Monday, 4 June 2012

Sony Press Conference Summary

Sony seemed to be going on the offensive with today’s press Conference. It started out with a straight up announcement of a new game by Heavy Rain developers, Quantic dream. This new game is called “Beyond” and seems to tell the story of a girl who can somehow see what happens after death. There was a brief demo of an in engine cutscene, no actual gameplay but the game looks absolutely stunning. Beyond looks have the potential to provide a fantastic experience, similar to Heavy Rain.

Next up was a demo of Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, showing off a quick match and then announcing a vita version of the game. Not only that but the vita version will be compatible for cross play, meaning that PS3 and Vita players can have matches against each other. With this was also the announcement of a new patch for Little Big Planet 2 which would integrate the Vita, allowing 2 people to play co op, one with the PS3 controller and the other using the vita and screen. Much like Microsoft and Smartglass, this seemed cool though a little bit reactionary to the WiiU.

Next came PSN related announcements, not many of which were that exciting aside from what they are adding to PS+ subscribers. Amongst other things, Sony will be adding 12 Free games for PS+ subscribers including Infamous 2 and Little Big Planet 2. This seems awesome and will really help to get more PS+ subscribers, but what worried me was the announcement came with “in North America” so it might not be coming to anywhere else in the world for a while.

Next were some Vita announcements. PS1 classics are finally coming to Vita though no actual date was given on that. The Vita Call of Duty game was given a name, Call of Duty: Declassified. There was also the announcement and trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, a fully fledged Assassin’s Creed game on the Vita also available bundled with an ice white Vita.

Of course, this was followed with some new gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed 3, this time showing boats. This new feature allows you to control a fully cannon mounted vessel and do battle with other ships. The demo showed the player travelling out to sea an fighting two other ships and it looked amazing. Far more polished than one might expect of what might amount to a minigame so it will probably be a huge part of the main game.

After that the show did get a little dull, showing off another Move addon called Wonderbook, what is essentially a massive AR card to use with the playstation Eye and Move. This came with the announcement and demo of a Harry Potter game called “Book of Spells”. The technology is cool but the game didn’t seem compelling at all and I was left bored.

Following the rather dull presentation was God of War Ascension Which itself was just as unimpressive because we’ve seen it all before. This was a single player demo and it really didn’t add anything to the franchise whatsoever. Kratos is still a very angry guy and he still likes to murder, GOW is really starting to feel as stale as Call of Duty. We did get a release date though: March 12th 2013

To finish off the show was Sony’s big game for this years E3: The Last of Us. This was a pure gameplay demo, showing off some of the exploring and survival aspects. The section shown, involved the player navigating a building full of men with only 4 bullets to hand. In it I saw some stealth gameplay, melee combat, shooting and survival and it all looked fantastic. There was even a moment where the AI recognized that the player’s gun was out of ammo and went for him. The Last of Us looks fantastic and I personally cannot wait for it to come out.

Overall, Sony’s show was much more interesting than Microsoft’s. New games were announced and new Franchises, not just sequels and new apps. Now all that’s left to be seen is what Nintendo can come up with and that is guaranteed to be fun purely because it’s new hardware.

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