Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 415: Little Devil In The Details

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Hey folks! This week the team dives into our favorite reveals and updates from the latest State of Play.

Stuff We Talked About

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Beat Saber
  • Returnal
  • Deathloop
  • State of Play!
  • Diablo 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Alan Wake: Remastered
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Back 4 Blood
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

The Cast

Tim Turi –  Manager, Content Communications, SIE

Kristen Zitani – Senior Content Communications Specialist, SIE

Call of Duty: Vanguard Season One details, including new Warzone Pacific Caldera map

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Attention all PlayStation players, it’s time to rise on every front, as Call of Duty: Vanguard is nearly here! Starting November 5 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 experience an epic, international Campaign, signature Call of Duty Multiplayer combat, and a franchise-first Zombies crossover marking the continuation of the Dark Aether saga.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is packed to the brim with content at launch: live through the heroic moments of Task Force One in the awe-inspiring single-player campaign, experience 20 maps in Multiplayer (including 16 built for core gameplay) and the all-new Champion Hill mode, and battle the undead hordes in a franchise first crossover Zombies experience, as the Dark Aether storyline continues in Der Anfang.

Yet, November 5 is only the beginning for Vanguard. Players can expect the content to keep rolling.

Read on for details on the content arriving on the road to Season One, and find out about the brand-new map coming with Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific — Caldera.  Also, just announced, Vanguard owners will get the opportunity to have 24 hours of exclusive first play access to Caldera starting on December 2.

With that, let’s take a look at what’s arriving shortly after launch.

Shipment launches free in November

Vanguard’s content drop continues after launch in the days leading up to Season One.

Headlining that batch of free content is Shipment, the classic frenetic Multiplayer experience re-fitted for Vanguard, scheduled for a November 17 arrival. Newcomers and veterans alike can ready up for a fresh take on the map that’s entertained Call of Duty fans for over a decade.

Deploy to Caldera in Warzone Pacific

Lush forests and rocky crags. White sand beaches and mysterious ruins. A dormant volcano towering over 200-plus points of interest. The new map Caldera is just the beginning of Vanguard’s full integration into Warzone. Roughly the size of Verdansk, Caldera’s design is informed by two years of research and community feedback.

Available to all players in Season One, the Vanguard Royale mode – and later, the Vanguard Plunder mode – showcase all new content from the Season One update onwards, including weaponry and vehicles like biplanes and AA trucks.

All your Operators, Calling Cards, and more from Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare will remain in Warzone Pacific.

As mentioned above, Caldera launches with 24-hour exclusive first play access for Vanguard owners on December 2 at 9:00 AM PT.  Then, it launches for all players on December 3 at 9:00 AM PT. 

Uncover Caldera’s history in the Secrets of the Pacific event

To get players ready for the new map coming with the launch of Warzone Pacific, starting November 24 in Warzone, discover more about Caldera in the Secrets of the Pacific. This limited-time event grants vital information on Caldera and its various points of interest across Vanguard and Warzone. Each game will feature its own set of tasks and rewards.

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Share of the Week: Scary

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Last week, we asked you to take a walk on the spooky side and share some scary gaming moments using #PSshare #PSBlog. Just in time for Halloween, here are this week’s scary highlights: 

BarryPaust encounters a terrifying mold monster in Control.

CaliOcelot shares a haunting freaker in Days Gone.

Yuric83 shares a BB in some moody red lighting in Death’s Stranding.

Lunar9p has a terrifying face off in The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope.

Alien_K121 shares a spooky hallway from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

NoomiPlay shares the adorable Rot having a darker moment in Kena: Bridge of Spirits.

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? 

THEME: Returnal – Photo Mode
SUBMIT BY: Wednesday 9 AM PT on November 3

Next week, we’re looping back to the alien world of Returnal. Share epic moments with the newly released Photo Mode using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Final Fantasy VIII: Yoshinori Kitase on taking the series in a bold new direction

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As someone who worked on the original Final Fantasy VIII as Director, it’s been quite the nostalgia trip to think about the game again – particularly since the PlayStation team asked me to share some recollections of the game’s development.

