The Last Guardian

Dec 29

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PlayStation Developers Name Top 2015 Gaming Moments

Fred Dutton's Avatar Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 // SCEE Blog Manager

As you’ll likely be aware, we’re in the process of finding out which games you all enjoyed most in 2015, via our annual Game of the Year polls – a process which should provide a pretty accurate snapshot at where the PlayStation community’s head is at after a busy year of gaming.

However, what about the developers; the hard-working folk who stoke the flames of our beloved pastime? What fired their creative synapses this year?

It’s rather less scientific than a democratic vote, but I got in touch with a number of key PlayStation developers to find out about their stand-out gaming moments of the past 12 months. Have a read below, feel free to share your own highlights in the comments, and then come back tomorrow to find out what the same group of developers are excited for in 2016.

Paul Rustchynsky, Game Director (Driveclub), Evolution Studios

“The Gothic city of Yharnam in Bloodborne is my most memorable gaming memory of the year. The combination of complex interweaving routes, devious enemy placement and beauty in the darkness really set this apart as a stand-out location. One that I’ve recently had the absolute pleasure of revisiting for The Old Hunters DLC!”

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Aki Raula, Lead Designer (Matterfall); Housemarque

“The stranger-than-strange decisions I had to make in Life is Strange. Powerful and moving choices that really had an impact on me, even days after. No spoilers – just play it.”

Adrian Chmielarz, Creative Director (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter), The Astronauts

“Unfortunately, revealing my favorite moment of 2015 would be an awful spoiler. Let’s just say it’s something that happens in the last two hours of Until Dawn, which is my personal game of the year, despite the strong competition from the likes of SOMA, The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4.

“Until Dawn features one of the best implementations of player choice I have ever seen in a video game, and to me it shows there’s a great future ahead for this type of entertainment.”

Mare Sheppard, Co-founder, Metanet Software (N++)

“Not a specific moment, but the dozens of tragic deaths incurred in The Swindle still linger. Inevitably, when the stakes are high, there will be a flubbed jump, an unfortunate slip, a slightly mis-timed attack, or an otherwise ill-advised move which brings it all crashing down on us — teaching us what not to do, one agonising loss after another.”

Mike Bithell, Founder, Mike Bithell Games (Volume)

“Metal Gear Solid V was the source of many of my favourite gaming moments of 2015. Running around in the hills, trying to cut off a patrol, or spending half an hour trying to find a particular goat to attach a balloon to. The emergence of the systems, the way in which you had to adapt on the fly as situations changed, made that game a remarkable experience.”

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Tom Jones, Principal Artist (RIGS Mechanized Combat League), Guerrilla Cambridge

“Aside from having some amazing multiplayer experiences in Destiny, my stand out moment was in Everybody Gone to The Rapture when one of the character stories ended for the first time. The resulting explosion of lights was so beautifully done, both visually and audibly, that it basically took my breath away!”

Shahid Ahmad, Developer

“If I have to choose a game, it has to be watching colleagues all around me whooping in delight or crying in despair during multi-player sessions of Tricky Towers, which is coming soon to PS4.”

Peter Field, Game Designer (Dreams), Media Molecule

“That moment when you finally work out what’s going on in Sam Barlow’s amazing Her Story. I think I yelped out loud on a very crowded train. It has some great twists and its closing moments are absolutely chilling!”

Simon Harris, Executive Producer (Until Dawn: Rush of Blood), Supermassive Games

“Mine has to be defeating Father Gasgoine in Bloodborne. I’ve piled a bunch of time into all three of the previous titles – Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls 1 & 2, but with all of them I reached a boss or an area I couldn’t defeat with a few retries and often abandoned them as other games came out and the call of not banging my head against a virtual wall appealed more.

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“With Father Gasgoine, I thought I had hit the same point. Initially I couldn’t get even remotely close to beating him. However, I persevered and eventually beat him, triggering that amazing euphoria which is almost unique to FromSoftware’s titles, of gradually, try-by-try, getting closer and closer and then eventually overcoming the obstacle.

“I have since gone on to beat a significant chunk of the title, but still haven’t finished it, so it’s still on my playlist.”

