This Week On PS Blog – 9/14/19: Sayonara Wild Hearts, Subway Design Zen, and Star Ocean Returns!

From the Call of Duty beta, to an all new FPS (Disintegration), and the HD remaster of the classic sci-fi RPG, Star Ocean, there’s plenty of new and old games to be talked about. But for those with a taste for something different, you’ll especially want to check out Sayonara Wild Hearts, which was first unveiled at the Apple keynote for Apple Arcade, the new gaming subscription service. Luckily, PS4 gamers will get their chance to play the unique game as well. Oh, and there’s an exclusive sale going on for PlayStation Plus members. So fancy.

And Now, Your Moment of Zen

Get ready for a relaxing game that’s all about kicking back, putting your trigger finger aside, and designing subway systems. Think OG Sim City, but quite 2D, and far more focused.

Robert Curry, Director / Designer, Dinosaur Polo Club:

It starts simply — a handful of stations, some passengers wanting to move between them, and you have to draw the lines to set the whole thing in motion. Trains travel the lines and passengers hop on and off automatically to get to where they need to go. So far so good.

Then a few more stations pop up. You have to extend your lines so now the trains take that little bit longer to make a return trip. You can edit your lines at any time so you can experiment with different layouts. Maybe one long loop with a few other smaller connecting lines? Or three intersecting lines so people can make easy transfers.

From PS Blog:

Sublime Subway Simulator Mini Metro Arrives on PS4 September 10

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Microtransactions

Get to Fragging This Weekend

If zen isn’t your thing and you’ve got a trigger finger to itch, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta might be just the thing. Oh, and did I mention it includes cross-play? (Editor’s Note: Cross-platform play will not be featured until the second beta weekend.)

David Hodgson, Editorial Manager, Activision:

Following the success of the Modern Warfare 2v2 Alpha, which was the biggest Alpha or Beta in Call of Duty history on PS4, the time has come to check out even more Multiplayer content: The Beta rolls out this week!

Get an early look at a collection of several maps and modes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has to offer before it releases on October 25. Be among the first to experience the intense multiplayer action, ranging from the quick, close quarters 2v2 Gunfight mode, to traditional 6v6 multiplayer gameplay, and larger player count firefights. Try new gameplay mechanics, including bullet penetration, gun mounting, door breaching, and night vision multiplayer gameplay maps featuring night vision goggles (NVGs) that allow for an amazing tactical experience.

Brianna Reeves:

The beta for Modern Warfare is a staggered one. From September 12th to September 13th, only fans who have preordered the title on PS4 will gain access to the first beta. Between September 14th and September 16th, everyone else on the platform will have open access.

Weekend two for the beta, which will include cross-play testing, gets a little trickier. Everyone who own a PS4 can access the session starting September 19th. However, from that date until September 20th, the beta session will be limited on the PC and Xbox One to those who preordered Modern Warfare. Starting September 21st, Activision and Infinity Ward plan to open the beta for everyone across all platforms, regardless of preorders.

From PS Blog:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Rolls Out This Thursday

Our Take:

Start Preloading Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Multiplayer Beta Today

Nihon, saifu no kyūseishu

`Bigguinjapansēru’ wa, taiyōganoboru tochi de hittogēmu o iwau koto ni kansuru mono de, takusan no biggu taitoru ga fukuma rete imasu.

Brian Fujimoto, Manager, Digital Games Business, SIEA:

High-flying action, epic cinematography, and plot twists galore – that’s what you can expect during PlayStation Store’s Big in Japan Sale.

Joseph Yaden:

The PlayStation Store’s Big in Japan Sale is live, and it features dozens of discounted games for you to take advantage of. Many of 2019’s newest and hottest games are on sale, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Kingdom Hearts III, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5. As the sale’s name suggests, every game on this list is brought to you by a Japanese developer or publisher. The Big in Japan Sale begins today and will run until September 24, 2019 at 8am Pacific.

Here’s the full list of discounted PS4 games as part of the Big in Japan Sale.

