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PlayStation at Paris Games Week – Sony doubles down on VR, reveals new games – and so many trailers

Gran Turismo, PlayStation VR, Driveclub and more - everything announced at Sony's Paris Games Week press conference

Sony’s first Paris Games Show press conference has just wrapped up, and while we didn’t get the long-rumoured PlayStation VR price or release date confirmation that many were hoping for, there was plenty to talk about – including several brand new PS4 titles, as well as juicy gameplay trailers from everything set to arrive in time for Christmas and into 2016.

Third party titles

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono kicked off the show with big news for Street Fighter fans; the latest confirmed character for Street Fighter V is indian yoga guru Dhalsim. The now-bearded elastic fighter has his usual range of teleports, fire-infused attacks and stretchy punches, now reimagined with even more pushdown potential and aggression – a totally different approach from the defence-focused Dhalsim featured in Street Fighter IV. 

Ono-san’s announcement was spoilt slightly by a last-minute leak, so he made sure to surprise the audience with another reveal; the first set of post-launch DLC for Street Fighter V will be a pack of six unannounced characters, freely available to download by all players. Each character was displayed in silhouette, but on first glimpse it looks like Street Fighter III: Third Strike fans could be in for a treat when the characters get confirmed. The full game finally got a release date too: the 16th February, 2016.

Sticking to fighting games, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada came onstage to confirm Tekken 7 would be making its way from arcades to the PlayStation 4 – not exactly a surprise, given that every other Tekken game has appeared on a Sony console. There were plenty of gasps from the audience when he revealed it would also be coming to PlayStation VR, however. Tekken 7 will introduce a new member of the Mishima clan, and finally reveal story twists that have been building since the original game launched on the original PlayStation twenty years ago.

PlayStation VR

Speaking of virtual reality, Sony confirmed there were now over 200 developers working on titles specifically for PlayStation VR, including the Geurilla Cambridge-produced RIGs, a mech combat game designed with eSports in mind, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, an on-rails shooter set on a haunted roller-coaster, and Robinson: The Journey, a dinosaur-packed exploration game from Crysis developers Crytek. The Gran Turismo series will eventually end up on PlayStation VR too, with developer Polyphony actively investigating the technology now.

As much as it was great to see increased developer support and some new titles, we’re still no closer to learning when we’ll actually be able to buy a PlayStation VR, or how much it will cost.

First party titles 

Fans won’t need to invest in virtual reality hardware to get their Gran Turismo fix; Gran Turismo Sport was officially revealed at the event, with a beta scheduled for early 2016 to give gamers a taste of what to expect. A pre-rendered trailer didn’t exactly reveal much gameplay, but the big news is the FIA-sanctioned multiplayer championship series. The top ranking players from each country will represent their nations, or a specific car manufacturer, with the winner being honoured at the annual FIA prize-giving ceremony attended by F1 racers and their ilk. Otherwise, expect better graphics, better audio and better physics that take advantage of the PS4. 

Driving games seem to have been a theme of the night, with Evolution Studios officially announcing DriveClub: Bikes. The expand alone title will add motorbikes to the game for the first time, with a complete campaign mode, multiplayer racing and plenty of exotic brands to choose from. Better yet, the game went available to download as soon as the press conference ended, letting racing fans get their fix right away.

Killzone developer Guerrilla Games brought a new Horizon: Zero Dawn gameplay video to the conference, showing off the pack mentality of the game’s robot-animal hybrid creatures. Sentient, unthreatening ‘herbivore’ monsters aren’t exactly threatening, even when angered, but the T-rex like brute that stomps onto the scene towards the end of the demo is a very different beast. The mix of tribe-like, aboriginal hunter gatherers and mechanised beasts equipped with sci-fi—weaponry makes Horizon one of the most exciting exclusive titles heading to the PS4.

The action-RPG elements will let your character scavenge for supplies and craft items out of what you find, with a futuristic crossbow being the standout addition to your arsenal. Tripwire bolts can be used to set up traps, while rope bolts can be fired into enemies, trapping them in place and preventing them from attacking you directly. A mechanical T-Rex with explosive disc launchers on its back is still dangerous, of course, even when tied down.

It wouldn’t be a PlayStation announcement without an update on Uncharted 4, and Naughty Dog certainly delivered with its multiplayer reveal. The in-game footage revealed recognisable characters, interactive and destructible scenery, and Mystical powers inspired by the relics and mysteries that have turned up in previous Uncharted games. Being able to play as Drake, Sully and the rest, with wise cracks and abilities to match, should give fans something different from other online shooters once they’ve tackled Uncharted 4’s single-player campaign. Multiplayer operates at 60fps, albeit at a reduced 900p resolution; the single-player campaign remains 1080p at 30fps.

We’ve now had the chance to play a few rounds of the Team Deathmatch multiplayer mode, so be sure to check the front page later today to get our early first impressions of the new 

Wild, The latest title from Rayman creator Michel Ancel, has been conspicuous by its absence from major game shows since it was announced in August 2014, but Paris Games Week was undeniably the best place for the French developer break that silence. Wild looks to be an open world game that gives players plenty of choice, using their shaman powers to take control of various animals to achieve your goals.

Taking control of smaller animals can let you attract predators to attack your enemies, but commanding larger creatures will take a lot of time to learn. Your physical body is vulnerable while you’re controlling another creature, so you need to protect yourself – possibly by climbing a tree, or by building a shelter to prevent wild animal attacks.

David Cage introduced Detroit: Become Human, the latest game from Quantic Dreams. Based off a tech demo released a few years ago to test the potential to add emotion to digital avatars, Detroit will focus on a robot with emotions that attempts to change a society entirely dependent on robot slaves. Again, demo footage was only pre-rendered, with no indication of gameplay, but like any other Quantic Dreams game expect dialogue, storyline and characters to be the primary focus – probably with a few quick time events thrown in for good measure.

Media Molecule’s Dreams is taking shape nicely, with the first live gameplay being shown off during the presentation. Players will be able to craft levels from scratch, with no preset assets, then share them with other gamers for editing, using their avatar, or Imp, to control everything onscreen. Imps lip sync to player’s voices using the microphone input, interact with onscreen objects and possess other characters, controlling them to create new types of gameplay. 

Certain dreams will be character-based, while others will encourage players to rely on their Imp instead. LittleBigPlanet forced players to Play, Create or Share, but Dreams doesn’t force players to make that choice – everything can be edited on the fly. You’ll also be able to pick between DualShock and PlayStation Move inputs.

Gravity Rush 2 takes the gravity-busting gameplay from the Vita original and translates it to the PS4 with upgraded visuals, an AI-controlled companion, massive boss monsters and two additional gravity settings; Lunar and Jupiter. Lunar gravity lets you jump much higher, while Jupiter gravity gives your combat attacks far more damage potential.

Indie games

Sony has been championing indie developers and smaller studios for some time now, so it’s only fitting that the company spent some time doing so during the press conference. The two surprise entries were Boundless, a multi-dimensional Minecraft build- and explore-em-up that lets you transcend multiple worlds and spread different cultures, creatures and creations between them, and Vector, a rhythm action title being developed with audio input from trance DJ Avicii. 

Of course, the biggest indie news came from No Man’s Sky, the near-infinite worlds space exploration game that uses procedural generation to give players something new every time they play. Gamers have been salivating over every bit of info available for the upcoming title, and we got a goldmine tonight: No Man’s Sky will be released in June 2016.

…and that’s your lot, folks. Paris Games Week was something of a curve ball for Sony, but we think it managed to deliver. We’re off to get some hands-on time with the newly announced titles, so be sure to check back later this week for some first impressions.

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