Thomas Grip, Co-founder, Frictional Games (SOMA)

“Until Dawn renewed my faith in the interactive movie genre. This is mostly due to a combination of the ‘anyone can die’ mechanic, along with the ability to anticipate certain outcomes and plan your choices.

“The major problem I normally have with these sorts of games is that I am simply reacting to what is thrown at me, and not given room to use any tactics. But in Until Dawn, I felt that my knowledge of the story was of great use, and that my choices mattered. It is far from perfect, but it showed me as a designer that sometimes just little tweaks to a formula can have huge results.”

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Jun Yoshino, Producer (Bloodborne), SCEE

“So many great games came out this year… It’s definitely good to be back roaming around the wastelands of Fallout 4, but as a massive Star Wars fan it has to be taking part in the Battle of Hoth in Star Wars Battlefront. The visuals, audio and the scale just made for a breath-taking experience. Definitely, for me, the gaming highlight of 2015.”

Dominic Matthews, Product Development Manager (Hellblade), Ninja Theory

“As a Englishman born in 1984, walking into the countryside village of Yaughton for the first time in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was a special moment. I felt like I was walking into my childhood. It’s fantastic that The Chinese Room were given the chance to make a creatively risky game and, in my opinion, they totally nailed it.”

Pekka Kujansuu, Gameplay Programmer (Alienation), Housemarque

“Defeating the last boss in Bloodborne on my first try was an amazing moment of triumph in such a difficult game.”

Brynley Gibson, Executive Producer (PlayStation VR), SCE London Studio

“The key gaming moment for me has to be Destiny: The Taken King. This is where that game really started to deliver on the promise of what it set out to be. It was simply better across the board, ate my life and, man, did I become obsessed with opening chests on the Dreadnought.”

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Rex Crowle, Lead Creator (Tearaway Unfolded), Media Molecule

“So my gaming moment of the year is (and I’m trying to not to spoil anything here) a scene from Life Is Strange, where I tried to save someone from dying, and failed. Probably most of the games I played this year involved having to save characters at some point, but during Life Is Strange was the only time I failed to do so and really felt it. I couldn’t just have another attempt, the scene didn’t restart, the game continued with the aftermath. And I had to deal with that loss, just like all the other characters in the game.”

“My other memorable moment was right at the start of Fallout 4 when I found Dogmeat at the truck stop, I love the Fallout games and finding my trusty canine companion felt like settling right back into that world with an old friend.”

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Dylan Cuthbert, Founder, Q-Games (The Tomorrow Children)

“Bloodborne of course! Every boss battle is a memorable gaming moment but I particularly liked the moment I first took down one of those big heavy fat guys in the first town.”

Simon Bennett, Co-founder, Roll7 (OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood)

“For me it was the moment I beat John (our Creative Director and game beast) at Rocket League with a flying goal. A simple but awesome pleasure…”

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Luke Borrett, Producer (Hatoful Boyfriend), Mediatonic

“It’s a tonally contradictory toss-up between beating Ludwig in the Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC and nailing a song perfectly in Persona 4 Dancing All Night. Two very different experiences, resulting in similarly crushing failure, followed by the giddy exhilaration of success. Who knew demon slaying and throwing J-pop fuelled shapes had so much in common?”

Matt Birch, Founder, Heavy Spectrum (Shadow of the Beast)

“It’s been a great year to be a gamer. I remember playing The Order 1886, being blown away by the fidelity of the graphics, and really enjoying the sequence where you take over the airship.

“I also loved playing Batman Arkham Knight and the clever way the game narrated to you. Anyone who’s played it will know what I mean!

“I also had some lovely moments with smaller titles. I found Toren a really lovable experience and found myself captivated by the unique atmosphere in Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture.”

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Corey Davis, Design Director, Psyonix (Rocket League)

“The Shadows of Yharnam boss fight in Bloodborne. You end up fighting three bosses at once, plus giant snakes that emerge from the ground. It made excellent use of the mobility built into Bloodborne’s combat.

“With every good game like that — the Souls series, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, etc. – there’s a fight that makes you feel like you’ve achieved some really satisfying level of mastery over the combat system. Shadows of Yharnam was that moment for me in Bloodborne.”

