Just when you thought we were all done with the shows and conferences and expos and conventions, Sony decides to pop its head into another corner of the world. This year they passed over the Gamescom briefing in Germany to allow themselves a more even spread across the conference circuit rounded out with E3 and Tokyo Game Show. This time Sony chose to come to Paris, the city of love, towers (that explains Ubisoft), and motor racing. It’s not much of a step down, either, as Paris Games Week has grown since it started in 2010 to become the 2nd-largest games show in the world. So let’s get down to business and see what was up for show. There’s a lot of ground to cover here.

Jim Ryan, SCEE President, began the night by slowly listing the games that had come to the PS4 this year and, politely, waiting for applause for each. How kind. Then it was on to Call of Duty: Black Ops III, displaying the ever-popular zombies mode and announcement that every map pack would be available 30 days early for PS4 players. Then it was Battlefront with an impressive trailer showing off more of the maps and missions that would be available, along with new hero characters – Han Solo, Leia, Palpatine, and Boba Fett. It was interesting to see that the Rebels actually had a number of non-human races in their ranks…could this be implemented in the game itself?

The yogi has aged rather well.

The yogi has aged rather well.

Then it was time for a few fighters – first up, Yoshinori Ono had a new character reveal for Street Fighter V – a newly-bearded Dhalsim. Still spouting flames and twisting around like that Stretch Armstrong doll from your childhood. This time it seems he can hover in the air and launch arcing flames. Nifty. Ono made a brief joke about the next presenter being a fighter in the game, a joke he thought hilarious enough that he couldn’t stop laughing as he left the stage, leaving Katsuhiro Harada to show off a new Tekken 7 trailer, along with a flashback reel to celebrate 20 years of the series. Much later in the conference, it was also announced that Tekken 7 would be making an appearance on Playstation VR, though it’s anyone’s guess how that will work just yet.

In further PvP news, 2K/Gearbox’s 5-on-5 shooter Battleborn had a new trailer displaying a few of the several modes available, from the Meltdown mode where minions were led to their doom in a giant machine to a standard capture-the-flag affair. The aesthetics and combat are very reminiscent of their work in Borderlands. There were also promises of story modes and solo campaigns for those who’d rather sit out the multiplayer death battles.

Not sure I can trust these guys...

Not sure I can trust these guys…

At the 25-minute mark came the first brand-new game. Boundless, from UK-based Wonderstruck, features boxy humanoids as they travel through odd-looking portals that take them to new lands where everything is even boxier. There’s unique life out there to explore. It looked a bit like Minecraft meets No Man’s Sky minus the spacey bits in the latter.

Following that was a bit of an oddity – Vector, a music game with collaboration between Hello There Games and the DJ Avicii.  The trailer wasn’t very clear on just what the game was about, as it mostly involved scenes of various DJ events and a voiceover about how it would evoke the feeling of competing DJs. So…competetive rhythm game, then?

We were treated to another display of a few of the worlds in No Man’s Sky via a trailer that featured a bit more combat and even a voiceover by Rutger Hauer. And though the (obviously false) rumors of its stealth release were proven untrue, a release window was finally set – mark your calendars for June 2016. Hopefully there will still be planets left to discover, as it seems the trailers are taking them all.

In a bit of an odd move, Housemarque brought a trailer to show off a brand-new game – Matterfall – while they’ve still yet to release their other game, Alienation. There wasn’t much to it, as it was all CGI, but it seems you’ll play a power-suited warrior with a gun for an arm, blasting enemies into all the voxels the PS4 can possibly handle. Pretty, but the trailer is probably far from what the game will actually look like.

A brief trailer from Insomniac Games showed Ratchet & Clank looking just as ratchety and clanky as ever, so do look forward to the duo coming to PS4 in Spring of 2016.

A decently long look at Horizon: Zero Dawn came next. Some of the free-form aspect of gameplay was shown off, with the main character setting up tripwire traps along a riverbed before scaring a herd of mechanical dinosaurs into stampeding through the traps. It was nice to see that the environment was actually affected, explosions leveling large boulders and trees. A larger beast came to see what all the ruckus was about, prompting a fight similar to the reveal trailer at E3.

Vroom vroom

Vroom vroom

Leaked just before the conference, Driveclub Bikes was not only announced, but was made available as soon as the conference ended. Certainly a lot better than how the whole Driveclub incident turned out. It’s available as both an expansion for Driveclub owners and a standalone for those who don’t have the vanilla game.

