The Gamescom PlayStation top 50 – the PS4, PS3 & Vita names to watch out for
Format PS4 Status Confirmed ETA Winter Pub Sony Dev Evolution Studios
Sony’s socially minded launch racer might have minutely detailed virtual versions of the planet’s slinkiest cars but, like all things involving the internet and contact with other humans, it can be ruined by trolls. Evolution Studios hopes that by encouraging you to huddle in your two- to 12-player clans, team spirit will emerge and lift Driveclub’s community above the COD servers’ profane loners.
“Fame is our version of XP,” says design director Richard Beresh – every member of your club contributes fame to the common cause once signed up. “Every player has a fame score, then a driver level up to 50,” says Beresh. “When you’re in a club, everything you do contributes to you club’s fame level.” Like your driver rank, club levels max out at 50 – so as you all progress, your club gains standing. It’s enough to make you… not screech filth down the mic all session.
“When you’re in a club, everything you do contributes to you club’s fame level.”
Beresh confirms that while clubs max out at 12 players, online races don’t host 24-strong grids. Instead you’ll be able to race in teams of six simultaneously, while the other, let’s face it, subs, do their bit by completing asynchronous challenges. These can be raced offline up to a week after being set, like a 200mph version of Words With Friends. Now, what deserves a place on this hallowed list if not a game designed for people to not hate each other online?
Format PS4 Status Confirmed ETA 2014 Pub Sony Dev Sucker Punch
Being able to fry foes with lightning hands is so passé. With previous star Cole MacGrath now electrocuting daisies, its time for new kid Delsin Rowe to shine… then choke everyone using his ability to control billowing black clouds of smoke. The five minute real-time demo of inFamous Second Son we’ve seen is a doozy. Set around a Seattle complex called the Pacific Science Centre (think Epcot with less giant golf balls and more security guards tooled to the teeth), the action looks hella slick. Thanks to his powers, Delsin can effortlessly teleport around the environment and even through solid structures, like buildings or walls.
Cole’s glorified cattle prod has been ditched in favour of a flaming bike chain wrapped around the wrists of your new ‘bio-terrorist’. Not only can he deal serious damage to his foes, but scenery is also highly destructible – at one point, Delsin utterly blitzes a couple of security towers. Oh, and sends a T-rex skeleton packing like a prehistoric deck of cards with a thunderous shockwave attack.
InFamous 2’s good ending seems to be canon, with Cole wrongly viewed by many as a diabolical tyrant, and surveillance systems set up to stop the spread of people with powers. Unlike MacGrath, your new graffiti artist isn’t limited to a single elemental style – his real ability is stealing others’ magic juju. Expect more varied moves next to the series’ usual ace platforming. And to get nagged a lot by Delsin’s disapproving cop brother, Reggie. Shut up, Reggie.
One of PS4’s most visually striking games, your physics-defying abilities lend Second Son a wonderful fluidity. Sucker Punch is also harnessing the console’s unique toolset more than any other dev. Whether it’s recording videos of Rowe’s powers and distributing them with the Share button or absorbing smoke with the touchpad, the studio is really thinking about PS4’s feature set.
Format PS4/PS3 Status Confirmed ETA 27 Sep (PS3) Pub EA Dev EA Canada
Rest easy, footy-loving early PS4 adopters. EA Canada has no plans to hurl a slightly shinier port of PS3 FIFA at you like a deeply cynical Rory Delap long throw. Executive producer David Rutter assures that “Put [the PS3 and PS4 versions] aide by side and you realise how vastly different they are. PlayStation 4 gives us the ability to render with more fidelity. We’ve got roughly ten times as much animation in the next-gen version”.
Hands-on with the PS4 version the sensation of leathering a spherical pig’s bladder with a pampered millionaire is gloriously crisp. Pure Shot recreates that instant connection with a ball you’d associate when watching real-life screamers. “You can take shots in places that weren’t there in previous generations,” says Rutter. “On next-gen, shooting has the full power of Ignite behind it, so you’ve got tonnes more animations in there. We’re really pleased with the synergy between the build-up to the shot and the connection actually happening.”
It’s easy to get fatigued by EA’s constant rebranding of features. Yet FIFA 14 on PS4 is ambitious like a Scrooge McDuck-rich sheikh who’ll stop at nothing to transform his side into winners. You could well be looking at the next-gen sports game. And with PES 2014 skipping the new machine this year, it’s the only footy fix you’re getting on PS4 anytime soon.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts
Format PS4/PS3 Status Confirmed ETA 5 Nov (PS3) Pub Activision Dev Infinity Ward
It’s still the biggest game in the world, and very much as we know it. But the shift to next-gen has come with certain benefits, most notably a much needed spit-and-polish for those ageing visuals. Whether Call Of Duty: Ghosts is running on a new engine or a tweaked version of the old engine (hint: it’s the latter), is somewhat moot: the key point is that this is prettier than any Call Of Duty game that’s come before.
This is most noticeable in textures, with rocky outcrops and cliff faces now having a believable roundedness to them, and the lush, post-mysterious cataclysmic event environments are far more appealing than MW3’s rubble-strewn metropolises. The first two levels Infinity Ward showcased were the underwater missions and Crufts: Murderous Edition, but we’ve now had a behind-closed-doors look at another. Called Federation Day, it’s set in Caracas around a fortnight before the aquatic adventure. The city is in celebration mode, with fireworks exploding in the distance, but the Ghost crew is all business. Stood on a rooftop opposite a building that needs infiltrating, launchers are fired, sending ziplines to the target skyscraper. Noiselessly rappelling along windows, guards are silently executed through the glass, which is subsequently cut using a laser hacker. Once inside there’s more surreptitious slaughter as a device is armed in a server room, and the boys are on their way. Except not smoothly – a ‘some time later’ cut skips us forward to the building exploding, collapsing and generally going all to hell. The only way out now? A nice, impromptu BASE jump. It’s big, bold and deadly, and it now looks a whole lot sexier. The Call is one we’ve heard before, but we’re still keen to answer it.
The Last Guardian
Format TBC Status Confirmed ETA TBC Pub Sony Dev Sony
Clap your hands seven times, spin around a whole bunch, then offer a prayer to a Colossus. Done? Good, you’ve just increased the chances of Team Ico’s enchanting boy-meets-giant-bird-monster tale coming out by a thumping 0.06%. The Last Guardian is nearly as old as PS3, with the puzzle/platformer plonked in the fires of development hell since 2007. Such has been the silence that we’re assuming things have shifted to next-gen, but the post-E3 noises coming out from Sony don’t make things any clearer. Jack Tretton, president of SCEA, came out with “The Last Guardian is certainly not going away, but it’s on hiatus right now.” Yet worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida told a different story. ”That ‘hiatus’ term is misleading,” he said. “The game is in active development. Fumito Ueda shared updates a few months ago. Nothing has changed. My answer is, ‘Yes, the game is in active development.’ But we’re not ready to reintroduce it.” Please be ready soon. We’re not too proud to beg.