I don’t know about you guys but I sure struggled trying to keep awake for the 2AM sony E3 press briefing but somehow I did and we have all the major details of the conference right here for those of you who were smart enough to sleep at a reasonable hour! So did Sony bring out the big guns this year? Well read on to find out…
Sony opened the conference with presenter Jack Tretton (Who kinda looks like an awkward William Shatner in a suit) stating that the video game industry has the most passionate consumer base around and Thanked all of us consumers as we are the real inspiration for making these games happen. Aww thanks Jack, such a nice guy!
Now we move onto the first game of the conference which is the new game from developers Quantic Dream the makers of Heavy Rain.
The new game is called “Beyond: Two Souls” and stars actor Ellen Page as the main character Jody Holmes. David Cage the head of Quantic Dream came out to tell us how we will be playing through 15 years of Jodys life and shaping how she grows as a person, he then showed us a brief glimpse of a scene in the game which had Pages character being questioned in a US police station, not a whole lot is explained but without moving or saying anything she manges to smash a coffee cup against a wall seemingly using either her mind or some other sort of supernatural ability.
Then the police station is invaded by a group of SWAT members who have seemingly come to take Jody away. It then cuts to a brief montage of Jody using some supernatural abilities, things exploding, and Jody threatening to kill a lot of people, and Jody talking to herself or possibly ghosts! Seems spooky… but very impressive.
Next up we have the already much hyped Smash Bros. clone “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal” which has now been officially confirmed for Playstation Vita with cross platform play between PS3 and PSvita!
There wasn’t really much a shown gameplay wise that we didn’t already know, we were treated to a display of the PS3 and Vita cross platform capabilities with a 4 player free for all featuring two players on PS3 and two on Vita. The game looks incredibly fun using the good elements of Smash bros. while adding enough unique features to differentiate it self from nintendos brawler such as different level supers. The cross universe stages also look amazing, watching the hydra from God of War fighting Captain Quark from Ratchet and Clank in the background was entertaining enough alone. Right before they finished up their piece they revealed two new characters for the game! Nathan Drake from Uncharted (Obvious yet awesome) and The Big Daddy from Bioshock (Not so obvious yet still awesome) seems like the character roster is going to be the real reason to get exacted for this game! I’m still hoping they somehow get Crash Bandicoot in on the fun for nostalgia purposes and sure maybe even Ellen Page for the lulz!
Next we got a lot of PSN details including the promise of 200 new games coming to PSN this year, that’s pretty impressive! Playstation plus is also getting an upgrade with even more full games available to play for your membership of roughly 5 euro a month! Playstation plus is really coming across as a really good deal for those who want to save a bit of cash to play some of good releases on PSN. They also gave the crowd a free year of Playstation Plus which everybody went crazy for, you’d swear they were just given a free console or something. Oh well people love free stuff!
The PSvita release of PSone classics has also been confirmed for summer which personally I think is long overdue but i’m very happy its on its way, finally I can get to them PSone RPGs on the bus.
We were then introduced to the dreaded media part of the conference… a lot of this doesn’t apply to us Europeans so I will only cover the major parts that were relevant to us. There will be a YouTube app for PSvita! Woo! Now if only Sony would give us the Netflix app that’s been available since launch in America but we are still waiting for here! That’s about it for the media part really.
Next we move onto some Vita games, we are introduced to the name of the Call of Duty game for PSvita which is called “Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified” . There was no footage unfortunately but it should be exciting to see how the worlds biggest franchise will be handheld on a portable system such as the Vita.
We were then treated to a new Assassin’s Creed game for Vita called “Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation” which is set to feature the first playable female assassin in the series and is set New Orleans during the American revolution the same era as Assassin’s Creed III. The game it selfs looks excellent for a handheld, seemingly like a true AC experience and will feature touch screen and gyro controls, you can also connect it with the PS3 version of ACIII to unlock exclusive content. There will also be an exclusive ACIII liberation bundle which will include a copy of the game, the first ice white PSvita and a 4GB memory card! Nice!
Following the Vita announcement of AC:III Liberation we were then treated to a gameplay demo of AC:III on the PS3 which featured something completly new for the series, BOAT BATTLES!!
