Soapbox - News




  • Soapbox Sony Has Become Far Too Quiet

    Enjoy the silence?

    Actions speak louder than words, but I still can’t help feeling that Sony’s become far too quiet over the past few years. At the start of the PlayStation 4 era, this was a company that was firing on all cylinders when it came to community outreach; Worldwide Studios executive Shuhei Yoshida was one of the biggest names on...

  • Soapbox Don't Dismiss Bloodborne Because of Its Difficulty

    Just give it a try

    I used to be like you. I dallied with Demon’s Souls when it finally hit European shores, but life got in the way and I dropped it faster than a New Year’s resolution. I then spent several years shuddering at the ‘Prepare to Die’ slogan associated with Dark Souls and vowed never to touch a From Software title unless it...





  • Soapbox Open World OCD - How Too Much Content Can Ruin a Game

    More than enough

    I recently played through the entirety of Dragon Age: Inquisition on PlayStation 4 again. I had never finished all of the expansions, and I had the urge to go back and see how it's held up after three years. When it first launched in 2014, I reviewed it and awarded it a 9/10. It was a high score that, at the time,...



  • Soapbox PlayStation Plus Price Hike - Is It Justified?

    Sam Brooke questions the reasons behind the sudden increase

    Two days ago, the PlayStation Plus lineup for August was revealed: Just Cause 3, standalone DLC Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, and the addictive Downwell were all confirmed to be coming to the PlayStation 4 in what could be one of the best ever Instant Game Collection lineups on the...

  • Soapbox You Should Give Evo 2017 a Watch This Weekend

    Ramsey reckons there's fighting game fun to be had

    Watching other people play video games is not something that everyone considers fun. Our very own Sammy Barker scoffs at the idea of gawking at another person's gameplay, and that's totally fine - but you can't really ignore how popular streaming and gaming 'personalities' have become over the last...




  • Soapbox Sony Should Pinch the Nintendo Direct Format

    Sammy reckons there's mileage in Nintendo's marketing

    I did something I rarely do this week: I watched a Nintendo Direct. To be honest, I have a weird relationship with the Big N's pre-recorded events: I've watched the E3 ones before and I've always felt that, for everything they gain in pacing and structure, they lack the kind of energy that you...




  • Soapbox Japan Studio Is Currently One of Sony's Best

    East becomes beast

    Historically when people have talked about Sony's strong first-party network, Japan Studio has been right at the bottom of the list. One of the platform holder's oldest developers, the division is probably best known for the likes of Ape Escape and Legend of Dragoon, as well as Fumito Ueda's output. But during the PlayStation 3...







  • Soapbox Destiny's Grimoire Cards Are Pretty Awesome

    A glimpse at what could have been

    Destiny is famous for a lot of things, but a strong and structured storyline is most definitely not one of them. In fact, it's more renowned for telling you that it doesn't have time for a plot. I'm here to tell you that Destiny actually possesses potentially one of the deepest and most well thought out universes...


  • Soapbox Let's Be Honest, E3 2016 Was Disappointing

    Sammy's not feeling all that stoked

    In the cold, hard light of day – with more than four hours sleep under my belt – I've come to a bold, brave conclusion: E3 2016 was a bit disappointing, wasn't it? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the spectacle of Sony's conference and the banter that accompanied the bad ones – but it's hardly been a vintage...




  • Soapbox Why I Trust Sony to Do the Right Thing with PS4.5

    Sammy Barker's a believer – for now

    Veterans of this website will know that it's rarely been as positive as it is now. Sony, in the pre-PlayStation 4 era, had a tendency to take one step forward and two steps back. Think about it: for every The Last of Us there was a Starhawk; for every forward-thinking initiative like PlayStation Plus there was...

  • Soapbox Evolution Studios Had Miserable Luck But Will Be Greatly Missed

    Sammy Barker says goodbye to a dev with real identity

    There are certain studios that get under your skin, irrespective of output. With the greatest of respect to all of the talented people at production powerhouses like Ubisoft Montreal and EA Canada, said developers don't really exude the kind of identifiable culture that's prevalent at Media...

  • Soapbox Scale Is PlayStation VR's True Game Changer

    Sammy says bigger is always better

    "Shut up about virtual reality already, Sammy," you're probably all screaming at your screens. Sorry, I have been a bit pushy, haven't I? But in my defence, I keep writing about PlayStation VR because I'm genuinely excited about it. No one's paying me to talk about it. I haven't been instructed by my bosses to...

