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The highs and lows of the Sony Paris Games Week Press Conference 2015

Paris Games Week is happening in France right now as I write this. It is but an hours plane ride away, but I did not go. Did you know Sony sidestepped Gamescom this year, and instead decided to use this venue to talk about games both old and new, and give fans an idea of what’s to come in 2016. As a result, many eyes were on this show, and rumors were swirling on social media. I think I read one saying No Man Sky was going to be a surprise launch after the event (spoiler: that did not happen).

Sony has already said their piece during their first ever presser at the event, so I thought I would say my piece on them saying their piece in the usual internet merry-go-round fashion. If this article were on Polygon, there would be a size 450 font somewhere on screen saying “OPINION,” and then smaller text giving the dictionary definition of what opinion is. We don’t have Vox Media backing us though,  and dictionaries are expensive too, so we cannot do really big fonts just yet. Anyways, now that I have bullshited enough to fill an opening paragraph, and probably offended Polygon even though they put out great stuff, let’s get on with the show.

A compilation of things you already know about


The conference certainly did not open with a banger, and Sony’s Jim Ryan spent a bit too long talking about stuff and things we already know a whole lot about, and have even played in beta form too. There were also a few too many mentions of “console exclusivity” and “30-day DLC exclusivity,” that Sony expected to get crowd cheers for, but rightfully got silence. There was a big focus on Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Mode, which as always looks interesting, but not something I would ever become obsessed with. It probably should be spun out into its own game sometime soon.

Then there is Star Wars Battlefront. Any rendition of John Williams’ iconic themes are always great to hear, but what else is there to be said about this that we do not already know? Like Black Ops III, many have already had hands-on with a beta, and know what to expect. I am still annoyed I dont have a good single player Star Wars game to play in the run up to the new movie. That’s a personal thing though. Hopefully that error is rectified in coming years, when the other three-hundred-seventy-four already announced Star Wars movies make an appearance. Amy Hennig save me please.

Pre order these games now to get some crap – or maybe don’t.

Street Fighter V


Speaking of things we already know about, there was a whole bunch of Street Fighter V leaks recently that effectively ruined everything that Yoshinori Ono was going to say about the game on stage at this event. Through a translator, Ono cleverly reference that pretty much everything he was going to talk about had already leaked in some way, which gave him free reign to actually talk about them rather than feigning ignorance. Did you know Dhalsim is coming to Street Fighter V. Did you know he has a cool beard now? I am pretty sure Ono said a whole lot more, but in typical fashion he did not give his translator time to translate what he said, and I do not speak enough of the language, or have enough money to hire 8-4 to find out what he was saying. Street Fighter V will release February 16th. If you were nice enough to your significant other a few days before, then hopefully you will not feel bad spending all day playing it when it hits.

Tekken 7


Katsuhiro Harada then interrupted the show in very well rehearsed fashion. I have no idea what happened next. It felt like Harada and Ono were going to fight to the death, but then everything calmed down. Ono in his springy bird headband left Harada and his indoor sunglasses to talk about Tekken 7, and get nostalgic about the past. Tekken 7 has already been available in arcades for almost a year, but now we know it will hit consoles – on PS4 (and somehow appear  on Playstation VR).

I am no expert on the franchise, but Tekken 7 will likely allow you to toss people into a volcano, otherwise it has no reason to exist.



No disrespect intended, but I remain uninterested in Battleborn still, and neither Gearbox or 2K have said anything about the game to change my mind. It does look fantastically colourful though, which is great to see. Here is Randy Pitchford’s year old tweet describing the game that still makes no goddamn sense..

Seymour Skinner will now sum up my thoughts on Battleborn:

A set of console exclusives games


Sony then gave the stage to a set of five games that are guaranteed to come out in 2016 (at least for now).

The first is Boundless by Wonderstruck, the UK based development team behind The Marvellous Miss Take. I adored that game – here is me saying so back in August if you do not believe me. I have no idea what Boundless is, but it managed to remind me of both Prey and Minecraft during the short two-minute video shown. That is a weird set of games to mash together, but I am sure there is more to the game than just that. Marvellous Miss Take was a wonderful game, that even with limited scope impressed me greatly. It is fantastic to see the team behind it work on something on a much larger scale.

