It might not exactly be the summer blockbuster you've all been waiting for (when is Guardians of the Galaxy out again?) but the Heavenly Sword movie finally has a release date.
The CG animated feature that's coming courtesy of Cinedigm picks up the story of Nariko, star of the early PlayStation 3 game. I can't remember if the game was any good or not, but 2007's Kristan Reed says it was a bit 7/10.
The film itself sees original voice actor behind Nariko, Anna Torv, reprising her role, and she's joined by Alfred Molina, him with the sad eyes that died funny in Species and most recently cameoed in new Best Thing Ever Rick & Morty.
Sony Cambridge art director Jason Wilson has revealed concept art for numerous PlayStation 3 exclusive prototypes on his blog.
One such game was Simian from 2005, a PlayStation Eye game about interacting with terrifying looking primates on an alien jungle planet. Think Planet of the Apes with less Statue of Liberty.
It was supposed to operate with gesture commands and limited voice commands, but alas, it was canned in pre-production "possibly due to the fact that the game was too ambitious for the actual technology capabilities" said Wilson. "The central concept was scaled down and the tech morphed into Sony London Studio's EyePet game, which would eventually feature a similar simian-like creature."
Heavenly Sword 2 was worked on in 2008 before being shelved.
The animation reel of a former Sony employee has revealed footage of cancelled, unannounced PlayStation 3 exclusives.
A former member of staff at Sony Cambridge Studio published a video showcasing his talents, and in it is footage of The Getaway 3 (lifted from its E3 trailer - thanks, bawsedog!), a cancelled science fiction action game from 2011, and a cancelled lifestyle project from 2007.
The Getaway 3 was set to continue the series on PlayStation 3, but was cancelled in 2008 alongside fellow PS3 game Eight Days after Shuhei Yoshida replaced Phil Harrison as Sony Worldwide Studios boss. It was in development at Sony London, the studio responsible for EyeToy, EyePet and SingStar. Sony London producer Nicolas Doucet later revealed both The Getaway 3 and Eight Days were in the second-half of development and not binned at all.
Enslaved co-writer and The Beach, Sunshine and 28 Weeks Later scriptwriter Alex Garland would have improved early PlayStation 3-exclusive title Heavenly Sword had he worked on the game, developer Ninja Theory has said.
Ninja Theory has said its next title is original IP and definitely not a sequel to the Sony-owned Heavenly Sword.
The UK developer made it crystal clear to GamesIndustry.biz, explaining that it had already signed a publisher for its fresh Xbox 360 and PS3 project.
However, one one similarity it will have its continued focus on film production techniques. Co-founder Nina Kristensen even revealed Ninja Theory is considering creating a CGI film to accompany the new game.
Those of you hoping Sony and Ninja Theory plan to revisit Heavenly Sword would have been encouraged by a launch event for Andy Serkis' new games industry networking organisation Games Eden on Wednesday, where a spokesperson for Ninja Theory repeatedly and perhaps revealingly referred to the developer's only PS3 project to date as "Heavenly Sword 1".
It's not the first hint we've had that Ninja Theory plans to make more than one Heavenly Sword game. Earlier this year, co-founder Tameem Antoniades said in a podcast that the original idea had been a "three-game story", and that the second phase of that is already written. Indeed, that there was "no reason why there shouldn't be a sequel".
Heavenly Sword - one of your favourite PS3 games to judge by the reader ratings on our gamepage - is an action game that follows red-haired fighter Nariko in a big old battle against naughty evildoers, upon whom she unloads quite a lot of spiffy and well-framed violence in glorious detail, and with good cut-scenes - to which Andy Serkis (of first paragraph fame, not to mention Eurogamer TV Show fame) obviously contributed.
The most disappointing games aren't the low-scoring Driver 3 out of 10s - those are just the road crashes we point and laugh at. Those are beyond redemption. No, the really gutting ones are always the ones that just fall short of greatness, where you feel sure that with a bit more polish and refinement that they could (and perhaps should) have been amazing. Heavenly Sword is that sort of game: your sense of disappointment is amplified because it's clear that Ninja Theory handled so many elements exquisitely. It really did have the potential to be the PS3's first must-have title - yet, somewhere along the line it doesn't quite deliver. For PS3 owners, the wait for the killer-app goes on.
But let's stay within the realms of exquisiteness to kick-off with - it's a nice place this time of year. For probably only the second time since we fired up the PS3 have we been moved to drag the sofa a bit closer to the TV. it's a game that you'll want to truly bask in, such is the visual opulence on show. It's as if Ninja Theory fell in love with the art style of ICO and fancied the idea of a setting a truly bombastic God of War-style hackandslash within it. Not a bad idea at all, when you consider how well both of those went down with you lot.
Of all PlayStation 3's forthcoming releases, the most interesting and significant is neither a game nor for sale. Home, Sony's more structured, sanitised and solid attempt at a Second Life world might seem innocuous enough but with the screenshots of its cinema space and the implied possibility of fully downloadable movies, there's the chance it might eventually outgrow even its host platform in significance.
By now you'll have read our recent Heavenly Sword first impressions. By now you'll have downloaded the Heavenly Sword demo released on PSN last week. By now you'll have been able to finish it approximately 47 million times. By now you've probably decided it's too short and doesn't really show us anything we didn't know.
Heavenly Sword is one of those annoying games that everyone has heard everything about, but nobody actually knows anything about. Of course you've heard of it; how could you not? It's one of Sony's great white hopes, one of the much-vaunted PS3 exclusives which have the unhappy fortune of being pivotal to the next salvo in the Great Console War of 2007.
The fate of any new console isn't so much about how powerful it is, but the quality of its first party exclusive titles. You only have to look at how significant Gears of War, Project Gotham Racing and Halo have been in establishing Microsoft as a serious player, or how vital Zelda and Mario games are to Nintendo.
British developer Ninja Theory has confirmed PlayStation 3-exclusive fighter Heavenly Sword as a "launch window" release during a Game Developer Conference presentation in London, although the game will not make it out in America before the end of the year.
"We've always been a launch window title so it hasn't affected us at all," said Nina Kristensen, Ninja Theory's co-founder, answering a question on how Sony's PlayStation 3 delay in Europe had affected the release of the game.
"No, it's going to be next year," said Guy Midgley lead animator, speaking of the game's American launch, "but we haven't announced a specific date yet."
When the Xbox 360 launched last Christmas, it was widely remarked upon that many of the console's early portfolio of titles were developed in the UK - with games from Bizarre Creations and Rare forming the backbone of the launch line-up for the system. With the PlayStation 3, once again, British developers are punching above their weight - and of the key first-party titles given top billing on Sony's stand at TGS, no less than three hail from the sceptered isle. Two are racing games - the genuinely head-turning MotorStorm and the nice-if-you-like-that-sort-of-thing F1 - while the third is developer Ninja Theory's graphically stunning slash-'em-up, Heavenly Sword.