“Pleasantly suprised” is the best way to describe how I feel about Sony’s press conference at E3. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting the worst going into it; not much new game content, lots of Playstation Move, not anything mind blowing… but boy, was I wrong. Of course, there was no announcement of a PS4, but having seen all of the press conferences from E3 thus far today, Sony’s presentation really seemed to have the most energy, and almost everything that was shown on stage piqued my interest in some way or another (Yes… even the Playstation Move demonstration with Wonderbook)
The press conference started with Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA, on stage discussing in broad strokes topics such as the PS3, PS Vita integration, Playstation Network, and Playstation Suite.
David Cage took the stage immediately following Tretton’s intro, debuting the mysterious new Beyond: Two Souls. This is the new game from Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream, and from what I saw of the cutscene demonstration and gameplay video, I’m definitely excited about this title. Beyond: Two Souls lets you live the life of Jodie Holmes, who has a supernatural connection with an unseen force. Oh, and Jodie Holmes is played by Ellen Page. Uh, yes… sign me up for a preorder. Thanks.
The in-game cutscene shown on stage was absolutely stunning; a one-sided dialogue between a police officer and the main protagonist… starting off with a slow and seemingly harmless atmosphere, but with just enough tension to get you on your toes. Then SWAT comes in and disrespects everyone’s famiries…
Immediately following Quantic Dream’s presentation was the Super-Smash-esque new title we’ve heard so much about from Superbot Enternainment: Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Presented by Superbot president Chan Park, we got to check out a round of the game in real-time… complete with a visit from the Hydra boss of God of War fame. Park also mentioned that the game will be cross compatible with PS3 and Vita. It’ll be available later this holiday season.
After that demo, Tretton came back on stage to announce some Playstation Plus info, new indie games, and he even gave everyone in the audience a one-year free subscription to Playstation Plus! Very cool.
Next up was Assassin’s Creed III – Liberation for Vita. According to presenters Alex Hutchinson and Phillipe Ducharme, Liberation is a from-the-ground-up game with a female protagonist, set during the same timeframe as its bigger brother, Assassin’s Creed III. And speaking of Assassin’s Creed III, we got to see a demo of that as well.
Of course we all know by now that Assassin’s Creed III is set in the revolutionary war. They gave us a look at some gameplay on the PS3 — at sea, no less. Yeah, this wasn’t the typical Assassin’s Creed gameplay you’d expect; We were shown an excerpt from a ship vs ship fight on the high seas, complete with dynamic weather, the ability to captain your own galley, and turn said galley to face your foe and unleash hell in cannonball form. This demo looked pretty epic, and it might get me back into the AC series. The last of the franchise that really grabbed me was Assassin’s Creed II, so hopefully this new entry doesn’t fall flat on its face.
After this, we got a look at Far Cry 3′s 4 player co-op in action. Nothing spectacular here though… The demonstration was pretty “meh” as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be picking it up for PC for sure.
Ah, yes… and next comes the Playstation Move segment. Two words: Augmented reality. With the new Wonderbook title from JK Rowling, The Book of Spells, you can (presumably, if you’re a 10-year-old) use the Playstation Move controller as your own personal magic wand. It’s lame. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in its capabilities. Some of the stuff in this demo, albeit extremely cheesy and boring, was kind of neat and innovative for consoles. Better than anything we’ve seen from Xbox, anyway.
I was actually talking to Nemesis during said demo though, and we thought this would make for a really cool implimentation of some of the board/card games that we all know and love. For example, imagine playing a Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon game made for this setup. There are definitely some possibilities with PS Move and augmented reality. Anyway, definitely worth checking out the video.
After Wonderbook, Tretton took the stage again and gave us the 411 on “Playstation Suite”; integration with certain smartphones.
And then, what I’d really been waiting for all along! God of War: Ascension. You may have seen some of the multiplayer gameplay and screenshots released not too long ago, but Sony gave us a taste of what I think all of us GoW fans had been craving: Brutal single-player mayhem. Brutal is a bit of an understatement, but I can’t get enough of it! I’m extremely pumped and ecstatic that Kratos is back in a new title. God of War: Ascension drops on March 12th, 2013.
Lastly, Naughty Dog gives us a new look at The Last of Us. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. If you’re like me, you couldn’t wait to see more of this title after being teased with that VGA trailer from way back in December. Naughty Dog didn’t disappoint. Bloody, visceral action is the name of the game. Just watch the video. Let your mind be blown.
Overall, I’d have to say I was pretty floored by what Sony brought to the table. With all the hype around motion control (see: Microsoft press conference) I was expecting a double cheeseburger, but Sony delivered a nice big prime rib. And this may come across as a bit fanboyish, but so be it: Exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension make me proud to own a PS3.
TL;DR – Still nothing about The Last Guardian. 😦
And here’s the whole press conference for those who want to watch in in its entirety: