LawBreakers, Boss Key Productions’ First Game, is Coming to PS4 This Year

Alright, let’s be honest. 10 years ago, who the hell thought I’d be here? Well, here I am writing a guest column on the PlayStation Blog.

So yep – I’m back on console, and it’s pretty awesome TBH. PS4 is a new audience for my studio and me (although many people who work with me have shipped PlayStation exclusive titles before). Fun fact: my COO and colleague Arjan Brussee helped found Guerrilla Games. We also made the original Jazz Jackrabbit together, like a bazillion years ago. Small industry. Don’t be a jerk.

We worked out this little writing arrangement with Sony so I could do a proper introduction to all of you and share information about LawBreakers. I feel like it’s something I should do.

Soooooo…

Hi.

I don’t want this to be some lame marketing garble. I’m going to be honest about where I’ve been, what we’ve been doing and where we all are going.

So where have I been?

KINDA SORT-OF LAWBREAKERS ELEVATOR PITCH:

During my “retirement”, honestly, I was bored as hell. My waifu and I were ready to strangle each other. I was getting fat. Ultimately, I couldn’t ignore the creative need to make something new. During this time, I was inspired by a childhood dream about gravity being disrupted in a BIG way. I also took a Zero G flight once. That was pretty crazy. So, LawBreakers is the culmination of my dreams as a kid, my career in this industry and my lifelong passion for games. So there we have the inception (HORN SOUND) of LawBreakers. A new futuristic world where the Moon mysteriously exploded, an event known as The Shattering, that devastated Earth. Afterward society recovered, using new gravity anomalies to rebuild and advance.

LawBreakers

The setting is the perfect backdrop for a super fast, omni-directional team-based FPS where we challenge players to get the hell off the ground. The floor is lava, bruh. It’s the skill-based competitive shooter made by shooter fans for shooter players that my team and I have always wanted to play. It honors the old and embraces the new. Old being the feeling of soaring through the air at mach-speed and rocket-jumping and such. The new as offering a variety of characters each with different movement abilities, multiple weapons, combos and more.

For example:

Our “healer” in LawBreakers can be an offensive powerhouse. In the hands of a skilled player, this role can simultaneously heal two teammates at once, all while lobbing grenades from high above like some flying human artillery cannon. Stuff like that is what LawBreakers is all about. Also we’ve added a few new things too, like being able to blind-fire behind you with any ranged weapon. Yep.

So, about where we’ve been: We’ve actually been working on LawBreakers since 2014 after founding my new development studio, Boss Key Productions, with Arjan, and let me tell you, creating a studio and a game from scratch is tough AF. Back then it was PC only and free-to-play. Yes, I can officially say we “course-corrected” (to use awful corporate speak) to pivot away from things like F2P. Why? Because we’ve been listening to community along the way and are trying to do what’s best for players, and in turn, best for the game. Funny how those two things work together, right? Our publisher Nexon has supported us along the way, working with us to do what’s right for gamers, and we respect that. Besides, they got tired of making kart-racing games.

LawBreakers

After a few twists and turns last year after our initial Alpha, the game really got in front of a lot of players. There was no NDA so people could post footage, and we found that there was a lot of interest from console players for this very fast, competitive multiplayer game. To be honest my Twitter feed was one part “Bring LawBreakers to console!” or “Fix Gears!” (hah) So, we made something spectacularly vertical. Something heavily skill-based and super competitive, with our twist on game modes that haven’t been done before. We were making the game we wanted to play, and it seemed to resonate. When deciding which platform to bring the game to these players, it was a hard choice. I’ll leave it at that. The choice, obviously, was PS4.

Ok – here’s where we all are going. LawBreakers is coming out this year on PS4 as a digital-only title. Discs are like voicemail, so ten years ago. It’s important to know that something that’s important for the studio and me is to create a game with no season passes and no “pay-to-win” mechanics at a price that is what we feel is fair to players. It will be $29.99. We don’t want to fragment our playbase with silo’d season pass BS, nor do we want to pollute matchmaking with “pay-to-win” incentives. We want to create a game ecosystem that’s all about highly skilled players competing on even playing fields, and a landscape for average players to aspire to become better. More details on launch date soon. Right, PR?

So, in conclusion, I’m excited to ship this bad boy and get it into your grubby hands later this year. Remember to look up!

-B

Star Wars Battlefront II: Massive Worlds and Moral Dilemmas

Star Wars Battlefront II has grand ambitions: a deeper and more engaging online competitive mode, battles that will wage across all Star Wars film time periods, and robust new vehicle combat.

