most Anticipated Game Studio of the Year Studio of the Year View the full article
  14. At its heart, Fujii is a game about exploring and gardening in equal parts. It revolves around a loop that lets players discover varied forms of plant life across three unique biomes, and then return to their home garden to plant various seeds they’ve discovered along the way. The experience takes players on a serene adventure through a series of lush, natural biomes; it’s designed as a consistently calm, musical experience, making it accessible for players of all types. We have a strong interest in the cathartic and healing powers of immersive experiences, and to that end one of our core aims for Fujii was to create a sense of place that engenders these kinds of feelings. Fujii’s environments are based heavily on the art of aquascaping — essentially, gardening underwater. The graceful, free-flowing aesthetic of underwater plant life became an inspirational touchstone, and over time the world of Fujii came to exist somewhere between land, sea, and space, with plants that grow and flowers that bloom in unearthly, fantastical ways. Fujii is set in an organic world that’s initially bathed in darkness, nearly devoid of life and energy. As the player ventures forth they’ll find their way through this darkness, bringing light and color to the world as they do so. Light gems, which are harvested from plants, allow the user to progress through and explore its three unique biomes. One feature we’re particularly proud of in Fujii is the game’s locomotion. While VR experiences can often make users feel confused — or, worse, motion sick — our intent was to build a locomotion system that empowered players, while still very much grounding them in the world. The system we came up with uses a physics-based teleportation system, using the parabola of a ball-like cursor to highlight the user’s intended destination. It’s something the team spent a lot of time perfecting, and we think it makes the core action of moving through Fujii’s world both elegant and fun. The game also builds on the connection between music and the natural world, with a soundscape that’s deeply enmeshed with the experience itself. Plants emit musical sounds and notes as they grow, and often require a sort of “musical gardening” to fully bloom. Compositions respond to player actions, and themselves bloom as the player progresses through each biome. Finally, Fujii’s home garden is a highly customizable space for players to make their own, primarily by planting and growing seeds from plants they’ve discovered throughout the world. These exotic seeds can be planted nearly anywhere in the user’s home area to create unique gardenscapes, which can be modified and revisited at any time. Fujii will be available tomorrow at PlayStation Store for $14.99. View the full article
  15. “As long as there’s music, I’ll keep on dancing.” “Time to hit hard and make ‘em regret it.” Two lines that should get any action game fan’s heart racing. Ten years after their original debut, Bayonetta and Sam Gideon return once more in the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle on PlayStation 4! We’re thrilled to finally bring the frantic action and unrelenting style of PlatinumGames’ flagship titles to life in 4K at 60fps on the PlayStation 4 Pro. This hard-hitting combo pack launches on February 18, 2020. Have you broken a controller playing through Bayonetta on Non-Stop ∞ Climax? Spent countless hours perfecting every movement in Vanquish’s infamous Challenge 6? Or are you just fascinated by the idea of controlling a gun-wielding witch or a DARPA agent donning a rocket-propelled Augmented Reaction Suit? Then the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is perfect for you. We know how special Bayonetta and Vanquish are to fans, and they’re an important part of SEGA’s history as well, so we wanted to go big for their 10th anniversary. That’s why we’re happy to announce that the physical release of the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle will come in an embossed SteelBook with brand-new cover art for both games produced by Weapons Van, supervised by Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya and Sega. We’re happy to give PlayStation Blog readers an exclusive first look at the new cover art here: Two exclusive static themes will be available for fans who plan to pick up the bundle digitally (pre-orders begin today at PlayStation Store!): Bayonetta & Vanquish Theme: show some love for the original Bayonetta and Vanquish cover art with this theme – available for all digital purchases. Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Theme: celebrate the 10th anniversary with a theme featuring the brand new cover art shown above. Available for a limited time for all pre-orders and purchases up to March 3, 2020, two weeks after launch. If you’re brand-new to either Bayonetta or Vanquish, you’re in for a treat. Bayonetta takes fast-paced third-person action to the extreme, pitting the unflappable Umbra Witch Bayonetta against hundreds of angelic foes with an arsenal of interchangeable weapons, powerful abilities, and mystical beasts summoned through her incredible hair. Meanwhile, Vanquish redefines the cover-based third-person shooting genre by introducing elements from action games and beat ‘em ups, a wide variety of weapons, and some of the craziest boss fights you’ll ever see, creating an entirely unique experience that shouldn’t be missed. The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle comes to PlayStation 4 on February 18, 2020 for $39.99. We’re so excited to give even more players the opportunity to experience these classic action game gems, and we look forward to the deluge of new playthroughs, combo videos, and speedruns for both games! View the full article
  16. Bedrock is coming to PlayStation 4 tomorrow! “Kelsey,” you gasp in horror, “you’ve given away the whole article in the first sentence.” Don’t worry, beloved reader of PlayStation Blog, there is always more! “So how is this different from the version of Minecraft I can already play on my PS4?” The difference is that the Bedrock version of Minecraft is the unified version of the game that offers the same experience across all consoles. All that glorious, unified code means that you’ll be playing the same game as your pals on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, and mobile!* So, yes – that means you get cross-play between those different consoles. Not just that, PS4 players now also have access to the Minecraft Marketplace — a source for worlds, skins, mini-games, and mash up packs! So you’re going to have not just a better Minecraft experience than ever before, but more Minecraft than ever. “What if I already own Minecraft on PS4, do I need to buy the game again to get the Bedrock version?” Short answer: No! The next time you start Minecraft, the new update will install automatically and free of charge. This update will never expire, and all game purchases after today for PS4 will always be for this new version. We call this update ‘Buzzy Bees’ (or 1.14) and it’ll be arriving on PS4 tomorrow at 8am PST. Hope to see you in the Overworld soon! *Cross-Play requires other platforms of Minecraft to be running update 1.14, including PS4 systems. View the full article
  17. Hello everyone, I’m René from NGDEV, a small video game development team based in Germany that focuses on the development of arcade games. Maybe you remember us from last year when we spoke about our 2D shoot ’em up Fast Striker. Today we are very excited to talk about our latest 2D action platformer Gunlord X, which we will launch in partnership with eastasiasoft at PlayStation Store on December 10 for $9.99. Gunlord X is the definitive version of one of our most popular arcade games that originally launched in 2012. More Screenshots & Artwork from Gunlord X Inspired by the Turrican series, Gunlord X emphasizes a mixture of exploration and traditional run & gun action. The game features hand-drawn pixel art graphics, 11 open-world stages, more than 60 unique enemies, huge boss battles and a ton of secrets. Gunlord X is not just a simple port. Instead we put a lot of effort and care into this release by adding a substantial number of new features and improvements. We believe that Gunlord X is the definitive version that should not be missed by any fan of action arcade platformers. The list of improvements is long, but just to name a few — here are some of the major additions that you can expect in Gunlord X: Increased level sizes with new secrets and challenges A brand new stage Four new boss enemies A new power shot weapon Difficulty adjustments, including re-balanced levels, permanent continues, level warp shortcuts, and auto-save features New Game Mode+ and accomplishment screen, especially designed for speed runners Various display settings, including scanline/RGB CRT TV options Fully customizable controls and new, optional modern twin-stick control setting As you can see, while staying true to its kickass action arcade gameplay, we put a lot of effort into adding content and new features that will make Gunlord X a fresh and unforgettable experience. Last but not least, Gunlord X of course runs at a super smooth 60fps. We hope you are excited about Gunlord X launching tomorrow. Happy holidays and see you all in 2020! View the full article
  18. Email us at [email protected]! Subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here On this week’s Blogcast, we interview Sean Velasco of Yacht Club Games about Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown! Then, we we dig into some hard-hitting listener letters that send at least one of us spiraling into an existential crisis. Enjoy! Stuff We Talked About Next week’s big Shovel Knight update! Our big #25YearOfPlay celebration Death Stranding Gris Life is Strange Episode 5 Best game pairings? Freezing time vs. not sleeping The Cast Justin Massongill – Social Media Manager, 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
