Big Screen Lab

TOP UPCOMING NEW GAMES OF 2019-20

OVERALL

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (COMING MAR 3, 2020)

BORDERLANDS 3 (COMING SEP 13, 2019)

CYBERPUNK 2077 (COMING APR 15,2020)

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING (COMING SEP 20. 2019)

STAR WARS – JEDI: FALLEN ORDER (COMING NOV 15, 2019)

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a blockbuster game launch for Sony.

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Today, Square Enix re-confirmed Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s status as a PS4 exclusive at launch, stating they have no plans to release the game on other platforms. One of the PS4’s biggest exclusive titles remains just that, and it’s a bigger deal than you might think.

With this generation of games currently winding down, Final Fantasy VII Remake remains one of the last surefire bets to sell well. It’s also scheduled for release on March 2020, where it will help generate buzz for the PS5 and Final Fantasybrands ahead of the next generation of consoles.

This is where the exclusivity really factors in. PS4’s near 100 million install base bodes well for PS5, however, positive reviews for FFVII Remake could make fans of other consoles jump onboard. Let’s be honest, there’s a very real chance FFVII Remake Part 2 would be a PS5 exclusive, too. That’s surely a very tempting thought for Final Fantasy and JRPG fans.

There is a rumor FFVII: Remake Part 2 would be a PS5 exclusive.

There’s also a possibility for a re-release of Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS5 as a major selling point for early adopters. With enhanced graphics and minimal load times thanks to the next-gen console’s power, it could entice double-dipping from gamers that picked up the PS4 version. Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s PS4 exclusivity isn’t just about the here and now, and it could shape the early days of the next generation of consoles too.

Here’s where I get to be a little more speculative about the impact of Final Fantasy VII Remake, a game I went hands-on with at E3 2019. From what I saw, it’s going to be one of the biggest releases of this console generation and could even create a new generation of Final Fantasy fans. It’s that good.

The timing of Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s launch is interesting to me because it’s so close to the next-gen of consoles. It could quite easily affect the hype for Xbox Scarlett if it’s as good as its E3 demo led me to believe. It will likely boost interest in the PlayStation brand ahead of a possible PS5 announcement and its launch, likely in Fall 2020.

FFVII Remake will likely boost interest in the PlayStation brand ahead of a possible PS5 announcement and its launch.

If Final Fantasy VII Remake eventually comes to Xbox, then the damage will have already been done. Imagine a world where it re-releases in late 2020 on the PS5 with the upgrades that would come with that leap. It would instantly become a tangible reason to own the console, and its release on other platforms would have their impact significantly dulled down.

That’s to say nothing of a potential exclusivity deal that Square and Sony could work on for Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s Part 2. Believe it or not, one of the biggest launches in the history of the PS4 could end up playing an even bigger role in the longevity and success of the PS5.

Borderlands 3:Is it that good then it’s predecessors?

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For the last three or four years, Borderlands 3 has been regularly appearing in lists of games expected to be a no-brainer for an E3 reveal. It’s been five years since The Pre-Sequel and seven since Borderlands 2, which is an unheard-of length of time to wait for a new game in a successful franchise – at least as far as the logic of most other publishers go. But this year the predictions finally came true and not only was Borderlands 3 at E3 but it was the biggest game of the show.

We use ‘biggest’ in the literal sense of the word, as not only did it have the largest stand for a single game but it also had the longest queues, with those poor souls that had paid to get in, as members of the public, queueing up for hours to get 20 minutes of hand-on. And to be honest, we’d have to say it wasn’t really worth it. Not because the game wasn’t any good but because it was single-player only and 20 minutes wasn’t really time to learn anything that you couldn’t have guessed from the trailers. It was nice to see that the gunplay was a little more refined than the original, with a better sense of weight to the weapons and some very satisfying headshots – but we already knew that from the reveal back in May. The combat still isn’t that different from the previous games though, and not quite up to the standards of Destiny’s action, but despite what many assumed this is not a sequel that’s trying to compete with any other looter shooter. After all, Borderlands invented the concept and clearly doesn’t feel it has to play by anyone else’s rules. What is different about Borderlands 3 is that there’s now multiple planets to explore, instead of just one, as well as four brand new characters and much more expansive skill trees. But the basic looter shooter gameplay is just the same as always, as is the distinctive comic book style art and the irreverent sense of humor. We feel fairly confident that Borderlands 3 is exactly what fans have been waiting for and the reason a 20-minute demo seems so pointless is that that’s a flash in the pan compared to the hundreds of hours many will be spending on the game. But if the hands-on wasn’t that enlightening the chat with art director Scott Kester was. He’s been working on the series since the beginning and has been a party to all of the franchise’s major creative decisions, from delaying work on the new sequel to the iconic art style itself… Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia Publisher: 2K Developer: Gearbox Software Release Date: 13th September 2019

