Ladies, gentlemen, bandicoots: a legend of the platforming genre makes his triumphant return to PlayStation next week, courtesy of the team at Vicarious Visions. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy launches June 30 on PS4!
Play fully remastered versions of the original Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Spin, jump, and dance through tons of classic challenges — and play as Coco Bandicoot, too!
It’s a tremendous week for PlayStation games, so read on for the full list. And enjoy The Drop!
New Releases: Week of 6/27/2017
Aerea: Deluxe Edition
PS4 — Digital (Out 6/30)
AereA is an Action RPG in which music is both your best friend and your worst enemy. As a disciple of the Great Maestro Guido, you have to unravel the mysteries of Aezir. Find out what happened to the world and return the nine primordial instruments to restore balance and bring peace to the world.
America’s Army: Proving Grounds
PS4 — Digital
This free military game focuses on small unit tactical maneuvers and puts you to the test in a wide variety of new, and classic, America’s Army maps.
PS VR — Digital
Ancient Amuletor is an action tower defense game that throws you into an ancient world to battle magical creatures, monsters, and other legendary foes.
PS VR — Digital
Arizona Sunshine puts you in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, exclusively in VR. Handle weapons with real-life movements, freely explore a post-apocalyptic world, and put your survival skills to the test with PS VR.
PS4 — Digital (Out 6/26)
Millions of players. Frequent updates. Over thirty unique characters. Come fight for glory in the halls of Valhalla!
PS4, PS VR — Digital
With no memory of where you are and no idea how you got there, you do know one thing: you have to escape. Fly through the maze-like caverns and fight through the automated defense systems while searching for a way out.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
PS4 — Digital (Out 6/30)
Your favorite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, is back! He’s enhanced, entranced, ready-to-dance with the N. Sane Trilogy game collection. Spin, jump, wump and repeat as you take on the epic challenges and adventures through the three games that started it all.
PS4 — Digital
Cryptark is a 2D sci-fi shooter where you take on the role of a heavily armed privateer seeking to earn government contracts by boarding deadly alien space-hulks. It’s up to you to strategize a plan of attack, pick an equipment loadout, and destroy the central core to be victorious.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Beyond hope lies absolute despair. Komaru Naegi and Toko Fukawa make for unlikely heroes as they try to escape Towa City, a town caught in a war between adults and children.
Dark Arcana: The Carnival
PS4 — Digital
Find the missing woman lost in a mysterious Carnival of Horrors. Investigate two worlds: the one you know and an alternate plane existing behind the Hall of Mirrors. Discover the secret of an ancient being known as the Evil One. Reveal the story of star-crossed lovers and stop the Evil One from invading our world.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
PS4 — Digital
Rise as one of humanity’s last defenders — crusader, barbarian, witch doctor, demon hunter, monk, or wizard — and collect legendary loot while mastering devastating new powers and abilities.
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Elite Dangerous is the definitive massively multiplayer space epic, bringing gaming’s original open world adventure to the modern generation with a connected galaxy, evolving narrative, and the entirety of the Milky Way re-created at its full galactic proportions.
The Golf Club 2
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Rise to fame and fortune in the largest, most dynamic golf game ever created. Assemble and join online Societies with friends, compete in tournaments, and earn money to climb the ranks in golf’s largest gaming community.
PS4 — Digital (Out 6/28)
Simply put, you’re a t-rex with rocket boots trying to save earth from an incoming asteroid. Do you have what it takes to stop it?
PS4 — Digital
Defend your ancestral castle — show the invader who the master is! Build towers, save money, train your spells, and your enemy will be vanquished.
Micro Machines: World Series
PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 6/30)
The legend is back! Micro Machines World Series combines the thrilling madness of racing micro vehicles with epic team battle strategies, set against the extraordinary interactive backdrops of the everyday home!
PS4 — Digital
Set around a city being consumed from within by a disease, Plague Road tells a story of a lone doctor who once left home and now returns in search of those who have survived.
PS4 — Digital
The Tenth Line
PS4 — Digital
The Tenth Line is a console-style RPG featuring a colorful cast of characters, unique battle and level-up systems, quick 2D platforming action, and an original, fantastical story about friendship, faith, and finding your place in the world.
PS Vita — Digital, Retail (Out 6/30)
Tokyo Xanadu a massive action RPG! When high school student Kou Tokisaka encounters the nightmare realm known as the Eclipse, his world is forever changed. Reality distorts as monsters threaten the safety of Morimiya City. Kou must transform his soul into a powerful weapon to defeat the vile Eclipse once and for all!
