Wednesday 19 June 2019

Playstation at Gamescom 2014 - What we learned from the press conference

Until Dawn trailer screenshot
Until Dawn trailer screenshot

Frank Whelan

The console war continues as Playstation's evening conference aims to answer Xbox's afternoon offering.

The live stream started with some technical difficulties which plagued the press conference throughout, but when the games videos began, the player reactions deliberately stamped out the message "It's all about the players."

The introduction started with a thank you to the Playstation devout, with Sony announcing Playstation 4 sales exceeding 10milion globally.

The first exciting offering came from Q-Games, who announced they were going back to 3D in a big way. In The Future Children trailer, below, screams communism and frankly sucked me in. Great move by Playstation to put this up first. The world has melted into "the Void." You have to generate clones with different classes, skills and tools and explore and rebuild civilization town by town. Sounds part Lemmings and part Settlers, both excellent games. If the finished product lives up to the trailer, Playstation will have a lil beaut on their hands.


The next video was for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which, while looking cool and atmospheric, was put in no context and just kicked in at the end of the Tomorrow Children. This was a common flaw through out the conference, with videos just popping up, often with no explanation before or after. If the trailer is anything to go by, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will live up to its billing as an atmospheric adventure game with immersive storytelling. You play a detective with the supernatural ability to visualise scenes of lethal crimes.

Volume was the next game up and thankfully it was actually presented. The bit of detail behind the game development, moving on from Thomas Was Alone, Mike Bithell comes back with a game that looks to involve quite a bit of sneak and evade gameplay, reminiscent perhaps of training missions from Metal Gear Solid. The trailer hints at a decent storyline around it all.

Again with the sudden videos. Hollowpoint came and went and I had no idea what it was, I actually guessed it was a new Syndicate Wars title.

Next game the confirmation that Day Z was coming to Playstation 4. The move to Playstation has reportedly allowed for a move to 64 bit servers and an improvement in all Day Z playing experiences.

The Hellblade trailer was fantastic. Again, no explanation, just a really good trailer. It could be a painfully generic hack n slash, but there was certainly enough attitude in those few scenes to warrant a note.


Yet another game with no intro. The Zelda fan in me jumped with excitement, just for a moment. We eventually find out the game is "Rime." Wow, that is a fantastic looking game. Some games look incredibly life like, but this one had such an obvious consistent visual vision. It's like an expensive cartoon was put under your control. If it plays half as well as it looks, here's yet another winner. Everything about this game suggests a potential classic.


We were treated to another games compilation and then finally we got some context. A "recap" it was dubbed, but it covered information we hadn't heard. Some games were exclusives, others were console firsts, but it was rushed to the extent that I wasn't bothered taking note. I was very surprised, but Xbox were wining the presentation style wars hands down.

And then the big guns came out.

Destiny. The most anticipated game of the year, if the record pre-orders are anything to go by. Developers Bungie were of course behind the very Xbox title Halo. I guess, there's a sense that they should be Xbox biased. Certainly there was a lot of fan rage when it was announced that PS4 players would get access to the Destiny beta first. Well, get ready, because it's happening again. PS4 players can expect timed exclusive access to new maps and challenges. It seems Bungie have found a new sweetheart and she wears a 4.

The multi-player trailer looks excellent.

Again, so many odd moments between clips. There were definite audio issues, and when a guest came on the background audio would be used directly and the applause would be muted. Very odd. I may be harping on about this too much, but when you think of the scale of the reach of these press conferences, everything should be perfect. You can't force developers to be charismatic, that's not expected, but audio and video anomalies really aren't acceptable at this level. Ok, so back to the games.

Far Cry 4 looks stunning. I wouldn't expect any less, but the variety of landscapes is truly impressive. Exclusive to Playstation is the Keys to Kryat: 10 access keys to allow players without the game to play the co-op for two hours.

More trailers from Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I appreciate the amount of trailers they've produced, and they're all good, but I'm beginning to feel I've already played the full game. Still looking forward to it.

Up comes Hideo Kojima for some bizarre Konami news. I assume that's the latest Metal Gear Solid, but, wow, I never knew you could use a cardboard box for so many things. A trailer showed how a cardboard box was essentially the ultimate weapon, just draw a bikini clad woman on it and you can defeat any foe.

P.I. was introduced with nightvision footage of player reactions. It's a scary one.

The innovation section of the Playstation conference really impressed me. Why Xbox announced you could soon pre-order and pre-download games before release, Sony went all out.

System Software 2.0 will allow you to search for real world friends online and upload videos to Youtube. Now, that's the boring bit and the crowd wasted a big cheer on it. What came next is great.

Share Play: Invite any player anywhere to take turns on your game, as if you're passing the controller to a friend. Or, invite a friend to play with you, as if you're sitting together on a sofa, but, they can be anywhere in the world. The best part: They don't have to own the game.

Morpheus was up next, with talk of 360 degrees immersive worlds and the future of gaming.

Next came Playstation Now, coming to Europe in 2015, with the beta starting in the UK.

Finally, and at this point Sony are really spoiling us, they announced Playstation TV was due. Giving access to PS1&2 classics and allowing for remote play, with the option to pair the game to a PS4 on another TV. All incredibly cool.

Until Dawn, which seems oddly similar to Cabin in the Woods, was the next trailer:


Evolution Games presented Drive Club, a "truly social racer." The jiist is you form clubs with your friends. Rewards are earned and shared throughout the club. There's also an app so you can monitor the game. At this point, Forza Horizon 2 sounds like an infinitely more enjoyable offering, but the mention of dynamic weather does catch my attention

Tearway was next and can be seen here

Finally Wild Sheep Studios presented Wild, which looks like a fantastic survival in the wilderness adventure, where you can not only play as humans, but also "any living creature."

Based on the two conferences, I think Xbox won on style, but Playstation have definitely created more excitement.

Read our reaction the the Xbox conference here

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