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State of Play – October

Greatness Awaits on PlayStation 4

With almost 100 million consoles sold, all the biggest gaming franchises, a catalogue of killer exclusives and the futuristic experience that is VR, Sony’s PlayStation 4 is a gamer’s paradise. Each month we catch up on the latest and greatest PS4 news and announcements.

Big This Month

Concrete Genie

Whenever Sony releases one of its big first-party exclusives, everyone tunes in and pays attention. Sony makes great consoles, but more importantly, it makes brilliant games. The industry juggernaut is also happy to dally beyond the expectations and boundaries of your typical genres, too. Frequently committing dollars to the art of interactive entertainment. And this couldn’t be more the case, both figuratively and literally, than with Concrete Genie.

A quick glance at the screenshots is all you need to know that Sony’s usual high standards in visual quality and production values have been met. Concrete Genie is a beautiful game. However, it’s the intriguing world and unlikely hero that will capture your heart and mind.

Concrete Genie is set in a city called Denska, which is almost like an industrial ghost town. It’s dark, dank, oppressive, polluted and more-or-less abandoned. But it is here that a lonely young boy, Ash, comes to doodle in his notebook and escape his troubles. Unfortunately, he is discovered by a group of bullies, who steal his book and pull it apart, scattering the pages across the world.

Naturally, your quest is to find your missing pages, but that is where the clichés end. You see, Ash discovers a magic paint brush and begins using it to draw pictures and murals on the walls. And whatever he draws comes to life, bringing warmth back to the world. Using the DualShock 4’s motion controls, you create these pictures, with your design and colour choices impacting the powers and abilities granted to the creatures you create.

Drawing also becomes a key part of the puzzle-solving in the world as you progress an unlock more neighbourhoods across Denska. Plus, you need to traverse carefully to avoid the bullies and fix up any artwork they destroy on their warpath. Perhaps your art may even help them turn a corner in the way they behave?

 The net result is a game that offers more than just a good time and interesting mechanics, but a deeper conversation about our impact on our world and on those we share it with. Kudos to Sony! Concrete Genie is out on October 9.

Also Out This Month

Borderlands 3 (Out Now): A new cast of vault hunters leave the planet Pandora well behind, heading to a range of celestial bodies across the galaxy. There are four base character traits to begin with, but the personalisation features – in both abilities and weapons – expand massively from there. Great for co-op play.

FIFA 20 (Sep 27): This year’s edition of the famous soccer sim adds in VOLTA Football to its vast range of existing modes and leagues. Similar to the FIFA Street series, this is ghetto play, with fields based in neighbourhoods, a range of street-based mode types, new trick-heavy gameplay and heaps of customisation.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint (Oct 4): Either solo or in the series’ iconic four-player co-op mode, this gorgeous, tactical military shooter is immersive fun. As an elite ghost, you find yourself stuck behind enemy lines, and must work out a way of surviving and escaping the hot zone, which is a vast open-world.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince (Oct 8): If you haven’t caught this delicious side-scrolling, co-op indie series yet, you are missing out. Amazing visuals present a world high on imagination. While the physics-driven gameplay will tickle your brain as much as your thumbs.


Keep an Eye Out For… Erica

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you can’t get any stranger than Erica. Announced and released on the same day, Erica is an interactive movie that focuses on story rather than gameplay. Starring real actors, you use the touchpad to interact with the world and in-doing so, initiating new bits of footage. You have choices to make as you go that change the way you view the story. This encourages multiple playthroughs to get varying perspectives, although the story itself doesn’t vary much. It’s not for everyone, but Erica is a curious concept worth exploring at its bargain price.

Just Announced for PlayStation

Out of the blue, Electronic Arts has announced that not only is a new Need for Speed game coming to PS4, but it will be out on November 8!  Called Need for Speed Heat, it’s a throwback to the NFS Underworld games, focusing back on customisation and car culture in an open world filled with challenges and police. The tone is very much neon-soaked, Miami style, and the gameplay offers forgiving handling and Fast and the Furious style arcade features like nitro. We also like the GTA style police presence; the more chaos you cause, the more 5-0 join the chase. Sounds like fun!


For the full article grab the October 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

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