Cyberpunk 2077: Awesome Futuristic storyboard with the presence of Keanu Reeves

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CD Projekt Red has created quite the name for themselves. The Polish developer is mainly known for The Witcher series, but lately, they’ve been looking to branch out. Originally announced back in 2013, CD Projekt Red proposed its ambitious Cyberpunk 2077 title. It wouldn’t have been until 2018 that we would really see the game in action. Now, during E3 2019, Cyberpunk 2077 not only gave us more details, but it also gave us one of the biggest surprises of the show: Keanu Reeves. The One aside, CD Projekt Red had a new gameplay demo to show at this year’s E3, and we have to say, it still looks awesome.

The easiest way to describe Cyberpunk 2077 is like a more open world Deus Ex. Taking place in the futuristic Night City, cybernetic enhancements and hacking have become the norm. The game mostly plays from a first-person perspective, but there will be times that players will have a third-person view, usually when using vehicles. Like Deus Ex, the game gives options as to how to tackle each situation based on the way the player modifies their skill set. The protagonist, V, is fully customizable, right down to gender, body modifications, and background. If players choose to spec V to be a hacker, they can hack terminals and machines to progress. If they spec out their body modifications for strength, they can strong-arm their way through.

Watching the demo, V was given a mission by the Voodoo Boys, a gang that didn’t seem quite that trustworthy. It was here that we had a glimpse at the quick reactionary choices, as V’s hand was taken to the link to a network, the player is given a choice to quickly withdraw their hand. Choices are important to Cyberpunk 2077, and sometimes, we have to make the tough decisions. Allowing the network link, V is now on the same network as Placide, a high ranking member of the gang. He assigns V to help defeat a rival gang, the Animals, and recover a special chip. It’s when V establishes this link that we also see Johnny Silverhand, Keanu Reeves’ character, in V’s system. Johnny is constant communication, with 15 days worth of dialogue recorded for the game.

V takes a motorcycle, making his way to the Grand Imperial Mall where Placide instructed him to go. Upon reaching the mall, we meet up with a couple of Voodoo Boys. It’s worth mentioning that this entire time, there are no load times, and it remains that way for the entirety of the demo. The Voodoo Boys instruct V to go in from the back, as it’s the safest way. Our presenter checks out the front, seeing it’s heavily guarded, so he takes the advice to go through the back. Working into the hideout, it shows that Cyberpunk 2077 has plenty of stealth options, just like Deus Ex. Hiding behind various objects, sneaking past fields of vision, even taking advantage of enemy actions, it’s all part of the system. A couple of guards leave to check out the Voodoo Boys in front and V continues to sneak inside.

Getting to a hallway, V hacked a security camera and made his way past more guards. Shortly after, V reached an atrium where he could see the Animals planning something. It was here that our demo reached a brief interruption, the presenters loading up a different take on the scene. Taking a female version of V into the mission, this V had a focus on strength. Instead of hacking into the system, she forced open a door and went a different route. This route was much shorter and even got us to the atrium faster. It shows that based on player decisions, they may see completely different parts of Cyberpunk 2077.

Getting into the combat, it seemed that the strength specs gives a few advantages. Moving up to an automated turret, V can remove the gun and use it to deliver a barrage of bullets. Now, on the other hand, a hacking specialist V can take control of the turret, making it shoot enemies for you. Two very different options based on the choices of the player. Nanowire is another cool weapon that players can use in multiple situations. Players can use it as a powerful whip, slicing through enemies like butter. A V with hacking capabilities may even use the Nanowire to hack from a distance.

After seeing the combat, with guns blazing and lots of enemies, it seems the target is very aware of V’s presence. Trying to make a run for it, V gives chase and ends up catching up to him, only for the demo to end. This was just a taste of what Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer, and it was very impressive. The world is full of incredible detail, looking like a game from a future generation. The colorful details and gritty atmosphere blend so perfectly that it’s truly an incredible work of art. CD Projekt Red may have grown used to The Witcher series, but it’s clear they have an understanding of the Cyberpunk world.

