E3 Day Two: Sony and PS4
Day 2 of E3 brings gamers around the world to Los Angeles looking at what is coming in the months
We will be reviewing the highs and lows of the conference presentations, and what we at Trueblue are looking forward to spending our hard earned money on in the future!
Last year, with the introduction of the next gen consoles, it was unanimously agreed Sony, and the PS4 walked away the winner. While Microsoft came out with a very in depth look at how the Xbox One would be integrated into your personal life, would become the hub of your social and personal media, and how you would be doing everything differently- from checking email to interacting between your tablet and the system, Sony jumped immediately on two things- the PS4 would be cheaper (well, it wouldn’t come with a camera, which instantly brought down the price), and you would not need to be online to enjoy using it (which Microsoft had clearly made a prerequisite to access the network, and compatibility functions). The crowd roared with approval, and Sony had slam-dunked the presentations. Fast forward a year, and Sony, once again, had the opportunity to trump Microsoft’s somewhat lack-lustre roll out earlier in the day. Unfortunately, it seems as though both companies simply reversed rolls, with Sony lacking the excitement and opportunity people were hoping for. But, there were games- for better, or worse. And those games deserve a closer look.
It’s not an exclusive game, but Sony made sure to start off with it. Why? Exclusives. This is becoming a rather frustrating theme of late- multi-platform games offering extras to each console. If you want, you can pick up Destiny for Xbox One, and you will get access to the Beta. According the Sony presentation, you’ll be able to access the Beta, as well. The Xbox One offers an upgraded vehicle; PS4 players will get exclusive armor and weapons. So, both consoles have “exclusives”, why start your presentation this way? Sony has a slightly upper hand in offering PS4 players the opportunity to play the Beta first. They are also allowing players the opportunity to play the “Alpha”, starting this week. Oh, and clearly they are looking to push the game on new console owners, offering the first “white” PS4 and Destiny bundle. Too much business, I want shooty-shooty and blowing up stuff!
The Order 1886
The biggest problem with Sony’s presentation? All the trailers. Microsoft did a great job of showing game after game with actual in-game play. Sony came off looking like the previews before the movie starts. I get zombies and mutants are big business. The Last of Us was a brilliant piece of work, and I am really impressed with the “remastered” version which will be appearing later in the year for PS4. But there has been a real saturation of zombies and mutants lately, and it seems Sony wants to drive this trend straight into the ground. The one thing I like about Sony games is the narrative and “movie” feel of the games. As the consoles are able to support more material per game, Sony has done a great job of weaving stories and cinematics into the games (Beyond as an example). Unfortunately, all I saw was 3 minutes of a dark room, and having some weapons which appeared to be of no use to me.
Little Big Planet 3
I can’t believe I am saying this, but LBP3 stole the show. The fact it was the only game which included watching live gameplay really said something, as did the overwhelming reaction it received. I admit it- I love Little Big Planet. It has all the fun of classic side scrolling, with a unique look, great music, and fun written all over it. It is a perfect intro to playing vids, and I can speak from my own experience, if you wish to get your significant other into gaming, it is the right first step. LBP3 expands on all the features of the past two games, while adding a four player interactive feature. With each character having unique features (Sackboy has weapons, there is a character that can expand and contract, another with flying abilities- who can also grab you, and fly with you to help get out of the “I can’t get up this stupid wall!” jams, and a character who has parkour abilities), you work together through puzzles, each person having their own responsibilities, or ways of grabbing collectables. Visually, the game is awesome, including so much more depth of perspective (giving a great 3D feel), SO many graphic elements it is almost impossible to take them all in, and bright colouring and shading. It is exactly as Little Big Planet should be, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Now I just need more friends…
Yet another non-exclusive with bonus content, the game is worth noting. An incredible open world that I can’t wait to get submerged in, and some of the most creative multi-player aspects I have seen in a game (I know I will be battling with a certain friend of mine about who will be doing the flying, and who will be hanging outside the little copter shooting at everything they can see!) make this game something to truly look forward to. The scope of the world is mind-blowing. It seems to go on forever! And there are some really cool gameplay functions to look forward to trying (driving and shooting is nothing new in games, but it sure looks cool in this one! Jumping into another vehicle while driving the first, fighting the driver, and continuing driving in solid series of moves? I wants it!). Plus, any game that you can get a herd of elephants to destroy your enemy for you… well, sign me up! So, why do I care about PS4’s version? Get ready to get your mind blown- you can play with a second player, even if he, or she, doesn’t have the game! By connecting to the Playstation network, you will have the opportunity to get involved without shelling out the $70. That being said, after playing it, you will probably go out and buy it. Good job, Sony.
No Man’s Sky
This really, in my opinion, was one of the best games Sony showed. An overly ambitious project, which I am intrigued to see if it lives up to its claims, this science fiction game is the first real, open world (literally) game. Starting on a planet full of opportunities to discover new species, new locations, and do some incredible roaming in astoundingly beautiful alien landscapes, you will have the opportunity to hop into your fighter (looking a bit like a concept design for the x-wing fighter, without the wings), and fly out into space. From there, your freedom to do anything is mind-blowing. From shooting up asteroids, to getting into firefights with enemy ships, to landing on other strangely alien planets- for more exploring; I believe this game will be engaging for months, not hours. Fully multi-player, now you’ll be able to build that squadron of friends to take on enemy forces, or explore together.
There was a LOT of everything else! A ton of smaller title games (a lot more zombies and mutants!), a look at independent games, and the announcement of the exclusive film projects (a series based on the popular Powers comic, released by Marvel Comics, a Ratchet and Clank movie). Plus, new stuff to buy! Playstation TV will come with access to 1000 games, which seems to be the entire PS3 catalogue. For $100, it can be yours! Oh, and I think they mentioned Project Morpheus (they did, but I literally looked away for a moment), but did little to explain what it was, or when it will be available. Though E3 has some demos, that is about it for this potential game changing visual technology. Sadly, I found myself once again excited for Grand Theft Auto V (yep, I know). Sure it’s been out for a while, and it blew my mind when I walked into the game, but now it has been fully realized for the PS4, creating a city FILLED with people, cars, and details you would never be able to have in the past consoles. As an added bonus, you can take your characters and status from the version you are playing right now, and drop it into the PS4 version (including XBOX profiles!).
So, overall, E3 was fine- there were some excellent game opportunities, and there are certainly games I am looking forward to getting my hands on. I suppose part of the problem is the fact now the next gen consoles are out, and people are ready for new content, new ways to play, new everything, there really wasn’t the “it” factor people were looking for. At the same time, people considered last year a hard sell for the consoles- this year, I believe, those who invested the money wanted to know what that money was going towards. With a lack of really knock-out exclusive games, and more exciting multi-platform games, where is the push for standing out from the crowd?
I suppose it is worth giving more thought to the business of gaming, but instead I am going to think about how much I really want to play the new Assassin’s Creed, and wonder why the best thing I saw from Sony was a game about a knitted doll and his friends.
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