The highs and lows of the PlayStation Experience Keynote 2015
I still think Shawn Layden is slowly turning into David Mitchell. Many disagree with me, but put them side by side and I would be very confused. I would not know which would tell me interesting Sony themed facts, or who would choose to rant about fish for five minutes on Would I Lie To You. With such important questions waiting to be answered, I was very excited for the 2015 PlayStation Experience Keynote. Others may care about a possible reboot of Crash Bandicoot, or how VR will change their sex life, but I was longing for a rant… about fish. Why are fish so flat anyway, and why are their eyes in a weird place? Speaking of fish, would an abundance of fish entice bears to show up? Will Michel Ancel’s Wild show up and beguile us with bears? All these questions and more will be answered as the event begins… NOW!
…the way this guy is talking makes me feel old. Referencing the ‘old days’ of gaming, putting quarters in arcade machines. I still have never even touched a quarter. I did once put lots of 20p’s in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game in a smoky corner of an old pub in Ireland. I played that game to completion that day as many old men I did not know got drunk around me. I remember asking the barman for twenty five 20p’s in exchange for a £5 note. I sucked at that game, so I was planning ahead. My time with games started sometime in the late 80s (while I was still in single digits), but I grew to love them in the 90s. Is this man, talking about games not being socially accepted, supposed to be a surrogate for the experience of the over 30 crowd? Was it ever really that bad back then? Am I misremembering? Am I out of touch, or is it the kids who are wrong? It’s always the kids who are wrong!
Now I just need a line where he references checking Ceefax to find small snippets of games news each and every week to make me feel worse. Phew, thankfully that did not happen. With this man out of the way a quick showreel runs showing much of the modern day Playstation lineup, and a few people looking like uncool versions of Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man whilst encased in their VR headsets. Also, I just saw a Vita. I think Super Time Force was being played. Vita lives… for now! How many more times will this supposed legacy platform be mentioned tonight?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
The show opens in earnest with Nathan Drake doing paperwork, presumably sending monthly payments to the families of all the soldiers he has killed over the years. He has killed a lot you know… thousands. He better be finding a lot of treasure in his spare time if he is to keep his payments going.
Nathan Drake’s paperworking gets interrupted by his brother Sam Drake knocking on the door. There is a happy reunion where they manly hug each other, which got me thinking that their motion capture artists – Troy Baker and Nolan North – probably hugged loads of times to get that scene done right. I am confident there is Tumblr fanfiction about this moment already. Sam shows old war wounds to Nate, and invites himself into his office/abode. They wander about, have chats about old times, and reminisce about Nate’s adventures in Uncharted’s 1 through 3. It seems Uncharted has a conversational based menu system now. Someone in the crowd was somewhat overexcited to see that.
Based on what I have seen, I’d like to take this moment to suggest that Sam Drake is in fact fully all the way dead at this point in Uncharted 4, and Nate is having an internal monologue with himself everytime he is onscreen – like Brendan Fraser in that episode of Scrubs with Dr Cox. Do you know where we are? Something felt weird about that scene. I am on to your tricks Neil Druckmann!
The video clip ends, and pseudo-David Mitchell with a lesser beard (AKA Shawn Layden) comes out on stage with a Crash Bandicoot t-shirt on presumably hinting at something. Fecked if I know. I thought that was Phil Spencer’s gig – he will soon sue for gimmick infringement. Nice words are said to the crowd, and niceties are said to all developers in attendance. This is expected, he is hardly going to go on an expletive filled rant. That is David Jaffe’s role.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
With the niceties out of the way, we move onto a video recapping the reaction to the reveal of Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3. The music and quotes Sony decided to use here made me think this was a follow up to Cloverfield. The reveal of Final Fantasy VII Remake ended life on earth as we know it, and all that was left was this video someone found, and patiently edited together.