Nathan Vella, Co-founder, Capybara Games (Super Time Force Ultra)

“A short while ago I attended PlayStation Experience 2015 in San Francisco and was lucky enough to be given a shot at playing Rez Infinite wearing the full body vibration suit. Rez by itself is amazing. Rez in VR is wonderful. Rez in VR wearing a suit that provides intense vibration feedback tied directly to the game, its interactions and its music? Now that’s damn memorable. Just look at me!”

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Masaaki Yamagiwa, Producer (Bloodborne), SCE Japan Studio

“The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt released in the same year as Bloodborne and is also a huge RPG title. It’s made so very well that you are just completely immersed in its world. Also, the free post-release DLC made me feel that the developer really wants the best for the players and wants them to enjoy the game as much as possible. It gave me an impression that the developers are really working for the player’s enjoyment and I admire that so much.”

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Alex Perry, QA Technician (Dreams), Media Molecule

“The big gaming moment for me was being able to load up Tearaway Unfolded at home on my own PS4 with a friend and seeing how beautiful it was out in the real world, having spent so much time with it in development. That was super-exciting to experience with a fresh pair of eyes.”

//Add Your Own

31 Comments

1

+ gerneric123 on December 29th, 2015 at 7:22 am said:

I loved it when your boss said Vita owners should suck rocks if they ever expected the company that made the platform to support it with games. Did I say loved? I meant loathed.


     

    + MakaiOokami on December 29th, 2015 at 7:49 am said:

    Not sure who said that. You gave no real context, and a google search for a similar quote came up with no results, however the reason why Sony isn’t making exclusives, is because the handheld more millions to be dumped into how pretty the graphics are, than is economically feasible.

    The real problem with the Vita, is that there was no 3 decades worth of games that are kid friendly to pump out in droves. Nintendo had Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and they have had those games for decades. (Newest one out of that batch was Animal Crossing at 2001)

    Sure Sony had Little Big Planet, but that series only 8 years old, and most store clerks will point to a Mario, and when parents look at what handheld to get for their kid, they see Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Borderlands bundled in with the system, Uncharted, Ninja Gaiden, Mortal Kombat, etc.

    Sure they both get the Lego games, but the Vita doesn’t have as much shovelware, but parents and young kids don’t mind those shovelware games if they have Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Nintendogs + Cats, Professor Layton, How to Train your Brain…

    Not having Monster Hunter, and the PSP hacks didn’t help either.


     

    + erapago on December 29th, 2015 at 8:10 am said:

    Please stop embarrassing us.


     

    + gerneric123 on December 29th, 2015 at 10:10 am said:

    @MakaiOokami I stopped reading after the first paragraph. Google “Yoshita confirms no first party games for Vita” and you’ll find your answer. It’s not even exclusives, Sony is just doing nothing on Vita in general. Not even MLB roster updates. Genuinely a terrible company that hates the people that made the mistake of buying one of their platforms. But hey, please buy PSVR for $350 on day 1!


2

+ OnTheBus666 on December 29th, 2015 at 7:45 am said:

My favorite moment in gaming from the past year was when I retuned to hunters dream in bloodborne after defeating a certain boss only to be shocked at what I came back too. The music the graphics and the strangeness of it all make that game stand way out from the pack.


     

    + DarkoBeej on December 29th, 2015 at 8:23 am said:

    Did you ever find (I forget the name of the place) but the fake hunters dream replica hidden away in the world? It was so eerie walking around that place and I was so on edge that something big and angry was about to pop out at any second.


3

+ Senjutsu_Dav on December 29th, 2015 at 7:49 am said:

Haha nice ones.

It may be supprising, but my best moment was when I finally beat the 4th boss of Rogue Legacy! ^_^


4

+ Dethfuse on December 29th, 2015 at 7:49 am said:

My favorite gaming moment this year wasn’t even from playing a game. Me and my buddy drove three hours to watch the PlayStation E3 conference live in a theater. Everyone there was excited and we cheered when game after game was shown. But when the trailer came on for the FF7 remake the entire theater exploded with cheering. I’ve never been in a situation like that, where 50+ people were screaming from excitement. I was exhilarating. Makes me glad that I get to be part of the PlayStation community.


5

+ gotenberg on December 29th, 2015 at 7:56 am said:

Anybody knows what happened to ” Deep Down” and “Let it die” titles?
If these are canceled just say it SONY. just say it !
Don’t announce a game that you are not sure about it !
You owe me an explanation about “AGENT” too !!!


