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PlayStation Experience 2015 Keynote

Now I am one of the biggest PlayStation fans on the AYBOnline staff, so to cover this event is an immense honour.

The Keynote lasted just shy of 2 hours, and was jam packed with tons of wonderful things that I am super excited about that coming to PlayStation in 2016. So without further adieu, here is everything that happened. It’s a lot, so hang with me as we go over the entire conference!

PSX2015

Uncharted 4

The event launched with a new gameplay trailer for Naughty Dog’s newest title, Uncharted 4. The gist of the video, seen here, is Nathan Drake, the series protagonist, meeting his long lost brother Sam for the first time in years (and first time in the series). It also showcased a new and interesting addition for a selective dialogue system, which a lot of RPGs use to great effect. We’ll see how often it’s used, and to what effect when the game launches.

Needless to say, it was a fantastic start to the conference that had no shortage of amazing and surprising titles.

Shawn Layden

Not really anything special with this, but with it being the 20th Anniversary of PlayStation, what he was wearing was insane. Normally in press conferences he’s seen wearing a suit. At the Keynote? A freaking Crash Bandicoot shirt.

SUCH A TEASE
SUCH A TEASE

Now, this doesn’t confirm anything, but with Sony and Activision being even closer now than ever before, could we see Sony’s mascot return home?

Final Fantasy VII

At E3 this year, Square Enix dropped one of the biggest bombs of all time: Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced. I loved that game when it was originally on PS1, and to have that announced on PS4 was amazing. Today, we got our first look at gameplay – and my god, it looks amazing! Combat is an enhanced system, based on what looks like the Final Fantasy XIII‘s, which as someone who actually enjoyed that game, is awesome.

Another thing that was announced, was that the original Final Fantasy VII would be making its way to PS Vita. So I think it’s time I invest in one of those suckers.

Call of Duty

Now I will be the first to tell you that I am not a fan of the Call of Duty franchise. But they made news here, so I digress.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3‘s first DLC, Awakening, is going to be released in early next year, so hold onto your pants. It’ll be on Playstation first for 30 days, so Xbox players will have to hold out a little bit longer.

The big one though is a new eSports league specifically for Call of Duty called Call of Duty: World League, the Pro season of which is going on right now for the uninitiated. So if you like CoD, jump on that as you and your team has a chance to win $3 Million.

And no, that’s not a mistype. PlayStation also announced that they would be the presenting sponsor, making the pro-circuit presumably PlayStation only.

Star Wars

Mentioned a few times throughout the conference, Star Wars had a less than stellar reaction, probably due to the fact that Star Wars: Battlefront didn’t live up to the hype and ancestry of the original titles. That said, those in attendance will be able to play the Battle of Jakku DLC before it goes live. One thing that was really cool though was the highlights video they made: Darth Vader is OP.

Battleborn

Randy Pitchford came out on stage to talk more about Battleborn, Gearbox and 2K’s answer to Blizzard’s Overwatch. Some of the back story was revealed, in that all the characters are fighting over control of the “last star in the universe”.

Couch co-op was announced (with great fan reaction) as well as an open beta being on PS4 first, with a new character being Toby the Mechadroid-wielding Penguin, being a PS4 beta exclusive character.

Those that pick up the game AND have played the beta will be given the free character after launch, supplementing the already sizable cast of 25 characters. So get shootin’, Tex!

The launch date was also revealed to be May 3rd, 2016.

Street Fighter V

A new PlayStation exclusive character – F.A.N.G – was revealed for Street Fighter V, and he seems to use a Drunken Boxer style martial art. He looks really cool, and I can’t wait to see him live.

Another 6 characters were announced, although they were already leaked (jerks!). That said, for those that don’t already know, they are Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri, and Urien. How these new fighters will handle and look like, we’ll find out soon!

The release date was also announced as February 16th, 2016. Get your fight sticks ready!

Dead Star

This game was announced back in October. Today we got our first update with 2 game modes being introduced. The first being Escape Run, and as the title says is a game of escaping the enemy units. The other is called Capital Ship, where you outfit your own capital ship and then go out and attack someone else’s in an all-out war. The game is coming out on PC and PS4 in 2016!

[adult swim games]

One of the bigger surprises today is that [adult swim] is now publishing games. They announced that in a very funny and seemingly very [adult swim] way. The list they are putting out on PS4 next year is as follows:

  • Death’s Gambit
  • Ray’s The Dead
  • Duck Game
  • Rain World
  • Small Radios Big Televisions
  • Headlander

All of these titles look like they will be awesome. The most exciting on the list (in my opinion) are Death’s Gambit, Duck Game, and Headlander.

Death’s Gambit reminds me heavily of Sony and Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus, but in a 2D pixel art environment. That mixed with Castlevania-like gameplay elements, and it looks like it should be a smash hit.

Duck Game is a multiplayer box based shoot-em-up, and having played this at BaseLan 29 earlier this year, I cannot wait to have it in my games collection!