PS4, PS Vita — Digital (PS4 at Retail)
Band together to defeat the evil empire and death itself — the Valkyria! As Vanargand’s commander, take control of your elite squad to unleash powerful ragnite spells and utilize mana weaponry on the front lines.
The World of Nubla
PS4 — Digital
Nubla is an adventure that begins in the halls of the Thyssen museum, where we find a character that exists inside the pictures. Following him, we begin a journey that will take us to discover the wonderful world of Nubla, full of puzzles and forgotten places.
DJ Khaled – Grateful
Imagine Dragons – Evolve
Prince – Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition)
The Fate of the Furious – Director’s Cut
Spark (Spark: A Space Tail)
The Lost City of Z
Street Outlaws: New Orleans- June 26 at 8/7c (Discovery)
Jay Leno’s Garage- June 28 at 9/8c (CNBC)
Broadchurch- June 28 at 10/9c (BBC America)
The information above is subject to change without notice.
Hi everyone! Friday’s here and we’ve got 100+ reasons to stay in this weekend with PlayStation Store’s Co-op Flash Sale. Friends or foes, couch co-op or online multiplayer, save up to 90 percent on games best played together.
Starting right now, pick up titles like Resident Evil 5, 7 Days to Die, The Jackbox Trilogy and more. But that’s not all, share a laugh with films like Sausage Party and Ted (Unrated), get your couple on with Passengers or round up the gang for a movie night with more than 75 flicks to choose from.
In a world where nothing is sacred and no one is safe, the outcome of The Great War for the Iron Throne is anyone’s guess. Game of Thrones Season 7 is poised to debut on July 16, and we wanted to arm PlayStation Vue members with a skimmable guide to the biggest developments last season so you’re ready for the big day.
There’s Snow Place Like Home
Season 6 begins with Jon Snow dead — killed by his brothers of the Night’s Watch.
After many attempts, the Red Woman Melisandre resurrects John Snow; we also learn that Melisandre is much older than she appears. After executing his treacherous brothers, Snow leaves the Night’s Watch for good.
Meanwhile, Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy escape Winterfell while the villainous Ramsay Bolton murders his father, stepmother, and new baby brother. These killings make Ramsay Warden of the North.
Sansa reunites with Jon Snow, and they decide to take back Winterfell, sparking the Battle of the Bastards. Jon Snow and the scrappy Wildling army attack Ramsay Bolton’s larger force. Just when it seems that Jon Snow will fail, the knights of the Vale sweep in and crush Ramsay’s army.
Afterwards, Jon Snow is named King of the North. It’s later revealed that he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, which makes Snow cousin to Arya, Bran, and Sansa Stark — and the nephew of Daenerys. In other words: Jon Snow is a rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
The Calm After the Storm
Meanwhile in the East, Daenerys is taken prisoner by the Khalasar and forced to join the downtrodden widows led by Dosh Khaleen.
Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis join forces with Daenerys and return to Meereen, but not before Daenerys sets fire to her captors and earns the following of the surviving Khalasar bloodriders. Ser Jorah reveals himself and regains Daenerys’ trust. She orders him to find a cure for his debilitating Greyscale disease.
Elsewhere, Tyrion Lannister and Varys rule the city of Meereen in Daenerys’s absence. Upon her return, a fleet of slaver ships launch an attack on the city. At great risk, Tyrion releases Daenerys’ captive dragons to save Meereen.
Theon and Yara Greyjoy show up in Meereen and offer Daenerys the Iron Fleet to sail across the Narrow Sea to Westeros and claim the Iron Throne.
“I Choose Violence”
At King’s Landing, the tension between Jaime Lannister and the High Sparrow rises. With a little help from the Tyrell army, Jaime confronts the High Sparrow and attempts to free Queen Margaery Tyrell. He discovers that the High Sparrow is manipulating the child king Tommen — there will be no freeing the Queen.
Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister declines an invitation from the High Sparrow. This creates a confrontation, and Cersei’s silent hulking bodyguard, revealed to be an undead Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, beheads a Sparrow in the scuffle. Naive King Tommen punishes his mother by putting her up for trial in the Sept of Baelor alongside Ser Loras Tyrell, and denies her trial by combat.
On the day of the trial, Cersei uses planted Wildfire charges to destroy the Sept, killing the High Sparrow, Ser Loras Tyrell, and Queen Margaery. King Tommen, Cersei’s son, jumps out of a window in grief after witnessing the death of his wife, Queen Margaery. By default, Cersei becomes the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms — again.
