Talking ‘Bout My (New) Generation (Of Consoles)

New Consoles All Consoles

It doesn’t seem that long ago to me that I rushed home with a massive, shiny 60GB Playstation 3 and plugged it in for the first time. It was, in fact, almost 12 years ago. Even the excitement of bringing home my Playstation 4 was 6 years ago. It almost feels too soon to be thinking about a new generation of consoles but here we are at the start of 2019 with rumours already swirling.

It’s been widely reported that Sony’s own first party developers, such as Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last Of Us), Sony Santa Monica (God Of War), Insomniac (Infamous, Spiderman) and Guerrilla Games (Killzone, Horizon: Zero Dawn), have already shifted focus to working on the new platform. IGN recently reported that both Bethesda and Square Enix are confirmed to be working on next gen titles so logically it’s likely that Ubisoft, Activision and EA won’t be far behind.

But what does a new console look like as we head into the 2020’s?

NewConsoles Streaming 2

For all the talk of the future being completely digital, this next round of consoles will most likely be similar to the current generation – you will have a box under your TV that you pop a disc in/download games to. In the future I can imagine streaming games rather than buying them to download but I think we’re still a little way off that technology running smoothly for people around the world.

An interesting aspect of the new generation of consoles will be the idea of streaming creeping into more widespread use. As services like Spotify and Netflix become the norm will Playstation increase the cost of of its Playstation Plus subscription and offer streaming as part of the package?

NewConsoles Old Games

Recently a patent was uncovered that seemed to indicate Playstation were exploring a much deeper implementation of emulation. It looks likely you might be able to play your old Playstation 1, 2, 3 and 4 games on the PlayStation 5 – which would be massive. At the very least the PS5 needs to be able to play PS4 games or uptake will be limited. Especially as forthcoming stand out titles like Last Of Us II and Ghost of Tsushima are both scheduled for PS4.

Aside from backwards compatibility there are several other things I’d love to see from a new console. Of course the most visual of aspects would be a boost to graphical capabilities, full 4k at 60 frames per second and HDR for every game would be brilliant but I’m not sure how realistic that will be. As mentioned above I think more options for streaming would be great – perhaps offering a form of Playstation Now as part of the regular monthly subscription would be a good start.

The other big thing for me is how much of the PS5’s power can be used for A.I in games. Nothing ruins a game quicker than amazing looking enemies who proceed to just stand in the open taking fire. I’m hoping for another big leap, similar to the one we got for Killzone 2 on the PS3. I’d love to think improved and challenging enemies will be the standard for next generation… we’ll see.

New Consoles Killzone 2

Of course the main tipping point for most people on whether to jump to a new console is price. While the PS3 weighed in with a whopping price tag of £425, the PS4 was a more respectable £349. I’d expect around the same again if I’m being honest. In a dream world it would be £299 but I’d hazard a guess it’ll be £329. A little more I could stomach but if it tips above £400 again I think PS5 will see sluggish sales beyond the initial die hard fans.

In terms of release date – I expect we’ll hear more about the console at an initial reveal this year with the launch date looking like mid 2020. Pure speculation but this guessing game is sometimes the most fun part of the run up to a new console generation!

Whatever happens it looks set to be an interesting and exciting time in the console space. I definitely feel like the PS4 has a year or two left in it but am really looking forward to seeing what Playstation deliver with their next console.

.

 

Fahrenheit (PS2) – Review

fahrenheit

It’s not often I review a PS2 game these days but had heard amazing things about Fahrenheit from a while back and then two of my friends recommended it (cheers Oggy and Hollow Snake) (note that link contains very adult and colourful language) 🙂 .

Fahrenheit tells the story of Lucas Kane as he comes to in a diner restroom having just murdered someone.

The real genius of this game is that it’s almost like an interactive film – except your actions have a consequence and while there is an arching storyline there are several endings and different ways things can play out.

It almost reminded me of a game version of the old Fighting Fantasy books I read as a kid (without the Orcs and Dwarves though :lol:)

The refreshing thing about Fahrenheit is that you play as a few of the characters, not just Lucas.

fahrenheit2

So once you’ve got Lucas out of the diner and someone discovers the victim, you control the police officers (Carla and Tyler) conducting the investigation.

