Sony put on one of the best press conferences that I’ve seen in quite some time. Along with a few slaps to the face for Microsoft and the new Xbox One, Sony showcased a slew of upcoming games for the PlayStation 4. They also threw the PS3 a bone or two with a couple releases due out later this year. They even took some time out to show their dedication to the indie community. Below is a list of some of the hottest announcements to come out of the briefing.
The Order: 1886
Probably the most interesting game announcement of the night was The Order: 1886, being developed by Ready at Dawn Studios. They’re the ones responsible for the great God of War PSP games and now they’re making the leap straight to PlayStation 4. There’s a lot of creative freedom that comes with developing a new IP, and Ready at Dawn chose to take their adventure into Victorian-era London. The game takes place in an “alternate history where technological advances take center stage in a battle against a powerful and ancient foe.” The game looks to be very heavily influenced by steampunk culture.
Ready at Dawn boasts, “Our game models and our cinematic models are one and the same, and everything is rendered real time in the engine as you play the game. The trailer we presented is a great example of that. What you saw is running in-engine, in-game with no gimmicks. These visuals are what you can expect of the final game when you play it.” This is a perfect taste of the kind of horsepower that the PlayStation 4 will initially give to its developers.
Kingdom Hearts III
My personal favorite announcement of the night came when the next installment of the Kingdom Hearts franchise was finally revealed to be in development. Yes, after over eight years of waiting, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally on the way. A short trailer was shown that gave us a taste of what gameplay will look like in the final game. The audience erupted in applause, making it apparent that longtime fans of the series are indeed alive and well. With Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, we’ll be sure to see some interesting worlds make it into the final game.
Final Fantasy XV
Kingdom Hearts franchise creator Tatsuya Nomura dropped another bomb during the press conference. The mysterious Final Fantasy Versus XIII has finally come out of hiding. Square Enix revealed that their long in-development game has been renamed to Final Fantasy XV and will be coming to the PlayStation 4. The game was announced all the way back in 2006, before the PS3 released. After skipping an entire console generation, it is finally now on its way.
You could see the gears grinding in heads of all of the audience members as they tried to figure out what this mysterious new trailer was for. “Hey this thing looks very Mad Max-ish. Wait…could this be a Mad Max game? Holy crap, it’s Mad Max!!” Although the films are a little on the dated side, there’s never any harm in bringing something great back into pop culture. Hopefully the folks over at Avalanche Studios know what they’re doing and I’m sure we’ll hear much more in the months to come.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Bethesda’s long awaited venture into the MMO genre made a surprise visit to Sony’s press conference. Not only did they announce that The Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to the PlayStation 4, they annoucne that it will launch alongside the PC and Mac versions in the Spring of 2014. You can sign up for the beta right now on their website. Here’s to another 100+ hours of adventuring in yet another Elder Scrolls adventure.
Sony took the time to show off a few other games that had already been previously announced. Ubisoft gave us a new world premiere demo of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, as well as another demo of the incredibly good looking Watch Dogs. In addition, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and DriveClub were all announced to be launch titles for the PlayStation 4. It looks like Sony has a pretty solid lineup planned for the PS4’s launch but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when the console releases later this year.