By the time we started work on Final Fantasy VIII, the gameplay of RPGs was very well-established. Players were used to strengthening characters by defeating monsters, earning money and EXP, levelling up and buying equipment – we felt that both developers and users were growing a little tired of the traditional format.

With Final Fantasy VIII, we wanted to try new things in the RPG genre – explore new mechanics as well as improve on aspects of our previous work. 

Here’s the story of how it all came together.

Final Fantasy VIII: Yoshinori Kitase on taking the series in a bold new direction

Blurring the line between CG and gameplay

One area in which we innovated was the implementation of CG cutscenes. 

We used 3D CG scenes for the first time in Final Fantasy VII – I wrote about this at PlayStation Blog earlier this year. While I’m proud of what we were able to achieve, that game represented something of a transition period for us in how we used the technology. We wanted to fuse game scenes and cutscenes together, but the implementation wasn’t exactly how we wanted it.

There were parts of Final Fantasy VII where the cutscenes and real-time polygon characters looked out of place – for example, there were inconsistencies in the character proportions and polygon quality between scenes.

We worked very hard on improving this for Final Fantasy VIII. The game features multiple moments where you are able to move around the scene while the CG cutscene played, and we were able to get to a place where these in-game models appeared more naturally within these moments.

Part of the reason for this was experience. We created a CG production team for Final Fantasy VII and attempted to merge it with the conventional game team. Final Fantasy VIII was the second game we made with that team structure, and our proficiency had definitely improved. 

The team also understood that our ambition of blending gameplay and cutscenes meant that the new game’s scenes needed to be higher quality than before. The team pulled together to make that happen and that unity was reflected in the final product.

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Royale Rumble event comes to Knockout City alongside free PS5 upgrade

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Knockout City, from the beginning, has always been a wild, competitive, and social online multiplayer dodgeball game. That’s not a formula the games industry has seen before, and the team at Velan Studios has been laser-focused on bringing players new types of gameplay that they’ve never seen before. From giving players special powers in the Superpowers! Playlist during season two, to putting a special brawler’s spin on throwing balls through hoops with Basketbrawl earlier this season, to the entire concept of a timing-based competitive multiplayer dodgeball game, we’re definitely not afraid to tread new ground.

But sometimes taking a fresh game and adding something familiar makes for a perfect combination too, and that’s why we’re excited to announce the next event coming to Knockout City on November 2: Royale Rumble. November 2 is also the day Knockout City will be available to PlayStation Plus members as part of the monthly game lineup.

Royale Rumble event comes to Knockout City alongside free PS5 upgrade

Royale Rumble’s main focus is the limited-time Playlist, KO Royale. This mode puts eight players into a free-for-all, complete with a closing Danger Zone. Unlike our other FFA Playlists, KO Royale doesn’t have players respawning immediately after getting KO’d. Instead, you’ll spectate to the end of the Danger Zone to see who comes out on top. Be the last brawler standing to earn a crown. Earn two crowns to win the match. Sounds simple, but when you’re facing off seven other crown-hungry brawlers, landing that final KO with a closing Danger Zone at your heels can be a tough proposition. Are you up to the task?

As with all of our events, there’s a selection of Contracts to complete, each rewarding Holobux. Finish all of ‘em to net yourself 1500 Holobux, which is more than enough to snag this season’s Brawl Pass if you’re joining us partway through the season.

Also in Royale Rumble, there’s a whole wardrobe full of items for customizing your brawler available in the first-ever Brawl Shop sale. Not only are the prices discounted, but we’ve also brought back some limited-time items that have been locked up tight in the Bank of Knockout City’s vault ever since their events ended. The custom legendary outfits from Heatwave and Knockout City Heroes are making their first reappearance since the events ended. Don’t miss this chance to pick them up for a reduced price before they’re gone forever (again).

Royale Rumble will be sticking around until November 16 when we’ll be switching over to our next event with yet another brand new game mode that completely


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