Gamescom: New games from Ninja Theory, Paradox, Housemarque and Michel Ancel at Sony conference

Date Posted Author
15th August 2014 Matt Bailey

While Microsoft's conference had a strong showing of titles, it lacked for new game announcements, something which wasn't an issue for Sony at their event. Across the 75 minute show there were a range of new titles, as well as new footage for previously announced first-party games such as Driveclub, Bloodborne and LittleBigPlanet 3, as well as third-party titles Destiny and FarCry 4.

Ninja Theory, creators of PS3-exclusive Heavenly Sword, and more recently in charge of the excellent Devil May Cry reboot for Capcom, were on stage to show their new game Hellblade. First impressions are that it is something similar to Heavenly Sword, in character design and possibly gameplay, but it looks like we could be some time away from it coming out. Ninja Theory described it as "independent AAA" - it is a game with high production standards, but they own and control the IP, not a publisher. That means we could end up seeing it on other platforms, but right now it's only confirmed for the PS4.

Paradox Interactive, a traditionally PC-based publisher, branched out on to PS4 at E3 with a deal with Sony to not only bring across some upcoming titles to the console, but actually bring some of them to PS4 first. At Gamescom, on Sony's stage, they revealed Hollowpoint, a Shadow Complex-style side-scrolling 2.5D action game from Crackdown 2 developers Ruffian Games. It will be arriving on the PS4 first, but we'd be surprised if a Paradox game didn't get a Steam release too at some point.

Housemarque are well known for their close ties to Sony, including releasing one of the best games at the PS4 launch, Resogun. Now they've revealed Alienation, a new top-down shooter more in the vein of one of their previous games, Dead Nation. As the name suggests, it's sort of an alien take on the zombie romp, with plenty of firepower and visual effects to take advantage of the PS4.

Michel Ancel is known as being one of the key designers at Ubisoft, the person behind the Rayman series - it's creation and recent revival - as well as titles such as fan favourite Beyond Good and Evil. He's supposed to be working on a sequel to the latter for Ubisoft, but he appeared on stage during Sony's conference to reveal he's started a new indie studio called Wild Sheep who are working on WiLD. It's an adventure title with a heavy presence of wildlife, and is a PS4 exclusive. Yet Michel is still working for Ubisoft at the same time, so it's interesting to see the publisher let him branch out while still keeping them under their wing part of the time.

There were other PS4 game announcements that weren't new games. Mike Bithell was on stage to confirm Volume's PS4 and PS Vita release with a limited period of exclusivity next year, while the highly popular PC zombie survival game DayZ is getting a PS4 version. Previously announced as a PS3 title at E3 last year, Until Dawn is now coming to the PS4 instead, with the horror game hoping to provide a rather different take with it's teens-in-a-cabin approach. One of the Vita's finest games, Tearaway is also getting a PS4 version, but as that game relied so much on the unique features of the handheld, such as the rear touch pad and the camera, the game isn't a direct port, and is instead reimagined to take advantage of PS4 features, such as the light bar and the touchpad on the DualShock 4.

PlayStation Now and PlayStation TV got UK dates during the presentation, and it was also revealed that over 10 million consoles had been sold worldwide, giving Sony a firm lead over Microsoft's Xbox One (estimated to be about 5-6 million). Sony also took time to show off a key feature of the PS4's 2.0 firmware update that is coming in the Autumn. SharePlay was something shown off at the PS4's reveal last February, and involves sharing your screen with a friend so they can play a game on your system from their own home. This means they could be assisting you by taking over, or they could be giving a game a try before deciding to buy it themselves. Sony also suggested the possibility of playing local co-op together, useful for games like Towerfall Ascension which don't have online play.

Overall it was a good selection of content, big and small games, as well as stuff we knew about and stuff we didn't. For more insight, check out our Twitter feed, as Richard Pilot was in the audience for the show on Tuesday night.

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