  19. Venture into the foreboding world of Ashen, a new RPG from A44 and Annapurna Interactive where you’ll fight to restore light to a shadow-drenched world. Band together with other players — or don’t — and plumb the depths of treacherous dungeons set across an expansive open world. Other highlights this week include Avicii Invector and Shuttle Commander for PS VR. For a full list of new games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy The Drop! Ashen PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12) Ashen is an open world co-op action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home. As you adventure through Ashen, you’ll occasionally encounter other players in a massive open world. It’s up to you to decide how to deal with them — fight together against evil, invite them into your party or simply ignore them. Avicii Invector PS4 — Digital, Retail Soar through vocal melodies, sweep each fade and attack every beat in 25 of AVICII’s biggest hits, in this enthralling futuristic rhythm-action experience – AVICII Invector. Fly solo or bring the pulse-pounding frenetic energy of an AVICII concert to your living room with your friends in competitive gameplay. Blacksad: Under the Skin PS4 — Digital, Retail A dark corruption scandal in the heart of New York City’s underworld is a case for charismatic detective John Blacksad. With its anthropomorphic characters and its incredible 1950s feel, Blacksad: Under the Skin promises all the eerily dark adventure of a detective novel, just like the eponymous comic book series. Cardpocalypse PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12) Make friends, play cards, twist the rules, become a Mega Mutant Power Pets master, and try to save the world in this single-player RPG about being a 90’s kid. Explore Dudsdale Elementary and build killer card decks to defeat the mutants from everybody’s favorite collectible card game that have invaded the real world. Dead End Job PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13) Dead End Job sends you into a madcap, wacky world to bust up ghosts. It’s a procedurally generated, couch co-op, twin-stick shooter that straps a vacuum pack to your back, and puts a plasma blaster in your hand. For you, it’s just another day in the office. eFootball PES 2020 Lite PS4 — Digital (Out 12/9) Experience the E3 Best Sports Game award-winning gameplay with PES 2020, now free to download! Build your dream team in myClub, or support your favorite side in Matchday mode. Live and breathe the most authentic soccer game ever created, developed with the assistance of renowned midfielder Andrés Iniesta. Eternum Ex PS4 — Digital Sir Arthur has gotten old… too old. He has lost everything he had and loved, and with nothing more to lose, he leaves for Samarnath, an evil subterranean kingdom (which no knight has ever returned alive) in search of treasures, adventures and the most important: five magical orbs that together provide: the Eternal youth. Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition PS4 — Digital Take the helm of your very own fishing boat and explore the vastness of the Norwegian sea. Start with the little boat inherited from your grandfather, catch fish, and earn money for upgrades as well as bigger and better boats. Enjoy the beautiful Barents Sea and make your fishing industry dreams come true. Fujii PS VR — Digital A magical, musical hike through lush, chromatic VR wilderness. Bring dormant landscapes back to life by restoring native flora through light, water, and harmony, while collecting seeds to grow your own enchanted garden.The experience merges aspects of adventure and cultivation into a refreshing, musically enveloping whole. Gunlord X PS4 — Digital Gunlord X is a 2D action platformer featuring stunning pixel art, 11 open-world stages, nasty creatures, huge boss battles and a pumping soundtrack. Blast yourself through giant landscapes, explore caverns and reveal all secrets in this retro-inspired action game. Enjoy the definitive version of this classic masterpiece with tons of new features and updates. Headliner: Novinews PS4 — Digital Award-winning adventure where you control national news. A stack of news article sits on your desk. It’s time to make decisions. After work, emerge on the streets of Novistan, shaped by the very news you publish. Watch the city change day by day and influence the lives of the four main characters. Kwaidan PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13) Seamlessly combining 3D action and point-click adventure, Kwaidan provides a nostalgic-yet-new experience. Explore an old Japanese manor, solve clever puzzles, and fight against monsters called Yoki. Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland PS4 — Digital (Out 12/11) A teenager from the modern world is being summoned into a fantasy world with an important task from a wizard — to return the King’s stolen treasures! Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland is an indie adventure game inspired by the best Metroidvania titles. It packs retro graphics, roguelike elements, and classical platforming action. Rift Keeper PS4 — Digital Duty called and the Rift Keeper woke up from his deep slumber. Embark on your journey, travel through rifts, and restore the balance as the Rift Keeper in this handcrafted 2D roguelite platformer with challenging, fast-paced action gameplay. Shuttle Commander PS VR — Digital (Out 12/11) Take command of the Space Shuttle as it embarks on various missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. Fly the shuttle in a full landing simulation based on real physics and flight dynamics. Join the crew on the space shuttle missions and assist in the deployment and servicing of the Hubble. More details Superepic: The Entertainment War PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12) Join a racoon and a llama in their quest to save videogames as we know them! SuperEpic is a Metroidvania style action adventure game filled with humor and satire. The gameplay is nonlinear and fast paced, with exploration and combo-based combat the weapon of choice against the evil Regnantcorp! Super Korotama PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13) Super Korotama is an arcade skill game that emulates a classic retro-style arcade machine with different perforated panels, where the user can move a metal ball through a vertical bar that can be raised with the machine’s joysticks. The main objective of the game is to put the ball in the correct hole while avoiding the rest of the holes. Touring Karts PS4, PS VR — Digital (Out 12/12) Touring Karts takes maximum advantage of the possibilities of VR by reinventing kart-type races in the midst of chaos full of action and surprises. Features 22 tracks and 30 customizable cars, up to eight players online multiplayer support with no waiting, and more. PlayStation 25 Hideo Kojima Select Camila Cabella Pop and Play It: Chapter Two In Fabric Monos The information above is subject to change without notice. View the full article
  20. This week PlayStation celebrates 25 incredible years! We asked you to pull out your memories from over the years and share your favorite consoles, games, and show off your collections. We were blown away by the response, and are highlighting just a handful of the amazing submissions: gamers_strike displays an impressive gaming setup, complete with a homemade TV frame to resemble the PSP. frollein.herzlich shows off her love of the original PlayStation. AmericanPrinceX shows off his impressive collection of consoles and handhelds. Homer2k shows off his impressive collection, but the real treat is clicking through to hear the relationships he’s forged through PlayStation (including proposing to his fiance at PSX and their upcoming PlayStation-themed wedding!). museo_gamer shows off their set up and many collectables. Vicky890_ has a flair for limited editions and DS4s. This is just a taste of the love we saw submitted. Make sure to peek at the #25YearsOfPlay tag on Twitter and Instagram to see more incredible memories celebrating this week’s theme. Want to be featured in next week’s Share of the Week? Theme: Snowing Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, December 11 Next week, it’s time to bundle up for the winter. Share snowy scenes from the game of your choice using #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured. View the full article
  21. It has now been 10 years since I have shipped a game on PlayStation. Back then, it was on the PS3. Can you imagine! Needless to say, I am extremely proud today to bring Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey to PS4 players around the world. When I decided to start my own indie studio, Panache Digital Games, back in 2014, we were a mere handful of people and one thing was clear to me: I wanted to do things differently and to be bold. I wanted to do things with panache! Fast-forward five years later and this is exactly what my clan of now thirty-something game developers and I have accomplished with Ancestors. It is unique, refreshing, and most of all ambitious. With this open-world survival game, I wanted to put players in the shoes of our early ancestors in Africa 10 million years ago. We have come so far as a species over the millions of years of evolution that we are now somewhat disconnected from our roots. This game brings you back to your primal instincts and what makes us all human. To do so, I couldn’t make a game that was about chasing green dots on a map. I had to create systems that would let you write your own story; forge your own path to evolution. The original story of how you survived and came to evolve as a pre-human in a dangerous and menacing environment. Your survival as a lineage depends on the decisions you make. The four core systems of the game (senses, intelligence, communication and motricity) were built to support exploration so that you can develop your clan and your species through generations. That is how Ancestors lets you make surprising discoveries and be much more than a player. In Ancestors, you become your character and evolve along with your clan. Eureka moments in games usually come in the form of a story, a clever twist in the narrative that amazes us at the end of a playthrough. This time, my team and I tried something drastically different. With no narrative, eureka moments in Ancestors are sprinkled through your journey and occur as you experiment with known skills to attain new and novel results as you explore, expand and evolve. These skills and knowledge will be transmitted to your fellow tribe members, to your little ones, to your whole