When Sony decided to shelve its annual plans for a big Gamescom presence, concentrating on a press conference at Paris Games Week instead there were plenty, us included, who wondered why.
For a start, it handed the keys to the kingdom to Xbox – in Gamescom terms at least. Microsoft ended up with an incredible show where it dominated in both exclusive games demonstrations and general enthusiasm.
However, as the dust settles on Sony’s PlayStation Paris Games Week media briefing it is now plain to see why the company decided to wait a couple of months. It had some aces up its sleeve that needed a little more time to be ready to announce.
We attended the press conference in the French capital and were impressed by many factors and elements of the event. That’s why we’ve decided to round up our highlights from a very successful presentation. And as PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said at the beginning, it was “all about games”.
Gran Turismo Sport
Possibly the game that got the biggest whoops from the crowd was the first PlayStation 4 outing for the Gran Turismo franchise. GT Sport is a slight departure for the traditional hyper-realistic racing game series in that it focuses much more on motorsport than road vehicles.
It has improved graphics and physics engines, which the audio will “improve dramatically” too. But the main thread of the game is even more ambitious, we were told.
Players will race in nations cups where they represent their country, or manufacturer fan cups, where they choose their favourite car maker and earn points for winning in specific vehicles.
Beyond that, there’s much still to be revealed about Gran Turismo Sport, save for the fact that it will become available for beta testing early next year and that there are plans to make it compatible with PlayStation VR. Now that will be something to behold.
Detroit: Become Human
When David Cage first designed his female android character Cara it was to show off the new processing capabilities of the PS4. Now the tech demo has officially been expanded upon to form a new Quantic Dreams game, Detroit: Become Human.
Gameplay will undoubtedly be similar in theme to Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, but graphically it looks simply superb from the trailer seen during the conference. It will also explore interesting issues, such as what actually makes us all human.
We first saw a glimpse of Wild during Gamescom 2014 but there wasn’t much of a game there. Now we can see some of how it will work, with the player taking the role of a character as they journey to become a shaman in an enormous open world environment.
That shaman will also be able to manipulate the animal world, sometimes possessing creatures, sometimes communicating and befriending them. All of them are designed to help somehow in the many things the player will be required to perform.
It will be interesting to see how it develops over the coming months, but it’s definitely one to watch.
Media Molecule has never been a conventional developer, always looking to enhance its games in interesting and unique ways. In Little Big Planet that involved opening level design and customisation to the players, while Tearaway cleverly used the hardware of the PS Vita and, more recently, the PS4 to open up gameplay options.
Dreams is kind of a mash up of both and so much more besides. It is both a creation game where exploration and curiosity is rewarded and a powerful 3D modelling engine where you can just about make anything your imagination dreams up (hence the name).
There’s a game in its bowels too, with player-made levels and assets being the heart of the entire experience. And we cannot wait to get our hands on it to see what we could do.
Although we’re still no closer to finding out an actual release date or price for the PlayStation VR headset (formerly known as Project Morpheus), a few new games were announced during Sony’s presser.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood actually looks like a virtual reality experience rather than an actual game, with the action centred on a spooky rollercoaster.
The Walk: A True Story is a VR version of part of the Sony Pictures film about a tightrope walker where you must also walk between two tall buildings. And Crytek’s Robinson: The Journey, which was previously seen on a rival device, has decamped to be a PlayStation VR exclusive. Massive dinosaurs and technology combine to create something that looks beautiful.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Of course, you couldn’t have a Sony games-lead conference without something new on the latest Uncharted. It is coming on 18 March next year and the focus for Paris Games Week was on its multiplayer prowess.
There are plenty of bells and whistles attached to the multiplayer mode, including the use of mystical artifacts to either gain powers for your character or hamper opponents. And the introduction of different classes of sidekicks adds extra pairs of hands to the battles that ensue.
We’ll be posting a full hands-on preview of Uncharted 4’s online multiplayer mode in the near future.
There were also other games that Sony announced and is hosting on its stand at the show, so we’ll update this feature with more as we discover them in a bit more depth.