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Much awaited reveal

Danial Norjidi

PlayStation fans were treated to a number of new game announcements and updates during the latest State of Play presentation.

The 22-minute presentation, which streamed live on September 13 (September 14 for Brunei) kicked off strong with a reveal trailer for Tekken 8, the latest entry in the long-running fighting game series by Bandai Namco Entertainment, seven years on from the 2015’s Tekken 7.

According to a press statement, Tekken 8 is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios, and “pushes the envelope for fighting games taking full advantage of the power of the latest generation of consoles by creating one of the most visually stunning and immersive titles in the genre yet”.

“Tekken 8 picks up after the gruesome battle that ended in Heihachi Mishima’s defeat, focussing on a new rivalry, pitting father against son as Jin Kazama stands in defiance against Kazuya Mishima’s quest for world dominance.” Chief Producer at Bandai Namco Studios Inc Katsuhiro Harada said, “We are very excited to show the next generation of Tekken.”

“The team at Bandai Namco Studios has been hard at work to bring groundbreaking new features to Tekken 8, pushing the feeling of power in battles continuously further by harnessing the power of the latest generation of consoles. We can’t wait to show you more in the months to come.”

‘Tekken 8’ picks up after the gruesome battle that ended in Heihachi Mishima’s defeat and focussing on a new rivalry. SCREENSHOT PHOTO: BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT
‘Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition’. screenshot photo: ILMxLAB
‘Synduality’. screenshot photo: BANDAI NAMCO

The presentation then continued with a look at two games in development for PlayStation’s upcoming virtual reality (VR) platform, PSVR2, beginning with Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition from ILMxLAB, which releases next year.

As Publicity Manager at ILMxLAB Scott Mayer explained in a post on the PlayStation Blog, “The award-winning VR experience from Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB has been rebuilt to take advantage of many of the enhancements the hardware has to offer”.

“You’ll begin your story as a droid repair technician who gets swept up into a grand adventure when you crash land on the planet Batuu following an attack by the Guavian Death Gang. This kicks off a series of extraordinary events, proving that anyone in the galaxy can become a hero.”

Also in development for PSVR2 is Demeo, a dungeon crawler role-playing game by Resolution Games. In Demeo, a dark force has taken over the underworld, and the title sees players assemble a party for cross-platform cooperative adventuring.

According to PlayStation, “Enjoy the magic and camaraderie of gathering around a tabletop with friends to do battle against the forces of evil with four complete adventures, six hero classes, and more to come.”

Next up was Like A Dragon: Ishin from Sega, which is set for release on February 2023 for PS4 and PS5. Originally released in Japan in February 2014, the title has been rebuilt from the ground up and will be available outside of Japan for the first time.

“Like a Dragon: Ishin is an action-adventure historical thriller set uniquely in 1860s Kyo, a fictionalised version of Kyoto,” explained Global Community Manager for Sega of America David Hinds in a post on the PlayStation Blog.

“While other games tell earlier stories in Japanese history, Ishin lets you experience the story of how the iconic samurai era vanished.

“Our hero, Sakamoto Ryoma, is a true historical figure largely credited with overthrowing the shogunate and taking Japan into a radical reformation.”

A trailer for Hogwarts Legacy was then shown, focussing on an exclusive quest called ‘The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop’ for the PlayStation version of the game, including an additional dungeon, shopkeeper’s cosmetic set and in-game Hogsmeade Shop.

Set for release on February 10 next year, Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action role-playing game set in the magical universe of the Harry Potter series. The upcoming title sees the player assume the role of a new student at Hogwarts, the famed school of witchcraft and wizardry, with a unique ability to manipulate powerful ancient magic hidden in the wizarding world.

The presentation then shifted gears, focussing on Pacific Drive from Ironwood Studios.

Releasing next year, Pacific Drive is described on its website as a run-based, first-person driving survival game. “Your car is your only companion as you navigate a surreal and anomaly-filled reimagining of the Pacific Northwest. Structured as a ‘road-like’, each excursion into the wilderness brings unique and strange challenges, as you restore and upgrade your car from an abandoned garage that acts as your home base.”

“With the car as your lifeline, you’ll unravel a long-forgotten mystery as you make your way to the heart of the Olympic Exclusion Zone.”

Next up in the State of Play was a segment on the free-to-join PlayStation Stars loyalty programme, with a specific focus on various digital collectible rewards.

Proceedings then continued with a trailer for Synduality, a new a sci-fi shooter set in a dystopian futuristic world where humans and AI must co-exist and cooperate to survive.

As a statement from Bandai Namco Entertainment explains, “In the game, players will step in the shoes of the Drifters, people who make a living collecting AO crystals, a rare resource available on Earth. In this quest they must face xenomorphic creatures known as Enders, and they will be able to count on Magus, their AI partners, to guide them through their journey, help them in fights, and providing direction, hints, and warning. All the while, they will be developing and strengthening the bond between player and AI.”

“Gameplay and combat in Synduality centres around ‘Cradle Coffins’, armed vehicles in which the players will be roaming on the surface and can fully personalise, from appearance to weapon loadouts, to fit their own play style. Synduality will also have multiplayer, with other Drifters joining players to help them in their missions or turn against them, hindering their progress or fighting to loot their precious resources.”

The spotlight then fell on PS5 console exclusive Stellar Blade, previously known as Project Eve, from Korean developer Shift Up. Releasing next year, Stellar Blade follows the story of protagonist Eve and her comrades on a mission to reclaim an extinct Earth from invaders called ‘NA:tives’.

As is described on the PlayStation Blog, “Stellar Blade introduces action combat that requires deflecting and evading the NA:tives’ attack at a precise timing that will also connect to combos and unique skills. Throughout the game, you will arm yourself with unique Beta Skills and intense Burst Skills.”

Fellow upcoming PS5 console exclusive Rise of the Ronin by developer Team Ninja was then revealed with a 2024 release.

As Team Ninja Director and President Fumihiko Yasuda shared on the PlayStation Blog, “Rise of the Ronin is a combat focussed open-world action role-playing game that takes place in Japan at a time of great change. It is the very end of a 300-year long Edo Period, commonly known as ‘Bakumatsu’. Set in the late 19th Century, Japan is facing the darkest of times as it struggles with its oppressive rulers and deadly diseases while western influence permeates as civil war continues to rage between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Anti-Shogunate factions.”

“Here in this time of mayhem, you embody a Ronin character, a warrior bound to no master and free to make choices of its own.”

To close out the presentation, a limited edition DualSense wireless controller themed after Santa Monica Studio’s upcoming action-adventure title God of War Ragnarök was revealed, before a new trailer for the game itself was shown.

Following 2018’s critically acclaimed and award-winning God of War, this sequel set to release on November 9 continues the story of Kratos and his son Atreus, and sees them “embark on an epic and heartfelt journey” as they “struggle with holding on and letting go”.

As the PlayStation website describes, “Fimbulwinter is well underway. Kratos and Atreus must journey to each of the Nine Realms in search of answers as Asgardian forces prepare for a prophesied battle that will end the world. Along the way they will explore stunning, mythical landscapes, and face fearsome enemies.”

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