     

    + djnekoko on December 29th, 2015 at 2:53 pm said:

    Barking up the wrong tree. Sony isn’t the dev lead on any of those.
    Want to know what’s up with Deep Down? Yell at Capcom/COG
    Want to know what’s up with Let It Die? Yell at GungHo/Grasshopper
    Want to know what’s up with Agent? Yell at Rockstar.


     

    + Devilking-Nikkai on December 30th, 2015 at 7:24 am said:

    I don’t know about Deep Down, but the rest of the games u mentioned ARE Coming.
    I’m still waiting for RIME tho, this game visual looks fantastic. If it make right, it could be the next JOURNEY!


6

+ SaviorMachine on December 29th, 2015 at 7:56 am said:

Ahh, Gascoigne. Poor Gascoigne.


     

    + OnTheBus666 on December 29th, 2015 at 8:15 am said:

    Easily the most tragic tale in the game


     

    + DarkoBeej on December 29th, 2015 at 8:25 am said:

    Yeah seriously, i remember distinctly when I put that all together with the little girl and her ribbon and everything….yeeesh!


7

+ sealum01 on December 29th, 2015 at 8:11 am said:

What a lovely feature!! I’m so glad that games like Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (one of my personal top 2015 titles) has gotten some esteemed recognition by these titans of the industry. Of course, I also am glad that Bloodborne was praised for being a fantastic adventure. There were may other great games mentioned as well, and I’m still waiting to start Life Is Strange, and looking forward to getting Until Dawn!

My top pick for 2015, however, was The Talos Principle on PS4. I found it to be an outstanding puzzle game (complete with built-in expansion DLC), with an interesting world and story brimming over with mystery and begging to be explored. It is also quite a large game, allowing for many hours of play, especially for completionists! Its priming me for The Witness, which will be mine in about a month and is far-and-away my most desired game for 2016!

2015 was a great year for PS4, truly. There were so many wonderful and distinct experiences, and I am awestruck to wonder what 2016 will be like! I can hardly wait!


8

+ lanmao on December 29th, 2015 at 8:26 am said:

I’m not usually patient enough to do it, so getting the Bloodborne platinum was a definite highlight for me this year. Can’t wait to jump into Dark Souls 3 next year!


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+ JetBlackx on December 29th, 2015 at 8:47 am said:

LOL @ Luke Borrett’s comment. Coincidentally, those 2 games are the ones I Platinum’d this year :D


10

+ paulogy on December 29th, 2015 at 8:53 am said:

I really like this piece! It’s great to hear from developers for whatever the reason, but to hear what they’re excited about in other games is a real treat :-)

After all the games I’ve played this year, and all the wonderful moments they produced, I think I might choose one I haven’t even played yet as a standout: The re-reveal of The Last Guardian, and that moment where you think the boy missed the jump and Trico failed to catch him, but succeeds with his tail instead. Simply amazing, and can’t wait to see more and hopefully play it for myself in 2016.


11

+ Agent-AKS on December 29th, 2015 at 8:55 am said:

My most memorable moment from 2015 is definitely Life is Strange’s final choice.

The outcome of one of the choices in particular, mixed with the excellent song choice of Foals’ Spanish Sahara, actually made me tear up. The first time I’ve cried during a sad moment in a game since the first time I watched Aerith die.


12

+ LeandroDiFini on December 29th, 2015 at 9:10 am said:

I agree with the developers that picked Until Dawn as the game that has some of the moments of the year. Though I do think that the first couple hours of Until Dawn are way scarier than the second half of it.


13

+ solace357 on December 29th, 2015 at 10:56 am said:

Playing through and defeating all of the bosses in Bloodborne with a pal in coop was def my highlight of the year. We had some great laughs when one of us kept missing elevators and falling to our death. Such a fantastic experience.


14

+ Karsghul on December 29th, 2015 at 11:11 am said:

It’s interesting to read about devs love/enjoy a game that’s completely (mechanically and thematically) different from what they are creating.

One problem with this group of developers; where are the female devs?


15

+ madmanwithabox12 on December 29th, 2015 at 12:47 pm said:

“nailing a song perfectly in Persona 4 Dancing All Night.”

Luke Borret knows what’s up. There is no greater feeling.

I have to agree with Mike Bithell, MGSV is a masterclass in incredible gameplay.


16

+ TERMINATOR543 on December 29th, 2015 at 1:06 pm said:

I have so many, I know gaming announcements from E3 such as The Last Guardian, the Call of Duty and Kojima partnership were both huge moments, as well as the PS2 on PS4 initiative which, if don’t right, will open up a big future for legacy gaming.

As far as moments within games. I would have to probably go with coming out of the vault for the first time in Fallout 4 and realizing this massive open world just waiting to be explored. Moments like that are always great. Also being in such a multiplayer driven and an era where games can be so overwhelmed with content, being able to just sit down and enjoy The Order: 1886 was great as well as going back and reliving the Uncharted trilogy in Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.


17

+ Big_Dog_Golfer on December 29th, 2015 at 2:38 pm said:

SPOILER!

From Bloodborne it was after killing a beast-man near the First Lamp and realizing that it was the guy who provided me, the player, with some much insight into my journey. A sad moment but well played by the creators.

My fav WooHoo moment was being able to save everyone in Until Dawn and figuring out that it was best to put the controller on the floor to make it thru the final action (play it and you will understand why).


18

+ Greasebagz on December 29th, 2015 at 9:15 pm said:

To me, the best moment in gaming this year had to be from bloodborne. Every bit of insight I collected made the game even more strange and terrifying. Coupled with the difficulty and how it drew me in so much made it a completely immersive and tough as nails gaming experience. This game definitely didn’t treat you like a child and I found myself getting a little bit closer to insanity with every bit of insight collected. *****


19

+ Sarges24 on December 29th, 2015 at 10:36 pm said:

Bloodborne, multiple, MGSV, several, The Witcher, several, guess even Destiny makes the cut with at least a couple I’d imagine. Dark Souls 2, Arkham Knight. Being off work (health/surgery) from late last December up until mid November I played far too many games to recall each and every moment. It wasn’t the most pleasant of time off but I enjoyed every bit of gaming and too many moments to list and recall. Not to mention some came from older games like the Chinese edition of Demon’s Souls, US version as well along with Dark Souls and The Last of Us which was sitting here since release on PS3 and finally played. Obviously that was filled with moments and simply put, an incredible game. Aside from moments I have to add that MGSV was absolutely brilliant. The mechanics, world, everything was just spot on and such a great game. I really hope that if Kojima is working on this style game that he uses everything done in MGSV.


20

+ Nayviler on December 29th, 2015 at 10:56 pm said:

My favourite gaming moment of 2015 would definitely have to be that plot twist close to the end of Fallout 4 story quests. If you’ve played the game up to that point you should know exactly what I’m talking about, I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t. It added a lot more depth to the story and really made me think about morality, and I really enjoyed that. I love Bethesda games in general and Fallout 4 just adds to that.


21

+ Seluhir on December 30th, 2015 at 6:07 am said:

This list of ‘favourite moments’ says a lot about why so few western designed games resonate with me. The developers just have a completely different definition of what is memorable and fun than I do.

Most of the moments on this list are from games I found to be either awful, awkwardly designed or uninteresting. The only exceptions were Life is Strange and Until Dawn, both of which were interesting concepts that I haven’t had the opportunity to give the time they deserve to.

It also speaks to how limited the gaming experiences were this year that half the people on this list are talking about something as bland as bloodborne… hopefully next year will be better. It certainly looks that way.


22

+ TomatoDragon on December 30th, 2015 at 11:23 am said:

Bloodborne. Every step I took in that game was epic, and it’s quickly become my all time favorite title.

While I admit I only read a few issues of this manga about 7 years ago…One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is fun. Really fun. Almost got the plat. I’ve got Dragon Quest Heroes to dive into after it.

I really liked Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and all of the details that went into the world.

Until Dawn was killer. Cast of characters was great, and I’ve still got a few playthroughs I need to do.

Platinumed Tearaway on the Vita, and now going through Unfolded. I like all the changes that were made that take advantage of the dualshock 4.

Put another hundred hours into Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward expansion.

2015 was a good year indeed.


23

+ davidstubbs on January 3rd, 2016 at 10:22 pm said:

Glad to see the devs seemed to favor Bloodborne


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