But it’s the new single-player campaign that’s sure to catch the eye of series devotees, particularly in its promise to explore that shadowy period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

In the final part of our interview with the game’s senior development staff — including EA Motive’s Mark Thompson and EA Criterion Games’ Matt Webster — we learn more about how EA’s development teams are managing the Herculean expectations that come with developing Star Wars Battlefront II.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Give the video a look and let us know what you think in the comments!

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 5/23/2017

Vast lands stretch out before you, with the promise of new tools and treasure past the horizon. Gather supplies, gather your friends, and set out for new worlds in Portal Knights, which hits PS4 on Tuesday!

Portal Knights fuses the beloved crafting and exploration of Minecraft with the battle systems and classes of old-school RPGs. Build up dizzying castles, plunge into the cavernous depths, and face off against towering monsters in this gorgeous adventure.

And heads up for The Drop faithful: due to our team’s travel schedules, we have to do one or two lightweight posts leading into E3. Don’t worry, this format isn’t permanent. You can expect the full post to return soon — thank you for your patience!

The Drop

New Releases: Week of May 23, 2017
  • ACA NeoGeo The Last Blade, PS4 — Digital (Out 5/25)
  • ACA NeoGeo World Heroes 2, PS4 — Digital (Out 5/25)
  • BugsBox, PS4 — Digital (Out 5/25)
  • Deliriant, PS4 — Digital
  • Embers of Mirrim, PS4 — Digital
  • Eternal Ring (PS2), PS4 — Digital
  • Friday the 13th: The Game, PS4 — Digital (Out 5/26)
  • Get Even, PS4 — Digital (Out 5/26)
  • Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 5/26)
  • Kung Fury: Street Rage, PS Vita — Digital (Out 5/25)
  • Plantera, PS Vita — Digital
  • Portal Knights, PS4 — Digital
  • Pox Nora, PS4 — Digital
  • Puzzle Showdown 4K, PS4 — Digital
  • Rime, PS4 — Retail (Out 5/26)
  • Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada, PS4 — Digital, Retail
  • SmuggleCraft, PS4 — Digital
  • Spellspire, PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Cross Buy)
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2), PS4 — Digital
  • Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, PS4, PS Vita — Digital, Retail

PlayStation Music Logo

  • Linkin Park – One More Light
  • Snoop Dogg – Neva Left
  • Faith Evans And The Notorious B.I.G. – The King and I

PlayStation Video Logo

  • John Wick Chapter 2 (plus bonus features)
  • John Wick Double Feature

PlayStation Vue Logo

  • Cooks vs Cons- May 24 at 9/8c (Food Network)
  • UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira- May 28 at 1/12c (FS1)
  • Veep- May 28 at 10:30/9:30c (HBO)

The information above is subject to change without notice.

PlayStation Live From E3 2017: How to Watch

Oh boy, look at the date. E3 is almost here! ::hyperventilates in corner::

You’ve probably got questions. Luckily, I’m here to provide (some) answers! This year, PlayStation Live From E3 2017 is serving up four days of new game demos, developer interviews, and new trailers, beamed straight from the E3 show floor. We’re preparing more than 15 hours of live content across dozens of games on PS4 and PS VR.

PlayStation Live From E3 2017 will kick off Monday, June 12, at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. Don’t miss it! See below for all the pertinent details:

  • Monday, June 12 | PlayStation Live From E3 2017 featuring the PlayStation Media Showcase | 5:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Tuesday, June 13 | PlayStation Live From E3 2017 programming | 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Wednesday, June 14 | PlayStation Live From E3 2017 programming | 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Thursday, June 15 | PlayStation Live From E3 2017 programming | 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM Pacific Time

In terms of where to watch, live.playstation.com is once again your premiere destination for all E3 live video coverage. Why? That part’s easy: by visiting the site, you’ll be able to complete “quests” that unlock rewards (while supplies last). You can also browse curated collections of new trailers, developer interviews, and much more. Bookmark it!

We’ll also be streaming on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook if you’d rather watch that way. Your choice!

Meanwhile, I’m happy to confirm that our fan-favorite PlayStation E3 Experience will return this year! Hundreds of fans across the US, Canada, and South America will be able to visit a local cinema to experience the events of June 12 on the big screen.

We’ll have full details to share in the next few weeks, including participating theaters and more pertinent details.

Until then. See you at E3!

Destiny 2: Strike Gameplay, New Screens, Hands-on Impressions

Justin here, reporting from the Destiny 2 Gameplay Premiere event in Los Angeles! I’m sure you were tuned in live when they revealed the first-ever gameplay footage for Bungie’s new sequel, but just in case you weren’t I’ll drop this right here.