From PS Blog:

PS Store’s Big in Japan Sale Offers Savings up to 60%

Our Take:

PS Store’s Big in Japan Sale Has Discounts on the Games Like Resident Evil 2, Kingdom Hearts III, Sekiro, and Devil May Cry 5

This One is for Our Friends in the North

In Canada, gamers can get their hands on an all-new PS4 Pro bundle which includes NHL 20 for $499.99 CAD (MSRP). That’s basically like purchasing the PS4 Pro and getting the game for free. Not too shabby, eh?

Ryan Hassan, General Manager, PlayStation Canada:

NHL 20 offers new cutting-edge gameplay innovation and customization to provide an immersive hockey experience. New Signature Shots replicate your favourite NHL players’ real-world shot styles. There are also over 45 new shot types that make every attack a threat and new passing and puck pick-ups that create faster, fluid gameplay at full speed.

Along with all-new broadcast visuals and commentary, and more than 1,100 new customization items for your club and character, your biggest goals look incredible during the action and in the highlight reel.

From PS Blog:

NHL 20 PS4 Pro Bundle Comes to Canada September 13th

Telltale Games Closure

From One Dev to Another

Telltale Games, the original studio behind The Walking Dead games, might no longer be around, but like all things zombie, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series arose from death and is back for more.

Kent Mudle, The Final Season Creative Director:

Because of this legacy, of how much The Walking Dead meant to so many, it was an honor to help Skybound Games put together The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series. It’s a loving tribute to the series crafted by a team wholly ex-Telltale. A few of us have been here since season one! We wanted to celebrate the blood, sweat, and tears of the hundreds of developers that made these games. We were driven by not letting them down, and by giving the fans something we’re truly proud of.

Honestly, this entire thing never would have happened had the fanbase not been so passionate about the series. The outcry of sorrow and support when Telltale shut down had no small part in bringing The Final Season back to life. It did the same for The Telltale Definitive Series, a package made with the super fan in mind. We did this for you. So thank you for loving Clementine so much. Your love gave a whole team of developers jobs, let a story find its ending, and let us give you the tribute to the series it’s always deserved. As Clementine herself said… thank you, for everything.

Joseph Yaden:

Skybound Games took over after Telltale shut down in the fall of 2018, finishing the rest of The Walking Dead: Season 4 and putting together the nice collection for the The Telltale Definitive Series. Interestingly, Telltale is back, sort of, after a company called LCG Entertainment purchased Telltale’s assets and initiated in a company relaunch. It’s unclear if the company plans on working on new games or what its intentions are, but it’s an interesting development, nonetheless.

In addition to being a convenient collection, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series also features 10+ hours of bonus content, a slight visual upgrade, and a “Graphic Black” filter to make the game look like the comics.

From PS Blog:

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series Out Today

Our Take:

Skybound Games Has Released a Patch Fixing a Game-Breaking Bug in The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

From new items, weapons, clothing, and horse-drawn vehicles to early access to the American Foxhound Camp Dog, exclusive for PS4 players through October 14, it’s time to craft and live your own spaghetti western.

Rockstar:

Today, the world of Red Dead Online deepens with the introduction of three new Frontier Pursuits, each presenting their own unique path filled with themed activities for players looking to thrive on the frontier. Choose to become a Bounty Hunter and hunt down dangerous criminals, partner with Cripps in an entrepreneurial venture to turn their camp into a bustling business as a Trader, unearth treasures both valuable and arcane as a Collector, focusing on one role at a time or all three at once.

In addition to Specialist Roles, today’s update includes a wide range of new content and features to enhance the overall game including:

PSLS:

Specialist Roles are the heart of this latest update and will give you various ways to level up and unlock new abilities for them. The three Roles are Collector, Trader, and Bounty Hunter. These are sort of like classes, with different objectives and playstyles that accompany them. With the addition of Frontier Pursuits, you’ll have various ways to max out the full potential of each Role. Think of Frontier Pursuits like activities for you to do that pertain to a Role. For example, hunting a bounty will give you Role XP towards your Bounty Hunter Role, while finding collectibles will do the same towards the Collector.

