After a bit of a hiatus, we’re back with our weekly dose of Sony PlayStation news! I know you missed me, don’t deny it. Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the news that’s come from Sony this week.
Epic Store and Quantic Dream
The Game Developers Conference, or GDC, has been underway this week and with it we’ve had a few announcements in regards to gaming. One of these announcements came from the French game developers Quantic Dream, who you may know for their narrative driven games with a large dose of quick time events, branching paths and a hint of player choice. The news centred on their three major titles coming to the PC and no longer only being PlayStation exclusives as they are currently. Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls will be available via the Epic Games Store.
Stadia Overtakes Sony
One of the biggest pieces of gaming news this week was the announcement of Google’s new gaming platform Stadia, which promises a lot of different elements such as gaming across devices, instant playability directly from a YouTube video and immediate play without updates or downloads. So as you can imagine, the gaming community was all a little bit preoccupied with this and how it would actually work for everyday gamers. Due to the large interest in all things Stadia, there was a slight drop in Sony’s shares. GameRant reported that, “On Wednesday, the day after Google Stadia’s announcement, shares for Sony…dropped by 4.5….percent.” Stadia could be a potential threat to all other gaming platforms, especially if Google can deliver on what they have promised. We could be witness to a very interesting competition when Stadia releases. When it comes to me, at heart I will always be a PlayStation gal. Although I was once an Xbox gal. And a Nintendo gal. I’m not that fickle, I promise.
Days Gone Photo Mode
With the release of the post-apocalyptic zombie game Days Gone approaching fast, the PlayStation blog released a post detailing the games photo mode. because who doesn’t like a cheeky selfie amongst the undead? Photo mode has become something of a staple of contemporary games, going hand in hand with modern technology and the growing desire to document every aspect of life via the camera. The blog goes on to detail the Advanced Mode “where users can fine-tune their final shots by manipulating 55 different settings across Bloom, Color Grading, and Color Depth Grading panel,” so users can now spend hours tweaking their photos in-game as well as in reality! I often wonder whether such focus is needed on something like Photo Mode (I personally don’t really use it) but the artistic value of it can’t be denied. Some people have created beautiful images via photo modes, images that would once may have been relegated to just cinema or a professional photographer.
We recommend this article from GamesRadar about the best photo modes in gaming. Check out some of the best, and weirdest, creations to emerge from Photo Mode in general.
Days Gone has just gone gold and will be released worldwide on April 26th for PlayStation 4.
State of Play
Sony has announced that they will be setting up a new video programme known as State of Play which will showcase an array of trailers and information for upcoming PlayStation titles. This won’t be a one-off, but rather a programme that will return “throughout the year”. The first episode airs Monday, March 25, 2019. Check out the PlayStation blog at the link here for a little more about it. This news has obviously caused a bit of a buzz as to what is going to be showcased on Monday. The blog states that the first installment of State of Play will “showcase upcoming PS4 and PS VR software, including new trailers, new game announcements, and new gameplay footage”. Could we be getting a look at some anticipated titles like The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding or even Cyberpunk 2077? We’ll find out this Monday.
Trailer of the Week
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
Episode 4: Take Us Back
The end is nigh for Clementine in the recent trailer for the fourth episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. This will be the final outing in the game’s last season, which has had a tumultuous path in the recent months. After the closure of Telltale Games in October 2018, all future Telltale projects were cancelled and the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which was two episodes in at that point, was up in the air. Skybound Games stepped in to finish the game as it was originally intended and brought back as many of the Telltale team as they could. With the game saved from the brink of cancellation, we’re now able to see how Clementine’s journey will end. The trailer has a solemn tone to it, with the somber song from episode three playing eerily as we see snippets of AJ and Clementine attempting to survive against what looks like a horde of walkers. The trailer doesn’t show too much, just enough to give us the feeling of finality even if it is unclear as to whether it will end on a tragic note or on something a bit more hopeful. It also shows multiple characters who are determinants, so they may well be dead already depending on the player choice, making it more difficult to get a grasp on what direction the story is going to go.
We’ve seen Clementine grow into a survivor over seven years and four games, she even survived a studio closure! In many ways, it is the end of an era. Although Telltale Games is no more, The Walking Dead was the game that lifted them to triple-A status and proved their ability to create engaging and emotional games driven by a strong narrative. The title of the episode, Take Us Back, also tugs on the heartstrings as it is the name of the song that played over the credits of the very first season after Lee’s death. We got a lovely dream sequence involving Lee in episode three, so we may not see him again, but maybe we will get a call back to him and the sacrifice that he made for Clementine. Hopefully, it won’t be history repeating itself though. I don’t think my heart could take it.
I feel personally invested in Clementine and her story. I was 19 when I first played the game and it quickly became a contender for my favourite game of all time. Seven years on and we’re about to see how it will all end. I am not ready.
Take Us Back is due for release on March 26th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch.