Much like its conference at E3 2013, the Sony had a lot to talk about during its 2014 showcase. It may not have used the exhibition to showcase new hardware, but it did announce a slew of exclusive tiles and content coming to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and beyond. And did we mention the forthcoming PlayStation TV and the PlayStation Now beta? It was a well-oiled event chalk full of upcoming titles and downloadable content to get excited about. Check out the brief rundown of the event’s takeaways below, complete with tentative release dates for Sony’s exclusive offerings.
Update on 6-10-2014 by Brandon Widder: Added confirmed titles such as ‘Bloodborne’ and ‘The Last of Us’ remaster, along with recently-announced games such as ‘Little Big Planet 3’ and ‘Abzu.’ Added and expanded content on 15 PlayStation-exclusive offerings in all.
PlayStation-exclusive titles and content
The Order: 1886 (Feb. 20, 2015)
Though we originally expected to see an on-stage demo of The Order: 1886, Sony merely unveiled a new trailer for the highly-anticipate shooter. As outlined in our first look at the PS4 exclusive, The Order takes place in an altered Victorian-London where an order of knights has developed advanced technologies to defeat ancient monsters. Developer Ready Dawn has shared plenty of screens despite the game’s delay, but nothing on par with the latest trailer. The grim take is filled cinematic cut scenes and vivid in-game footage — complete with a zombie werewolf and narrow, steampunk-inspired hallways.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2015)
First revealed in late 2013, people remained skeptical regarding the then-untitled Uncharted title. Game director Justin Richmond and writer Amy Henning reportedly left the team, only to be replaced by The Last of Us directors Neil Druckman and Bruce Staley soon afterward. Sony’s concluded its behemoth of a conference with yet another teaser trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, possibly the final chapter in Naughty Dog’s award-winning franchise and the successor to the fantastic Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Sony still hasn’t reveled much regarding the plot, but the new trailer shows series protagonist Nathan Drake waking up on an isolated beach in the dead of night as a background conversation plays our between him and Victor Sullivan.
Bloodborne (early 2015)
Initially leaked under the “Project Beast” moniker several months ago, Sony pulled the curtains off From Software’s next project during its E3 presentation. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and developed by same team behind Dark Souls, the new title is set in Victorian England and features a swath of gruesome enemies culled from ones darkest nightmares. Sony only offered a brief cinematic trailer of the forthcoming title — one fraught with damp corridors and larger-than-life weapons — so there’s no indication of the games genre. Regardless, it’s a gothic-tinged world of utter intrigue.
The Last of Us Remastered (July 29, 2014)
A powerful and emotional game, The Last of Us bent the typical zombie game theme by instead focusing on the catastrophic effects on humanity. Set 20 years after a parasite turns humans into cannibalistic monsters, the protagonist must escort a possibly-immune girl to a rebel group’s headquarters. As previously rumored, Sony announced a remastered version of the game is heading to the PS4, bringing updated visuals to the next-gen system in late July. A trailer debuting the 1080p resolution and improved performance was also shown.
No Man’s Sky (TBA)
Developer Hello Games had big ambitions when it started working on No Man’s Sky, a procedurally-generated exploration game where every new player generates new planets, species, and regions of space. Hello Game’s founder Sean Murray took the stage to briefly talk about the title during Sony’s E3 event, discussing the game’s sci-fi origins, unveiling a stunning gameplay trailer, and revealing that the title will land first on the PS4. As shown in the video, every planet holds new flora and fauna to catalog, and players will even be able label their discoveries with their own gamertags. Food chains, crafting, and atmospheric conditions will also affect your ability to navigate the universe. One of the most unique facets of the title is the contiguous world, one that lets look up at a star from a planet, get into your spaceship, and fly to that star without ever seeing a loading screen. The trailer is a beautiful example of what six developers can accomplish, even after floods wreaked havoc upon the small studio.
LittleBigPlanet 3 (November 2014)
The LittleBigPlanet series has been a Sony staple since its debut, and as such, the company wasted no time in revealing LittleBigPlanet 3 during its E3 2014 press conference. More than just a platformer, LittleBigPlanet 3 puts robust, easy-to-use tools for game creation into the hands of the player — the same tools that were used to create the main campaign. As shown during a brief demonstration, the newest addition to the series adds more control over depth and camera distance, as well as a bunch of new playable character models including Oddsock and Swoop. Each character touts unique abilities that allow them to play of one another in four-player co-op, and like other titles in the series, the game will emphasize sharing your creations with other players.
Entwined (available now)
Not all console releases have to be sprawling ultra-realistic games or competitive first-person shooters, and the indie-developed Entwined is in good company on the PS4 as a game that emphasizes artistic design and musical integration as its main selling points. Announced during Sony’ PS4 conference, the conceptual title is about a bird and a fish that are represented as a series of geographic shapes you’ll connect over nine of their lifetimes. Striking visuals and sweeping animations give this game a unique and resonant feel; moreover, it’s already available to purchase from the PlayStation Store.