Let’s Not Forget
Elsewhere in the world, other important characters are on their own journey that will surely lead back to Westeros.
Bran Stark and the White Walkers
Bran is still beyond the Wall and having visions. He discovers that the Children of the Forest created the undead White Walkers to protect themselves against the First Men, and his visions reveal Jon Snow’s true heritage. The White Walkers are marching south toward King’s Landing, setting the stage for a climactic final battle.
Mystical creatures and Daenerys Targaryen’s loyal pets. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion have an important role to play in the war for the Iron Throne. Will they even the odds against the White Walker horde?
Samwell visits home and receives an unwelcome greeting from his surly father. With Gilly in tow, Sam steals his family’s ancestral sword, the Valyrian steel Heartsbane, and makes off for the Citadel to become a maester. Helpful hint: White Walkers are vulnerable to Valyrian steel.
Arya regains her sight, but she intentionally fails another assassination. As punishment, the Faceless Men send the Waif acolyte to kill Arya. Arya defeats the Waif and leaves the House of Black and White for good, heading home.
Petyr “Littlefinger’ Baelish
Master manipulator and Lord Protector of the Vale, Petyr still commands a powerful army. His goal is to sit on the Iron Throne with Sansa as his queen. He questions Jon Snow’s right to be King of the North and puts doubts in Sansa’s head about Jon’s loyalty.
The Walls Are Closing In
The playing field is set and the pieces are moving toward a final conclusion. Who will be the last pawn standing? Will it be fan-favorite Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons? Or the underdog Jon Snow, now revealed to be of royal lineage? Will it be the cunning Cersei Lannister, who always seems to be one step ahead? Or will a surprise contender like Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish swoop in to steal the prize? No matter the victor, you either win or you die.
Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones premieres July 16. Watch live on PlayStation Vue or catch up with every episode available now On Demand. Start your free trial today.
Trove’s Megalithic Update is adding more awesomeness to Trove than you can shake a stick at! Who even shakes sticks anymore? It’s 2017 and blocks are the future. Prepare yourself for a block-shaking adventure when Megalithic hits PS4 on June 27th!
This massive patch is bringing the Dino Tamer class and Jurassic Jungle biome along with a batch of new dungeons, styles, and enemies rockin’ that prehistoric style. Get ready for a Dino Attack! This is a brand-new event with special daily rewards and nine new quests to take on these cold-blooded invaders for epic rewards!
We’re not all about the throwback vibe – we’re also bringing you a megaton of new goodies that will change the way you play forever. 270 new collectables (including mounts, wings, costumes, weapon styles, recipes, and all new dragons) are coming to Trove for anyone who likes to customize their style.
With the Megalithic Update we’re also bringing full French and German translations to Trove with more languages to come in the future. But wait, there’s more! You’ve asked for and now you shall receive – PlayStation 4 Trophies! 24 trophies, to be exact. Unlock trophies for finishing the tutorial, joining a club, reaching new levels of Mastery, and much more! If you’ve already met the requirements for a trophy it’ll unlock for you automatically on launch day.
Minigames are a brand new way to earn rewards. Test your gliding skills in a ring filled race track or plan the best path in a coin collecting course. Plus, starting in July you’ll receive the blessing of a Celestial Paragon! Log in every day to work towards great prizes, including a brand new dragon egg: Aurym, Keeper of Histories, and much more!
This is barely scratching the surface of what’s coming on the 27th. Come join us for the best block party anywhere!
Earlier this year, our team had the great pleasure and honor of touring the offices of Polyphony Digital as the developers continued their tireless work on Gran Turismo Sport. Guided by Studio Founder and Gran Turismo Creator Kazunori Yamauchi, we enjoyed a rare look inside their studio, sampling their passion, expertise, and commitment to the world’s premier racing series.
See it all for yourself, from the well-earned wall of accolades to prototype furniture designed to house a steering wheel and pedals. Yamauchi shares his feelings leading into the finalization and launch of Gran Turismo Sport, and — much to our surprise — treated us to an impromptu piano performance that left the entire team speechless.
We hope you enjoy this insight into the Polyphony Digital team, recorded on location in Tokyo, Japan and debuted live at E3 2017 last week.
As we journey towards early 2018, we want to bring you behind-the-curtain of God of War’s development with stories you may not hear anywhere else. This is a new beginning, and a deeply personal quest for the franchise and Santa Monica Studio. We’re very excited to bring you into the heart and soul of our process. Follow us @SonySantaMonica to always stay informed.