Headlander is probably the weirdest game of the lot, because you play a floating head that takes over different bodies, which is reminiscent of the old Odd World games from the PS1 years. Best part? It’s a new Double Fine Productions game!

Tim Schafer

Probably one of my all-time favourite developers, Tim Schafer announced that Day of the Tentacle Remastered will be hitting the PS4 in March of next year. Kind of a big shocker was the announcement of Full Throttle Remastered. Not only will buyers get the remastered version, but also the original all in one go! This also brings the original trilogy of Tim Schafer games that were once Lucasarts properties, remastered and brought to a new audience.

Oh, and this weekend seems to be the time of the Psychonauts, because Tim ALSO dropped that they are working on a PlayStation VR only standalone game called Rhombus of Ruin, where you get to follow the adventures of Raz in full VR! It’ll take you from the end of the first game, and leads into Psychonauts 2.

Indies

Announced FINALLY for consoles, and coming to PS4 first, is the long awaited Don’t Starve Together standalone DLC. This DLC makes it so that you can play with others both locally and online. Not to mention, it includes all the previous DLC, too. I cannot wait to get back into the world and explore with some friends!

Invisible Inc. is another game by the fine folks at Klei Entertainment, which is a turn-based spy game. Super freaking cool! It’ll be coming to Playstation from PC, and will also include the Contingency Plan DLC as well. Win-win!

Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey is a side scrolling game that seems like it will play like a traditional JRPG. It looks beautiful, with a lot of hand-drawn looking pieces. Check it out here.

Hitman Go will be on PS4 and Vita next year, and will bring the once mobile-only game to new audiences.

Brawlhalla is going to be making its console debut, which is a 2D fighting game based in Ancient Greece. It’s coming from Steam, so I’m happy to see so much coming!

Supergiant Games released Bastion on PS4 earlier this year, and it is just as good on console as it is on PC. Sony promised that there would be a dedicated version on PS Vita, and today they delivered. Oh, and the game dropped to $2.99 USD, which is the cheapest it’s been on console ever! Go get it now if you haven’t played it.

The bit.trip collection will be coming out with all 6 of the original games, and is available now on the PlayStation Store!

Nuclear Throne is another game that just launched on PlayStation (geez, there are a ton!). It’s been in Steam Early Access since 2013, so it’s nice to have the final product out in the world – and on console to boot!

Easily one of the most intriguing games of the Keynote is BRUT@L, an ASCII art inspired game that played like an old school dungeon crawler. Stormcloud games have an interesting experience on their hands, and you bet your buttocks that I want in on that!

This game looks good for ASCII art!
This game looks good for ASCII art!

Guns Up! is a base building, army manufacturing, and enemy destroying game that just launched, and is free to play, using microtransactions. PS+ members get a starter’s kit free, and it looks like it’s something that the whole family can enjoy, with its silly cartoonish graphics and silly hats.

#BuildingTheList

Now, Sony has been rather hands on with its fans, and the #BuildingTheList campaign looked at bringing games that fans wanted to PlayStation and PS4. We are getting a massive fan service, thanks to this with the announcement of BOTH Yakuza 5 (which will be heading to PS3 on December 8th, 2015 THIS TUESDAY), and Yakuza 0, which will be coming to PS4. These have never come west thus far (outside of imports), so this is really exciting news for fans of the Yakuza games.

Another set of games that are on their way to PS4 are The Last Blade 2, and The King of Fighters XIV. Both are fan favourites, and in the case of KoF14, a PlayStation family cult classic.

The surprise here? Team Ninja is working on a new IP, exclusive to PS4, called Nioh. It takes place in what looks like feudal Japan and has the player in control of a Samurai warrior battling both natural and supernatural foes.

It looks amazing. I know I’ve said that a lot in this article, but seriously. The level of detail going into these games is insane. This looks like its on par with The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt and Bloodborne.

Fat Princess is getting another game in the form of Fat Princess Adventure, a 4-player Co-op (both online and on the couch), and will endear itself to fans once again. It looks adorable and has a humour that the games industry is sorely lacking. Like many other games announced at PSX, you can pick it up now! PS+ members get the first DLC for free as well!

Insomniac Games

Ted Price talked a little about the history of Ratchet and Clank and how it almost didn’t make the light of day. Thank god it did, as it’s easily one of my favourite franchises. How excited I am over the original game’s remake cannot be expressed in words.

That said, new gameplay footage was shown, which covered how the now-famous duo initially met. It’s different than in the original, but it was also a demo, so we’ll see how it actually works when it drops.

Speaking of which, the date the game will launch is April 12th, 2016, with the Ratchet and Clank movie hitting theatres on April 28th, 2016. (April just killed my budget.)

PlayStation VR

Dr. Richard Marks, Sony’s head of their Magic Lab (and someone fellow AYB contributor Kevin Carbotte has actually had the chance of talking to), demo’d the PSVR for the first time on stage. There were some tech glitches, which is to be expected for something that was developed in a fortnight.

