Written By: Steve Vegvari
Continuing the weekend event in Anaheim, California. The second day of PlayStation Experience was a day set for primarily sitting down with developers. Each developer studio had their time in the spotlight to show off a small sliver of their games as presenters went through short Q&As.
First, Graham Smith from Toronto’s Drinkbox Studios brought Guacamelee! 2. Graham caught fans up to the where the story picks up and what Juan Aguacate is up to now. The gameplay demo introducing El Muneco; one of the bosses of the game. Guacamelee! 2 also sports new mechanics, impressive lighting improvements and puzzling challenges. Four player local co-op will also be available for the game as well.
Endnight Games’ The Forest is an open world survival horror game. Inspired by Minecraft, players are dropped into a forest after a horrific accident. Supporting up to eight player online co-op, The Forest puts crafting, building and survival aspects are at the forefront. Even maintaining hygiene is important as diseases will spread on top of hunger and thirst meters.
Up on the main stage, Sid Shuman had a small panel with Justin Roiland and William Pugh to talk about Accounting+ on PSVR. Sony was able to extract some information on the concept of the game. Described as “a bag of moments”, players walk in the shoes of an accountant. Players will go through a mix of small levels with different puzzles and interact with a lineup of colourful characters.
Bluepoint Games and Team Ico brought the remake of Shadow of The Colossus. The title has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and rendered in both 1080p/30FPS and 4K/60FPS. Bluepoint has added an incredible amount of detail to the world and characters. Shadow of The Colossus will receive a brand new button map scheme, updating the conventions of how the game plays compared to the initial release in 2005.
In addition, Blood And Truth for PSVR was demoed by London Studios. The creative heads from the London Heist PSVR game. With a more polished game set in a London casino, players infiltrate and take out various mobsters. Blood And Truth supports a more tactile feel with player being able to free flow through the level. Utilizing cover and maneuvering their way through the casino.
Tim Schafer held a Dreams panel with Siobhan Reddy, Mark Healey, and Alex Evans from Media Molecule. Featuring a story mode in which three unique and different stories intertwine. Dreams’ story mode is built on the in-house Dreams Engine. Thus, those assets and engine are readily available for players to take advantage of and create their own games. So, with almost endless creative possibilities, Media Molecule hopes players will take ownership and surprise themselves of what is possible.
Another team, Breakpoint Studios demoed Tennis World Tour. A spiritual successor to Top Spin 4. Utilizing motion capture to develop a true tennis simulator. This will mark the first tennis game to be built for the PS4. Breakpoint spoke of how much focus was placed into capturing the correct aesthetic. Tennis World Tour will also have 30+ pro player roster.
Atlus had the opportunity to showcase Dragon’s Crown Pro. The localized version of the cult hit from 2013 will support 4K resolution on the PS4 Pro and a ‘newly recorded soundtrack’. Dragon’s Crown Pro allows cross-save and multiplayer across multiple platforms.
Swedish developer company Zoink Games came down to show off Fe. Their gameplay demo explored the geometric world that Fe ventures through. Fe’s vocal cries influences a lot of the environment. Each unique creature reacts differently and helps Fe continue through the platforming puzzles.
Back on the main stage, IGN’s Beyond! team held a “Top 10 PlayStation Games Of All Time” panel. Brian Altano, Marty Sliva, Alanah Pearce, Andrew Goldfarb, and Max Scoville all came together to compile an unofficial list. Bloodborne, Persona 4 Golden, Silent Hill 2, Grand Theft Auto III, Castlevania: Symphony of The Night, Ico, Metal Gear Solid, Until Dawn, Journey, The Last of Us all made the list. Each game brought so much to the industry and helped define it for generations to come.
Brian Altano returned and held a panel for Sucker Punch to discuss Ghost of Tsushima. The team went through their process from conception to bringing the world to life over the past years. Sucker Punch went over the details of creating the trailer for game. Interesting tidbits were dropped of how the studio prepared for the worldwide reveal. The Super Punch team also went into depth on the level of research they conducted in order to make it as accurate as possible.
Killing Floor Incursion is the newest title in the Killing Floor franchise. Tripwire Interactive revealed the new Killing Floor is a PSVR title. On top of the campaign mode, Incursion will also have an endless Horde mode. Aspects of the gameplay revolve around the same zombie shooter the franchise is known for, but also a tactile puzzle game.
The Gang Beasts release is nearly upon us, so Boneloaf brought the game to play for the show floor. The wacky physics based brawler features a four player “last man standing” style of gameplay. Interactive environments can help players gain the upper edge. The studio teased new updates and is looking into bringing a campaign mode in the future.
Most noteworthy, Naughty Dog held a special two-part panel event. The first was the “Uncharted 10th Anniversary Celebration” panel. Greg Miller welcomed beloved cast members; Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Richard McGonagle to the stage to reminisce about the journey they took together over the past decade. From auditions, to first encounters, to getting to know one another.
Claudia Black, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Graham McTavish, Robin Atkin Downes joined the rest of the cast on the big stage. Claudia and Laura got to discuss their time working on the recent Uncharted: Lost Legacy. Cast members went through various anecdotes with each other. The three pillar actors went through their experiences saying goodbye to the franchise and how those last days on set felt. The touching reunion of all eight voice actors was a stark reminder of the lineage Naughty Dog and Uncharted is leaving behind after 10 short years.
Naughty Dog capped off PSX with an introduction to the cast of The Last of Us Part II. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson joined on stage to sing an acoustic song before host; Hannah Hart came on stage. Game director; Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross got grilled on the hard hitting questions right off the bat. “Is Joel dead?” and “Will Ellie meet her mother” were among the few. Neil did a good job by deflecting, but did give kudos to the internet for creating elaborate theories.
Newcomers were also present. Ian Alexander who plays Lev, Victoria Grace who is playing Yara, and Laura Bailey in which her character is still unknown. Victoria and Ian told stories of their experiences working with Naughty Dog. Characters Lev and Yara are in fact siblings.
The cast go into a bit of detail of the game’s theme. The original game has a focus of love, while Part II is centered on hate. The game will offer darker tones and moments but will have breaks of levity. Naughty Dog is set on telling a story that is the best fit for their characters.
Neil dropped one big breadcrumb of information. He told a story about how Haley, one of the writers went home and told her husband “I think I got someone pregnant.” What that means exactly is unseen, but Neil told audiences once they play they will begin to understand.
Finally, when closing off PSX, Neil suggests that Naughty Dog has finished nearly 50-60% of the game. The team is also firm about bringing the game to E3 2018.
For more on live events keep your eyes peeled to WorldGaming.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.