Wednesday, 24 June 2015

E3 2015 Roundup: Sony

Right then, so I'm going to try to be a bit more on time this year in terms of the E3 posts. In this post, I shall be rounding up Sony's E3 conference and will include information on all of the games, trailers and any other bits of news I can gather from the conference. Of course, spoilers will ensue. Enjoy.

The Sony conference starts out with a clip from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End before jumping to a huge montage of PlayStation games. Wow, there are a lot of good ones, aren't there?

Shawn Layden (President/CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America) then goes on about how this is a generation in which gamers matter most. I don't know what all the other generations have been about then, but it's a nice sentiment.

The Last Guardian: well, that was cool. Beautiful graphics, superb animation (especially with going down stairs) and a great pet (Fallout 4 may have a dog but The Last Guardian has a giant bat dog thing). In a nutshell the trailer shows the main character exploring a temple which is breaking around him before this giant dog appears and breaks some stuff before saving the boys life (the boy then returns the favour, thankfully). Looks to be a great game with some pretty good puzzle solving elements. One to watch, for sure. Release date: 2016.

Horizon Zero Dawn: wow. Think Skyrim mixed with The Witcher mixed with Tomb Raider mixed with Xenoblade X and your on the right track. Looks to have great lore, a superb combat system and it just looks great as well. Another one to watch.

Hitman: much drama. Much movement. Much characters. Much sniping. Much Hitman. Much wow. Apparently, gamers will travel round exotic locations while assassinating high profile targets as the Hitman, Agent 47. On both consoles and PC (digital first) and PS4 get a PlayStation only beta when they preorder the game as well as 6 extra console exclusive contracts.

Street Fighter V: new challengers: Birdie - a guy with chains and Cammy - a military woman with high flying kicks. You can pre-order for beta access starting 23rd July (exclusive to PS4). Exclusive to PS4 and PC.

No Mans Sky: the scale of this game is huge. The demo starts off with a space battle which shows you that you will actually be able to do things other than explore (if you can find other people that is). Then, Sean Murray, of Hello Games, goes on to the map. The map shows you all of the stars in the universe (not all at once of course) and there are many (and each have planets and life in them). Not only this, but you can warp to the stars which should make exploration easier (although, I'm not sure what the limits are for this). The map also shows the center of the galaxy (the place where everyone is trying to get to). Then Sean travels to a random star (apparently a bit of a stupid idea) and ends up near a random planet in which he shows off the scanner. The scanner can be used to display points of interest on the planet such as beacons (shown in red) which are used to upload discoveries (of wildlife etc.). As you enter the planet's atmosphere, a display shows up of the atmosphere's composition as well as who discovered the planet (I think that will become the main point of the game) as well as the name of the planet. Turns out that the environments of all the planets are fully destructible which will be interesting (although the animation for this is a little lackluster). Planets are guarded by Sentinels (giant robots - how did they get there?) and inhabited by all sorts of wildlife such as fish (that can be discovered by using your scanner once your close to them - another interesting objective to add to the game). You get credits for uploading this data to the beacon as well as a record of what you've done. The game also has trading in it as well!

Dreams: a game that basically does what it's name says. You can explore peoples dreams and make your own. Apparently, the game aims to recreate the surreal feeling of dreaming and travelling inside dreams. Interesting. Each dream is seamlessly linked to the next into a 'Dreamiverse' (technical term). The players can make the dreams by painting the world with the PS4 controller (and its gyro's). The game looks like a moving painting (seriously, it does - it's both beautiful and creepy) and you can create it all using the developer's tools. As well as this, you can move your creations much like a puppeteer. This game reminds me more of a movie designer than a game, though, so I'm not sure how well it will play (it looks beautiful, however. And really creepy). Like if Tim Burton and Walt Disney's minds had a baby. *Shudders*.

Firewatch: Firewatch is a mystery game in which you're only companion is a female voice on the other end of a handset. It also includes what appears to be destructible backgrounds and a rather interesting, and comedic, story.

Destiny: The Taken King: it's apparently the type of game that was meant to define this generation. If this means great graphics, music and gameplay, great. If this means no story, repetitiveness and a lackluster loot system, I fear for this generation. And Adam Boyes (Sony Computer Entertainment) is a level 34 Warlock btw (and he wants people to join his Strikteam). Well, it's another great trailer promising much in the ways of story, graphics and gameplay. We'll have to wait until the 15th September to find out if it keeps its promises, though. New 'delicious' (according to Adam) supers are coming as well. New gear, a multiplayer map and a co-op strike is exclusive to PlayStation on day one of the DLC.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate: introduces Evie Frye (eldest of the Frye twins) as well as two new weapons - the Cane Sword (the ultimate, stylish, Victorian weapon) and the Throwing Knives (can be used to distract as well as kill enemies). A word of warning: don't mess with Evie. Exclusive missions (the Dreadful Crimes) on PS4.

World of Final Fantasy: a new Final Fantasy game in cartoon-y graphics in which you are small. So small, in fact, that you can ride on the, adorable, monsters! Or grow big enough for them to ride on you! And, you can befriend them! Oh, and you can bring in legends of Final Fantasy to help you! Wow, Final Fantasy do like looking at their, rather extensive and great, history, don't they. Looks good though. Exclusive on PS4 and PS Vita in 2016.

Final Fantasy 7 (Remake): yes, Internet, it happened. And it looks amazing. Coming, first, to PS4.

Ronin: the first of the Devolver games that will be released first on PS4. It looks to be a ninja game with a minimalist style (in terms of graphics but not gameplay).

Eitr: A Diablo-esque medival game in which you take control of a sword and magic wielding female warrior (and is the second of the Devolver games). Before beating up some pigs. Of course.

Mother Russia Bleeds: the third Devolver game looks like a Mortal Kombat game thrown in a blender with a MLG video (i.e. more gore and screeching).

Crossing Souls: the final Devolver game is a pixelated American sitcom school fighter with proper cartoon cutscenes.

Shenmue III: I must confess that I don't know too much about the series but from what I could see from the trailer it looks beautiful (and, I expect, will have a great story). So if you want to 'Save Shenmue' go to Kickstarter now... or at least you would if it's goal hadn't been reached just after the E3 conference.

Batman Arkkam Knight: so *spoiler* Joker *spoiler*. And a power struggle! And zombies! And, I expect, Scarecrow! Hooray! Also, there are exclusive Scarecrow Nightmare Missions as well as classic TV series Batman/Batmobile and a Justice League 3000 Batman skin only on PS4! Release date: 23rd June 2015.

Project Morpheus: apparently, Project Morpheus will contain a multiplayer system (but possibly with Dualshock 4 controllers rather than the VR itself) as well as the main single player experience - we'll see how that goes. A few games are also shown, briefly, such as: Eve Valkyrie (space shooter), a penalty football game that I can't see the name of, Golding (garden sim(?)), The Deep (shark sim),
World of War Toons (a cartoon-y war game) and Wayward Sky (robots... possibly a puzzler(?)).

RIGS: a new 3 on 3 futuristic e-sports shooter developed for Project Morpheus.

Spotify and PlayStation Vue: Andrew House (Sony Computer Entertainment) then talks about how the PS4 has been updated to keep up with gamers (and music/TV lovers apparently) such as with the Spotify app on PS4 (which is the fastest launch adoption title in PlayStation's history) and PlayStation Vue (an easy to use TV streaming service - only in, parts of, America). PlayStation Vue will also become the first TV steaming service where you can subscribe to specific channels rather than bundles and will include a new, exclusive, channel from Machinima, with PlayStation Plus members getting a discounted price on subscriptions.

Call of Duty Black Ops III: the campaign is now co-op (up to four player, in-fact) and the game will include a campaign mode, multiplayer mode and zombie mode. Weapons, equipment and character abilities that you will earn in the mission are... chosen before the missions (won't that get rid of the surprise and break it a bit? No? Okay, then. Hmm... customisation rules!). Boom! Boom! BOOM! Explosions! Special powers (okay, they look cool)! Death! Wall-running! Grenades! Giant robots! Hi-jacking of giant robots via special powers (again, that looks cool)! Destructible environments! It turns out that the bees from the first trailer are actually fireflies! BOOM! And, as for the multiplayer, movement (and special powers) really is king. And I really wish I could aim like that! Release date: 6th November 2015. In addition, PlayStation owners will be the first to play all Map Hacks from the series and the first to play the multiplayer beta this august (PS4 only).

Montage of games ensues, including: Uncharted: the Nathan Drake collection, God of War, Destiny, Deux Ex, Metal Gear Solid, Batman Arkham Knight, sporting games, Lego games, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, various games from this E3 post such as Hitman, Firewatch and Horizon, Ratchet and Clank, Until Dawn and many, many more games on PS4, PS Vita and Project Morpheus.

Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: the music plays and it's Star Wars time! Disney Infinity 3.0 will include a new playset called The Twilight Republic that will include Lightsaber combat when the Jedi were at the peak of their power (during the Clone Wars era). Then, a month later, the Rise Against the Empire playset will be released which will allow players to re-experience iconic moments from Episodes 4-6 Release date: Autumn with PlayStation players getting access to an exclusive starter pack that will feature The Twilight Republic playset and characters as well as the Rise Against the Empire playset and characters (including Boba Fett) one month before release on any other platform. Well, besides Darth Vader's remarkably thinner figure (has he been on Weight Watchers again?) the Playset looks to be pretty good as well.  

Star Wars Battlefront: release date: November 17th 2015. Mission types (that can be played alone, with a friend via split-screen) include: Battle (where you and a friend go head to head as iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader while being supported by a team of AI); Trials (where you are pitted against various challenges) and Survival (where you have to survive against the Empire until a retrieval pod can arrive to rescue you). The graphics look phenomenal and the gameplay seems interesting to say the least with huge powerups and great shooter gameplay.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End: well, once the video finally worked, Uncharted looks good with, really detailed, destructible environments (such as individual pots on a shelf or individual tiles on a wall), lots of different people and explosions from guns and cars, this game certainly looks, and appears to play, good. The game also contains a cool weapon retrieval system and parkour as well as vehicle sections. Furthermore, the conversations between the protagonists are great and poke fun at the movie and gaming industry.

Well, that's all from the Sony Conference which had some nice surprises in it. Come back next time for the Microsoft Conference Roundup!

Goodbye for now, Harry 

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