I’ll admit that I originally wasn’t all that excited for the Sony conference due in part not only because much of the surprise was spoiled already, but due to recent years being less impressive than most. Fortunately, Sony stepped up their game this year and actually focused on… well, the games. Here’s my reactions:
1. The conference opened with Jack Tretton and the usual boasting about sales that usually goes on at these things. He also spent a lot of time discussing how well indie titles have been doing on PSN, as well as the impressive sales of Journey. I have to give credit where credit is due, he actually did quite well in keeping the crowd interesting in the things he had to say.
2. Quantic Dreams’ David Cage was there to show off his new project: Beyond. I had no idea what kind of game it was from the footage, but I suspect it will something in line with Heavy Rain or even Indigo Prophecy. But damn, was it a gorgeous game to look at. Ellen Page is set to star as the main character and the resemblance is striking.
3. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was shown off in a slightly greater capacity. Not only will the game be coming to the PS Vita as well as the PS3, but both versions can enjoy cross play. Two new characters: Nathan Drake and the Big Daddy from Bioshock were revealed as well.
4. PlayStation Plus members will be getting a welcome surprise this week, as several games have been made free for members. There were about a dozen or so, but some of the standout ones include LittleBigPlanet 2, inFAMOUS 2, and Saint’s Row 2. The only thing more exciting than new games is free games, and I suspect subscribers will have a nice queue built up.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will be making its’ way to the PS Vita for those that want to take their competitive matchmaking on the go. I suspect it will be a big hit for Vita fans, as there aren’t a whole lot of FPS titles to choose from on the system just yet.
6. Some gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed III was shown, though the ship guiding sequence that was introduced looked like something out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. That said, it looked incredibly entertaining, not to mention it might add an exciting new element to a franchise that has been churning out yearly sequels. Assassin’s Creed III: Lineage for the PS Vita was also announced and will not only feature a female assassin, but will be included in an upcoming Vita bundle. Both games will be out in October.
7. A new four player co-op mode was introduced in the Far Cry 3 game, and… it looked like a four player co-op mode. I’ve never played a Far Cry game before, but if this mode is anything like playing Left 4 Dead or Gears of War with friends, I could see myself getting into it.
8. There was no way we could escape the conference without Move titles being shown, and sure enough, we were presented Wonderbook. Despite the lengthy presentation, I’m still not quite clear on the point of Wonderbook, nor what the difference is between it and J.K. Rowling’s Book of Spells. It didn’t help that the lady demoing the game kept messing up while trying to perform a spell (I honestly felt really bad for her). Hopefully for Sony, some consumer out there will understand what it is they are selling better than I currently do.
9. Gameplay footage of the new God of War: Ascension was shown and it was as gory as ever. New elephant foes were introduced (and subsequently executed by way of getting their brains spilled out) as well as a new ability by Kratos to roll back time on an object. An example shown was a wrecked structure being restored to its former glory so Kratos can climb on it (and will surely destroy it again later). God of War: Ascension will be out March 12th, 2013.
10. Last, but not least (get it?), we have The Last of Us. Prior to the conference, the only thing I really knew about it was that it was the next game by Naughty Dawg. It looks amazing. It showed the middle aged main protagonist and his female child companion dispatch a ruined building full of men. There was some stealthy choking out, some gunplay, and an incredibly gruesome shotgun blast to the face. I will definitely be paying attention to this title going forward.
Just one more left to go for tomorrow, and that’s Nintendo. Be sure to stay tuned to Diehard GameFAN for more E3 2012 coverage!