As we strolled into Suntec City’s convention center, the POPCulture Online team was excited bright and early because of the anticipation in attending Singapore’s very first Gamestart 2014. Of course one of the key exhibitors this year was Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia (SCEJA) who occupied over 250 square meters of space showcasing over 30 titles for the PS4, PS3 and the PS vita. Our team had a very exclusive opportunity to preview a bunch of games some of which were not out in the market at the moment. As such, this article would cover our walkthrough of the PlayStation exhibition space also discussing briefly our hands-on experiences with games such as Little Big Planet 3, Bloodborne, The Order 1886, Guilty Gear Xrd, Winning Eleven or Pro Evolution Soccer 2015, Far Cry 4, Final Fantasy type-0 HD, Lego Batman 3, One upon light and much more.
Did we mention that there was a photo booth setup for the Evil Within? We heard that the photo booth was a massive hit during the Tokyo game show this year. To top things up, Sony HK also flew in a couple of game producers in particular Masaaki Yamagiwa for Bloodborne, Junichi Yoshizawa for Freedom wars and Yoshinori Ono for Street fighter. We had the opportunity to catch up with them separately as they discussed their latest projects with the PCO team.
Here’s a disclaimer before you read our game hands-on experiences. Do note that these games are still in an early build and are not final so experiences with the final product might differ from what we’ve played. As part of our exclusive hands on, here’re some thoughts from the hands-on experience on games which are not out in the market at the moment. Enjoy the read.
Set in a Victorian inspired town, you play the role of a traveler seeking a cure for afflictions. As such, we got to choose 4 different characters represent 4 different play styles. As such the town you travel to Yharnam is also plagued and most of its people are turned into beasts. It’s up to the player to brave these challenges and overwhelming odds to defeat the evil which lies ahead. Our initial hands-on felt good. The controls of the game were mostly wired to the shoulder buttons of the PS4 as the left and right side controlled the weapons on each hand. Single handed weapons could be transformed into double handed weapons which proved to be useful in thinning areas with tight spaces and a load of enemies. Ranged weapons also kept things fresh with guns and Molotov cocktails. Face buttons were mostly used for items and dodging attacks. One consistent thing about the game vs Demon souls/Dark souls was the element of fear. Fear of in-game death keeps the player constantly on his/her toes. It seems almost necessary to study the way an enemy behaved in game before making your move. We understand that there’s much more to this game especially in terms of combat and how the developers intended of the player to be more offensive in approach.
The Order 1886
The order 1886 was an interesting one as we played this for the first time. As you’d expect after watching the game play at E3, I was hyped up to get my hands on the game. The segments we got to play was similar to the footage in E3. The order 1886 is a cover based third person shooter exclusive to the PS4. As we jumped in, there was not much premise to the story. The game itself looks and feels really good as the game seamlessly transits from cut scenes to gameplay giving the game a much more cinematic feel to it. The shooting mechanics work well for the most part and can get rather challenging at times. As of now we are seeing the implementation of bullet time and splinter cell’s mark and execute which were systems worth implementing in my book if done correctly. We look forward to taking a trip down memory’s lane to London as this game is slated for a Feb 2015 release.
Final Fantasy type-0 HD
Another game that’s due for release in 2015 is Final Fantasy type-0 HD originally a PSP title going for a HD upgrade on the current next generation consoles. Not sure whether I should be excited for this title but if it’s Final Fantasy, we have plenty of time for that. Type0 was a game released in Japan of 2011 part of the FF13 franchise. As such, a HD translated port is slated for a March 2015 release on PS4. Immediately jumping in, the fighting mechanics and gameplay resembled a more polished version of the FF7 crisis core battle system which was an overhaul to the tried and tested turn based RPG style seen in previous final fantasies. This is a good thing! Let me tell you why. The new battle system focuses more on reflex, and actions. While retaining the RPG elements, square also builds in a competent fighting mechanic engine which focuses on team play. The combat is fluid and responsive. While the camera was a little awkward at times, attacks inputs were spot-on.
Little Big Planet 3
Our favorite puzzle platform game makes a return but this time on the PlayStation 4. For the very first time, we managed to get our hands on the newest iteration of the series. Sackboy makes a return this time except with his friends this time. The platforming action is as what you’d expect from a little big planet game. Plenty of shifting in and out of 2.5 D platforming and co-operative goodness. In this game, Sackboy’s friends have different abilities which you would have to utilize to solve puzzles and in turn complete the level. The sounds and environments retain much of what we’ve come to love so much of the series. Its cheery and cheeky soundtrack is notable as well. Excited for Sackboy’s first outing to the PS4? I know we certainly are considering how there were 2 little big planet games which were a huge hit on the PS3.
Far Cry 4
Who loved the elephants wrecking and creating chaos and cheered while watching them take down the baddies in the demo of Far cry 4 at E3? Far Cry 4 much like its predecessors is an Open world FPS loaded with beautiful unexplored territories. While we didn’t get to try out the co-op experience, we managed to test out the single player experience on the PS4. The textures in game were unbelievably detailed and what surprised us was how smoothly the game ran. I look forward to the brand new co-op experience with a buddy on the PlayStation 4. As advertised how many of you remember that your friend does not need Far Cry 4 to enjoy the game together with you? Well Far cry 4 is about to support game sharing and we are really looking forward to it.
One Upon light
A title developed by SUTD Game Lab in Singapore by our very own SUTD on the PlayStation 4. As you step into this melancholic, monochrome game. You realize that there’s more than what meets the eye as you dive into this world. A top down puzzle platformer, you play a character who’s afraid of light. Too much of it apparently kills him. As such, using cover and studying your environments, moving at the correct timing would of course help your main character stay alive long enough to explore the next area. The puzzle elements of the game are pretty fun and challenging at times.
Winning Eleven 2015/ Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
Surprisingly, this game did not launch together with this year’s Fifa 15. Making its debut on the PS4 is WE15 or PES2015. Our hands on with the game was actually surprisingly good. While winning eleven was never about the commentary nor the licensed leagues, this year’s iteration on next gen showcased graphics and environments pushed to its limits on the FOX engine. Animations were sharp, and controls felt responsive. Player animations were also accurate and the best part of all passing. Yes, passing in this game is top notch as you try to pry open defenses to score a goal. While winning eleven faces the giant of EA sport’s Fifa 15, I wouldn’t be so quick to rule this one out. We’ll have to wait for the final build to find out.
Guilty gear Xrd
Guilty gear Xrd developed by Arc System works follows the tradition of Guilty gear games as a 2D fighter exclusively for PS3 and PS4. This new title we saw at Gamestart uses Cel shaded graphics and it looks really nice. Some move transitions are actually animated in 3D which add a different look but does not really affect gameplay in any way. Not only does it look like a page out of a manga or comic book, it plays just like the Guilty gear we are familiar with. While Guilty gear Xrd has been released in arcade systems, home users will have to wait till December 2014’s holiday season to get their hands on GG Xrd on their PlayStation Devices.
We hope you enjoyed reading our hands-on experiences on the various games launching on the PlayStation 4. Stay tuned for more articles in this month’s episode of Popculture online headed your way as we chat up with producer of blood borne and street fighter in an exclusive interview and catch up with the producers.
Photos by Nicole Then
By Kenneth Choong
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