So being a super huge Sony fanboy doesn’t mean I’m any more biased towards them, but oh man they had a great show. Of course it had a few mess ups and I expected something a little bit different and more in some areas, but it provided non-stop awesomeness and you could tell by the crowd that they enjoyed what they saw. What was funny is that one of the presenters was legitimately surprised that one of their products was actually kept a secret. That is something rare for anything being shown at E3. Anyways, check out what went on at this year’s E3 conference.
Jack Tretton is one of my favorite corporate guys, because I feel that he actually wants to deliver the best experience to the gamers. Sony is big on thanking their fan base and they have been very public with it lately as well. With their slogan, Long Live Play, and the Michael Commercial which all the video game heroes toasted to Michael who is just a name picked to represent gamers. So I thank you Jack Tretton and Sony/Playstation to appreciating your fanbase and giving us an awesome E3 experience.
Now if you own a PS3 and haven’t played Heavy Rain then I’m not sure why you own a PS3, because Quantic Dreams did an amazing job in providing a never before seen experience inside a game. Allowing your actions to affect not only your current character, but one of the other many playable characters as well and all done with a seamless integration of the PS3 Controller’s six-axis functionally. Now Quantic Dreams moved onto Beyond: Two Souls which was born out of the question that everyone has, what happens after death? David Cage, the CEO of Quantic Dream and game director of their games, wanted to explore this concept through the story of a girl’s progression through life across 15 years. Her name is Jodi Holmes and she is voice acted and motion captured by Academy Award Winner Ellen Page who starred in films such as Juno and Inception. Which having a real actress like that take part in a video game is such a big deal. Gaming has been striving to be seen as art and only recently did a game win a non-video game award for their musical performance and the Grammy Awards now recognize video game music as well. So having an accredited actress such as Ellen Page star in this game is quite the feat and could be a huge step for gaming in general. Also the motion capturing is so amazing in Beyond and much better than in L.A. Noire as David Cage stated that L.A. Noire’s facial recognition was good, but only captured the face and to get the whole element intended to portray you need face and body. Anyways back onto the game talk… Jodi is oddly connected to the supernatural spirit world and the only thing we know about that is there is a spirit named Ivan who she referenced to in the trailer. Don’t expect this to be as slow paced as Heavy Rain, because it seems like you’ll be jumping off of trains, beating people up, killing people, and so much more intense action.
This game was announced this April and was leaked much earlier than that and when people first saw it they immediately thought of a rip off of Super Smash Bros from Nintendo. While it shares the same concept and similar layout, it doesn’t appear to provide the same experience. One noticeable feature is that there aren’t an indicated number of lives and no damage percentage or any indication of health at that. The game looks like it will be loads of fun to play with a group and the team behind it, SuperBot Entertainment, was built specifically for this game. So far the cast of playable characters has been limited to about eight characters including Nathan Drake, the Big Daddy from BioShock 1, Sweet Tooth, Kratos, Sly Cooper, Fat Princess, Colonel Radec, and PaRappa The Rapper. I’m sure many more members from the Sony exclusive and 3rd Party teams will be available to play and I’m hoping for Cole MacGrath, Ezio/Altair, Sackboy, Snake, Jak and/or Daxter, Batman, Ratchet and/or Clank, Chimera or Nathan Hale, Emmett Graves, and the White Knight to just name a few of the potential characters I want to see. Now each character also has his own little thing that he/she does to gain Action Points which are acquired to gain special abilities. Your special abilities have up to 3 tiers and each one is different with the 3rd one being the top and best one. For example Fat Princess can turn into Fat Chicken and demolish everyone or Sweeth Tooth can turn into Sweet Bot and gun down everyone. It varies uniquely among the characters and I imagine it could get pretty creative. Also this will be released on both the PS3 and PS Vita with cross-platform play. The demo showed 2 on the PS3 and 2 on the PS Vita. If you are concerned that the Vita may have a disadvantage… then think again, because in the demo one of the Vita players one the round by a close 1 kill advantage.
On the mood of cross-platform play Sony went on to talk about plans for LittleBigPlanet and how LBP2 on the PS3 will have a new DLC that allows cross-platform multiplayer between the PS Vita and the PS3. Allowing you to create and explore levels using all the functionality of both systems to their maximum capabilities. In addition to just that feature it will add new levels and sticker packs and costumes to LBP2 as well.
There was also mention about the PSN with praise for Journey being the top selling PSN game of all time and that there will be 200 more digital titles released in the coming months on PSN as well. This is where the PlayStation + package will benefit you greatly though, because a lot of new releases can either be free for you to download or even downloaded at a discounted rate and allowing you to not empty your wallet as much. Also as of 6/5 when the PlayStation Store updates, all PS+ users will receive a free copy of inFAMOUS 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Saints Row 2 along with many other games throughout the month and year. So now if definitely the time to hop onto the PS+ band wagon.
