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The 10 Hottest Games at PlayStation Experience

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Uncharted

Sony threw itself a 20th birthday party in Vegas last weekend with the PlayStation Experience, a sort of mini-E3 the gaming giant used to announce and promote its biggest games for the PlayStation 4 in 2015. Fans waited in lines for hours to check out next year’s crop of blockbusters. Megastudios, indies and Kickstarter-fueled startups all jockeyed for attention, creating a cacophony on the floor of the Sands Expo & Convention Center.

Here are the 10 most impressive games we saw at the convention.

Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight

Release Date: June 2, 2015

The Dark Knight doesn’t much care for guns, but according to the latest trailer, he shoves aside those concerns when it comes to decking out his Batmobile. A keynote sizzle reel showed Batman take to his transforming, tank-like vehicle to gun down a helicopter. The Batmobile has been part of the previous two games in the series, but looks to play a bigger role in this outing. Developer Rocksteady Studios revealed that PS4 owners will get exclusive DLC that focuses on the hallucinatory nightmares sparked by the Scarecrow.


 

Bloodborne

Bloodborne

Release Date: March 24, 2015

From Software, which has tormented the toughest of gamers with Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, steps up its game for the new generation, crafting intricate detail into its haunting gothic backdrops. You play as an ugly, somewhat demonic protagonist, questing and exploring a devilish, unforgiving realm to scrounge up resources and survive long enough to level up and scrap together more effective weapons. The hands-on PS4 demo showed that the combat moves quicker than that of the developer’s previous output, which makes your failures pile up depressingly quicker but at least keeps things invigorating.


 

Drawn to Death

Drawn to Death

Release Date: TBA

God of War maestro David Jaffe took to the keynote stage to announce his latest PS4 project, an inventive arena hack-and-slash set inside the mind of a talented, bored high school student. The action unfolds inside sprawling spiral notebooks that are decked out with the kid’s creatively sadistic visions. The hand-drawn style is note perfect, breathing life into demented sketches that romp around the page. The concept seems like it would work just as well as a movie or TV series.


 

Keep Talking

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Release Date: TBA

Strapping on Sony’s virtual reality headset PS4 peripheral dubbed Morpheus, you take a controller you can’t see, using it to rotate and manipulate a bomb you can see in lifelike 3D through your visor. A second player barks out instructions, with the goal to disarm the explosive before the countdown timer explodes you to smithereens. While more of a tech demo than a full-featured game, the innovation on display and the wow factor of the Oculus make this one a standout.


 

NoMansSky

No Man’s Sky

Release Date: 2015

Developed for PS4 and PC, the incomprehensibly vast space exploration shooter is set inside a galaxy with billions of stars, each of which is the center of its own solar system. You are plopped onto a planet at random, then must grab a ship and scrounge around for materials to get you moving faster and more efficiently. Each time you arrive at a new planet — which could be a desolate ice world, fully developed by aliens, a prehistoric jungle planet or anything in between — you’re forever branded on the servers as the one who discovered it. Developer Hello Games still wasn’t ready to show off a demo, but wowed audiences with a trailer and panel discussion.


 

The Order

The Order: 1886

Release Date: Feb. 20

Developer Ready at Dawn, which created Daxter and several God of War spinoffs and sequels, steps up to the big time to create one of Sony’s megabudget PS4 system showcases. Set in a steampunkified version of the year noted in the title, there’s a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-like feel to the shooter, which follows the explore/puzzle/combat formula established by the Uncharted games. Quippy, prim and proper dialogue, old-timey guns that require copious reloading, scruffy facial hair and rigid, buttoned-down uniforms grant the game a period charm. A hands-on demo confirmed that the game plays as smoothly as it looks.


 

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V

Release Date: TBA

Capcom and Sony teamed to hadouken Microsoft in the face with the announcement that the next entry in the iconic fighter series is sticking with the PS4 and PC, ignoring the Xbox One. Twisting the dagger even further, cross-platform online play will be available. Although it’s hard to be sure from footage showed off in the hands-off sizzle reel, Street Fighter V looks to move to the stylized, screen-filling combos first introduced in the Street Fighter Alpha games. The new look and movesets should be the cure for what ails those tired of the umpteen incremental rereleases of Street Fighter IV Capcom has been cranking out. There was also a playable version of rival Mortal Kombat X to tantalize fighter fans.


 

Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Release Date: 2015

Sony’s can-do-no-wrong first-party developer Naughty Dog (The Last of Us, anyone?) took to the stage to show off a live demo that was flashy enough to look like a pre-rendered, intricately edited trailer. Indiana Jones-like treasure hunter Nathan Drake worked his stealth, marksmanship and athletic abilities into the gameplay, leaping up the sides of cliffs in a desolate canyon to gun down soldiers bent on stopping him from meeting up with a contact. Drake’s unflappable poise, snide quips and affable facial expressions were all in full effect, and the demo ended with a Temple of Doom-style tease that promises what Naughty Dog showed off was just a tease of the thrills in store.


 

Until Dawn

Until Dawn

Release Date: TBA

Supermassive Games, which handled the PS Vita version of LittleBigPlanet, goes the cinematic survival horror route, rotating among eight victims in a desolate lodge, stalked by an obsessed psychopath. The chilling hands-on demo focused on a character played by Hayden Panettiere — wearing only a towel — as she scampers away from the clown mask-wearing killer. You point the character’s flashlight at one of two choices (hide or run?), making snap decisions and tapping out quick time event prompts to stay alive to reach the next scream. Stunningly lifelike graphics show off the PS4’s visual capabilities.


 

Witcher

The Witcher: Wild Hunt

Release Date: Feb. 24

Polish developer CD Projekt Red drew some of the most daunting lines at the convention, granting patient gamers hands-on time with the sprawling RPG. Womanizing hero Geralt’s powers seems to have grown considerably, transforming him into a vicious slayer of enemies in the mold of Tolkien’s Rangers. You’re confronted with disturbing, no-win-scenario choices throughout the game, with your selections leaving lasting repercussions through the rest of your story. The game was delayed from a planned 2014 release to polish, and the extra time in the oven seems to have paid off.


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