Sony's PSX 2015 recap and impressions

Sony's Playstation Experience for 2015 has come and gone. For all of you current and prospective PS4 owners out there, this is a chance to see what games will be hitting your console in the coming year or so.

I've combed through all of the trailers and dug up some extra details on select games and put together a list that includes a majority of releases for 2016. They'll be displayed in three categories: "impressive" (likely excellent), "questionable" (could be good, could be bad), and "not ready for primetime", with a summary to talk about what we saw at PSX this year. Several of these games aren't anywhere close to done yet, so final judgments are better saved for the time being. Xbox One fans should stick around, because there is news in here for you as well.

Impressive

Ratchet and Clank - One of the most composed demos at PSX 2015, the Ratchet and Clank for PS4 showed off gorgeous Pixar-like cutscenes to tell the story of how Ratchet meets Clank and demonstrated a smooth 3rd person shooter/action experience. An old-favorite and from the creators of Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank is set for release on April 12, 2016 and a movie is scheduled to hit theaters on April 28, 2016.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - Nathan Drake is back and so is his presumably-dead brother. A slick cinematic cutscene shows to two reuniting and reminiscing over Nathan's experiences in previous games. Just as Nathan wraps up his stories, his brother reveals that he's in a lot of trouble and the trailer fades to black. No doubt Uncharted 4 is one of the most important franchises to Playstation, and 2016 holds the next chapter.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Definitely the Final Fantasy fan favorite, this remake is a dramatic overhaul of the original Playstation title in HD. This is not a Playstation exclusive, but it will see a release on the PS4 first before moving to other platforms. One might notice that the footage shown off is in drastic need of optimization, as frame rates were noticeably-short of even 30 FPS. No release date has been confirmed at this time.

Dead Star - A more open-world approach to the old school scrolling space shooters like Raiden and R-Type, Dead Star looks to be a deeper version of those aforementioned arcade classics. A PS4 exclusive, Dead Star expects to launch in early 2016.

Destiny: The Taken King - This expansion came out months ago, but Bungie is set to push another update that will include the long-rumored racing element with dedicated tracks and new Sparrows to go head to head with other Guardians within Destiny. The Sparrow Racing League, the name for this new racing variant within Destiny, begins December 8, 2015.

Paragon - What looked like a shiny new Playstation 4 MOBA, Paragon features exactly what you'd expect from any other MOBA game. Three attack/defense lanes to patrol, easy-to-kill mobs for leveling up, and boss-like variables that will force your team to work together. Paragon wasn't shown off in extensive detail, but it's definitely at least a cooperative title that definitely peaks the interest of PS4 owners that might be into the rise of console MOBAs. Made by Epic Games (Gears of War), Paragon's paid early access beta kick off spring of 2016, with the open access beta rolling out during the summer. The title is destined for PC and PS4 only.

Questionable

Eagle Flight - Ubisoft is getting involved with VR and Eagle Flight is how the product of the company's labor. You're an eagle soaring through the skies and down in the canals of what had to be a Battleborn-style rendering of Paris with the soundtrack of Assassin's Creed. The trailer looked nice enough, but offered no real idea of what the purpose of the game was.

Fat Princess Adventures - A four-player cooperative action game that, like several other titles shown at PSX, doesn't intend to take itself too seriously. Battle all kinds of monsters, discover Sweethearts (yes, the Valentine's Day candy) and avoid falling fat chefs. There's plenty of potential here, but it looks like the game relies heavily on your seeing the witty humor throughout to truly enjoy it.

MLB the Show 15 - Another chapter in the sports cog that is MLB: The Show, Playstation's baseball franchise hopes you're ready for the annual plate appearance of MLB The Show. Baseball purists will likely enjoy the game greatly, but baseball is on the decline in North America these past few years and could easily affect the interest in a game that follows the Madden formula of yearly installments with only minor additions and adjustments to previous entries.

Brutal - Essentially Tron displayed using LED suits that outline most of the characters and enemies rather than a full rendering of the world around you. It certainly catches the eye, but whether this action-fighter will make any waves is entirely up in the air.

Not ready for primetime

Rez Infinite VR - An Xbox One launch, Rez HD was an arcade title originally released by Q Entertainment and Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. The game earned high remarks from critics and seemed to fare well with fans, though without as much excitement as critics. Sony is making a VR version of Rez titled Rez Infinite VR. For an immersive experience, the demo did not impress, but if Rez holds a special place in your heart you might find something to get excited about here.

Ace Combat 7 - Not usually a weak title, Namco's Ace Combat 7 had a very weak announcement trailer full of muddled and bland dialog and a random dude ready to perform a Red Bull base jump from the top of a stratosphere-high tower. The game definitely had a good look to it, but decide for yourself if this looks like something you'd ever consider worth your money.

Job Simulator - Another VR effort, Sony wants you to go to work. That very idea isn't likely to get anyone with a pulse excited, but if it's any consolation, it looks like you can go ham on those annoying cubicles with dual staplers and hurl coffee cups about.

The Modern Zombie Taxi Company - Think zombies and bumper cars with zany background music in a world that would give South Park a run for visuals. Another VR effort, Sony and Highwire Games think you might be interested to crash into every object and every un-living thing you see.

Summary

There were some fantastic titles to be seen at PSX 2015 this year. Final Fantasy is a sure hit, Uncharted 4 has the potential to be a big system seller and Ratchet and Clank expects to be every bit as enjoyable as previous installments of the game. Sony even has a number of titles coming out from its old PS2 catalog over time for those wishing to relive the past. However, several games, including the remake of Final Fantasy VII, are not exclusive to the PS4, so while there are great games coming to the platform I had few reasons why the PS4 was a must-have console for gaming in 2016.

Unfortunately, VR-geared titles made me think Sony is just trying to stockpile the VR vault so there's something to play when Playstation VR eventually launches, but much of the content was, sadly, forgettable and leads me to believe that this cool piece of tech could be underutilized for a bit after launch. The positive spin here is that 2016 isn't even here yet, so there's still time for Sony to give us more reasons why the best gaming experience around will be on PS4.

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