E3 2014 Wishlist: My hopes and fears for PS4

PlayStation 4 Screenshot - PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 has had one of the smoothest, no-nonsense console launches of all time. The device sits like a sleek monolith atop my entertainment center -- it’s small, powerful, and straight-forward. There are things it could do better, but it does so much right that it’s a hard thing to get mad at. That clarity and focus from Sony has resulted in very strong sales and the death of the idea that this generation is “the end” for consoles. Things are fine in hardware-land: we just need some more damn software.

The 2014 Problem

The Last of Us Remastered

My fear with E3 and the general landscape right now on PS4 is that all the big releases and surprises are for 2015 and beyond. There have been a bunch of big delays lately, and there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to over the next few months. E3 isn’t usually about the near-future -- it’s about the holiday season and beyond -- but I’d like a surprise or two for right now. PS4 needs a game that players can sink their teeth into after they’re done being disappointed by Watch Dogs and ignoring the seemingly underrated Murdered: Soul Suspect. What are we going to do between now and September?

The Last of Us Remastered is a very nice holdover, especially for those that didn’t play it or tire of the multiplayer. Maybe the PS4 just needs another fresh remaster like this to hold us over in the intervening months? Rockstar doesn’t typically participate in E3, but a GTAV remaster for summer release would be a big win. I don’t think it’s going to happen, and it’s a totally pie-in-the-sky wish, but it’s exactly the kind of thing that would appease a lot of people without anyone having to make an entirely new game.

There are also all those indie games. Last year Sony had indies onstage showing off their wares. How about this year we see even more, and with releases within the next few months?

The bottom line is that, while I expect E3 to mostly be about late 2014, 2015, and beyond, it would be a VERY welcome surprise if Sony did some Apple-style “and you can play it ... right now!” announcements for PS4.

The future is looking mighty-fine otherwise

Project Beast

So the next few months might be a little dry, but E3 excitement might be enough to hold us over. Here’s what I’d like to see for PS4 at E3…

Project Beast - This is Sony’s potential ace-in-the-hole. With a handful of grainy, leaked videos, the rumored next game from From Software has set forums and online discussion ablaze. It’s been suggested that this isn’t just a PS4 exclusive, but a “true” evolution of their now-classic Souls games. Implying that the endlessly-praised Dark Souls 2 is nothing but a holdover until the “real sequel” comes is a crazy notion, but man it is exciting to consider.

Destiny - Okay Bungie, E3 is the time to stop f@%king around. You’ve teased, you’ve made big claims, and you’ve confused just about everyone who has played your game. It’s time to finally tell us, flat-out, why we should care about Destiny, because I’m not seeing it. As a Bungie die-hard, my pre-order is already set in stone, but hell if I have any idea what I’m buying.

New Crystal Dynamics project - Is it a Tomb Raider sequel, or something else? There’s some rumbling of a Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver reboot, which would just make my head explode with hype. A Tomb Raider sequel would be welcome too, though, and I hope its something truly designed for new consoles with some cool innovations.

Genuinely exciting sequels - I groan a little when people conjure up their dream lists of Sony sequels because I have almost no interest in God of War 4, another Killzone game, Gran Turismo, more Wipeout, Syphon Filter, or Heavenly Sword 2. I feel like all of those franchises saw their time in last-gen, and it’s time to move on, unless Sony can convince me otherwise and show that they’re just the names of some genuinely innovative and refreshing PS4 games.

Visceral’s new Star Wars game - My last choice isn’t The Last Guardian because even if they show it, that isn’t a guarantee of anything at this point (it would be a nice win for my PS4 summer 2014 idea, though). But no, what I want to see is the new game from the Dead Space 2 devs. Hopefully Dead Space 3 was merely a stumble, because Visceral seems capable of so much more. Now they have the robust Star Wars universe, the license to “go dark” provided by the Star Wars 1313 hype train, and new hardware to fool around with. They even have Amy Hennig now, writer of some of the most well-written games in existence, like Soul Reaver and Uncharted.

There’s so much more potential cool stuff I didn’t mention. PS4 is poised to kill it at E3, and probably have a bountiful harvest of games for late 2014 and beyond. I’m just a little worried about right now. I always have plenty of old, backlogged games to dive into during a dry spell, but those with nothing but a PS4 might find this hobby a bit boring in the next few months. It would be nice if Sony fixed that.

Enjoy random thoughts about the latest games, the Sega Saturn, or the occasional movie review? Follow me @JoeDonuts!

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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