Cyberpunk 2077 was nominated as one of BigScreenLab’s Best of E3 2019, and even became one of our runner-ups. Had it been playable, it may have taken home the win, but we’ll likely have to wait till its release in April next year. We can’t wait to become immersed in this world, and we’re sure many others can’t wait either. Cyberpunk 2077 will be releasing on April 20th, 2020, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

At E3 we were able to play a 15-minute hands-on demo for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. When the remake was announced, it was clear that the idea was to bring the game up to speed with current graphics, but maintain every bit of essence that made it great in the first place. If you’re a nostalgic one, and, you liked this game before, you’re going to love it now! Nostalgic much Nintendo? Yes, a very resounding and happy yes!

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING

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I was able to play the demo myself. It started right at the very beginning of the game. The moment Marin started her conversation with the just awoken link, everything came back to my memory. Every piece of dialog and every environmental detail is there. From Syrup in her witch hut to Tarin becoming a raccoon. The amount of care and love poured into this title is breathtaking. Picking up your sword that’s washed away on the beach, using your shield to deflect. Everything felt inspired in the original, yet it felt smooth and responsive.

STAR WARS – JEDI: FALLEN ORDER

 

I was able to make it to the first dungeon. Sadly, then, my time was over. Every NPC, every little quest and enemy position is there. I loved how much it resembles the original game but still manages to amaze with how fluid gameplay feels. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening truly brings the best of a classic masterpiece and melds it with today’s technology. We couldn’t be more excited for what Nintendo has done with this entry on The Legend of Zelda franchise!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a single-player, action-adventure set between the third and fourth films (after the Republic was dismantled and as the Empire is starting to take shape). You play as one of the Jedi who survives the events surrounding Order 66, where the clone army exterminated their Jedi commanders. As a young Cal Kestis, you must do whatever it takes to survive, doing your best to evade the Empire and its agents.

So, now we’ve covered the overarching narrative, it’s probably time to dive into the more nitty-gritty parts of the game. Whilst we were at E3, we got some hands-on time with the title, during which we got to play around with the mechanics in a combat training arena. Granted we didn’t get to take a look at the full playable demo, but what we did see gave us enough of an insight into how the title’s diverse control scheme works.

Unlike the Jedi/Sith gameplay in the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront games, Fallen Order is about strategy and tackling each fight with the utmost concern for your life. You can’t just run into combat expecting to steamroll whatever unfortunate enemy walks into your path because that will likely mean death. This is a game about being a Jedi, and that means playing smart, taking calculated actions, and above all else, having the ability to remain calm during stressful situations.

Fallen Order allows players to freely move and jump whenever they’d like, but there are more interesting mechanics built around traversing the world that is a little more unusual. You can evade attacks, for example, by using a combat-roll, as well as lock onto enemies during combat to make every duel feel as authentic as possible. On top of this, by simply holding down a trigger, players can deflect and block with their lightsabers. This will protect them against the most basic of attacks but it does come with a maximum number of usages before being broken (although more about blocking will be mentioned soon when we get to parrying). As a final brief mention, players can heal in the game by asking the little droid on Cal’s back to fix him up. This healing ability has a limited number of uses and can be interrupted, meaning finding the right time to help yourself is of the highest priority.

The basics of the combat system in Fallen Order might make the fleeting eye think of it as a hack and slash game, however, it’s when you peer just beneath the surface that it really comes to life. There are parry mechanics which can be activated by blocking at the moment a strike is about to hit, and these are tied to timing, similar to old school Assassin’s Creed games where you press the button at the right moment and you can basically eliminate anyone attacking you. That said, it’s worth mentioning that parrying a blow can only be done during a tight window, making errors and taken damage all the more commonplace. As well as simply parrying basic enemy swings, players can deflect blaster rounds fired at them by blocking as the shot is about to hit, sending it straight back at the shooter.

On top of this, there are two types of attack, a standard single attack and the more powerful heavy attack (which uses the Force to increase its power). To perform heavy attacks, players must have enough Force power available, which can be gained by attacking enemies or by being out of combat. Whilst these attacks can break enemy blocks and deal heaps of damage, they are slow to perform, leaving you open to attack yourself.

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