This is part two of a two-part article. In the last part, I talked about the features that were announced for the PlayStation 4. In this part, I talk about the various tech demos and game demos that were revealed.
Thanks to CVG, I’m now able to bring more of what happened during the livestream, where I couldn’t tweet, watch, and listen at the same time.
Once the features were talked about, It was during this point in the stream when the next-gen titles and tech demos started to roll out, something which I was rather excited about. The first on the feature list, aside from Knack, was Guerrilla Games’ Killzone: Shadow Fall, presented by managing director Hermen Hulst. Honestly, shooters over the years have began to look and feel the same to me (the pretty obvious quick-time-event being a dead giveaway). However, I must admit, the game looked pretty darn awesome.
Shadow Fall takes places in the near future, when mankind has colonised planets in search of resources, and a battle rages between two factions, the people of Helghan and the people of Vektar.
“This conflict is about much more than resources,” Hulst said. “The Helghast are fighting for their right to exist, while the Vektars want to protect their way of life.
Next on the big screen was Evolution Studios’ team-based next-gen racer Drive Club. There’s even going to be a mobile counterpart app which will link to Drive Club and allow players to have “24/7 untethered access to their club“.
Sony has said that both Killzone: Shadow Fall and Drive Club might be launch titles.
Sucker Punch made the stream very edgey and rather uncomfortable for me when they were next up. They used the “everyone is watching you” approach to grip the conference, and then announced their PS4 title InFAMOUS: Second Son.
Johnathan Blow, creator of Braid, came up next with his new game The Witness, an open-world puzzle game, and a timed exclusive for the PS4. I genuinely love the look of this game – visually, it’s just so…nice, so appealing.
David Cage of Quantic Dream, developer of Heavy Rain, came to stage next with an outstanding tech demo of their brand new next-gen engine, which is up and running, and ready to development next generation titles. Many video game character models I’ve seen in my time have been, for most part, sub par, but acceptable to the human likeness – an imitation, if you will. In some cases, there are the ones that just get stuck in the depths of Uncanny Valley. This new engine, however, actually blew my mind. I’ve never seen a video game character in a while to have been able to say, “wow. That’s real.”
Studio boss David Cage turned up not to announce any new games, but to discuss how the improved technology will allow future games to achieve a level of emotional connection in characters that was previously only possible in live-action or high-end CGI movies.
Media Molecule’s Alex Evans came up next with two tech demos of what they plan to do with the PlayStation Move for the PlayStation 4. The tech demos demonstrate the capabilities of what player-created content can achieve with the Move. The first demo was very interesting, and very much wouldn’t mind giving it a go. The second show was Rock Band music/light show with Move-controlled puppets — and I absolutely loved it.
Once the puppet serenade was over, Capcom’s video game producer Yoshinori Ono came on stage to show off Capcom’s new IP Deep Down. This game, I will say, looks epic. Furthermore, it is the only game I’ve seen that has the most realistic fire I’ve ever seen.
All rendered by the power of Panta Rhei, a new graphical engine which is being refined to better take advantage of the PlayStation 4’s hardware.
“You’ve no idea how long I’ve wanted to talk about this,” he said of the game.
Deep Down is being developed on a new engine described as the “next evolutionary step from the MT Framework”. Titled Panta Rhei, the engine is being continuously refined to take advantage of the PlayStation 4’s hardware.
Square Enix’s chief technology director Yoshihasa Hashimoto came into the spotlight next, showing off their tech demo powered by their next-gen Luminous engine. This footage had already been shown last year, so many people weren’t as excited about it. Fortunately, I wasn’t one of those people, so I found the demo to be very intriguing. Once the demo was over, Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto took over and dropped a tease. Possible next-gen Final Fantasy? Maybe. We’ll just have to wait until E3!
Ubisoft had their demonstration next, with a demo of Watch Dogs, which looks like a crossbreed of a graphically-improved GTA IV and a sci-fi Assassin’s Creed. You have the power to control the power, it seems, through the means of hacking. Ubisoft has confirmed that Watch Dogs will be available for PS4 at launch.
“Watch Dogs’ ambitious scope illustrates that Ubisoft is once again at the forefront of new technologies, giving freedom to development teams to create unprecedented entertainment experiences,” said Ubisoft in a press release.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot added: “The power and capability of the PS4 allows the Watch Dogs team to further push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible in interactive entertainment.”
Afterwards came Blizzard’s Senior Vice President Chris Metzen, which came as a surprise to everyone, I believe. Honestly, I thought there going to announce a StarCraft II port, or something. Apparently not, because what he came out with was the announcement of Diablo III coming to PS3 and PS4. Yay?
To be fair, I’ve not actually played D3, so I can’t really pass judgment, but I’ve heard enough to know that it doesn’t quite sit well with PC gamers.
Finally, at the end of the two-hour long livestream, Activision’s CEO Eric Hirshberg came on with probably my most anticipated next-gen game Destiny. Which…just…wow. Destiny is being developed by the father of Halo, Bungie, whom, many years ago, changed the course of FPS gaming. Maybe they will do the same again.
Destiny will available for PS3 and PS4 at launch, with exclusive content for PlayStation.
No release date was announced, although publisher Activision has said it’s not planning to release the game in 2013…
…The game has been previously confirmed for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
That’s it for the various tech demos and game demos that I picked up during the livestream, rounding off my detailed look at Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly looking forward to the release of the PlayStation 4, which – apparently – will be hitting the shelves holiday 2013.