From PS Blog:

Red Dead Online: Frontier Pursuits Out Now

Our Take:

Here’s When You Can Play as Different Specialists in Red Dead Online

Another Classic RPG Is Arriving on PS4

PS4 has been having a field day with classic RPGs, and there’s yet another big time, old-school hitter coming to the console by year’s end. Game design nerds and hardcore fans will have plenty to comb through in this deep dive from Star Ocean series character illustrator Katsumi Enami.

Rachel Mascetti, Assistant PR Manager, Square Enix:

Star Ocean First Departure R, the HD remaster of the classic sci-fi RPG and first installment in the Star Ocean series, is coming to PlayStation 4 on December 5. On top of the enhanced graphics and multiple full voiceover options in this version, all of the characters feature new and updated looks, thanks to the prolific Star Ocean series character illustrator Katsumi Enami.

The Square Enix team sat down with Enami-san to talk about his work on the Star Ocean series, his approach to redesigning some of the series’ most beloved characters, and his background as an illustrator.

From PS Blog:

Star Ocean Character Illustrator Talks Process, Design, and Updating for the Modern Eye

Predator Hunting Grounds Gameplay

Hunt or Be Hunted

Predator: Hunting Grounds is basically two games in one – an FPS shooter where you and your fireteam hunt down the extremely deadly predators while working towards mission objects, and an action/stealth game where you, as the outnumbered predator, must find creative ways to tear apart the team that hunts you for ultimate glory.

Rhys Sutheran, Online Content Producer, SIEE:

A few months later, at Gamescom 2019, the team behind Predator: Hunting Grounds let a lucky few get their hands on an early build of the game to see how it’s shaping up. Attendees assumed the roles of Predator and Fire Team for some asymmetrical multiplayer battles that proved to be nerve-shreddingly tense, action-packed and shout-out-loud fun all at the same time.

After we were done tearing up the jungle in a hail of gunfire and plasma bolts, we sat down with studio Head Charles Brungardt and Creative Director Jared Gerritzen sat down to explain how they’re crafting this Predator franchise tie-in.

From PS Blog:

Everything We Learned about Predator: Hunting Grounds at Gamescom 2019

No Straight Roads Preview

FFXV Composer Joins the Ranks

A heavy-hitting voice cast is behind No Straight Roads, the first ever title from an all-new Japanese game studio.

Idir Alexander Ould Braham, Associate Producer, Metronomik:

If you haven’t heard of No Straight Roads before, it’s a music-based action-adventure set in the world of Vinyl City, where our two heroes Mayday & Zuke must lead a musical revolution to take back the city from a corrupt EDM empire. The game plays like a traditional third-person action game but is inspired heavily by music. You can move and attack freely, and switch between Mayday & Zuke at any time, but keep an ear out for the music as enemies will always attack to the beat!

From PS Blog:

Japanese Voice Acting Cast Revealed for No Straight Roads

A Treat For Your Eyes and Ears

From pop music galore to the reborn color palette of the ’80s that seems to be everywhere, shown off first at the Apple keynote as an exclusive game on mobile for Apple Arcade—but it’s hitting consoles in less than a week—this indie game is a breath of fresh air that’s sure to keep you humming along the way while you fight for love.

Simon Flesser, Simogo:

Hello! I’m the one half of Simogo that is not Gordon. We’re mostly known for making small, boutique-y games, often story and interface-driven. We try to do things others aren’t and surprise both ourselves and what audience there might be for those things. So, after making three slow and thinky games (Year Walk! Device 6! The Sailor’s Dream!), we wanted to make something that was a little more gut than brain. That turned out to be Sayonara Wild Hearts, which is coming to PlayStation 4 on September 19.

From PS Blog:

Sayonara Wild Hearts Comes to PS4 September 19

Death Stranding Multiplayer

Gameplay Galore

I’ve personally tuned out most of the recent coverage on the PS4 exclusive, Death Stranding, seeing how I was sold on the game a long time ago and want to go into it as blind/spoiler-free as I can, but if you’re wanting to know more, there’s plenty of new gameplay details from TGS ’19.

