PlayStation Mega Bits: August 2020

It’s been another big month for PlayStation news as Sony delivered a State of Play, we got more information on the PS5 controller and everybody pooped their pants because Sony and Spider-Man are sitting in a tree giving you free DLC. There’s no time to waste so let’s get straight to this month’s top stories.

A Marvelous Time to Play

It’s going to be a season of Super Heroes as PlayStation owners will have two Marvel franchises to play this holiday season. Spider-Man Miles Morales obviously is ushering in the age of the PlayStation 5 with his solo adventure from Insomniac Games, but Square Enix is soon dropping their Super Hero epic, Marvel’s Avengers to help get us through these months without any new MCU content.

There’s been quite a bit of controversy surrounding both of these games however for a multitude of reasons. Firstly Insomniac has been getting a lot of heat from the angry fanboy mob because their PS5 launch title is not going to be a fully fledged sequel and according to the studio this will be a smaller self-contained title ala Uncharted Lost Legacy. I’m not entirely sure how this could possibly be a surprise to anyone that a game not titled “Spider-Man 2” is not actually a full sequel. Add to that the fact that this game is releasing only 2 years after Spider-Man and it’s pretty preposterous that we’d be looking at a full-fledged sequel. But the internet is what it is and people are crying faux outrage about their expectations not being met.

Insomniac has gone to bat several times for this game to try and explain what it is and what it isn’t and quite honestly I don’t think that’s a good play. The people who are crying outrage clearly do not want to be receptive to facts and the only thing that’s going to silence the mob is to let the game speak for itself. My thinking is Insomniac should go silent until we’re ready for a deep dive on gameplay via a State of Play.

On the other side of the toxic fandom sea we have people crying anti-consumerism for the addition of Spider-Man as an exclusive character in Marvel’s Avengers. Sony and Square-Enix made the announcement that Spider-Man will indeed by coming to the Super Team next year but only for players who are on the PlayStation ecosystem. This is understandably disappointing for players on the PC or Xbox platform as Spider-Man is one of the most beloved heroes in the Marvel Universe. But make no mistake, this is not anti-consumer.

The fact of the matter is this how competition works in businesses of all ilk. Companies make strategic moves to make their product more appealing. Sony has made it very apparent that exclusivity is a massive component to their strategy in the video game market and they have time and time again made plays to 3rd parties for either exclusive content or timed exclusive content. This is how they play and it works. If you’re not a PlayStation player and are upset that you don’t have access to this content, congratulations, you’re proving my point. One or two of these deals isn’t going to amount to much, but there are so many examples across the PlayStation landscape of undeniable exclusive megatons that eventually this adds up for the average consumer and tips the scales towards the purchase of a PlayStation family console.

Wanting More PS4

On August 6th Sony had a State of Play which took the interesting direction of NOT continuing the hype train for the PlayStation 5 and instead delved into several games that have been previously announced for the remainder of the year and into 2021 for the PS4. It was an strange lateral move in my opinion that didn’t really do them any favors. Not to say that the games shown off weren’t interesting and deserving of some attention, but to me when Sony dropped the PS5 reveal it was a nuclear bomb of awesomeness and in the following weeks I’ve been chomping at the bit for more news and details. So to see Sony dedicate an entire State of Play to the likes of Spelunky 2 and The Pathless it seemed like a weird sidestep to the things that all Sony fans really want to know about.

There were a few highlights however for people still interested in filling up their PS4 catalogs before we close the book on this generation. Most notably some PlayStation VR content we’ll get to a little bit later and also the debut trailer for Control’s Alan Wake DLC package. But overall I was very underwhelmed by this turnout and didn’t feel like anything shown here really warranted delivering an entire State of Play.

Take Control

But getting back on board the PlayStation 5 hype train for just a moment, Sony unveiled the first official PlayStation 5 commercial this past week and it was centered interestingly enough on the DualSense controller. Accompanied by a blog post detailing some of the feedback functionality to be included in upcoming games, Sony is pushing hard on the idea that this controller, married with the heavily promoted 3D sound technology, will provide a new way to experience video games that take full advantage of your senses.

