Here a few years ago, when the Internet was still spreading through Portugal and the rest of the world, digital games had no expression or relevance. The entire industry was basically limited to large productions and releases in physical format. But today the reality is completely different. With the spread of the Internet and the arrival of PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii, digital games have gradually started to gain relevance and now it is impossible to ignore them, representing a considerable slice of the industry and being responsible for increasing the diversification of games.
In a matter of a few years, digital games have become as relevant as large productions and it is not difficult to think of some examples in which their quality even surpasses traditional releases in physical format. One of the companies that has recently given more prominence to these types of games is Sony, so it was not at all surprising when we received the invitation to travel to London to see and play the PlayStation 4 digital game lineup for the near future. In the past, an event of this type would be exclusive for launches in physical format, but as I mentioned, the reality in which we live now is different.
At the event they were presented and were available to play more than a dozen digital games for PlayStation 4, some from third-party producers, others from Sony’s In-house studios. From the list those who immediately stood out were Shadow of the Beast (presented at Gamescom 2013 and never seen since), Alienation, the new game from Housemarque, and Everybody Gone to the Rapture, by the Chinese Room, Amnesia’s studio : A Machine for Pigs. In the presentation before we went on to g******g there was also the opportunity to see Volume, by the creator of Thomas Was Alone, but that was not among games available to try. Likewise, Kill Strain, a MOBA that puts humans in confrontation with Mutants, was mentioned, however no images were shown.
Shadow of the Beast caught the attention of everyone present, but the demo available was quite short.
A central element in Sony’s commitment to digital games is its European studio XDev, whose function is to help small and large teams to realize their visions. The studio is especially useful for independent producers, offering funding, design tips, outside workforce and other services that help studios collaborate with Sony to ensure the quality of the games that will be released for PlayStation consoles. Better yet, getting in touch with Xdev is an easy process, just visit the official website and fill out a short form with your idea.
Right now Xdev is busy with Shadow of the Beast and Alienation, the two most promising games of the event but also those that are in a more precarious state. Both are still in the pre-alpha phase, which means that there is a lot of work ahead, but the bases are already installed. On the other hand, there were games that seemed very close to the final version, like Everybody Gone to the Rapture, the PS4 version of Journey (which is still beautiful), Fat Princess Adventures and Guns Up, a Sony San Diego free-to-play that combines elements of Tower Defense with real-time strategy.
As part of the alignment of digital games, there is also a wide range of third-party games. Proposals like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and The Talos Principle have been available for PC for a few months now, but for anyone who plays or prefers consoles, they are exciting news with a guaranteed quality seal. While some games first arrive on the PC and then on consoles, more cases like Magicka 2 begin to appear, which will be released on both platforms simultaneously. Then there are peculiar examples like Nom Nom Galaxy, a game about soup making that resembles Terraria, and N ++, which is a platform game with an absurd amount of difficult levels.
Visually it is simple, but N ++ has levels that are a nightmare.
“Several of these games are little gems and great ways to pass the time.”
Closing the catalog of digital games is Hollowpoint, which offers exchange of shots and action from a side perspective, Amplitude, Harmonix’s rhythmic game, Zombie Vikings, whose name basically sums up what you should expect, Galak-Z: The Dimensional, which will take you in an adventure through space in a small spaceship, and Assault Android Cactus, an arcade shooter inspired by the Horde mode of Gears of War. It is a list that demonstrates that variety is not lacking, serving as a mirror to the diversification that exists in video games today and proving that there is indeed a game for all tastes.
Although digital games have not yet won the status of a major exclusive like Bloodborne that sells consoles, the truth is that several of these games are small gems and excellent ways to pass the time. Some of them are able to offer even more longevity, creativity and originality than the typical 70 euros game, but due to their format they continue to be rejected by some as second-rate games. In this sense, it is to be commended that Sony has organized an event to promote its digital catalog. Games like these are swallowed up at E3 or Gamescom by AAA games and annual releases, but here they had space to shine and prove that they deserve your attention.
Over the next few days we will have more information to share about the games we saw and played at the event, namely Shadow of the Beast, Alienation and Everybody Gone the the Rapture. Stay tuned.
Eurogamer Portugal traveled to London at the invitation of Sony PlayStation Portugal, which paid for the trip.