Kristen Zitani, Social Media Specialist, SIEA:

The mysteries of Death Stranding continued to unfold this week at Tokyo Game Show, where celebrated game director Hideo Kojima debuted a whopping 48 minutes of new gameplay, giving the most in-depth peek at the fractured world Sam Bridges hopes to save.

Brianna Reeves:

Before anything else, Sam must prepare himself for the long journey westward. As everyone already knows, the packages he’s to deliver will be strapped to him. However, getting everything in place seems far more intricate than merely strapping a bag to his back and pressing onward.

Early in the demo, a menu screen pops up, allowing Sam to meticulously determine how every he’ll attach every package possible to his body. It looks as though it can become pretty overbearing, as the boxes can tower over him. He can even equip smaller parcels on his arms. Much later, Sam finds a little hoverboard-like carrier, which proves quite beneficial. He drags it along behind him without a worry in the world, since the hover features ensure the cargo won’t soon get wet or damaged. And, if he really wants to, Sam can ride the floating carrier like a skateboard.

From PS Blog:

Death Stranding: Breaking Down the Massive New TGS Gameplay Video

Our Take:

Battling a Giant Oily Monster in Death Stranding Looks Pretty Cool

Dragon Ball FighterZ DLC coming tomorrow

Vegeta > Kakarote. Don’t @ Me

Listen, if Goku isn’t the most boring, overpowered character of all time, I don’t who is. After all, how many defeats has the Saiyan Prince experienced, which according to DBZ lore makes him stronger each time, and yet it’s Kakarote who is more powerful? And he doesn’t even have royal lineage. Anyways, I’m nerding out here.

Sam Wilkinson, Community Specialist at Bandai Namco Entertainment America:

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the chance that Dragon Ball fans around the world have been waiting for. You’ve read the manga, watched the anime, and played the games, but here comes an entirely new experience created by Dragon Ball fans, for Dragon Ball fans. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is an Action RPG that lets you live the life and story of Goku. We are excited to announce that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is releasing January 17, 2020! So look out for it then and be sure to pre-order your copy today.

However, before you become the legendary Z Warrior, we took some time to talk to Producer Ryosuke Hara to share new information on what Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has in store for Dragon Ball veterans and newcomers:

Joseph Yaden:

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the next entry in the popular fighting game series, this time, with an RPG spin on things. Typically, the Dragon Ball games focus solely on traditional one-on-one fighting, but this latest entry will lean into role-playing mechanics like character-leveling and quests.

Many playable characters have been confirmed for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, including Future Trunks, Piccolo, Gohan, and Vegeta. And based on our hands-on preview at E3 2019, Kakarot is shaping up to be a really fun time whenever it does come out in the West. It performed well, looked gorgeous, and featured a large area to explore.

From PS Blog:

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Blasts onto PS4 January 17

Our Take:

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Blasts Its Way to Japanese PS4s in January of 2020

Can I Just Command the Black Pearl?

The game you didn’t know you wanted is out now and in virtual reality with solo, co-op, and PVP modes, making it one robust PSVR title.

Lauren Irvine, Community Manager, Survios:

Avast ye! Lauren Irvine, Community Manager at Survios, here to welcome you to the most pirate-tastic game on PSV-ARRRRRR: Battlewake. Let’s take the plunge into those sneaky skills that’ll set you apart upon the seas! Battlewake’s vehicle-centric naval combat transforms you into a mythical, magic-wielding Pirate Lord at the helm of a ship outfitted with three sets of weapons. These top six tips straight from the Survios devs will give you the edge on your fellow pirates as you battle for dominion in the ever-churning waters of New Urth.

From PS Blog:

Top 6 Ship-Sinking Gameplay Tips for Battlewake, Out Now

Think Titanfall, But Different

Disintegration might be an FPS, but it’s a shooter like no other that’s all about its vehicle, the Gravcycle. Whether you’re playing the single player story campaign or multiplayer, it’s all about getting on your cycle and laying fire to those around you. But that’s not all as you’ll have to take into account and control ground troops as well.

