Note: This feature was first published on 7 August 2020.
Well, it seems round two has finally begun, with Sony making the first move yet again. Earlier today, the tech giant hosted the August edition of its State of Play event, unloading yet another batch of PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR and PlayStation 5 gaming updates throughout the 40-odd-minute livestream.
Unfortunately, that truckload of updates doesn't contain even the faintest whiff of a release date, so it seems we'll just have to continue making do with "Holiday 2020" for now. If you're looking for a comprehensive once-over of the livestream, then you're definitely in the right place - hop in, folks.
Crash is back! Developer Toys for Bob debuted a hefty new trailer for the upcoming platforming game, which boasts a ton of content - probably more than fans would’ve dared to expect. The game will have a colourful array of character skins for both Crash and Coco to equip, and Toys for Bob were careful to state that no microtransactions would be involved in attaining them.
A new playable character was also introduced: Dingodile, a retired villain from the franchise who gets back into action after his diner gets blown up. Lastly, Toys for Bob revealed Crash 4’s ‘Inverted Mode’, which paints different levels in dramatically different art styles to encourage replayability. My favourite of these levels involve Crash having to spin to throw paint onto his monochrome surroundings, allowing him to see.
IO Interactive blew minds today by revealing that not only will Hitman 3 be fully playable in virtual reality, but the entirety of Hitman and Hitman 2 as well! We don’t get to see much gameplay of this new virtual reality mode, other than Agent 47 pulling out the ol’ Fiber Wire to assassinate an unsuspecting victim. Hopefully, playing Hitman in virtual reality won’t be exclusive to the PlayStation VR headset.
Developer Remedy Entertainment has finally popped the lid off of Control’s most exciting expansion yet. In the expansion titled ‘AWE’, newly-minted Director of the Federal Bureau of Control Jesse Faden has to confront a supernatural force haunting a sector of the Bureau. To reclaim the Investigations Sector from this mysterious occupant, Jesse will have to explore multiple Altered World Events - including one from the town of Bright Falls.
Oh, Bright Falls? That’s just where Remedy’s iconic game Alan Wake took place. And who’s that guy at the end of the trailer? Alan Wake. And what’s the expansion called again? AWE. Does that make this a crossover? Well..duh.
Here’s another cool-looking PlayStation VR game. The former Oculus-exclusive game is coming to PlayStation, delivering an interactive experience in the Star Wars universe. You play as a smuggler operating near Mustafar, pulled into a grand adventure that has you learn to use a lightsaber and go toe-to-toe with Vader himself.
This was probably one of the most exciting-looking games shown off during this State of Play. You play as Aeon, “the dreaded Emperor of the unstoppable Void Armada,” who has been betrayed and left for dead by his generals. You’ll have to travel across a futuristic city and eliminate every traitor who betrayed you, beat-em-up style.
On a more dour note, rumours indicate that the entire development team recently quit the studio due to massive crunch issues. This is currently unsubstantiated, so take it with a grain of salt.
This one just looks cute! It looks like you’ll be control a little stick figure-like character as they move across signboards and drawings in the real world, hopping from one place to the other as you solve puzzles. Here’s how the developers describe it: Using a node-based system, enjoy this textless journey, where all ideas are shared in icons and your powers of observation will be put to the test.
Bugsnax recently made waves during Sony’s Future of Gaming event, largely due to its incredible catchy main theme. This time however, we get a good look at how the game actually plays! You play as a journalist looking to investigate the Bugsnax, which means travelling to the village of Snaxburg and getting to know its people. You’ll learn all about Bugsnax and how to catch them, which will in turn help you build up the village.
This one was a little vague. Hood: Outlaws & Legends seems to be a multiplayer game where rival gangs compete in elaborate heists to punish the wealthy. The trailer’s YouTube description states: Two teams of players compete to execute the perfect heist, in environments patrolled by deadly AI guards. Utilise the unique skills and mystical abilities of each character, moving in stealth to steal treasures unseen or dominating through loud and brutal combat. So not only will you have to fend off other players, but in-game AI guards as well. Yay!
Yup, the makers of Abzu are back at it again with another adventure title for the PlayStation 5 called The Pathless. Here, you take control of the Hunter, a female bowman who travels across the land cleansing evil spirits and dark energies with her trusty eagle by her side. However, it’s not what you do that’s interesting but how - in order to get around, the Hunter has to hit certain floating targets with her arrows to fill her “Dash Meter”, which then allows her to zoom across the game’s expansive landscapes at breakneck pace. Couple that with the ability to fly by holding on to the eagle, and you’ve got an uniquely fast-paced title that seems immeasurably satisfying to play.
Granted, this isn’t exactly a “new reveal” per se - like Bugsnax, Godfall made an appearance in Sony’s Future of Gaming livestream back in June as well. However, we did get much more than gameplay footage this month from developer Counterplay Games - Game Director Keith Lee also gave us a brief run-through of the game’s combat styles and content layout. According to him, everything that the game has to offer will be available to all players starting from day one - it won't have any DLCs or microtransactions, and that's definitely good news.
If you were a fan of the quirky 2008 time-bending platformer called Braid, then the Anniversary Edition is the perfect chance for you to fall in love with it all over again. Here, you control a guy who is able to rewind time to solve various puzzles and dodge obstacles.
Anyway, the game has been given a modern facelift, with many of the formerly-pixelated textures and animations smoothened out and enhanced for the PS4, although you can switch back to the old aesthetics any time you wish. There's even an extremely detailed developer commentary from creator Jonathan Blow himself, which will touch on the various design and programming considerations that went into this classic puzzler.
It's one small step for man, and one giant leap for - watch out for that lava! Yes, explorers, it's time to pack your space suits and oxygen tanks, because the sequel to the best-selling 2008 platformer Spelunky is headed straight for the Moon (and the PS4) in September. Make sure to bring some spare underwear - something tells me you (and your fellow explorers) are in for a bumpy ride.
Remember that one time where people were blasting miHoYo for creating a near-carbon copy of Breath of the Wild? Yes, this is that same game, although the studio seems to have switched up the formula somewhat after the brutal reception.
Like the trailer shows us, Genshin Impact is an anime-styled RPG that uses a rather textbook formula - different character classes, co-op raids and bosses, so on and so forth. In that vein, there isn't much that excites us, but what we will admit is that the game does have pretty good visuals, and we actually wouldn't mind giving it a shot considering it's free-to-play too.
Man, this livestream is absolutely filled to the brim with oddballs! By definition, ANNO: Mutationem is an action-adventure RPG that blends cyberpunk flavours with both 2D and 3D art styles. In fact, we're not even sure exactly what the game is about, although we will admit its combat aspect does look pretty cool.
It's Auto Chess. For PS4. Honestly, this hardly needs any introduction!
Ever since the "auto-battler" genre muscled its way onto both the casual and pro gaming scenes around two years ago, there have many similar iterations appear from other developers, such as Hearthstone Battlegrounds and Dota Underlords, most of which are often inspired by their existing IPs.
However, this is the OG, so if you'd like to try out " the one that started it all" on PS4, well, now you can. If you haven't played an auto-battler before, the idea is pretty simple - you spend resources to build a strong set of units, play them tactically and whoever is the last player standing at the end wins.
Critter-catching games are hardly the newest kid on the block, and TemTem is no exception. The concept is pretty straightforward - you catch the monsters, train them up and can have them fight against other opponents to make them stronger.
Think Pokemon, except that you use cards instead of balls to capture the various species, oh and it has MMORPG elements too.