A freezing blizzard roars while shadows of wolves can be seen in the distance. A seemingly mysterious mountain looms in the distance while a broken, gigantic statue sits in the middle of a quiet lake guarded by a large creature lingering beneath. These embers of our new Norse universe describe the rich, visual areas Kratos and Atreus will experience in God of War. How was the visual look and feel of our take on Norse mythology defined? It all centers around one defining piece of concept art from acclaimed artist, Jose Peña.
The Visual Foundation
Jose worked as a concept artist here at our studio at the outset of the new vision for God of War. Excited and wide-eyed at the opportunity, he and our Creative Director, Cory Barlog, immediately connected on the new direction, but leaving quite a bit to Jose’s imagination initially.. Unbeknownst to Jose was the immense challenge that would be set before him: create an original defining piece of artwork to set the visual tone of the new direction for God of War. Cory remembered clearly how their first conversation went, “The inception of this very first concept art was from a one paragraph write-up and a phone call with Jose, talking about the mood and the tone. I think I threw a bunch of stuff at him with buzzwords like more grounded; the fact that his son is not a burden; the fact that Kratos and Atreus are together battling a very hostile world. And he was just smiling at the other end of the Skype call, and because of the new direction, we weren’t able to provide him with exact ideas.”
The call ended, and Jose took a deep breath. He immediately started working and delivered several key concept art pieces to the team within the span of a few weeks. Jose made sure to center his first concept art piece on a familiar but older Kratos and his son, Atreus. Little did Jose know this concept art piece would be one of the most valuable and foundational pieces for the new visual direction of God of War.
Cory remembered how amazed he was when he saw the art piece for the first time. He remarked, “The way Jose was able to capture exactly what we were looking for was astounding. He has a grounding in historical illustrations and a desire to dig deep and understand the most about each individual piece. There was so much humanity on top of the mythology and to capture it the first time out was ridiculous.” There was a consensus amongst our small team at the time, Jose had struck gold. Cory said, “This artwork truly became the beacon and lit the path for us. Everything we did – we referred back to this piece.”
Principal Character Artist, Rafael Grassetti was also there the day Jose’s artwork was shared amongst our studio – he was stunned. “This art piece was definitely what everyone had in mind,” Raf commented. “It was a big inspiration for everyone who joined the project and saw this. Jose was the first one to get what we were doing and what we were making. Even on the final color correction, we kept coming back to what Jose was doing here and integrating every single part of this to try and get it closer to what he did.”
Decoding the Artistic Details
Take a second look at Jose’s concept art: what stands out most to you? There are so many layers of intrigue and detail all over the piece to decode. For our team, one central theme immediate to us was defining the relationship between Kratos and his son. Raf explained his perspective on the importance of seeing these two characters framed in Jose’s art, “The first time you see Kratos and Atreus’ relationship, you get it. This artwork sells the connection. You see many other elements, but it’s not the main focus. This is more of a piece between the father and the son.”
“This artwork truly became the beacon and lit the path for us. Everything we did – we referred back to this piece.”
Cory, nodding his head in agreement, pointed to the significance in the characters’ positioning and stances. “You look at this piece, and you see the idea of Kratos protecting the kid,” he said. “Kratos puts himself in between harm and the son as he wants to take the brunt of the first blows. Atreus needs his father, but he also looks capable. You show the son connecting and holding onto Kratos’ arm, but you also see the kid with his knife out. It’s the idea of this parental yet distant relationship.”
The change in landscape and adversaries also presented unique challenges Kratos and Atreus would have to face. Raf noted this particular theme as, “a fight against Kratos’ enemies and adventures.” He commented, “In the artwork, you see the challenges ahead and the goal up top. Everything you do to have to protect the son is an integral part of this adventure. Jose played with the focus of the image to have us, the viewer, understand everything going on yet still have lingering questions about the world.”
Cory looked intently at the falling snow, feeling enraptured by the visual cues that alluded to a different yet somewhat familiar journey. He commented, “The idea of this unforgiving world and the visual tone with the snow, it just makes you feel cold. And there is this adversity between you and your destination at all times. Yet there is this building of unknown origin guiding you to the top of the mountain. That is the promise of adventure in every God of War game, and it still rings true here, even in this different setting.”
“In the artwork, you see the challenges ahead and the goal up top – everything you do to have to protect the son is an integral part of this adventure.”
