Sony began a nationwide “Road to Greatness” tour earlier this year which was essentially a way for the company to promote the PlayStation 4 and all of it’s upcoming titles. The best thing about this tour is that it gave people the opportunity to go hands-on with the console and some unreleased games. This tour actually set out for stops that are not as high profile or feature major industry events like PAX or E3.
Considering that the tour was in a town that I could reasonably get to without much fuss this past weekend, I decided to head on over and check things out. Situated on a skate park, Sony brought a big semi truck which actually expanded out like a RV would. Including a DJ playing music, contests with prizes like a Vita, and free food/water, the main show was inside the big semi. Upon getting inside, I was greeted with more rows of kiosks than I figured. From Singstar, to NBA 2K15, to highly anticipated titles like The Order 1886, you had free reign to get your game on.
While I didn’t have time to try my hand at everything, I did manage to go hands (or eyes) on a number of titles. Below I’ve included my thoughts and impressions from everything I played and saw first hand.
I’m not sure what I can say about this one. It’s distinctively LittleBigPlanet, a platformer with cute characters, a world created from household materials like fabric, wood and stone, and controls that still feel good if not just a tad bit floaty. It’s very much LittleBigPlanet and if you’ve played one before, there’s absolutely no reason why you won’t like this one as well. It’s so cute, you’ll be crying rainbows for weeks.
It’s been a downright terrible launch for DriveClub, but even with the massive server issues, Sony gave the game a lot of kiosks in the truck. Running a single player only demo, the game featured three tracks to race on with only three cars to pick from. Upon getting behind the wheel, the first thing you notice is how great the game looks. The colors are vibrant, the cars are really well modeled, and the landscape is lush and impressively built. Control wise, DriveClub is more forgiving landing more towards the arcade style of racing. The thing that really bummed me out about DriveClub however is that it was penalizing me for driving aggressively, taking points away for hitting the landscape or bumping the other cars. I’m not sure DriveClub knows what it wants to be between an arcade style racer hell bent on fun, or a more serious simulation style racer. There’s no denying that the game looks great, but from what I played, the core aspect of racing didn’t grab me like I was hoping.
OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood
Surprised to see this one stashed away in the back, I was immediately surprised to see how upgraded this title looked. The first game had a very distinct art style, relying on more pixel block graphics. OlliOlli 2 however, looks way smoother and features an almost hand drawn art style. The gameplay remains as rock solid as it was in the first game, and I wasn’t at all ashamed to faceplant all over the place. It’s still as addictive and frustrating as ever, but now with improved graphics and animations.
One of the titles I didn’t actually get to go hands on with due to there being only one kiosk and a time crunch, Bloodborne was none-the-less wildly impressive.This one was the game that really stood out to me, and keep in mind that this is coming from someone who’s not really a “Souls” player. Basically, Bloodborne looks like a victorian era Demon’s Souls with much faster gameplay. The combat alone moves at a quicker pace and the representative told the crowd that unlike a traditional “Souls” game, Bloodborne actually rewards the player for being more aggressive. The world is as detailed as it is hauntingly beautiful, and the enemies reminded me of scarecrows holding torches like they were going to riot. The tone is very much Demon’s Souls, but the combat and pacing makes it feel and look new. This is definitely one to watch for.
The Order 1886
Another title I didn’t actually get to go hands on with due to time restrictions, but I did watch a demo being played by someone else. Graphically speaking, it’s a knockout. The characters are modeled so well and the animations are also striking. The clothing sways realistically and characters show great emotion through facial expressions. Where the game kind of tripped up a bit in my opinion is in the combat. It looks to be a basic third person cover based shooter without any new hooks or frills. Granted, it was just a short demo, but I didn’t see anything that really made it stand out during these combat situations. I really don’t want to be saying that it has stunning visuals, an impressive setting, creative weapons but simplistic combat when this comes out early next year but as of right now, that looks to be the case. I really hope I’m proven wrong because I love the theme of the game, but so far, it’s exactly what you think it’s going to be based on the trailers they released. I really hope Ready at Dawn has some tricks up their sleeves.