  • Soapbox Why Action Henk and Broforce Have Me Hooked

    Sam Brooke is enamoured with March's PS4 indie arrivals

    I admit it – I have a big soft spot for indie games. Call me weird, but I can't get enough of these low-budget beauties because they're forced to innovate using the limited resources that they have and can create genius new mechanics, or simply refine existing systems to perfection...

  • Soapbox Why Do We Treat Gaming Like a Chore?

    Work, work, work

    I've got to finish it otherwise I'll never clear my backlog. Recognise that? In this instance, 'it' doesn't refer to an important project or a piece of school work – but a game instead. Some of you won't have uttered a sentence like that, but I'd wager that there'll be more of you that have than haven't. The fact is that many of...








  • Soapbox Why PS4's Indie Influx Isn't as Bad as You Think

    Sam Brooke reckons you should embrace this imaginitive space

    The new Instant Game Collection for PlayStation Plus has been revealed, and once again it contains many indie games. But many people in the PlayStation Nation (are we still called that? I hope not) are a little miffed about the selection – after all, PlayStation 4 players have to pod...

  • Soapbox Why Rocket League Is Perfect for Me

    Ryan Oehrli has re-discovered his love of local multiplayer

    I've never been athletic. I was born with hilariously bad eyesight, my coordination is far below average, and, to be frank, I just don't like sports. As a kid, whenever my Dad would drag me out to the back yard to play catch with him, I would protest, because I knew that I wouldn't catch...

  • Soapbox Here's Why I Will Be Playing Journey on PS4

    With hopes of starting over

    Republished on Tuesday, 21st July 2015: We're bringing this soapbox back from the archives to celebrate Journey's release on the PS4 this week. The original text follows. Originally published on Thursday, 14th August 2014: I understand where Polygon scribe Colin Campbell is coming from when he says that he won't be...

  • Soapbox I Decided to Show My Family Uncharted 4's Incredible Gameplay Demo

    Quality time

    You've all seen the Uncharted 4: A Thief's End E3 2015 gameplay demo by now - or at least, I hope that you have. When I was sat here with editor Sammy Barker, watching Sony's press conference live at 3AM, our already tired brains had been battered by the wealth of megatons that the Japanese company had casually paraded out on stage as...


  • Soapbox Was E3 2015 Just a Dream?

    Sammy Barker reflects on the greatest of all time

    I'm half expecting to stir from my slumber any minute, clammy after a restless night filled with vivid dreams. That can't have been E3 2015, can it – a show in which the impossible became possible all within the span of an hour? I've been covering this event for a good six years now, and I know,...

  • Soapbox Why So Many E3 2015 Announcements Are Being Spoiled

    Sammy Barker likes surprises, but reckons early reveals make sense

    I never tentatively tore the corners of my Christmas presents in order to get a sneaky first look inside. I had friends who claimed to know the contents of all of the gifts nestling beneath their fake fir trees, but I always preferred to wait. In fact, as I got older I tended to...



  • Soapbox You Should Stop Pre-Ordering Games

    Sammy Barker's against this scary trend

    We've got a problem, readers – and it pertains to pre-ordering games. I never used to be opposed to this practice: I'd regularly drop a fiver at my local GAME on titles that I was looking forward to, and would waltz home happily with a receipt and a pre-order pack – the DVD that came with Metal Gear...

  • Soapbox Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Play Bloodborne on PS4

    Sammy Barker says From Software's latest isn't as impenetrable as you think

    I beat Bloodborne last night. I'm tempted to talk up my gaming prowess in this opening paragraph, but I'd be undermining the entire point of this editorial if I did – there's way too much e-peen measuring going on elsewhere around the web with regards to From Software's...

  • Soapbox Sony Really Needs to Give Us More PlayStation Plus Cloud Space

    Sammy Barker's sick of running out of space

    There's one thing that you really need to know about me: I worry – a lot. For as long as I can remember, I've had irrational reactions to almost everything in my life: did I just put my modest size eight shoes in my mouth? Did I just get that exam question wrong – even though I've triple checked it...

  • Soapbox We Need More New Game Plus

    Robert Ramsey wants to start over, but not from scratch

    Just a couple of days ago, I started a new playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, in preparation for the first slice of DLC that's hitting PlayStation consoles in May. Having already completed the game once, I was looking forward to slogging through the adventure again while making use of...

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