Next was Vector, which is a new rhythm game, that has Avicii’s name attached to it. Let it be known I cannot pronounce this DJ’s name. I have only recently learned how to say Deadmau5 after all. Not much was shown of this one, but it looked a bit like Audiosurf and Amplitude had a baby. In this genre, I am much more excited for Thumper, which is in development at Drool right now. In a complete aside, MSMSMSM is a hype electronic track by Sophie. Someone stick that in a game as quick as possible.

Then there was No Man Sky. We already know so much about this. The sad fact is that such a great sounding game was shown far too early in development, and now people once super excited about it are getting annoyed every time they see it, as they still cannot play it. The best news coming out of PGW is that the game has a set date of June 2016, which is still a long time away, but at least we know it is coming and can calm down.

Materfall was next, which keeps getting autocorrected to “Waterfall” everytime I type it. Materfall is the next game from Housemarque. Those are the guys you love cause they make new games that play like old games, that look like new games, but feel great anyway. The trailer released shows a character hop, skip, and jump in a 3D world, but it is likely the game will actually play nothing like this, as Housemarque are well known for games that play on a 2D plane. Voxels are cool.

Finally, Insomniac showed that new Ratchet and Clank game, that is not actually new, but more of a re-imagining of the first game in the series to coincide with the upcoming movie. Not much more can be said.

Horizon: Zero Dawn


Guerrilla Games’ new game, that thankfully does not involve red-eyed bad guys continues to look great. The eight minute demo shown at PGW has more of the same that amazed at E3 earlier this year. A game about hunting robot dinosaurs is going to be great anyway, but Horizon continues to blow me away with what they show. Hopefully the game will be worth investing dozens of hours into. There is still a whole bunch to show that we do not know. We have not even seen any crafting yet, which is apparently a huge part of the experience. These continuous vertical slices of gameplay continue to be very impressive, let’s just hope the game as a whole stands up to the test when released… whenever that may be. 2016 maybe?



Okay, first things first, hashtags outside the confines of social media need to die a slow lingering death. #Driveclub probably had the worse launch of any game in recent years. Some may adore the content, but the way it was delivered to the public, and that damned PS+ Edition of the game made so many annoyed it was hard for the developer to recover. Shaking loose from these chains, Evolution Studios have added bikes to the game. I use “have,” as within an hour of the announcement, the add-on was available to buy on PSN. Better yet, it seemed to launch without any hiccups. People may now enjoy #Driveclub without the tinge of sadness it always managed to bring in its wake.

Uncharted 4 Multiplayer


I get the feeling Naughty Dog did not really want to come to PGW. They are hard at work developing Uncharted 4, and have already shown many bit parts of the game at a whole bunch of other places. Instead of getting a new look at the single player, which likely would have caused the whole team their collective sanity to produce, they instead opted to show a small glance at multiplayer – and debuted a trailer. After the show, the team confirmed that Uncharted 4’s multiplayer would run at 900p/60fps, which is different from the single player that runs at 1080p/30fps. People are apparently annoyed, confused, but also okay with this news.



Dreams by Media Molecule is a game where you, should you so wish, play as a bear. However, it was not the best game on show at PGW where you can control a bear… more on that later. According to the people showcasing the game on stage, Dreams is a game that lets you do anything with anything. It’s creation and gameplay options are apparently endless. With such boundless opportunities it seems impossible to write about what the game will be. This one is best explained in video…

…a hearty congratulations to anyone that can coherently explain Dreams in a few paragraphs of text.

Playstation VR


I remember when HD was still a burgeoning tech, and many companies had problem showcasing what HD was without falling down a tech-spec hole filled with numbers and bullet points. Sky’s solution to showcasing HD to people, who likely only had SD TV’s at the time, was showing everything in slow motion and playing calm classical music over it. Somehow this made sense, and it gave a weird impression of what HD would be without actually showing you a HD quality image.

