December 6, 2014 will go forever be remembered by Sony PlayStation fans for several reasons. Sony celebrated 20 years of gaming excellence on their behalf by putting on the inaugural PlayStation Experience event. The first official day started off with an extensive press/fan conference that featured exciting bits of gamer trailers and so much more. Never mind the disappointing moments (that Final Fantasy VII PS4 reveal felt like the biggest troll announcement ever…), because we’re going to showcase the top 10 gameplay trailers that made their debut.
10. LittleBigPlanet 3
This nod to the long spanning past and present of the PlayStation brand was incredible. The PlayStation Experience audience no doubt got nostalgia chills as they watched Sackboy reenact the best moments from PlayStation’s biggest games. We spotted some of our favorites here, like Twisted Metal, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and more. We’re hoping those levels spotted in this trailer are up for download soon…
9. Drawn to Death
David Jaffe’s name is attached to two of Sony’s biggest original IP’s – Twisted Metal and God of War. So when he finally hit the stage during the final moments of the PlayStation Experience live stream, we got excited. His newest project was revealed to be Drawn to Death, a third-person multiplayer shooter that sports the visuals seen in school book doodle drawings. We have a new favorite character because of this gameplay trailer reveal – Dodgeball Dan.
8. Until Dawn
You’ve probably guessed by now that some of us here enjoy a good slash ’em up horror film or two. The PS4 exclusive Until Dawn replicates the slasher film experience perfectly as evidenced by this new dose of gameplay. You’ll have to make tough decisions as you avoid death at every turn. You’ll need to keep your teenage survivors safe since they’re capable of dying for good. We can’t wait to act out our Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book fantasies with this game in 2015.
7. Yakuza 5
Sega made a bold proclamation during the PlayStation Experience live stream event – Yakuza 5 will be arriving on the PS3 in 2015! Our hype levels went through the roof once that announcement was made! There’s no need for us to be jealous of Japanese gamers any longer. The localization for this open-world hit has been a long time coming. We’re finally getting the 5th main entry in the best video game adaptation of Chinese Mafia living…ever.
6. The Order: 1886
FINALLY! Some extended gameplay for this fresh PS4 IP was on the top of our list of the trailers we wanted to see during the Playstation Experience. The Order: 1886 just got put back on our list of most anticipated games for 2015. The cover-based gameplay, cinematic graphical presentation, interesting plot premise and terrifying beasts got us even more excited to enter this game’s dark world.
5. Batman: Arkham Knight
We knew we were going to have to pick our jaws up off the floor once this trailer came to a close. Batman: Arkham Knight will take away so many countless hours from our lives upon release. This new gameplay trailer showed off the Batmobile’s puzzle integration, Batman’s new combat skills and an explosive gunfight between the Batmobile and a helicopter. Just like those bums The Dark Knight laid out, that helicopter didn’t even have a chance…
Wow…just wow. From Software adopted the punishing yet addictive nature of its Dark Souls series, placed it all within a gothic horror backdrop and made the combat just that much quicker and bloodier. The result? Bloodborne. The new trailer on display for the upcoming action RPG featured some intense battles that featured well-equipped co-op partners. The mentioning of a playable, never-ending dungeon got us pretty hyped for this one.
3. No Man’s Sky
So Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is big. Like, really friggin’ ginormous. Want proof? Take a gander at all the different planets you’ll come upon as you explore this game’s massive universe. The sci-fi nut inside of us felt so much shock and awe at the sight of all the different looking landscapes we could explore. This game is innovative and we can’t wait to test out its fresh take on planetary exploration in 2015.
2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
We knew we were going to see some sort of trailer alluding to the continued development of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. We just weren’t expecting to watch a 15-minute long live demo of it. As far as video game press conferences go, this intro was one of the best. Watching Nathan Drake run, jump shoot, sneak and grapple looked amazing in motion. That new grappling hook mechanic was cool as all hell. Ignore the Drake death glitch and enjoy the gameplay!
1. Street Fighter V
Yeah, we totally saw the leaked trailer for this huge reveal. But the official PlayStation Experience reveal was nothing short of mesmerizing. The next-gen overhauls of Street Fighter’s Ryu and Chun-Li were incredible to watch during this extended fight scene. We came away from this demonstration thoroughly impressed. The flashy air combos, environmental interaction and powerful new moves has us ready for the next generation of Street Fighter.
Arguably Sony’s biggest exclusive IP slated to hit the PS4 in 2015, Bloodborne has been raking in excitement and anticipation the last few months, but Wednesday, developer From Software announced that the upcoming action RPG will be pushed over a month from its original February 6, 2015 release date to March 24.
From Software will use the additional seven weeks to push the game even harder, and producer Masaaki Yamagiwa promises that the final product will benefit from the feedback of their alpha gameplay experiment that took place in October:
It is with regret that I must inform you that Bloodborne will be slightly delayed.
While development continues unabated, we would like our team to deliver the best possible final experience. We were gratified by the feedback and data we received from those who participated in our limited Alpha test. The extra production time will also allow us to better integrate these learnings.
Bloodborne is now set to launch in North America exclusively on PS4 on March 24th, 2015.