Journey was a masterpiece on multiple levels. Revealed via a gorgeously-animated gameplay video during Sony’s press conference, the upcoming Abzu is Giant Squid’s first official offering. Matt Nava, the acclaimed art director behind Journey and Flower, spearheaded the project — and it clearly shows. Set in an underwater world, the announcement trailer features visuals and a graphical style reminiscent of Nava’s past efforts, one teeming with lush kelp forests and enormous sea creatures only fabled to rest at the bottom of the ocean. The crux? The game isn’t slated for release until 2016.
Magicka 2 (TBA)
Though unexpected, Sony’s Adam Boyes revealed Paradox Interactive is teeming up with Sony for the upcoming Magicka 2. Boyes didn’t announce many details, other than Pieces Interactive is developing the action-adventure title alongside the PC version, but he did play a humorous trailer for what’s expected to be a direct sequel to 2011′ Magicka. The live-action trailer featured a wizard performing mundane tasks such as making tea and perusing job listings in the newspaper, that is, prior to showcasing a brief glimpse of the title’s gameplay. Paradox claims the title will also feature a story-driven campaign revolving around the magic-focused cooperative play with which the series has become synonymous.
Let it Die (2015)
Japanese developer Suda 51 is known for excessively brutal games. Unveiled during Sony’s E3 2014 conference, the Grasshopper-developed Let it Die looks to carry on the gory tradition on the PS4. The announcement trailer was comprised of live-action and in-game footage, and as one might expect, it was lined with pools of blood and violent weaponry. Players will be able to utilize an onslaught of makeshift weapons, such as spiked clubs and hatchets, along with power saws, crossbows, flamethrowers, and all manners of destruction with accompanying power stats. We can only hope its the studio’s first multiplayer title, but given the short amount of gameplay, it’s impossible to know until more details are released.
Grim Fandango (2015)
Consider video games often rely just a much on the future as they do the past, it’s fitting Sony and Tim Schafer would reveal a remake of the retro Grim Fandango. Announced during the Sony’s E3 press event, the title will be a timed exclusive of 15-year-old, cult classic adventure game. Not much else is known regarding the remastered version of Schafer’s LucasArts title, but we assume it will embellish the same quirky humor and dark undercurrents as the original, and similar titles like Monkey Island. That being the case, we assume the updated neo-noir will still follow travel agent “Manny” Clevera as he attempts to solve a mystery and save newcomer “Meche” Colomar from the Land of the Dead.
Infamous: First Light (August 2014)
The impeccably-balanced Infamous: Second Sonwas a standout, so much that was only a matter of time before developer Sucker Punch Productions released new DLC. The exclusive, standalone package, Infamous: First Light, will follow Abigail “Fetch” Walker — a hallmark character from Second Son adorned with neon-based powers — as she attempts to escape Curdun Cay and relives her grim past through a series of memories of Seattle. Sony announced the DLC via short cinematic trailer during its E3 conference, and though it provides little more than a quick look at the game’s supposed storyline, it’s still filled with light trails and distant voices. Plus, Sony announced you won’t even need Second Son to play the DLC.
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
The promising Batman: Arkham Knight is slated to be the next installment in the Rocksteady and Warner Bros’ heralded Arkham series. Sony delayed the title until 2015, but still managed to premiere a lengthy gameplay trailer for the upcoming action title during its E3 2014 press conference, dazzling audiences with the driveable Batmobile and sprawling cityscapes. Furthermore, though the game will play nearly identical across next-gen consoles, Sony announced that “Scarecrow nightmare missions” would be exclusive to the PS4. The company didn’t elaborate on exact details, but seeing the Batmobile’s recently-showcase battle mode will have to be captivating enough until Rocksteady announces an official release date.
Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (Aug. 19, 2014)
Blizzard announced last month that Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition would hit next-gen consoles in August, but Sony used its E3 2014 conference to finally showcase the kind of exclusive content the PS4 package will include. Aside from the lauded Diablo III and the accompanying expansion, Reaper of Souls, the PS4 version of the game will feature several iconic enemies from The Last of Us (i.e. runners, clickers, and bloaters). Though the infected aren’t vastly different than Diablo’s cast of enemies, Sony noted you’ll only be able to square off against the swarms in a single dungeon.
Destiny (Sept. 8, 2015)
Expectations are incredibly high when you have a publisher like Activision spending more than $500 million on your game. With a beta set for release on multiple platforms this summer and an official launch soon afterword, the Bungie-developed Destiny is slated to become one of the biggest titles of the year. Sony announced the beta for the upcoming multiplayer shooter will begin on July 17, first on PS3 and PS4 platforms. Furthermore, Bungie also revealed a Destiny-themed PS4 bundle, and noted that the title will feature a bevy of content exclusive to the PS3 and PS4 (maps, customization, etc.)