In the same vein, VR seems impossible to showcase in video form. It seems Sony’s current solution is to show normal everyday people in a “Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man” pose, with Tron like lights all around them as they play games with forced expressions on their face. This does not work, and seems almost comical. That’s not to say VR will not be great, but explaining to people how great it might be without strapping a machine to their collective heads seems like a problem with no answer.

With that out of the way, Sony tried to show a selection of VR games on stage. Crytek, Supermassive Games, Bandai Namco and more were all there to shout how great VR is, and how amazing it could be.  Here is the full video about the stuff, which in my opinion looks a bit ridiculous.

Gran Turismo 7 Sport


Okay, let me preface this with an apology, as I am not going to say nice things. A big problem with the last few Gran Turismo games is that they felt like they were developed in a perfectly kept hospital. The menus of the game felt so barren and sterile that you could almost get a smell of bleach in your nose as you navigated them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a game having a serious tone, but when seeing people talking about the game makes me actually drowsy when it is only 6PM, it is obvious the game has problems presenting to people. This is my big problem with the reveal of Gran Turismo on PS4, as they spoke for 10 minutes in circles without ever really saying anything, and expected people to be happy about it. They talked around the game, told me why I should be excited about playing it, instead of showing me how exciting it would be to play the game. Of all the disappointing parts of a presser that could happen, having the GT name classed as a downer feels wrong.

Then something kinda of amazing happened…



No, this has nothing to do with that Reese Witherspoon movie about a giant backpack that gains sentience and hiked across America. At least I think that is how it went. This Wild, with Michel Ancel at the helm, is something much better. It’s about a big bear. But first, let me tell you a story. There was once this girl that was bitten by a snake, and she might die, so a guy obsessed with shamanism goes and possesses a mighty eagle. As the eagle he flies into a snake, catches it in his claws, then flies into the sky. The shamen then unpossesses the eagle (who happily keeps his new snake friend), and runs through the long grass. Suddenly he lets out a stomach churning roar that brings a bear friend to him.

The bear allows shaman guy to ride him like a stubby fuzzy horse with short legs. Shaman guy rides bear across the landscape, and all is well. Bear reaches a cliff and he is happy. There is a montage of swimming and hiking where they learn to enjoy each others company. Suddenly bear and shaman stumble on a bunch of cannibals that love to dance. Bear is confused, so shaman uses actual rabbit stealth to get closer to the party cannibals, and inspect their domain. When he learns enough, he possesses a murder of crows to scare the cannibals. With the cannibals in mass panic the shaman returns to ride the bear into the pack of cannibals. The bear then stands up on his back legs and punches some of them into the middle of next week – others go running. It is very impressive. The bear roars, and everyone rejoices.

In the end, the shaman, along with his eagle, bear and snake, find a stone pedestal, where the snake turns into a scantily clad woman and speaks english. This is not Beyond Good and Evil 2, but it is certainly something worth getting excited about. I will play this a whole lot when it comes out.

Detroit: Become Human


Along with hashtags outside social media, needless subtitles are another thing that needs to stop. Beyond: Two Souls, the previously mentioned Horizon: Zero Dawn, and now this. It is all unnecessary. Learn a lesson from the shamen and his bear, and simplify your naming structure #ColonsNeedToStop. Regardless, Detroit looks interesting. It is the new game from David Cage, and Quantic Dream. It heavily reminds me of Humans (that aired on Channel 4 [UK] and AMC [US] recently), which itself was influenced by the Swedish show Äkta människor from 2012, which in turn was also influenced by years upon years of android based science fiction. Both Heavy Rain and Beyond seemed ahead of their time when released. Has technology finally caught up with the mind of David Cage?

What else?


Well one more thing needs to be said. Other than a few translators, not one single female studio figurehead, designer, producer, or developer was on stage over the course of Sony’s long two-hour event. Sony had exactly the same issue at their TGS presser back in September. This is something that should be talked about in-depth, but it deserves a much bigger forum than a small paragraph at the end of my ramshackle article. Female creators are out there you know, and they make very good stuff. Give them your stage too.