Keiichiro Toyama came out to discuss the new battle system coming to Gravity Rush 2. In addition to an AI companion that can be called upon to help out with the tougher battles, there are now 3 modes of gravity. “Lunar” mode will make everything light, allowing you to zip through the sky faster than ever, while “Jupiter” mode will have the opposite effect, adding extra weight to everything. While slowing you down, it will add extra power to your attacks.

Naughty Dog was next on stage to discuss the Uncharted 4 multiplayer component, with elements drawn from the studio’s previous games. New additions to the combat include the ability to summon AI helpers that can help out in a variety of ways from attacking enemies to healing allies. Also, it seems the series has embraced it’s more supernatural side by allowing characters to obtain special powers – Elena was shown bursting in red flames before dashing off and Drake came equipped with a totem grenade, releasing powerful evil spirits to attack the enemies.

All apparently custom-made

All apparently custom-made

One of the more interesting presentations was the in-depth look at Media Molecule’s Dreams. Every player begins with a fully customizable “imp” that serves as the cursor, which moves according to the controller’s movements. It can also interact with objects, lifting and tossing them about. Moreover, it can enter different characters within a dream, allowing the player to control that character. Certain dreams will allow visiting players to edit them, as was seen when an entire forest was stamped into the first area. Others are more restrictive, as the next dream only allowed players could use what they could find in the dream to solve a puzzle and leave the area. The sheer amount of customization is incredible, and it looks promising. There’s a beta coming in 2016, though we don’t know exactly when, yet.

VR was the next item on the agenda, taking up a decent amount of the remaining time as Shuhei Yoshida, PSVR’s shining champion, came to speak about some of the projects that “over 200 developers” are working on. There was another RIGS demonstration, along with the announcement of a new horror title for the unit – Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Not much is known about it, though it seems more a tech piece as it put the player on a roller coaster for a (literally) on-rails experience.

Little boys love dinosaurs, but perhaps not this boy...

Little boys love dinosaurs, but perhaps not this boy…

Cevat Yerli of Crytek came up to announce that the studio behind the CryEngine was definitely interested in Playstation VR and that their previously announced title, Robinson: The Journey, would be available. It features a young boy and a small robot as they attempt to escape from a crash of stomping dinosaurs before encountering a carnivore. While the video was impressive, it’s doubtful that it was representative of the final product for now.

Not finished yet –  Rebellion Developments, the team behind the Sniper Elite series, had a trailer to show off their own virtual-reality game. Battle Zone is a polygonal tank battler with lots of blocky explosions.

Shuhei then switched gears to talk about how the Playstation VR technology wasn’t good for just video games but had other applications as well. This was something I was happy to see, as I’ve felt that gambling everything on games was a bit too much, and a bit of a waste for something that’s arguably the best head-mounted VR device at the moment. A brief video showed the headset being used to give people a taste of The Walk, a film about a high-wire artist. People walked along a rope on the floor while the headset showed the view from the artist’s perspective. The VR could easily be used in marketing and promotional efforts, so maybe we’ll see this in more commonplace areas.

A Playstation staple franchise made its return in Paris as Kazunori Yamauchi of Polyphonic Digital announced Gran Turismo Sport, featuring all of the lovely graphics and supercars that people have come to expect from the series. But that’s not all. Starting with this title, Gran Turismo will be officially recognized by FIA, and winners of a year-round tournament will be awarded prizes alongside actual racing champions. Oh, and they’re also currently testing out Playstation VR as well.

Michel Ansel arrived on stage to talk about Wild, initially announced at Gamescom in 2014. While that reveal trailer sure did have a lot of nature and animals in it, there wasn’t much we could learn about the gameplay. Ansel fixed that with a live demonstration of a shaman on his quest to save a villager from snake venom. To get to a sacred sanctuary and make a deal with a snake deity, the shaman transferred consciousness to an eagle, a bear, a rabbit, and a flock of ravens, each with unique skill sets. It seems like it will be a very open-ended game in how each problem is approached, with all sorts of animals available depending on the region, time of day, and weather. Very impressive.

Some androids would prefer not to be for sale...

Some androids would prefer not to be for sale…

To close out the show, David Cage of Quantic Dream was up to present a brand new project with some slightly older roots. Several years ago, the studio released a short video entitled “Kara” – a tech demo for the PS3’s capabilities. It was a story of an android who was built to serve the whims of her owner, but while she was being constructed, she began to think she was alive. After millions of views and several questions, the team decided to flesh out the story, setting it in a city that has had its shares of ups and downs, and thus Detroit: Become Human was…ahem..born, following the events of the android’s life after leaving the factory.

And there you have it. There’s quite a bit to chew on, and hopefully something catches your interest!