Rez Infinite, which is the sequel to 2011’s Child of Eden (a sequel to 2001’s Rez), is a rail shooter that was shown on Sony’s VR headset. It looked like it could probably be super interesting. But without playing it yourself, it looks dizzying.

Sony also announced a slew of games on PSVR that weren’t already slated for release. One of these is called Eagle Flight, which looks like it was taken straight out of the Assassin’s Creed universe (fitting as it’s an Ubisoft game).

From what we saw in the trailer, you are in a stylized Paris, France. This is currently in development and will feature some interesting online play as well. If the game is limited to JUST Paris or if there will be other locations is yet to be seen.

Sony Santa Monica is working on a Crazy Taxi-like game called The Modern Zombie Taxi Co. It looks super silly and hyper stylized, but I want to try a demo of this so badly, it hurts.

One of the weirder titles shown is Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs, based partly out of Winnipeg! It’s nice to see local talent on a big stage like this.

The game puts you into a virtual office, and you do, well… office type things. Wanna drink coffee? Check. Stapler Guns? Check. Donuts? Double Check. This is really weird, and yet seemingly rather funny, too. I can’t wait to see what else is able to be done in the game when it gets a full launch.

Developer Highwire Games debuted their first game, Golem. It looks gorgeous, and with Marty O’Donnell (musical composer for Halo, and Destiny) on staff, it also sounds gorgeous. We’ll have to wait for some actual gameplay to see how it works, but it seems interesting.

Probably one of the games that I am most hyped for with VR, even though it has no reason, to be is 100ft. Robot Golf. The name tells you exactly what you are getting: 100ft. tall robots who play golf. It’s silly and ridiculous, but I want it so badly! And with it being a “Gigantic Robot” game, you can also destroy the environment to “demolish your way to par“, and even the competition. Golf has never been so fun!

And finally, the game everyone and their mothers were hoping for, Bandai Namco is bringing one of my most beloved franchises back and to PSVR: Ace Combat 7 is on the way, fam.

My heart melted almost as much as when Psychonauts 2 was announced during The Game Awards this past Thursday. I have been waiting for this game for FOREVER, and to finally be close to playing it, my hype levels are off the charts. Easily the best way to end the PlayStation VR portion of the conference.

2016 is looking really good from all sectors on VR, and we’ll see how Sony does with this line up.

Destiny

Being the resident Destiny expert, it should go without saying that having anything Destiny-related in terms of news is not shocking at a PlayStation conference. What was shocking was that there wasn’t a DLC update; instead, we got something WAY better.

We get the Sparrow Racing League. That’s right, folks: Starting December 8th and ending on the 28th, you will now be able to race your Sparrow hoverbikes through some awesome custom made tracks on Venus and Mars. Exclusive gear and sparrows will be available to collect from the event, and PlayStation gamers will get access to an exclusive Sparrow as well. No need to worry about RNG though, as you will unlock it at the end of a Racing League quest. Rejoice!

Get ready to start your engines!
Get ready to start your engines!

They are also going to continue releasing exclusive missions and quests for PS4 in the coming months, leading up to Destiny‘s Year 3.

Runic Games

In a move that I thought was interesting, Runic Games is bringing their newest title, Hob, to PS4. The game looks fantastic, and having loved the Torchlight series on PC (Sony, please bring Torchlight to PS4!), I am excited to play Hob.

Level 5

Level 5 is known for having made some amazing games. Their first PS2 game, Dark Cloud, was just re-released for PS4 earlier this week (SUCK IT, XBOX!), and their latest game, Ni No Kuni was an instant hit on PS3, with fans loving the Studio Ghibli supplied art and amazing story.

At the conference, they announced the sequel, Ni No Kuni II, using the same amazing art of the first. Be prepared for another adventure.

Epic’s Ending

In what was a surprise ending, Epic Games came out to present a new game – a MOBA, to boot. It’s called Paragon, and looks to be the one that tries to entice people to get into the genre. It looks slick, and is a 3rd person shooter as well. I know, it sounds blasphemous, but it’s a super cool concept (only once done before in Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault to my knowledge), which has a chance to change the landscape of MOBAs as we know it.

It’s set to launch next year, with a closed beta early next year and opening to a full open beta in the summer. I’ll be testing it for sure! It’s also going to be on PC as well.

Now that the PlayStation Experience Keynote is over, we now have a ton of things to look forward to in 2016. It really seems like it’s going to be the Year of VR, as well as the Year of the PS4. I am seriously hyped for what is on the horizon (haha, get it, Horizon Zero Dawn), and my bank account is already trying to murder me.

You can catch everything here, and a few things I missed on live.playstation.com, or on their Twitch.

Quinn Smith is a contributor for AYBOnline and avid PlayStation fan. Don’t let that fool you though, as he keeps it real most of the time. His opinions are his own.

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