Seriously, I don’t think I ever expressed this much emotion ever. It must be great to feel joy. A new trailer for the game is shown at this point, jumping between cutscenes and in-game action. There is more gameplay shown this time. Certainly more than the first outing. This may be stuff worth getting excited about, but many are prematurely joyed out after E3. I refuse to get excited though, as Sony may be watching me, and use me to market the game like those people above. You won’t catch me Sony.
Yoshinori Kitase is here from Square Enix to talk about the game. He says:
The team is currently hard at work on the game we teased at E3. We continue to develop the game, and we’re finding new ways to update the content as we revisit it. We are very excited to show you new footage of the project today
He drops the mic, and Tetsuya Nomura has something else to say as well:
We are looking forward to updating you with new and supring information regarding this title. This footager only represents a small part of the game, but we hope you enjoyed it.
He exits the stage, but stops to remind us that the Final Fantasy VII port (the one with old game assets, typos, and horrible dialogue), is now on PS4 should you want to download. The Remake goes undated, but presumably it will be released before the inevitable heat death of the universe when all life fails to exist forever.
The early DLC stuff that no one really bothers to care about really, right?
Shockingly, Sony has chosen to allow a woman on stage at an event. This is an improvement over Tokyo Games Show back in September, and the Paris Games Week Press Conference in October, where zero women were seen on stage over the multitude of hours. Shelby Cox turns out to be a very loud person, and seems to forget she has a microphone attached. She screams her whole introduction so even the people in the cheap seats can hear her clearly. If you did not know, Shelby is in charge of Publisher & Developer Relations at Sony. It seems she is here to talk about all things Call of Duty.
To be honest, this bullshit marketing confuses me, so here is a snippet from the Activision Blog, where someone was paid money to sound excited about this content.
To help kick off PlayStation Experience in San Francisco, today we are thrilled to share the first details of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s first DLC map pack and some exciting news for the upcoming Call of Duty World League season. Revealed during this morning’s keynote address, the first of four planned DLC map packs will be Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Awakening and it will arrive first on PlayStation 4. Awakening features four new multiplayer maps—Skyjacked, Rise, Splash, and Gauntlet—and the next chapter in the Black Ops 3 Zombies saga, Der Eisendrachen.
Read even more great content at the Activision Games Blog. Bobby Kotick loves you.
The stage is handed over to Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software. Randy asked if there are any fans of Borderlands in the house, probably because he is scared to talk about Battleborn. I have yet to find a human that has expressed excitement for that game. No one in the crowd took the chance to heckle him about the horrible Vita port of Borderlands 2. For shame! Randy then mentioned Borderlands about ten more times before getting around to uttering the words Battleborn. Upon the mention, it gets about five distinct cheers from the crowd. According to Randy, Battleborn takes place at the end of times, were all stars in the universe have gone cold and dark. This is a period in history science likes to refer to as the release date of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Randy goes onto explain everything anyone would ever want to hear about Battleborn, and tries to get people to realise there is a single player campaign element to this game. There is also an open beta coming in 2016. First on Playstation apparently, because Randy loves Playstation. There is also a playable character exclusive to Playstation – called Toby. I had a dog called Toby a few years ago. He is dead now, as are any remnants of excitement I ever had for Battleborn. Randy talks a lot about his game, arguably too much, without actually backing it up with solid visuals.
PS: Have you seen Overwatch?
Street Fighter V
Let’s move on. Yoshinori Ono is here to help us move on. Yoshinori Ono is furiously excited at all times, and would be a great person to help others find lost happiness. If this games thing ever falls through he could find work as a grief counselor. Ono gets the most flamboyant introduction seen since Rusev came to Wrestlemania on a tank. Ono is here to introduce fans of Street Fighter to FANG, a new playable character for Street Fighter V. Ono is excited beyond belief that this character was not leaked on the Internet ahead of time – like every single other SFV character ever. Ono would like you to use social media to tell the world about Fang – or maybe just post a photo of your breakfast on Instagram like has become the norm.