lineage. Yes, something as simple as cracking open a coconut, crafting a tool or finding an ointment to heal your wounds can result in an eureka moment in Ancestors. Because we don’t tell you how to do it, you have to figure it out on your own. So be curious, be creative, be adventurous. The game will notice your out of-the-box playstyle and will respond to it by granting you new ways to progress. Every one of us here at Panache hope you will lose yourself in the game, letting your instinct guide you. At the beginning, we warn you that we won’t help you much, and we don’t; we’d rather see how your ingenuity leads you through the uncharted territory and helps you conquer your fear of the unknown. You, Homo sapiens, can you survive like our ancestors did before us? How are you measuring compared to science? Are you better than our ancestors? With that said, good luck on your journey to evolution. Take your time. Be patient. Follow your instincts. View the full article
  22. As we wind down our week of #25YearsOfPlay celebrations, we wanted to leave you with a special treat. We reached out to a few of the biggest names across SIE’s Worldwide Studios to ask a simple question: “What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?” Read on to get a peek inside the mind of creators from Santa Monica Studio, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, and more — even the new head of WWS, Hermen Hulst, spared a moment to share his pick! Now that we’ve gotten answers from these 10 creators, it’s your turn: after you’ve read through these selections, hit the comments and tell us: What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time? Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Cory Barlog Creative Director, Santa Monica Studio No single game that appeared on PlayStation hardware over the years has more solidly formed the foundation of how I make games more than Koji Igarashi’s seminal platforming action/adventure RPG mashup – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The tone, world building, mechanics, pacing and level design are absolutely masterful. This game is so timeless that I find myself replaying this game almost yearly and it is STILL compelling! Honorable Mentions The Last of Us Metal Gear Solid Shadow of the Colossus Jason Connell Creative Director, Sucker Punch Shadow of the Colossus is such a classic. It became an instant favorite the moment I played it. The color, light, atmosphere, and music contribute to a mysterious and eerie mood that’s so somber, yet so beautiful. The mechanics were fresh at the time and are still timeless, and I especially love the way you guide the light with your sword in order to explore. So awesome. The game goes to great lengths to deliver a cinematic experience that has always stuck with me. The horse-riding animations and the sheer scale of the Colossi all felt so unique and ahead of their time. To me, Shadow of the Colossus is a masterwork that has provided creative fuel for me throughout my entire career as a game maker. Honorable Mentions Bloodborne Final Fantasy 7 Metal Gear Solid Nicolas Doucet Creative Director & Producer, Japan Studio (Team Asobi) With Metal Gear Solid, it felt like games suddenly took a massive leap forward. Halfway between realism and pure fantasy, it’s a game that totally sucked me in with its stealth action. MGS’s gameplay was innovative at the time and I loved the many ways it surprised players. It also carried a deeper message that keeps us talking about it years on. MGS V may be the best of the series, but this one is the most iconic. Honorable Mentions Ridge Racer Resident Evil God of War (2018) Hermen Hulst Head of Worldwide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment So tough this, like having to pick a favorite child. Alright, I’m going to go with God of War. What a beautifully woven story that was — so immersive with the continuous camera, focusing on Kratos’ relationship with his young son Atreus. As the father of a 14 year old when it came out, this story was incredibly recognizable. Atreus finally throwing it all back at Kratos in the latter’s dream sequence – ‘I just wish he was better.’ Creative director Barlog had me there. Reboots can be risky, but Santa Monica Studio succeeded even in making Kratos a likeable character. I loved God of War’s Norse mythology-inspired world so much, I made a trip to Jotumheim recently. Honorable Mentions Uncharted 2 Rayman Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Bryan Intihar Creative Director, Insomniac Games I went back and forth between choosing MGS1 or MGS3, but at the end of the day I had to choose the latter. I absolutely loved the decision to take the series back in time to the 1960s and its shift to a more natural setting, as well as a greater emphasis on surviving the wild. Oh, and that showdown with the ripely-aged sniper The End—I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out during a boss fight! But it’s the larger-than-life characters that has always kept me coming back to this historic franchise, and Snake Eater has some of the absolute best. From the mad Russian Colonel Volgin to the brash (and now much younger) Ocelot, their unique backstories and motivations were only matched by their memorable performances. Yet, whenever I look back at Snake Eater, it’s The Boss who I will never forget. Snake’s mentor is the very definition of being the “hero of her own story.” And if learning why she was doing all of this wasn’t gut-wrenching enough, having to actually pull the trigger to end her life (or the cinematic wouldn’t end) did the trick. For me, that was an all-time gaming moment. Honorable Mentions Uncharted 2: Among Thieves God of War (2018) Resident Evil series (Resident Evil 2 if I have to choose!) Siobhan Reddy Studio Director, Media Molecule I grew up in the era of “strange things happening” stories – the Bermuda triangle and UFOs were big features. I loved choose your own adventure stories, ghost stories, mysteries, and scary fairy tales. These things all terrified me but I loved them. It’s possibly no surprise then that I love horror and the idea that the unexpected can happen and totally change everything around us. In real life, Resident Evil would be really scary. In a video game, it allowed us to suspend belief and just be in that world and help save it. I loved that I felt like I was in some kind of crazy X-Files episode but I was badass with my zombie killing and then when I was able to be nifty with my crafting potions. It changed my perspective of what games could do, and I could see before me that they would join films, theatre and literature as mediums to express a wide range of experiences, emotions and motivations. This series is the reason I make video games, and it has inspired so many other creators. I have loved seeing the horror genre develop in Dreams. Long may the enjoyment of exploring “strange things happening” continue! Honorable Mentions Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey Dark Souls 3 Ico Dominic Robilliard Creative Director, Pixelopus Ico is such a memorable game for me, not just because of how beautiful the world, audio and narrative are but because it was the first time an actual gameplay mechanic had affected me emotionally. This story about a young boy trying to save someone is underwritten by a compelling and innovative gameplay ability – holding someone by the hand to guide them and solve puzzles together. The resonance of this game is pinned together by it and makes it so coherent in a truly player-driven way. The experience of playing the game has stuck with me as a ‘feeling’ ever since I finished it for the first time. All of Team Ico’s games have a similarly powerful and memorable emotional quality to their gameplay and worlds, (all of which I love!) but Ico remains my favorite. It absolutely blew me away when I first played it, and expanded my horizons for what games can achieve as a medium. Honorable Mentions Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Tearaway The Last of Us Remastered Jeff Ross Game Director, Bend Studio A case of gameplay and narrative working together in perfect harmony. Naughty Dog’s brave design shattered conventional power fantasies by building mechanics around each character’s physical and developmental limitations, which led to highly immersive and relatable encounters. In the final fight through the hospital corridors, as I cut through waves of Firefly soldiers, my mind raced with grief about Ellie’s fate to the point I engaged in rapid-fire emotional bargaining trying to rationalize an outcome I could live with if she were to die. In Left Behind, I played as Ellie on a fateful night with her best friend in an abandoned mall and peeled back layers of their relationship through creative gameplay like taking pictures in a photo booth, trying on Halloween masks, and a playful water gun battle. I felt first-hand what it’s like for someone born into a bleak and dangerous world to yearn for universal human desires like freedom, idealism, and love. I’ve never inhabited any character’s mind and feelings so fully in another game, but Naughty Dog accomplished this feat twice in one package, and that’s why The Last of Us is my favorite PlayStation game of all time. Honorable Mentions Red Dead Redemption Syphon Filter 2 Journey Angie Smets Studio Director & Executive Producer, Guerrilla A game that moved me tremendously, and has always stuck with me is Journey. It is visually stunning with impeccable sound design, and takes you to a unique and mysterious world while creating emotional connections to its characters and events. It beautifully combines subtle game design and storytelling into a deeply meaningful experience. A profound classic. Honorable Mentions Shadow of the Colossus The Last of Us Demon’s Souls Stuart Whyte Director of VR Product Development, SIE London Studio Demon’s Souls, at least in the UK, was a sleeper hit for the longest time. I remember getting my hands on a US copy and loading it up with very little awareness of the challenges ahead… From the opening section through to the end game Demon’s Souls was a breath of fresh air – an original action RPG with no safety net – no hidden walls to stop you falling off cliffs, no restrictions on being able to accidentally murder a key NPC with a slip of a controller press, and no ability to even pause the game! Each combat encounter was a battle of wits, every trap avoided was a near miss – the experience was stressful but highly unique. The multiplayer was truly pioneering – completely integrated into the single-player experience, black phantom invading and that boss fight, the Old Monk, where you had to battle another player to progress – so original even now. This was the spiritual prequel to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was, and still is, a masterpiece. Honorable Mentions Final Fantasy VII The Last of Us What a lineup! Our thanks to everyone who participated in this story, and to you for reading it. Finally, thank you for your support over the past quarter-century. In the same way that a console is only as good as the games you can play on it, PlayStation would be nothing without its fans. Happy 25th, everyone. View the full article
  23. The year is almost over, but we’ve got one more State of Play to share with you! It airs Tuesday, December 10 at 6:00am Pacific Time / 9:00am Eastern Time, and you can watch live on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. We’ve got around 20 minutes of new game reveals, release date announcements, new gameplay footage, PlayStation Worldwide Studios updates, and more. And it probably bears repeating: Don’t expect any updates related to our next-gen plans in this episode. You can watch live on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, as usual. Can’t wait to see what you think! See you Tuesday! View the full article
  24. It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is a twin-stick arcade shooter coming to PS4 in early 2020. Join up to three others in a beautifully stylized world overrun with snarling, pink, brain-hungry aliens. Growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, the favorite weekend pastime of my brothers and I was playing video games. Keep in mind that this was a time before high-speed internet, before 65” flat screens and before wireless controllers even. This meant we used to take turns or play at the same time, but always sitting right next to each other. Our friends came over to play games, and we even took our consoles with us when we went to visit family. Even now, my brothers and I share fond memories of beating difficult levels together, improving lap times, or finally saving the princess. As time went on, I had a blast playing early online games like Quake and Counter Strike. The best memories from those times were of garage (or attic) LAN-parties at my friends’ houses. During college, we would invite people over to play games before our nights out. Party games, dancing games, fighting games, something for everybody, even those who always said they “didn’t play any games, really.” Those were usually the ones shouting the loudest by the end of each session. Fast-forward to some fifteen years later. I’ve been running a game development company for the better part of a decade now and am the father of three wonderful kids. When we design and build our games, we aim to re-create that experience of many years ago — sitting side-by-side with your siblings, friends, or kids, enjoying great games. This co-op experience is at the core of It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains. Make your way through six campaign missions, then challenge your friends to Survival, where you’ll collaborate while battling each other for the highest scores. Choose and upgrade your favorite weapon each round to make sure you’re ready for that final huge wave of aliens. It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is a true couch co-op experience that can be enjoyed by everyone and will be available on PS4 early 2020. View the full article
  25. Shuttle Commander, launching December 11 on PS4, puts you in the pilot’s seat for some of America’s most important missions following Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Now you can embark along the journey of discovery with this modern-age marvel, and take part in the Hubble Space Telescope missions first-hand with accurate recreations of the Hubble, space missions, and shuttle cockpit. A Passage of Time and Space The year: 1990. For perspective: Windows 3, the debut of Photoshop, the first web page. But 1990 also kicked off a series of events unlike any other. On April 24, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from Edwards Air Force Base. This launch marked one of the most significant advancements in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope. It would allow astronomists and researchers to ponder questions that had never been asked, to find answers to the unknown. For almost 30 years, the Hubble has sparked a sense of wonderment, letting us explore the expansion and expand the exploration. Even after a lengthy development and problematic beginnings, the Hubble Space Telescope will leave a solid legacy of ground-breaking discoveries and stellar imagery. And so, brings forward our story, our reasoning for our virtual story, our passage through time and space. A Universe in a Metaverse: Artwork, Audio and Animation But just how do you create a universe inside a metaverse? We knew we had an overwhelming task ahead of us. The servicing missions of the Hubble Telescope and its discoveries was going to be no mean feat for a start-up studio. After all, Shuttle Commander is based on one of the longest serving and most successful space crafts, as well as the most famous telescope. Accuracy and detail were very important to us. Thankfully, NASA is very transparent and open to sharing their data, providing the public with a massive database which spans decades of shuttle’s service. Schematics, images, camera footage and thousands of pages of operations manuals were extensively poured through to ensure we made as accurate a recreation as possible, building a solid foundation for our art, animation and audio departments begin their work. Artwork However, creating that accuracy inside a virtual medium isn’t easy. We had to strike a balance, making sure the players have a smooth gaming experience while still providing players with the most visually realistic experience as possible. We found ourselves cutting back on some details we’d have preferred to keep, simplifying meshes and textures. Below is a simple example of our workflow, showing the various stages of creating our assets. Research, modelling and texturing, and finally integration into the Unity Game Engine. We also worked with the developers of the highly popular F-Sim to create an accurate physics-based modelling of the Space Shuttle landings. Players can land at real locations such as White Sands, Kennedy Space Centre or Edwards Airforce Base. Variables such as weather, time of day, approach and turbulence can be edited by players so that even seasoned pilots will be challenged to make a perfect landing. This detailing and accuracy are crucial to making this experience as close to the real experience as possible. Audio But it isn’t just the visual representations that make this experience feel authentic. As with the development of our other VR experiences such as Apollo 11 VR, and Titanic VR, we also focus on aural quality of our audio presentation in order to fully immerse the user. Although a musical score was originally drafted for this scene, it was discarded in order to give the user a more immersive and authentic experience. To recreate the launch animation, which shows in real time what astronauts experience in this remarkable spacecraft, there are 27 tracks used alone. These include a washing machine, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, several rattling gates and window frames, a respirator/dust mask, a lift in a department store, an underwater depth charge, a garage door opening, and a man doing push-ups. As very few people have ever flown onboard a shuttle, we relied heavily on what on-board footage we could find. The best quality came later during the digital age. The final launch of Atlantis with its onboard cameras was a key source. We also relied on the astronauts’ own accounts of the experiences of a launch, from the effects on the body and the emotions they felt before during and after. The audio for the Hubble launch and service missions contains original NASA radio communications. In order to make the experience more user-friendly, we added additional VO. Special thanks to ‘Houston Mike’ here in Immersive VR Education. Mike and our sound engineer Karen had to become familiar with the lingo and acronyms used by NASA while also trying to make it understandable for the user. This was the biggest challenge as we needed to research what every part was, where it went and what its function was. Hubble is an incredibly complicated instrument and repairing it was even more challenging. Animation The goal of our animation pipeline is to create realistic digital characters, that can capture and express the actor’s performances. The process starts in our scanning studio. We photograph the actor with our camera array. This series of photos is used to generate a 3D model. The actor goes through a defined series of poses capturing all the muscle movements necessary to recreate any facial expression. This can be a tiring process for the actor, but it’s worth it for the final effect! The data is then passed to our character artists who use the set of 50-60 3D scans as the basis for their characters and morph shapes. Once this is completed, we move to performance capture. In most scenes we simultaneously capture the actors facial and full body motion. But this isn’t always possible, in this case we opted for “face overs,” capturing the facial performance separately to the body motion. Now that we have facial expressions and body motion, we can then look at animating the character. This is where all work of the character artists, actors, sound engineers and animators come together. It is crafted into one seamless performance. At this stage we have a clear idea of how all the elements are working together. Then the final stage is integration and testing, optimizing all the assets so we have a balance between performance and aesthetics to give the users an enjoyable convincing performance. Shuttle Commander: Hubble Space Telescope Missions is coming to PS VR on December 11. View the full article