Detailed in the blog post were developer commentaries about how they will be programming the DualSense to work with their games. Arcane, the studio developing first person shooter Deathloop for example will lock the shoulder buttons on the DualSense when your character’s gun jams in the game, providing an immediate tactile response to what is happening on screen. Insomniac plans to utilize the multi-point feedback system to literally make you feel Miles’ Spidey Sense. When an attack is coming from off-screen the DualSense will provide a vibration in the direction the attack is coming from. For the first time you as the player will be able to feel an attack’s imminent threat without seeing it, just like Spider-Man. It’s truly an innovative way to approach this game and I am so excited to get my hands on this controller and also terrified of what the price tag will be.

Legends Eternally Told

Finally we were treated to some unexpected news when Sucker Punch announced a free co-operative mode is coming to Game of the Year contender Ghost of Tsushima. Titled Ghost of Tsushima Legends, this four player co-op experience takes players into the world of mythical fables. Unlike the core game, Legends will deal with fantastical worlds and enemies as the story is told in the form of legends that the inhabitants of Tsushima tell each other.

Players who experienced Ghost of Tsushima will be familiar with the way the residents of Tsushima speak of devils and curses when they are unable to explain things such as a samurai’s incredible strength and speed, or an armor’s unbreakable durability. As Jin Sakai your exploration of these tales always unmasked the reality behind the fable, but in Legends you will be living these tales through the eyes of those who believe them.

Perhaps the most interesting element to me is that there is a persistent darkness to the visuals of Legends, drawing major horror themes that are perfectly suited for the Autumn season in which Legends will arrive. No specific release date was given for Legends yet, but hopefully it gives me at least another month to complete the main campaign. Ghost of Tsushima continues to surprise and deliver top tier video game experiences.

Now You Are the Master

Vader Immortal is only days away by the time of this recording. Launching August 25th on the PSVR platform, this cinematic adventure puts the lightsaber and the power of the Force in your hands in glorious virtual reality. Ever since I put the headset on and put a Move controller in my hands it was clear as day that THIS is what I’ve been waiting for.

The story of Vader Immortal is set between episode III and IV, was written by acclaimed screenwriter David Goyer (The Dark Knight), and was crafted in collaboration with Lucasfilm Story Group to provide a chapter in the Star Wars universe which has been declared as canon. In addition to the 3 episode story arc contained in Vader Immortal the game includes a Lightsaber Dojo mode where you can train with a variety of force powers and sabers, including legendary movie lightsabers such as Kylo Ren’s.

We will have full coverage of this game including a Report Card in the coming month on Mega Dads.

You Know You Wanna Hit That

In one of the biggest surprises of the previously mentioned State of Play, Hitman 3 will be fully playable in PSVR, and not only that, all the locations from the previous two Hitman installments will be able to import into this version making the entire trilogy available on PSVR. This VR enabled mode is exclusive to PlayStation as well as there are no plans to bring Hitman VR to PC based iterations of the VR platform. Again just like the Avengers story this appears to be Sony taking full advantage of acquiring exclusive experiences on popular multi-platform games providing enticing incentives for players to find a home on the PlayStation family of consoles.

I’ve never played a Hitman game before but knowing that the entire trilogy experience will be playable entirely in VR gives me reason to put this on my radar. Hitman 3 is targeting a January 2021 release.

Normally on PlayStation Mega Bits I will give an impression of a game I have been playing and my son Elliott will do the same but this month we’ve both been playing the same game and in fact it’s hard for me to get the controller out of his hands. That game is Ghost of Tsushima.

Elliott: What I like about it is there’s a lot of “Mongos”. My favorite thing to do is run around and beat up bandit camps. My favorite weapon is a sword because it’s so strong.

Adam: My favorite thing in the game is the standoffs. These are special battles you get into in the game.

Elliott: Oh yeah. Yeah because when you like start off bandit camps or like there’s bad guys in the woods then you push the line up and then you push it, then they come to you, then you hold it down, then you let go, then they come to you, then you push it when they come to you.

Adam: This game has gorgeous mountains and forests and oceans. WHat’s your favorite part to look at?

Elliott: I like the place where there’s lots of flowers. It’s so pretty.

Adam: Elliott if you had to give Ghost of Tsushima a number for how much you like it, what would it be?

Elliott: One Thousand.

Well that’s gonna do it for us for the month of August. Elliott and I will be back next month with even more PlayStation Mega Bits!

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