Please look forward to some exciting Bloodborne news in early December. Thank you very much for your continued support.
It seems to us that reception to the alpha was generally positive, with Demon’s/Dark Souls vets praising the new setting of Yarnham and some of the IP’s newest refinements to the combat system. We were not able to take part in the alpha, but the footage we’ve seen of the demo shows a very polished-looking game – Even in this early stage, the game looks like it performs better than all three Souls games, which, despite glowing reviews, are burdened with frame rate issues of varying proportions.
Our guess is that From Software is focusing this extra time on Bloodborne‘s online gameplay, which is still relatively under wraps. Alpha testers got to test out co-op, which operates seemingly exactly the same as it does in the Dark Souls series, but player-vs-player combat was noticeably absent from the demo. The online aspect of Bloodborne‘s sister titles is one of their most unique elements, and veterans of the previous games will certainly want to dive headlong into PVP once the game hits store shelves. Network issues and online balancing is a nefarious thing to calibrate, and usually doesn’t get tweaked and perfected until launch (and these days, frequently not until after then), so it would make sense that From Software’s looking at user data from the alpha to tighten their infrastructure before launch.
All signs point to Bloodborne being a major success for the PS4, and both Sony and From Software are going to do everything in their power to make sure the game is as good as possible. If that takes seven extra weeks of development, so be it – Yarnham is still one of the most enticing new worlds to explore (and die in) in the coming year.
With Grizzly Bomb just getting back into the swing of things, we thought it best to kickstart the gaming section with some of the most exciting things to look forward to in video games for the coming year. With the majority of 2014’s biggest titles being pushed to 2015, and new announcements leaving our mouths watering, there’s a lot to look forward to in January and beyond.
In order of release date: Grizzly Bomb’s Most Anticipated Games of 2015!
Even before it had an official title, Bloodborne was raising excitement under the leaked codename Project Beast. The prospect of Demon’s Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki returning to his loosely connected fantasy universe with a new Souls-adjacent game was something to celebrate, but fans had no idea what they were in for with the game’s official announcement.
Bloodborne is looking to be the most unique of all From Software’s punishing action-RPGs, doubling down on gothic environments, horror elements and an even more severe risk/reward system that abandons shields and encourages aggressive, nimble combat. The cryptic and eerie environmental storytelling looks to have returned, and this time are taking more of the spotlight. But what keeps us coming back to Miyazaki’s games again and again are the hellish creatures that inhabit his worlds, and the inhabitants of Bloodborne are even more freakish and intimidating than those we’ve seen before. In addition to a building-sized spider-crab thing, glowy-eyed werewolves and a weird snake-like Cerberus creature, the latest TGS trailer showcased a stretched-out, bony, almost-human….thing, with two flowing, bloody swaths of skin hanging from where the top of its head should be. Gross.
Releases: February 6, 2015 Platform: PS4
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Almost every time a book is adapted into film it ends up being a truncated, jumbled mess that barely retains the tone of its source material. Movies just can’t condense 1000+ pages of context and world-building into a two and a half hour experience. Translate that to 50 hour interactive story, on the other hand, and apparently you can do it just fine.
Based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s (incredible) Witcher Saga, The Witcher is a cross between Pan’s Labyrinth and Skyrim, with a dollop of Game of Thrones for good measure. Juxtaposing international folklore with mature themes and medieval politics, Sapkowski imagined a high fantasy setting with a sense of history and life to it that very few others can match. The universe lends itself perfectly to video games, which already focus heavily on combat and traditionally gravitate to monsters and fantastical worlds.
The Witcher1 & 2 are immense games that feature deep combat systems, reward exploration, and offer arguably the best choices in any video game series; Rather than display a morality meter on your screen that points to angelic kitten-snuggler or demonic satan spawn according to your every interaction (Fallout), or a story that stops and offers you black and white choices with obvious consequences (Mass Effect) The Witcher games allow you to make pivotal decisions, both in dialogue or gameplay, that can have far-reaching, story-changing consequences that aren’t always clear. In The Witcher 2, for example, entire locations, characters, endings and quests are changed or skipped entirely based on your actions. When that is built into a living breathing universe of humor, scandal, magic and Guillermo del Toro-esque creatures and monsters, the prospect is absolutely undeniable.
The Witcher 3 is taking every single aspect of its predecessors and stretching the possibilities further. The world is massive but seemingly even more detailed, with no invisible walls or gameplay hinderances to block your path. Combat is both more varied and streamlined. Quests are less repetitive and more centred on player choices, with 100+ hours of side quests, story quests, monster hunts, points of interest and more to explore. The game has 36 distinct endings. This is a game with so much content you’ll never see it all in one play through, but one journey through the game will take far longer to complete than most other action-RPGs ever have. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, appropriately enough, is a beast.
Releases: February 24, 2015 Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Batman: Arkham Knight
So many different versions of Batman have nailed the character of The Caped Crusader, but only one has made you feel like The Batman himself. Rocksteady not only made the best Batman in games, they innovated a combat system so revolutionary that its timing-based group fighting has been lifted countless times since Arkham Asylum released in 2009. Never content to sit on their laurels, Rocksteady continued to expand with Arkham Knight a few years later.
