The reason I fell in love with the PlayStation brand over the years is their library of exclusive games. This has been even more true in recent years. With third-party exclusives becoming less prevalent this gen, Sony has ramped up their first-party development by expanding devs like Naughty Dog and Santa Monica to multiple teams as well as purchasing excellent studios like Media Molecule and Sucker Punch. It is this stable of developers and their production of exclusive content that has me most excited about the PlayStation 4. And yet we don’t know a lot of what’s coming down the line for PS4 from them. Sony has promised 20 first year exclusives from their developers during the PS4’s first year, but we are only privy to three launch titles in Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Driveclub and a couple of promising 2014 games in Infamous: Second Son and The Order 1886. I was kind of hoping we might see one or two more of these types of AAA Sony games at Gamescom, but that wasn’t the case unfortunately. With Microsoft largely falling on their face with the reveal of the Xbox One this year, Sony seems to be content with keeping some of their bigger 2014 titles under wraps for the time being. A couple new exclusives from Sony’s development partners did catch my eye this week though.
The first is Resogun (trailer here) which comes from Housemarque, the developers behind Super Stardust HD, Dead Nation and Outland. This game looks to be the PS4 spiritual successor to Super Stardust, a game that wowed me early on in the PS3’s life cycle with its addicting gameplay and flashy visuals. I had heard they were working on a successor of sorts to that title, but was pleased with how this one stands out from the Stardust series because as much as I enjoyed those titles I was ready for something a little different. The guns, bombs and boost look straight out of their previous series. But Resogun ditches Stardust’s spherical world for a more cylindrical playfield which looks to change things up quite a bit and the added objective-based missions should help mix things up a little too. This may not be the big AAA title that wows you on next-gen consoles, but it looks to be a solid addition to the launch lineup and I’m really excited to check it out as a big fan of Housemarque’s previous work. It seems like it will be a free PlayStation Plus title too which doesn’t hurt!
The other game is Rime. On the one hand, it looks to be a bit of a ripoff of ICO (that may be putting it lightly). From the muted visuals to the way the main character clambors about to what appears to be stick-based combat, it’s hard to watch the trailer and not get a huge ICO vibe. On the other hand, Team ICO seems to be on some sort of sabbatical, so maybe this will be a nice game to play while The Last Guardian and its team toil in development hell. Rime’s trailer (check it out here) is truly stunning to look at and the idea of an open-world game with ICO-like traversal and puzzles actually seems like a great time to me. Hopefully the stick swinging doesn’t drive me as insane as it did in ICO. I’ve seen quite a few people dogging developer Tequila Works for their previous game Dealight when discussing Rime’s announcement which is unfortunate. For one, I think Deadlight is a pretty solid game. I certainly like its earlier moments better than its later ones, but it was a game I largely enjoyed my time with. The other thing is, not many developers’ first games are home runs. Maybe this is to Tequila Works’ what Batman: Akham Asylum was to Rocksteady or at least a step forward of some kind. You never know. I personally think it’s a game worth keeping an eye on.
A few more notes:
- Not sure if these are technically in the “20 exclusive first year PS4 titles” because of the developers not being a part of World Wide Studios though both are published by Sony. Also seems Rime is coming to Vita. Maybe they count… maybe they don’t… I’m a little puzzled on that aspect.
- I did get a slight non-game-y vibe from Rime, but I am willing to wait and see more before throwing it under the interactive screensaver bus.
- Also worth noting from Sony’s presentation is that Bend Studio is working on a PS4 title? They sure seemed to say that. Does this mean they are not working on another Vita title anymore? Have they staffed up to handle a next-gen console game? So many questions. I’m very interested to see what Bend is working on though whether its Vita or PS4. Not Sony’s best developer, but their most underrated I think.
- Sorry for the lack of blogs here on The Whiteboard lately. We haven’t been able to keep up with it these past few weeks like we had been so far this year. But things should be better going forward.
While I’m more excited to see what developers like Naughty Dog and Media Molecule have in store for us on the PS4, Resogun and Rime are a couple announcements to tide me over while I wait for Sony to break out some more the big guns. What did you think of these two games? Did anything else catch your eye from Gamescom? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!