Ono goes onto detail the six post-launch characters, which will be available in the weeks and months after the game hits stores on February 16 2016. Ono also takes the time to address the Street Fighter V Season Pass, which is now on sale on the PS Store. This season pass is available to unlock the six additional characters immediately upon their release. However, it is reiterated that these characters are earnable for free in game too, if you would rather keep your money in your pocket. No firm details on how much work will be needed to unlock them though. Behold happiness…
Gio Corsi arrives on stage to shut up Ono for good. Ono tries his best to fight against the will of Corsi to remain on stage a bit longer, but eventually runs away as he is afraid for his very life. Corsi Smash.
A veritable cacophony of games sponsored by Gio Corsi’s beard
Dead Star trailer | Adult Swim Games trailer | Day of the Tentacle Remastered trailer | The Rhombus of Ruin trailer
At these events, Gio Corsi is well known for running through a long list of games in double quick fashion, so lets get started. Dead Star is the first to grace the stage – it a space based shooter. Speaking of such things, let me tell you about a game called Rebel Galaxy. Adult Swim Games is up next with a selection of their stuff – Death’s Gambit, Ray The Dead, Duck Game, Rain World (hopefully better than Water World), Small Radio’s Big Televisions and Double Fine’s Headlander. Speaking of Double Fine, Tim Schafer is here. He has not instantly asked the audience for donations to make a game, so thats a plus. He is actually here to talk a bit about Day of the Tentacle Remastered, and to show a trailer. It is coming March 2016. It seems that Full Throttle is also getting remastered, and based on previous experiences they will show a trailer for that during the PlayStation Experience Keynote 2016. and release it March 2017. I am speculating, but I will probably be right – history backs me up. Psychonauts 2’s crowdfunding campaign was quickly referenced and then moved on from, and Psychonauts In The Rhombus of Ruin was announced. It is a VR game seemingly made solely to make fun of TIME Magazine and Palmer Luckey.
A trailer for Invisible Inc‘s console debut was shown – which in my opinion is one of the top ten games of 2015, and should appear high on any list ranking games that appeared during the course of a year… spoilers. The game has been on PC for quite some time, after starting life as an Early Access game on Steam, then getting a full release in 2015. Another Klei Entertainment joint, Don’t Starve Together was shown – also on the way to consoles.
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey is coming to PS4 and Vita as well (2 Vita mentions!). Should I say that game has had a bit of a bad time on mobile platforms since release including price slashes and unfavorable reactions from many fans? Oh I did mention it… oops. Hitman Go is also coming to PS4 and Vita (3 Vita mentions). Brawlhalla is on the way too. Yakuza 5 got a release date… the 8th of December. Yakuza 0 was announced for the west and got a trailer… no date. The Last Blade 2 is also coming to PS4 and Vita (4 Vita mentions). The King of Fighters XIV is coming to PS4 too. Team Ninja’s Nioh is also a game that is coming to things as well. Slow down Corsi for feck sake.
A sit down chat with friends… and announcements
Sid Shuman and Nick Suttner are here. I am pretty sure I remember Suttner from The 1UP Show many years ago, or maybe that was a different bearded man. I miss 1UP, they had a collection of amazing people working under one roof at one point. Sid and Nick are sitting down in very angular looking chairs telling everyone they love them. Bastion is coming to Vita , and should be available right now! Also, I have just came to the realisation that Bastion is approaching becoming a 5 year old game in a few months. That’s crazy. The Bit Trip (a collection of Bit Trip games) is coming to PS4 and Vita too (six Vita mentions). Nuclear Throne is also available on PS4 and Vita to download now – as you read this overly long article about games on the internet. That was seven Vita mentions by the way. The Audience in attendance were then offered free games in return for their souls, with The Bit Trip and Nuclear Throne gifted free of charge. Everyone else is out of luck. Even you reading this. I have nothing to offer you. Sorry.