You’re investigating a murder you just committed! 😮

Obviously with Lucas having no recollection of his actions until after the murder you use the police officers, as well as Lucas himself, to try and help solve the overall mystery.

Using the left stick to move around, the right stick is reserved for interaction. So if you approach a table for instance you might get two icons with a direction each. Say left for coffee cup and right for plate. You then press on the right stick what option you want to take.

The same goes for conversations, often with four options to steer the interaction in the direction you want. Also this isn’t something where you can just go through and choose all the options one after the other. You might get to ask two things then the conversation ends.

Likewise in stressful situations you’ll only have a few seconds to decide how you answer, which is really cool.

You’ll also get quick time events where you’ll have to copy pressing the sticks in whatever directions flash up on the screen. This is usually reserved for bursts of action and make for some frantic manoeuvering of the sticks! 😆

fahrenheit4

It doesn’t mean game over if you ask the wrong questions (at least not everytime!) or if you mess up a quick time event during a conversational cut scene. All that happens is that you don’t get all of the information you would’ve done.

It’s a great system that often leaves you wondering if you should’ve asked this or done that etc. 😎

My only complaint with the game was a couple of tedious flashback sequences of Lucas as a boy that were essentially badly done stealth sections but really they form such a small part of the game it seems unfair to judge them too harshly.

Fahrenheit is a very innovative game, which is really saying something as it is is almost 4 years old. The whole game feels brand new – obviously excluding the graphics. While they are more than respectable for the PS2 they pale in comparison to even average looking PS3 games.

fahrenheit3

Something else I loved was the way the game would wrap up with a voiceover at the game over screen if you ‘failed’ – technically you could stop playing there and you’d have a finished story (with a lot of questions unanswered but still…).

The storyline is excellent, although fairly far fetched so if you’re looking for gritty realism this won’t be for you.

Fahrenheit is an adult game. There is sex, violence and a complex storyline here, which to be honest younger gamers may not really understand. Not to sound patronising, there are some that would get it – just seems like this could be a little deep for some younger gamers (it’s a 15 rated game).

If you are looking for something completely different but refreshing and enjoy watching films then I’d recommend Fahrenheit – right from the off the tone is set and this is one of the best made games I’ve played for a long time.

The guys who made this are currently working on Heavy Rain (see trailer below) so I’m now even MORE excited about that game.

RATING: 9/10

Games That Should Be Made – No.2 ROBOCOP

robocop

The last decent Robocop game was ‘Robocop Vs Terminator’ on the Sega Mega Drive back in 1994.

For such an iconic brand this is a travesty.

There was the PS2 game a few years back which was pretty rubbish.

The original Arcade game (and ZX Spectrum for me!) was awesome for the time and I spent many an hour sat in front of the small screen trying to get as far as possible.

I was far too young to watch the film itself, I would guess 9 or 10 years old but the game was a different matter. I remember thinking how amazing the graphics were… and the load up screen! It was almost photo-realistic! (See pic below) Obviously it wasn’t but it seemed it at the time.

robo load

Robocop is a franchise with so much potential as a game it’s untrue.

I would love to see Rockstar get their hands on the brand and do what they did with The Warriors.

Maybe a bit more open world, I’m thinking GTA but with you as Robocop and ED-209’s littering the street 😎

You play through the opening level as Alex Murphy to set the scene and then play through the story of the first film before having a whole new story to go through.

You’d be able to upgrade your ‘suit’ and get different weapons etc.

Oh! And they would HAVE to licence ’20 Seconds To Comply’ by Silver Bullet as the theme song. 😎

robo ed

The game would be third person except for parts where you’d have a Wheelman-esque slow down in an over the shoulder/first person view so you could target lots of enemies and then watch Robocop take them all down in real time.

One thing that must NOT happen – Robocop can’t fly. Seriously, let’s just forget the whole Robocop 3 debacle. Agreed? Ok cool. 🙂

My only concern is that there is a new film pencilled in for 2010 – I believe it’s a reimagining 😮 – and I suppose there will be a tie in game for that.

Which, in theory, could be good if the film is good – although I don’t see how they could really improve on the original?

Anyway I’d much prefer to see a game based around the original film and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that if it does ever happen it gets made by one of the better developers.