Tying all of these elements together was the distinctive visual style that made for a fantastical yet grounded filter. Even though this new land may be full of strange, incredible creatures, Jose made the world feel tangible. Cory again reflected on his adoration for the style and its implementation in Jose’s concept art. He stated, “This visual style borrowed from that pre-digital era where everything was optical, like all of those awesome fantasy 80’s movies. They all had this sort of classic, storybook vibe without the super crazy over-saturated colors. There is an element of this storybook fantasy quality in the concept art that you don’t often see in video game visuals.”
From Past to Present
As Cory now looks at Jose’s artwork months and months later, he reflected on the original inspirational art piece of God of War 1 (pictured below). Here, a very early version of Kratos looks out into the desert landscape. Cory contemplated the differences yet also surprising similarities between the two games. He said, “Looking back on God of War 1’s original concept art piece and our current God of War concept art piece, there are these fantastic creative similarities that I think our studio inadvertently shot for but at two different angles.” Cory pointed to the first God of War concept art piece and commented, “Initially, our team wanted this very real and mature take on Greek mythology. But even in that original image, you can see a fantastic destination; a chasm seemingly uncrossable that is preventing you from getting there; and the hostile, iridescent environment against you. And then this warrior looking off into the distance.”
At the same time, Cory noted the key differences between the two art pieces: a maturation of not only the series but Kratos himself. Cory said, “Although the hero’s journey is present in both of the images, I do think there is a sense of growth when you put those images side by side. You see Kratos starting in his youth in the God of War 1 art piece, and in this current concept art, he is now moving towards his middle-aged self – the idea of Kratos taking on this responsibility of parenthood in a different way. He was perhaps too young and impulsive in his early years, which made him make bad decisions, so you see this change and transition in Jose’s art.”
The Journey From Art to Game
A fascinating aspect about game development is the evolution from concept art to gameplay… For instance, Kratos and Atreus’ clothing have been reworked multiple times before final. Raf commented, “The costuming was awesome to see in Jose’s concept art and that they lived in this universe, but when you put that in the actual game, it’s actually hard to see because of the high-paced combat in the game. We wanted to make sure we stay inspired from the piece in terms of the clothing. It was one of the biggest initial challenges we had after seeing the piece and translating the artwork to gameplay.”
Cory pointed out another challenge – Atreus’ hair. In Jose’s art piece, Atreus’ hair is grey, which constantly fluctuated throughout the production. Cory joked about some of the different iterations they played around with since then, “At one point, we went from the grey hair to an interesting render of Atreus having no hair at all. And I was like, ‘Oh, I kind of like that. Very interesting.’ But I think people thought Atreus suddenly looked like Mini-Kratos and was too ridiculous.” These drastic changes to Atreus’ hair, however, were quickly finalized by Jose with the ‘haircut’ into what we see today.
Other aspects of the artwork evolved from the original piece, such as Atreus’ arm tattoos. Although he did not have his bow and arrows just yet, the first signs of his tattoos were shown here, and as Cory described it, “actually allows the kid to have steady aim with his future bow.” Also, Kratos’ base axe model was born from Jose’s concept art. Cory remarked, “Our approach to keep things simple at first allowed us to really hone in on what feels really cool. With the axe, for instance, we started with the straight handle before later adding a curve onto it.”
“Kratos is now moving towards his middle-aged self: the idea of taking on this responsibility of parenthood in a different way.”
The enemies that made it into the final game were heavily inspired by Jose’s concept art as well. Raf created the Draugrs specifically for the first E3 2016 trailer and remembered how much the original artwork helped with those designs. He reminisced, “We did a lot of work on those guys, and when we finished, we went back to this particular piece and thought, how do we make it look more like this? How do we capture of what’s happening here?”
A Journey Like No Other
For Cory, Jose’s concept art reinforced a consistent theme: always strive to make quality work with some of the best creatives in the industry – a thread that has run through all of the God of War games. “If you look back towards the inception of Santa Monica Studio,” Cory said, “we have always been fortunate to have the right people at the right time, like the concept artists that have come through the studio. Each of them have made an impact on this franchise. Their styles were perfectly meshed with where we needed to be and where we needed to go at that time. We’ve had that kind of evolution throughout simply because people were constantly able to look at things a little differently.”
Cory added his sentiments about the entire studio and the leaders he has been fortunate enough to work with. He commented, “All of these guys have had such a tremendous amount of impact on the lens that we see his world through. You really can’t make anything today of this scale without having visionaries like that. So for me, the best part of this whole project is that we’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to find the right people – to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ so to speak.”