Now, with Arkham Knight, the studio has rebuilt Gotham City to accommodate the new Batmobile, raised the stakes since killing off the Joker in games past, and even created a new villain for the most iconic rogues gallery in comic books. In short, Arkham Knight is going to be a blast of a game. At Sony’s E3 PlayStation eventthe game astounded fans with breathtaking shots of the new Gotham skyline. It was one of the very first demos of a ‘next-gen’ game that isn’t held back by cross-generation development, and boy does it show. Raindrops skitter down Batman’s cape in glorious detail, fire crackles out of the Batmobile’s exhaust pipe, and the hand-to-hand combat is even more bone-crunchingly visceral than we remember.
Releases: June 2, 2015 Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
There aren’t many video game franchises that carry as much weight as Metal Gear Solid. Unlike almost every other entry on this list, MGS is not a relatively new IP, nor did it originate outside the medium. Metal Gear was born in this industry, and has evolved along with video games since the ’80s. Which makes it even more impressive that The Phantom Pain looks like one of the most ambitious video games we’ve ever seen.
Take, for starters, the broad elements of The PhantomPain’s gameplay; Those of us who have played Ground Zeroes have seen how much freedom there is to explore the environment stealthily or with guns blazing, and how naturally the mechanics embrace both options. No other stealth game comes to mind that handles Rambo-style action with as much flexibility as the silent approach.
It turns out, and more and more with every new Phantom Pain demo that releases,that Ground Zeroes‘s many different strategies and tools don’t even come close to the number of gadgets and options at the player’s disposal in the final package of Metal Gear Solid V. Over the last two major demos Kojima has shown Snake using a ton of new tools, and each of them appear to have a whole range of uses. His iconic cardboard box, for example, can be used in the conventional sense (as a moving hiding place) but, among other uses, the box can also be used as a distraction tool in itself, with the ability to plaster images onto it to mislead guards to react in different specific ways. A similar effect can be had with inflatable distraction devices, which Snake can toss into the environment to take attention off of himself.
In another demo Kojima debuted a new mechanic in which Snake can call his ally Quiet into the field to cover him with a sniper rifle. Quiet will, in real-time, find a perch to scout ahead and her laser sight will trace the environment in front of your eyes. Snake can mark enemies for Quiet to draw her attention and co-ordinate attacks – in one instance Quiet shot the helmet off a guard with pinpoint precision, letting Snake pop him in the head less than a second afterward. And even later, Snake tossed a grenade in the air next to an enemy chopper, which Quiet promptly shot, causing a mid-air explosion destroying the helicopter. What makes all of this so mind-boggling is none of it was scripted or even necessarily part of this mission. The player simply decided to call Quiet in for this particular section. He could have done it on his own, waited until night-time, shot up the entire jungle or picked half a dozen other ways to tackle the objective. The possibilities are endless and the world is massive. For the first time, Metal Gear has completely removed the training wheels. You take full control of Mother Base and call the shots for one last time as Big Boss.
Releases: Unknown, 2015 Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4
The Legend of Zelda Wii-U
The call of a new Zelda game is so powerful that even with little-to-no information, its announcement can sell consoles. Nintendo debuted barely a snippet of in-engine footage from a brand new Zelda for the Wii U, and while we don’t even have a title yet, we know the game is supposed to release in 2015 and that it looks gorgeous. Skyward Sword was by no means a bad game, but many felt it didn’t quite live up to the franchise’s pedigree, so demand for a great new adventure game from one of the best game studios ever could not be higher.
Attention for Nintendo has been slowly waning in recent months, but with a new Smash Bros. on the horizon and the potential of a return to form for The Legend of Zelda, the old king may rise again.
Releases: Unknown, 2015 Platform: Wii U
Naughty Dog certainly made a name for themselves with The Last of Us, which skyrocketed their studio’s status from ‘Those Guys Who Make The Uncharted Games’ to one of the most celebrated developers in the industry today. But The Last of Us was built on the foundation of the Uncharted series, and while TLoU is worlds apart from Nathan Drake’s globetrotting adventures, Naughty Dog must have picked up a lot of ideas and refinements from its development which they can apply to Uncharted 4.
Indeed, the short teaser shown at E3 in June depicted an older, battered Drake than the one we left in Drake’s Deception. Naughty Dog promises the next Uncharted will still be a light-hearted romp, but hopefully there will be some emotional weight to balance the levity. After Joel and Ellie’s journey to the Fireflies it will be very difficult to accept Nate’s gleeful attitude toward mowing down waves of human enemies.
Releases: Unknown, 2015 Platform: PS4
These games are just six out of dozens of games coming in 2015 that indicate that video games are still expanding and building bigger and more exciting sandboxes to play in. Honorable mentions include The Division, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell and No Man’s Sky.
How many of these games are on your watch list for 2015? What games did we miss? Sound off in the comments below or on the Grizzly Bomb Facebook page.
Images: From Software, CD Projekt Red, Rocksteady, Kojima Productions, Nintendo, Naughty Dog