Sony really brought it to Gamescom 2014
Microsoft's Gamescom 2014 presentation certainly had some bombshells, so Sony was going to have to bring a few of its own to match something as big as an exclusive Lara Croft. And while no singular PS4 title shown had the same impact as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Sony had so many new titles on display that it's easy to argue that it had as much of an impact, if not more.
PlayStation 4 will be getting a ton of promising indie titles that are promising, including new titles from the teams behind Enslaved, Pixeljunk, and Day Z, all exclusive in one way or another. Then Sony announced some exclusives of their own, alongside appearances by big name developers like Hideo Kojima and Michel Ancel. And things started in the immediate future with
Bloodborne, LittleBigPlanet 3, and Infamous DLC kicked it off
Sony started off hot with some brand new trailers for the PS4 exclusives that are coming in the next six months. Fans got to see the first ever gameplay footage of Bloodborne, as well as receiving confirmation that the game will be out by early 2015. That big news was accompanied by a typically whimsical trailer for LBP3, and a new look at the story-based DLC for Infamous: Second Son. With the rest of the conference focusing on many farther off games, it's smart to get the big stuff out of the way now.
10 million PS4s have been sold worldwide since launch
PlayStation has been firmly in the lead with regards to PS4 vs. Xbox One in system sales, and Gamescom 2014 was a chance for Sony to trumpet another milestone. Sony executive James Ryan talked up the PS4 selling 10 million consoles worldwide to consumers. Makes you wonder what numbers Microsoft will have to present that's counter to that.
Rime, Hellblade, and Tomorrow People lead the independent pack
Q Games, of Pixeljunk fame, showed off its next 3D game, a cooperative building game called The Tomorrow People that had a definite Russian vibe. Rounding out PS4's biggest indies was Rime. Last seen at Gamescom 2013, Rime looks even more gorgeous this year, with the PS4 exclusive looking like a fantastic mash-up of Wind Waker and Shadow of the Colossus. And speaking of Hellblade...
Hellblade is the latest from Ninja Theory
In case you were wondering what Ninja Theory's been up to since DmC, here's your answer. A cinematic trailer for Hellblade debuted during Sony's presser, showing off a scene that looked like Heavenly Sword meets Conan the Barbarian. A tough looking lady with dreads and blue facepaint kneels before a defiled corpse, strung up on pikes by its skin. She's either grieving or enraged, given the fact that she's gripping her blade so tightly that blood is pouring out of her hand. At that moment, the corpse seems to come to life--and this warrior is ready for a fight. Hellblade looks to continue Ninja Theory's signature of incredibly detailed character models, with expressive faces and gorgeous textures. While the actual gameplay is still up in the air, expect a lot of brutal swordfights and supernatural enemies.
Day Z will be infecting PS4 soon
Started as an unassuming mod to Arma, the zombie game Day Z has become a massive hit among hardcore PC gamers. The zombie plague will now be spreading to consoles in the not-too-distant future, as the devs came on to announce a PS4 version. Though there was nothing to show, the game will apparently feature improved visuals in a render update for both PS4 and PC, thus having the port be beneficial to Day Z's core audience as well.
But there were way more indies beyond that impressive trio, as PlayStation seems firmly behind indie content for its platform. Sony spent a long time discussing its lineup of independent titles that are exclusive in some way to the PS4. Leading the pack is Mike Bithell's Volume, along with memorable titles like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Paradox's Hollowpoint and Runemaster, Snow, Pix 'n Cat, and Papers, Please. All of which are exclusive in one way or another to the PS4.
Destiny will have exclusive content on PlayStation
Bungie's Halo followup may be cross platform, but Destiny continues to receive the royal treatment on PlayStation. The early beta for the game was just the beginning, as it was announced that PlayStation owners will get early access to the map Exodus Blue, as well as two expansions for Destiny. How's that compare to an exclusive Tomb Raider game?
Far Cry 4 goes to Shangri La (with exclusive bonuses for PlayStation players)
Ubisoft came to give people a closer look of the lovely environments of Far Cry 4, from snowy peaks to grassy hills. There was even a glimpse of mythology, as Ubi revealed that players will be transported throughout the game to the fantastical world of Shangri La, a land of red foliage and white tigers, which look great when murdering folks against the red backdrop. Then came info on The Keys to Kyrat program, which will allow Far Cry 4 owners to gift 10 keys to Far Cry 4 to friends that can then play the game online without owning a copy of it. The access only lasts two hours, but that's definitely ahead of the curve for game sharing.
Metal Gear Solid 5 and Shadow of Mordor were there, but didn't have much to show
There was a new story trailer for Shadow of Mordor on display, but it wasn't all that informative (despite the great voice acting of Troy Baker as the lead). Then Hideo Kojima took to the stage to show off MGS5, and if you think he'd just fly all the way to Germany to show off something big, you'd be wrong. He merely had a brief, amusing bit of cardboard box stealth action, with Snake fooling guards by putting sexy pictures on the front, then putting the PS4 box on his head. This is not a joke.
Share Play will be a reality with the 2.0 system update
Share Play is the feature Sony talked up in early 2013, and it looks like it'll be a reality very soon with the next big system update. Share Play will allow PlayStation Plus users to play games online with each other as if they were sharing the same couch, jumping into co-op and competitive play even if one of the players doesn't own the game. They won't even need to download the title. With this and PlayStation Now coming together, it looks like the PS4 Sony talked up over a year ago is finally becoming a reality.
Until Dawn shows a glimpse of its teen-killing slasher
Until Dawn, the Supermassive Games project that went AWOL for a few years, is back for PS4, and it's looking suitably scary on new-gen. The basic premise follows eight teens who are camping in the mountains, unaware that this may be their last night on Earth. That's because a masked killer is picking them off one by one, and you have the power to determine who lives or dies through this hellish ordeal. This trailer shown gives off a very Friday the 13th vibe, which is perfect for what the game aims to be. The creepy clown-face mask that the killer wears is certifiably creepy, and the executions look brutal, including decapitations some possible machete work. If you're a fan of slasher flicks, be they cheesy, horrifying, or a little bit of both, Until Dawn is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Tearaway Unfolded brings Vita exclusive to PS4
After an insomnia-curing Driveclub demo, Media Molecule took to the stage with its new mascot from Tearaway. In a very fun and handcrafted style, the devs revealed that the Vita-original is coming to the PS4, and the papercraft game looks to have grown considerably. The controller's touchpad, light, and more are implemented to make Tearaway: Unfolded look like a far grander proposition than the Vita original. This looks to be no simple cut-and-paste (aside from the, y'know, part where you cut and paste paper).
Alienation is coming from the Resogun devs
If you had a PS4 and PS+ on launch day, Resogun was the game to download, and its fast-paced shooting earned a lot of fans ready to see what's next. Sony's Gamescom presentation answered that with the bright and brilliantly violent trailer for Alienation, a twin-stick shooter built around blasting aliens into paste. And the top-down action game, like Resogun, is a PS4-exclusive.
Wild is the next game from the creator of Rayman
Sony closed out its Gamesom presentation with Michel Ancel, the lead dev for both Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil, who was there to show off his indie game that was made with the PS4 in mind. Wild is the name of it, and the lengthy trailer shows man and beast exploring the world together in a prehistoric setting. Cavemen and women are hunting for food while also getting friendly with hawks, boars, and wolves, and Ancel implies you'll be able to play as all those animals in the cooperative game. There weren't many more details than that, but it all feels typically dreamy for Ancel's team.
Who won Gamescom?
Now that we know what Sony and Microsoft brought to Europe's biggest games convention, which impressed you most? Are you excited about the PS4's future? Sad that no new Vita exclusives were shown? Bothered Kojima just showed a bunch of boxes? Speak out in the comments!