• The show officially began with a blur of gaming montages from many of Sony’s established franchises to get the crowd into the mood. Jack Tretton took the stage afterwards to thank the company’s loyal supporters.
• The opening announcement was touted as a new IP, brought to us by Quantic Dream, most well known for their work on Heavy Rain. David Cage greeted the audience, revealing Beyond: Two Souls. The title stars Ellen Page, who is the voice actress and motion capture artist for heroine Jodie Holmes, a young woman with the gift of supernatural powers. Notably, the games is said to be more action packed and interactive than Heavy Rain and is currently set for release in February of next year. David Cage also touched on the Kara short by Quantic Dream and the future potential of facial mapping.
• PlayStation Allstars Battle Royale followed, showing off two new characters joining the cast: Nathan Drake of Uncharted fame and the Big Daddy from Bioshock. A PS Vita version of the game will also be released, and cross play was touted as a feature of the title.
• PSone Classics, such as Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII, were confirmed for the Vita. However, a concrete date wasn’t given.
• Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified was also briefly mentioned as coming to the Vita later this year.
• The PS3 is expecting to see 200 digital downloads coming in the next year.
• Jack Tretton also revealed that Journey has officially become the best-selling PSN title of all time, quite a feat by developer thatgamecompany.
• New gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed III was shown. It highlighted an unseen side of the game as Connor, the protagonist, took control of a battleship during a fight out at sea. The feature looked interesting, although how much fun this will be once in players’ hands is unknown at this point.
• Assassin’s Creed: Liberation was also revealed as an exclusive for the Vita. Set in a similar revolutionary period in New Orleans, the story will be following that of a female assassin. Unlockable weapons, multiplayer skins, and the like will be made available between Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Assassin’s Creed III on PS3.
• A crystal white PS Vita was also revealed to be in a bundle with Assassin’s Creed: Liberation.
• A new feature to Far Cry 3 was shown off, that of four-player co-op. The addition makes the title seem a lot more chaotic and action packed, bringing a significantly different tone in the eagerly anticipated upcoming title.
• A new development known as Wonderbooks spent a significant time being shown off. The new feature allows books to interact with the PlayStation 3 console, bringing visuals and interactivity to the world of literature.
• God of War: Ascension soon followed. The sight was immediately familiar to long-time fans of the God of War series, with violent action, fluid combat, and organic animations being highlights of the trailer. The game is set to be released on March 12, 2013.
• At the end, the arena reached ear-shattering levels as footage played for The Last of Us. The story follows the two main characters, Joel and Ellie, as they attempt to reach a bridge that has been cut off due to a flood. The AI-controlled character, Ellie, was beyond helpful, aiding the player-controlled Joel in combat that wasn’t glorified; it was displayed in a realistic and dramatic fashion. Unbelievable physics and cinematic action made it impossible to tell what was scripted and what was real-time gameplay, a staple of Naughty Dog’s games.
Analysis: Personally, one of the front-runners for Game of the Show thus far was present in Sony’s conference, that being The Last of Us. Personally, I have never been so blown away by a game, from the animations, cinematic action, combat and AI. I wouldn’t be surprised that, once I get my hands on the title, Naughty Dog’s new IP might find itself at the top of my all-time favorite games list. Indeed, I am hyped.
Now that that’s out of my system, I’ll begin from the start of the conference. Beyond: Two Souls is certainly an intriguing title, and the facial capturing system of Quantic Dreams seems to only have improved since Heavy Rain. Hopefully, there’s an emphasis on the interactive element instead of being a QTE fest, and that David Cage and keeps a rein on himself with the story as he has the tendency to lose focus as the story moves along.
PlayStation Allstars continues to look promising, although one concern I have is that players can be killed only with the use of a power play. That’s a very questionable choice, in my opinion, that I’m not entirely convinced by. Nevertheless, I see myself picking it up because it’ll be fun to play with some friends, right?
To many, playing PSOne classics on the go with the Vita was one of the selling features, and many were concerned that news on that front has been rather quiet after the handheld’s release. However, a collective sigh went out within the arena as gamers were reassured the feature was still on the way, although having a solid release date would’ve been ideal. The Call of Duty title for the Vita will sell well almost indefinitely, although I have no real interest in it. Rather, my interest lies in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and how the title turns out on the Vita.
As an Assassin’s Creed fan, I haven’t been this pumped for a sequel since Assassin’s Creed II, and the newest full-fledged sequel seen in Assassin’s Creed III has me fanboying all over the place. Connor got into a fight with wolves in the snow, people! The continuing improvements to the fluidness of combat and the ability to traverse the environment are more than welcome additions that I’m looking forward to.
The four-player co-op reveal for Far Cry 3 isn’t one I have any particular interest in. A recent trend seen in the industry is that of shoehorning a co-op mode into any new title, almost as if developers are only doing so to just tick a box. I’m far more interested in the traditional single-player component that the Far Cry series is known for.
Wonderbooks, although an interesting little feature, was a drawn-out affair that really slowed down the pace of Sony’s conference. I found myself on numerous occasions losing complete interest, hoping the topic would change. Way to be reminiscent of some of my first dates, Sony.
Moving on, although I did enjoy my time with God of War III, my one and only entry into the God of War series, I don’t see myself purchasing Ascension. It looked like more of the same lovable gore-covered action we’ve come to expect. I will clarify that my lack of interest is directly linked to my personal tastes rather than the actual game itself.
Finishing off with The Last of Us again, I’ve been a gamer for the better part of my rather young life, and no game has yet left me in the state that The Last of Us did. To say I’m excited to see Naughty Dog’s newest title is an understatement, but I better cut myself off before I start rambling.
Over all, Sony’s conference was quite the highlight on day one in my books. Although E3 thus far has had a very “end of a generation” vibe to it, Sony has definitely put themselves in a strong position with promising titles in the upcoming year.