Finally Stormcloud Games announced Brutal. Brutal seems to be a game about ASCII art coming to life and kicking the ever living shit out of anything it sees, and I love how it looks. Brutal… or Brut@l as they call it (please dont) reminds me of Gauntlet. Not much was said about the game, or how it plays, but how it looks was enough to pique interest.
MLB The Show 16
I honestly know nothing about Baseball. Of all those American sports, this is the one that confuses me most. I cannot even make up words. Baseball happened, and an american country song played. It looked nice, people ran around, and there was grass. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. At least it is not cricket, then I would be totally lost. Scott Rohde came out, and tried to help me learn about baseball before moving onto something else…
A Growing Dislike of Scott
Scott then talked about a game called Guns Up. He used the word “addicting,” which made me uncontrollably angry. It is “addictive” dammit. Next you will be saying “on accident” instead of “by accident,” and pronouncing Nutella weird. Is it “Nut-Ella” or “New-Tell-Uh,” who knows? I quickly learned that Guns Up is a free to play game. I don’t really mind free to play games that much, I played WWE Immortals, Starside Arena, and Marvel Future Fight this year. They were all fun in their own unique ways. Gun Up did not really grab me at all from the trailer they showed. Sorry Scott. Scott then showed off some Fat Princess Adventures, and made a “hungry” pun. Stop making me hate you Scott! I am so angry at Scott I forgot to listen to details about the game. Diablo with cake seems close enough. Scott leaves. Bye Scott.
Ratchet and Clank Remastered
Ted Price is here to talk about old times, like the crazy days of 2002. Not as far back as that man at the start of the show. He said he thought no one would want to play a “family friendly game” like Ratchet and Clank when it was first released, as it was going up against games like Grand Theft Auto III. Ted never mentioned it himself, but he presumably learned later in life that adult centric games do not automagically guarantee sales. Remember FUSE? FUSE was a fucked up mess Ted. I remember complaining about that catastrafuck many years ago in some dark corner of the Internet – probably NeoGAF. Remastered will be hitting PS4 on April 12 2016. Ted boasts that Ratchet & Clank on PS4 is much more than just a simple visual upgrade. He is happy to call it a completely new game based on the PS2 version, as it has so much new content and story to offer.
Super Happy VR Time
REZ Infinite stage Demo | Ace Combat 7 trailer | Eagle Flight trailer | The Modern Zombie Taxi Co trailer
Dr Richard Marks is here. He loves Rachet and Clank so much he said it twice. In a row. He is here to showcase VR, as you need a doctorate to understand the immense possibilities of the world of VR. Let’s not beat around the bush, this is a bad demo. VR is great, and it will be amazing if the mass market accepts it. This is not helping. People strapped up in VR gear look very stupid. Showing them manically jumping around whilst looking at a near static screen looks worse. When a demo starts to make me feel uncomfortable as I watch, I know something is wrong. This demo was wrong, and shows more than ever that it is impossible to explain the high points of VR in the usual manner. It makes something that could be game changing look immensely horrible. With that over, Rez Infinite (VR) is revealed, as is a man in a light suit…
That man was Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Let me reiterate, I am excited for VR, and REZ Infinite is something I will play, but this is not the right way to demo the material. I don’t think I know of the right way to demo it to be honest. Someone smart needs to figure this out quickly. I need to sit on a trance vibrator to make myself feel better
Asad Qizilbash and Adam Boyes are out next to talk more VR. Qizilbash is my favorite name for a human ever as it is so close to unhuman. As is the norm, Ubisoft are happy to jump on the bandwagon for the launch of a new platform, and Eagle Flight is shown for the first time, a game where you are an eagle… in flight. Next is Modern Zombie Taxi Co, a game where you are a Zombie driving a cab. It reminds me very much of Enviro-Bear 2000. That is a good thing. Job Simulator is next, although that has been shown multiple times now. 100FT Robot Golf shown too. It is a mystery what this game is about. People should take more care naming their games. Golem is next. Golem is very much the only VR game here to truly impress me. Everything else feels like it could have been a Wii game with motion controls in a previous life.