Your the captain of the ship and you have full control of the ship and its cannons. I’d be lying if I said the scene looked nothing short of stunning. The water and weather effects were mind blowing and watching the Ships bombard each other with canons was incredible to watch. The planks of woods flying every which way and the smoke rising from each cannon shot created a really dynamic and dangerous atmosphere the likes of which I’d never seen in the game. The scene ended with you boarding one of the enemy ships in classic AC acrobatic style and stabbing an enemy sailor in the neck with a tomahawk! The only way the scene could have been made cooler is if you shouted AMERICUH while you stabbed him in the neck. Oh Assassin’s Creed you so vicious!
Like the Vita bundle there will be a PS3 bundle for ACIII that will include exclusive DLC.
Next up was more Ubisoft games with an exclusive look at 4-Player Co-Op for “Far Cry 3” it was pretty standard co-op to be honest. Kind of what we have come to expect from the FPS this generation. There were Flamethrower, explosions and just outright slaughter. The best part of the demo were the players shouting SWAT like commands at each other. NOBODY talks like that while playing a game! It would be more like “Ah crap, there’s a dude behind the rock. NO DONT GO BEHIND THE ROCK!! Argh Damnit revive me! Ya Jerk!” The demo ended with the team putting some bombs on a bridge and blowing it the hell up. It was a bit standard if not very well done. I’m sure it will make Far Cry fans very happy either way.
Next up is some… eh… Playstation Move content!
*Pause for applause*
We were treated to something nobody wants called the “Wonderbook” an augmented reality story telling device which uses the Playstation Eye camera to help create interactive experiences using the book and your TV. I’m sure if I was a kid I would find this very entertaining but even then I’d just rather play a video game to be honest…. The big surprise of the announcement was the JK Rowling was creating content for it! This certainly caught my attention but the example of the content we were shown was called “Book of Spells” which was essentially an interactive Harry Potter spell book with some exclusive Rowling writing which is a pretty big deal. It sure looked impressive but I can only wonder how long something like that would keep you entertained. The Wonderbook was just very underwhelming overall in my opinion and took up way to much of the conference but only time will tell how good it eventually turns out to be.
Next we got a brief bit of information on the Playstation suite which is Sonys Playstation content network for Mobile devices. Currently this was only available on Sony hardware but it has been announced that it will be soon available on HTC android deviced and possibly more in the future! The name of the Playstation Suite has also been changed to Playstation Mobile which I personally think is a better name change. Currently the Playstation Mobile is a little lacking in content but hopefully this will change with the new push to more devices. I know everybody wants to be able to play Final Fantasy on their phones! Come on Sony make it happen!
Finally back to more PS3 games! Next up we have “God of War: Ascension” which looks like every other GoW game, which isn’t a bad thing at all. We see Kratos decapitate some Goats, juggle some demons with Twin blades. Kill using some quick time events, kill using some more quick time events, use some magic to rebuild a bridge jedi style and then a Kraken appears which he kills with a quick time event. QTE the most deadly weapon is all of video gaming. Ive never seen anything defeat so many foes.
Lastly we were treated to the first gameplay footage of the much hyped Naughty Dog title “The Last of US” which just to clarify doesn’t feature Ellen Page, the girl just looks a lot like her! The game features two protagonists an adult Male and a younger Female surviving in a somewhat jungelfied city. The most apparent thing about the game is that the characters movement and the games style give off a very “Uncharted” feel, from the running to the melee combat, you could definitely tell Naughty Dog made this. The action is very brutal and dynamic, kind of like uncharted with an edge. Something unique was the way the character combined some items to create a Molotov cocktail to defeat some enemies. The games demo was very impressive. The mixture of Melee Combat, Item scavenging and cover shooting was different enough to Uncharted to make it stand out as something different, its still early days yet though so we will have much more to see from this game as time goes on.
Well that’s rounds up the Sony E3 press conference. Personally I thought it was a little light on content and announcements but it was a solid conference overall. Im very excited for Playstation All-Stars and The Last of Us. I’m also eagerly awaiting more info on Beyond.
Although I was very disappointed by the lack of Vita content. Sony are really going to have to step up their game if this console is going to compete with the 3DS.
What did you think of the conference? Lets us know in the comments section below and be sure to check out The Arcade for all the biggest updates on the E3 2012.