The Gamescom PlayStation top 50 – the PS4, PS3 & Vita names to watch out for

Trials fusion PS4

50

Trials Fusion

Format PS4 Status Confirmed ETA 2014 Pub Ubisoft Dev Redlynx

The fact the DualShock 4 seems to be sturdier in build quality than its predecessor is a very good thing. Because anybody who’s played one of Redlynx’s notoriously devilish Trials games will tell you that, when you’re struggling to clear a seemingly impossible hurdle in the 2.5D motorcycle platformer for the hundredth time, pads have a strange way of turning into Batarangs. And Batarangs are expensive to replace (one of the reasons DC had to make Bruce Wayne obscenely rich).

trials fusion ps4PSN effort Urban Trial Freestyle made an admirable attempt at cracking the formula of Redlynx’s coveted bike-handling physics, but PlayStation fans still had to content themselves with a reasonable facsimile instead of the genuine article. Not for much longer: the Trials series is finally coming to PlayStation with next-gen offering Trials Fusion.

So far the only hints we have about the game come from the short teaser unveiled by Ubisoft at E3, showing a rider soaring through a cloud-piercing sky metropolis, pulling outrageous stunts for points. The platforming challenges that have defined the series will presumably return, mind, as the game’s allure has always been in mastering the complex physics behaviour of the bike and using those skills as a key to unlock the puzzle-like arrangement of environmental obstacles intent on thwarting you.

“It doesn’t hurt that PS4’s
Share button is tailor-made
for Trials, either”

It doesn’t hurt that PS4’s Share button is tailor-made for Trials, either. The series manages to soften the psychological trauma of its bruising difficulty in part by making crashes a masterpiece of slapstick comedy. So if you’re terrible, you’ll want to broadcast your faceplants and bone-splintering smashes for laughs. On the other hand, if you’ve spent countless hours refining your skills and managed to become the Yo-Yo Ma of motorbikes, then you’ll want to share your exploits for the good old-fashioned brag value. Either way, you win. But mostly you just crash.

49

UFC

Format PS4 Status Confirmed ETA 2014 Pub EA Dev EA Canada

Waiting desperately for a PS4 incarnation of Fight Night? Like a First Great Western commuter, you might be squinting into the distance for quite some time. EA Sport’s boxing series is on hold indefinitely as the mega-bucks publisher gears up to re-enter the octagon with the spiritual successor to its 2010 MMA game. While the latter’s tussles were roughly as scintillating as an arm-wrestling match against a paper bag, switching development duties over to EA Canada and having access to the biggest names in the sport – including UFC overlord Dana White – should guarantee a significant step up in quality terms (although White’s promise that this will be “the greatest fighting game ever” can be taken with a fistful of salt). And while the effect it has on gameplay remains close to unspoken, the company’s new Ignite engine – which is also providing the foundation for next-gen Madden and FIFA – does at least look the part. We remain unconvinced that this can top Yuke’s’ UFC Undisputed series, but someone is going to have to make PS4’s first essential brawler, and EA’s access – and bottomless pockets – give it as strong a chance as anyone.

Knack PS4 screens

48

Knack

Format PS4 Status Confirmed ETA Winter Pub Sony Dev Sony

I, you, us and everyone else, robot. Mark Cerny’s advanced cartoon romp looks to put PS4’s tech to good use with the advanced physics-based frolics of tin men fighting goblin armies. PS4’s lead architect obviously has huge faith in this cutesy adventure he’s chosen to nurture. And that endorsement is enough for us, with Cerny playing a key role in the development of some of PlayStation’s most revered series. From acting as lead programmer on Jak And Daxter to design consultant on Uncharted, this is a man who knows how to make new PlayStation IPs sing. He’s also been integral to PS4’s raft of dev-friendly features – meaning there’s a strong chance this leftfield project will utilise the Share button and other functions in smarter fashion than most of the console’s early games. Fusing elements of I Love Katamari (Knack can grow to the size of a building) with the Pixar-flavoured charm of Jak And Daxter, this ’bot could yet be brilliant.

47

Doom 4

Format PS4 Status Rumoured ETA TBC Pub Bethesda Dev Id Software

Will those legions of hellbeasts never receive a suitably severe BFG-ing? Details of the latest invasion from downstairs are sketchy, but Id Software at least admits such a thing as Doom 4 exists – just no word on formats as yet. The Texas studio’s been clear about that since way back in 2008, meaning this latest edition of the genre-popularising series has been in development for at least five years (with at least one complete restart) – although it could yet be 12 months or more before the elusive blighter shows itself. That’s always a recipe for success, right Duke? Okay, that’s unfair. Plenty of games have managed to emerge from lengthy development stints and achieve huge success, but we’ve got little to go on beyond Doom 4’s name as we head into next-gen. Well, the name and Id Software’s reputation as a company full of coding wizards. It’s unlikely to pass up the chance to showcase PS4’s chops with a new engine, so expect more momentum to gather closer to the console’s release.

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46

Puppeteer

Format PS3 Status Confirmed ETA Autumn Pub Sony Dev Sony Japan Studio

Puppeteer is definitely a sharp poke in the eye for all of those detractors who’ve been moaning about games all being the same. There are no guns here. No big explosions. No gruff, shouty men being all stern and serious about stuff. Just a boy who’s been turned into a puppet and had his head ripped off by an evil Moon Bear King. As a result, he has to use a pair of magic scissors to get it back – and attempt to escape. You see? Different. The suitably magical setup sees said boy, named Kutaro, joined by a ghost cat called Ying Yang in a somewhat Tim Burton-esque spin on Beyond’s ‘paranormal buddy’ schtick. Because the game is presented in 2.5D – the action unfolds in a magical puppet theatre, after all – you use the left stick to control Kutaro, and the right Ying Yang at the same time. Using the dead moggy you’re able to explore different areas and uncover new heads for Kutaro to use while he’s looking for his own missing one. Said heads offer up different powers, such as the Knight Head, which lets you deflect attacks using a shield. Or the Ninja Head, which adds bomb-throwing to your arsenal. And if all that wasn’t enough to sell you on it, the whole thing’s playable in 3D and packaged up in the kind of gorgeous, craft-style presentation that made LittleBigPlanet such a visually appealing treat.