Gillen McAllister, Content Producer, SIEE:

Titanfall brought parkour flair to character movement and paired it with the ability to pilot an arsenal-packed exoskeleton. Disintegration’s twist has you strapped to an airborne bike known as a Gravcycle, and hands you command over a group of support troops with unique abilities.

It’s a design approach that makes more sense given the game’s origins: it started out as a real-time strategy title. But the earliest builds did little to differentiate the game in an already-crowded market. Marcus Lehto (President and Game Director) and his team at V1 Interactive realized this as they pivoted development towards the more enticing prospect of an RTT/FPS hybrid.

From PS Blog:

How Disintegration Blends Tactics with Fast-Paced FPS Action

Perks of Being a PS+ Member

Sure, it might cost a fee to be a PS+ member, but you know the old saying: it takes money to make money. Except, you’re not making money here, but you get the point. It’s time for some big discounts, and they’re exclusive to PlayStation Plus members!

Justin Massongill, Social Media Manager, SIEA:

Platinum is no longer reserved for shades of blonde or trophies. PlayStation Plus Platinum Weekend starts now with savings up to 50 percent.

Head off into the Oregon wilderness with the wind in your hair and freakers on your back in Days Gone, cruise around the streets of GTA V’s Los Santos, or get crazy with Rage 2 Deluxe Edition – just in time for the game’s first DLC Rise of the Ghosts later this month.

Joseph Yaden:

As if our wallets weren’t empty enough, this weekend has yet another PlayStation Store Sale for you to take advantage of, this time with the PS Plus Platinum Sale. That’s right, this one’s for PS Plus members only. But really, if you’re here, you probably already subscribe, right? This sale is for the weekend of September 13, 2019 only, so act fast. There are a ton of heavy hitters available at a discounted price like Blood and Truth, Days Gone, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, and much more.

From PS Blog:

Save Up To 50% During Plus Platinum Weekend

Our Take:

PS Plus Platinum Sale Brings Discounts on Days Gone, Crash Team Racing, Red Dead Redemption 2, and More

PARKER!!!

J. Jonah Jameson: I’ll give you $150.00 for it!

Spider-Man: $300.00

J. Jonah Jameson: That’s Outrageous! Done.

Kristen Zitani, Social Media Specialist, SIEA:

Marvel’s Spider-Man swung onto PS4 last year with an explosively fun Photo Mode, allowing you to show off your heroic feats (and selfies). Every week since, regardless of the Share of the Week theme, we have been blown away by the amazing Spidey moments you’ve shared using #PS4share and #PSBlog. Here are just a few of the highlights to celebrate one year:

From PS Blog:

Share of the Week – Marvel’s Spider-Man: 1st Anniversary

If You Can Dodge a Wrench, You Can Dodge a Ball

Dodgeball may not have been our favorite activity during gym, but now, us nerds can strike back, and with all types of crazy moves and characters, like Goldzillo!

Angel Falip Ruiz, Lead Artist, FinalBoss Games:

When creating a game, we always set out to find reference material that matches a style we want to nail down. We spent ages looking at rhythm games, arcade classics from the 90’s, and just started putting out sketches like crazy. After some failed attempts, we found our style in the vein of anime and manga-ish concepts. There is a lot of influence from old Toriyama stuff, as well as from some more modern series. As Spanish developers, I think deep down there’s even a little bit of classic Spanish comic-work in there!

From PS Blog:

Dinosaurs, Robots, and Aliens — The Art of Super Dodgeball Beats, Out Now

This Photo Again? Yeah, the Game is That Cool

A look at all the games coming to PS4 and PS VR.

Justin Massongill, Social Media Manager, SIEA:

A splash of pop music-infused color comes to PS4 next week. Sayonara Wild Hearts is a dreamy, arcadey game that features motorcycles, dance battles, and an energetic soundtrack to tie it all together. Groove and battle to the beat on PS4 September 19.

From PS Blog:

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for September 17, 2019