Here is some words about Golem from Jaime Griesemer, Creative Director at Highwire Games
It actually turned out to be quite effective to show both the golem and the one controlling it as separate characters in a more traditional trailer. We were able to introduce the fans to the world of Golem and give them a hint of the game’s mechanics. While you may not immediately know what it will feel like to put on a PlayStation VR headset and control a golem, at least you’ll know what to expect when you get a chance try it yourself! We hope you enjoyed the Golem trailer and we look forward to revealing more in the coming months.
Ace Combat 7 is shown last, and I think someone in the audience may have gasped, then fainted. Ace Combat 7 is a fully fledged game, but it has a VR mode. Speaking of people’s bodies failing, I am pretty sure this one might make people vomit, especially if you are given the ability sit behind the joystick on a fully functional jet.
Destiny Sparrow Racing League is coming to Destiny as a free event that will start December 8th and run to December 29th. Like 100Ft Robot Golf, the name speaks for itself. You can now race Sparrows in Destiny as part of a league – simples. As is the norm these days, due to behind the scenes dealings, this mode will have unique loot for Playstation players. The mode itself is not platform exclusive though. Here is Bungie’s official rundown of what the mode entails:
The Sparrow Racing League will welcome competitors to participate in a six-player free-for-all death race through enemy territory. After the update goes live on December 8th, visit Amanda Holliday in the Tower. She’ll be your Quartermaster for the event. Grab and quest and some bounties. Then, take your mark on the starting line. You might also check in with Tess. Eververse Trading will have some flair to make the event a little more fun, and a little more stylish.
We’ve known about Hob for a while, since August in fact. We now know that Hob will make its console debut on PS4. The game is also coming to PC. Let’s use some shorthand, and say that Hob is an Ico-like game. It also has three letters in its name, so they must be identical. Runic Games, the makers of Torchlight are behind the game, although Hob feels like quite a big departure from the ideals of an ARPG. One of the most interesting facts about the game is that Runic boasts Hob will contain no text or dialogue, so players can fully immerse themselves in the adventure. They promise the story will reveal itself as you play, rewarding your exploration.
Adam Boyes, who introduced the game at PSX, comments that when he first saw Hob at PAX this year he instantly fell in love. That man seems trustful enough to believe I think.
Ni no Kuni 2
For most, this will be the biggest news to come out of PSX 2015. Although 100Ft Robot Golf is a close second. Like its predecessor, Ni No Kuni 2 is developed by Level-5, and is made in collaboration with the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli. It has been only 2 year since the original Ni No Kuni launched on PlayStation 3 back in 2013, but it feels a lot longer to me. Dominic reviewed it and liked it quite a bit. Go read what he thought.
There is not much more to say about the game, as not a lot was said. Bandai Namco are involved with publishing once again, and Joe Hisaishi, famed composer who has worked with Hayao Miyazaki on many works, has a hand in the game’s music. The trailer is glorious, so you could look at that on repeat, and make yourself feel good. I like to call it Ni No Twoni. Let’s get than moniker to stick.
Well this is a weird game to end the Keynote on – for me at least. I guess Epic making a MOBA is big news, but seeing as I have no interest in MOBAs I cannot say much about it. Gank mid guys? I would have thought the word Paragon would be already used or trademarked by another company by now. The game was already announced back at the beginning of November, but this is the first public outing and trailer reveal for the game. Epic boast Paragon will hit PS4 and PC sometime in 2016. Various arms of Epic are working on many different games right now. Fortnite, Spyjinx, and the new take on Unreal Tournament. The Shadow Complex Remaster is also coming to consoles, after just coming to PC. Let’s hope they find the time to fully finish all these things. An Open Beta of Paragon will grace PC and PS4 in summer 2016. Then the keynote finished, not with a bang, but with a whimper. I think I heard a polite golf clap.
Quick, show the trailer for 100FT Robot Golf again.