Now for the really interesting stuff with the PS Vita! Games! More and more games are coming to the Vita including big upcoming franchises and long ago released franchises as well. It was announced that the PSOne games on the PS3 will be able to be played on the PS Vita now. Not entirely sure how well that is going to work out in terms of controls, but I’m sure they have something planned to make it work well. I mentioned upcoming franchises and I’m sure you’re eager to know that both Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed will be coming to the PSVita this Fall. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified with more details to come later on and Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation as well. AC3L will feature the first playable female assassin in the series and it was built from the ground up to work on the PS Vita and take advantage of its functionality. It holds the same great open world experience from the console versions and will even feature a cross-play mode between AC3 on PS3 and AC3L on PS Vita. By doing so you will unlock weapons and multiplayer features on both platforms. If you haven’t bought a Vita, but wanted to so you can play the new AC then you are in luck. Sony unveiled a new White PS Vita 3G/Wi-fi system to be bundled with Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation and a 4GB memory card releasing October 30th. Also there will be more video services coming to the PS Vita soon as well with applications such as YouTube.
Assassin’s Creed 3 was already shown off earlier at the Ubisoft conference, but they had something special to show off here at the Sony conference. In Assassin’s Creed 3 you will now be able to take command of your own ship and sail across the sea as it dynamically changes throughout random times. Literally at any time the game can turn the tide of your experience. One moment you may be sailing peacefully and then all of a sudden a storm rolls in and thrashes your ship around. A ship also wouldn’t be complete with its own set of cannons and you now have the ability for ship to ship battles complete with boarding capabilities and everything. With the help of a line of sight of cannon fire you can take down enemy ships in the sea and rule them. No word on whether or not you play as Connor, or an assassin for that matter, in the ship scenes. I am thoroughly impressed by what they have done with this game and if you get the game for PS3 you get exclusive free day 1 DLC. If you now want a PS3, then they’re doing a bundle with the game coming out October 30th.
Ubisoft’s new found love for Sony doesn’t end with Assassin’s Creed, it carries over into Far Cry 3 with exclusive content and new information on the game. Such as four player co-op for a separate campaign mode. Communication is key as you may need to take out multiple targets at the same time and protect individuals to achieve a mission objective. The game is also including a map editor so that you can create your own levels and play through them. PS3 owners will be receiving free exclusive DLC as well.
Next up is something Sony is doing to get the attention of families and younger audiences with Wonderbook. Using a combination of the PS Eye, PS Move Controller, and the new Wonderbook you will be able to explore augmented reality versions of stories created for the book. They are working with Moonbot Studios to bring together some stories and even partnered with J.K. Rowling for brand new content from the Harry Potter universe. The Book of Spells will be launching with Wonderbook as you will learn the history of spells and learn how to cast them and be a wizard of your own. This has great potential for neat experiences and a great way to get young gamers into reading. I’m sure if you choose the right stories and portray it well enough that it will then open up a new way to reading in general as visual and physical way for educational entertainment. Wonderbook will be releasing Fall 2012.
Last year Sony announced PlayStation Suite which would provide the PlayStation experience on mobile devices with games and such. Sony has gained a large backing from multiple developers for their games as well and they decided to change the name to PlayStation Mobile and will be featured on non Sony phones now starting with the HTC brand.
It was announced a few months ago that God of War: Ascension would be coming out as a prequel to the franchise and be the first multiplayer experience for God of War. At Sony’s conference here they decided to show off a bit of the single player and most likely the intro level for the game. Kratos does appear slightly different with less armor and less of that I just killed 12 gods look on his face. The game features the same, if not higher, level of intense brutal action as Kratos goes to town on the minions with his chained blades. You still acquire a couple other weapons throughout the game as well and can use them seamlessly in your combos and such. One new addition to the series is his ability to use some form of magic type deal that works as stasis and allows you to traverse the level and hold up enemies while you beat on the others. One thing I did notice too is the ability to actually use your fists in the middle of your combo. It hasn’t been said whether or not it counts as a weapon or it is just part of a combo. The game looks absolutely stunning and stays true to the God of War brutality as Kratos ripped open an elephant man’s skull to expose his brain and then ran to tackle the legendary Kraken. Officially releasing March 12, 2013.
The final game shown from Sony is going to be The Last of Us which is being done by Naughty Dog. It starts out kind of peaceful as you go through the city jungle and explore the world. Some objects will be indicated by a yellow outline to know if you can interact with them and probably initiate some dialogue between Joel and Ellie. There will be times of peace, but they will be short lived and once you run into a group of bad guys it can get pretty intense. Joel and Ellie wander into a group and manage to stealthily take out a couple of guys and gather up some ammo. When I say some, I mean like 2 rounds. Ammo will definitely be something that try to conserve and use as little as possible. I found this similar to the I Am Alive downloadable game where you only get a few rounds at a time. When you find yourself out of ammo the enemies will eventually find out whether or not you are bluffing and call you out on it so make sure you aim for the head and one shot kills to avoid wasting ammo. Also your inventory screen isn’t a pause button, so don’t think you can pause and look at your inventory and evaluate the situation at hand. You are either prepared and survive…. or you die a horrible death. Granted if you are good enough you can do some intense kill moves such as slam a guy’s head into a table. That was amazing to watch, but no release date information yet.
They didn’t deliver to many changes to the PlayStation software and nothing really new in terms of next gen stuff either. Sony did deliver on plenty of amazing PS3 exclusives and games. What they should have focused however, was a little more on the Vita and the games that will be available for it. They did bring Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, but two games can’t carry a system through the holidays and captivate the users. I’m sure in due time though… hopefully. Thanks for reading and continue to look on the homepage for all sorts of new E3 news!