Destiny 2 Event: WarlockDestiny 2 Event: HunterDestiny 2 Event: Titan

Photos from the Destiny 2 Gameplay Premiere

So! Zac and I were lucky enough to play Destiny 2 after the presentation ended, going hands-on with a new Strike called “The Inverted Spire.” It takes place on a Vex-occupied planetoid called Nessus. Here’s a runthrough, with a few notes from Destiny 2 Project Lead Mark Noseworthy (thanks Mark!):

A few personal highlights:

  • Platforming! I happened to be the only one on my Fireteam who made it across the Strike’s early jumping puzzle on the first try *dusts off shoulder*
  • New enemy types: We saw a “War Beast,” a dog-like animal that was tough to pin down, as well as Incendiors: Cabal soldiers with gas tanks strapped to their backs. And you know what to do when you see a gas tank in a videogame…
  • More interactive — and dangerous — environments: About halfway through The Inverted Spire, we encountered a hollowed-out excavation site with a series of massive blades rotating around the area as they drilled into the planet. The goal here was to fight through the enemy ranks while avoiding these giant blades. This made for a… difficult section of gameplay. I don’t want to talk about it.
  • Atheon’s cousin? Okay, okay, I don’t know if the boss of the Strike is actually related to Atheon in any way, but I mean, his name is Protheon. I’ll believe whatever I want to believe! Anyway, the boss fight was quite impressive — a multi-layered affair that saw us (and Protheon) changing tactics multiple times as we whittled down his three-segment health bar (oh yeah, enemy health bars are split into segments now).

Destiny 2 Environment Art

Destiny 2 Environment ArtDestiny 2 Environment Art

Destiny 2 Environment Art

A selection of environmental art from Destiny 2

A few more general observations about Destiny 2, based on what we saw and played today:

  • No more Primary / Secondary / Heavy weapons: Bungie is reworking weapon loadouts in Destiny 2 — Now you’ll equip a Kinetic weapon, an Energy weapon, and a Power weapon. I saw Sniper Rifles in the Power slot, Hand Cannons in the Energy slot… it’s all different!
  • New weapon types: Submachine guns work similarly to the HMG familiar to D1 players, but less powerful and tailored for closer ranges. Grenade Launchers… well, they’re pretty self-explanatory.
  • Class Abilities: A new, third rechargeable icon next to your melee and grenade. Warlocks can hold circle to create a small rift on the ground that either heals or empowers allies. Hunters get a dodge ability (a la Shadestep, but on a cooldown) that will refill your melee charge if used near enemies. Titans can create a small barrier in front of them to protect themselves and teammates. As this barrier takes damage, it displays a cool “shattering” effect so you can tell at a glance how close it is to breaking.
  • Reworked Subclasses: One of the big stars today was the new Warlock subclass: Dawnbreaker. This is a solar subclass with a flaming sword super, kind of a cross between a Raze Lighter (because fire) and a Bolt Caster (because projectiles). Hunters and Titans will each also have a new subclass: Arcstrider and Sentinel, respectively.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2Destiny 2

We also played a couple matches of the new Crucible mode, Countdown. This is an attack/defend mode where one team tries to set charges in specific locations while the other team plays defense. A few quick observations from two rounds of Countdown:

  • Smaller teams: Countdown pitted teams of four against each other, leading to more intimate firefights and an increased need for team coordination. We don’t yet know what other modes will be available or what their player counts will be.
  • Callout locations: No more trying to remember whether you died in “Hallway” or “Alley” — callouts are now baked into the game, displayed in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • New HUD elements: You can now see which Guardians are down, which ones have Supers ready, and when somebody picks up Power ammo.
  • Time-to-kill felt longer: This could be the weapons we were using, or it could be (and likely is) my relative lack of skill, but it felt like it took significantly longer to take down hostile Guardians in the Crucible.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2Destiny 2

Bonus: If you’d like to hear Zac and me talk about our initial impressions of Destiny 2, there’s a place you can do that! That place is right here:

Phew, so that’s Destiny 2! A small taste of it, anyway. There’s still a lot to learn, and I suspect we’ll have plenty of opportunities before the game launches later this year. If you have any questions, toss ’em in the comments and I’ll answer whichever ones I can!

Nex Machina Launches June 20 With Local Co-op

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since you’ve seen fresh footage from our new game Nex Machina. And with it, we bring good news. We’re glad to announce that Nex Machina will be arriving on PS4 June 20.

This is the day that Housemarque will go down in infamy for creating one of the simplest, purest action arcade games of our generation. A game that will remind you of the arcade classics of the 80’s, but with modern technology to complement that pure twin-stick joy.

Additionally we would also like to announce local co-op. This is something that we’ve been trying to keep secret for a long time, but many of our friends have already guessed it was coming.

Local co-op will allow two players to play side by side, just like in the old school arcades, competing or helping each other out. So please enjoy the above new trailer, which includes footage from the Winter Tide level with some two-player action!

Keep your eyes open for Nex Machina arriving June 20 on PS4.