E3 2012: Sony Conference Highlights & Comments
Sony is known for bringing in new IP’s that push the limits of gaming. With a home console that is building its fanbase every day, a newly released portable handheld system and new games to acompany them, Sony is showing that they have what it takes to stay afloat in this intense race.
Sony has done a magnificent job at create an amazing looking stage. The entire stage consists of 5 major screens and a bunch of miniature screens. The show opens up with a common pumped up video done by Sony, but this time, it is using the full ability of all the screens on stage. The video speeds through Sony’s Hardware, exclusive IP’s, third party titles and services accompanied by a dubstep song for the first half and a really neat uplifting song for the second half.
As the montage ends, Jack Tretton takes the stage. He starts off by thanking the loyal fans for always supporting the company (At which he mentioned that a ton of people were waiting in line for a long time just to get into the Sony E3 show). He then thanks gamers in general for being the ones that drive the industry and making Sony what it is today.
As Jack finishes his speech, he talks about a new IP being developed by Quantic Dreams. With the recent release of David Cage’s “Kara” video, it was obvious by the fan reaction that this was something they were dying to see. Jack has David come out on stage to talk about the new game. He mentions that the story is about a young woman feeling that she has a connection with something or someone in the afterlife. The story revolves around the question: “What is after Death?”. The lead role is played by actress: Ellen Page. One of the first scenes of the game is shown.
The video shows a police officer speaking to the lead woman. He offers a cup of coffee, even though she says nothing. He sits down and mentions that he found her in the middle of nowhere. She has no reply. He continues the questioning with her staring off quietly. The coffee in front of her moves by itself. Once the officer notices a scar on her, the coffee slams into the wall. As the officer leaves the room to give her some time alone, she speaks to a ghost understanding that the “They” (Meaning the SWAT Team that comes int shortly) are after her. The police officer opens the door for the SWAT Team to the room she is in, just to find out she isn’t there. The video ends with a cutscene montage of the game.
The graphics are truly breathtaking, and it is obvious why David Cage has such a major reputation in the gaming industry. Jack Tretton returns to the stage to mention the “Michael” Trailer in which many gaming icons and legends hangout in a bar together and cheer for a gamer named “Michael”. With this trailer in mind, he leads it into talking about Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
As 6 individuals from SuperBot Entertainment come onto the stage (From a smoke-filled door by the way!), 4 of them prepare for battle: two on Vitas, and the other two on the Playstation 3. Before the match begins, they mention that there will be cross-play between the Vita & Playstation 3. As the match begins, you notice four memorable characters: Kratos, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth & Sly Cooper. In this game, you can obtain different levels of “Super” attacks, which allow you to perform a powerful move on your opponents. In this demo, we get to see Sweet Tooth’s level three “Super” (Also pictured above!). In the end, Fat Princess took the cake (See what I did there?) and annihilated all of her enemies.
This demo was truly impressive. Just because it has somewhat of a Smash Bros. look, doesn’t mean it isn’t unique in its own way. After the match, everyone is thanked and left with a quick teaser video showing off two new characters coming to Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale: Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Big Daddy from Bioshock.
Jack Tretton returns to the stage and mentions that the Playstation Vita can now be used as a second controller for your Playstation 3. He then makes an announcement A new cross-controller DLC coming out soon for Little Big Planet that allows sharing level creations, own in-game controls, new story-mode, stickers, objects, and much more back and forth with the Vita.
We are then told about (My personal favorite PSN game of all time) Journey being the most downloaded game in PSN’s existence. He then goes on to mention that 80% of all Playstation 3’s & Vitas are online, and that there are over 1,500 downloadable titles on PSN, with 200+ more coming within the next 12 months. Sony is offering PS Plus members 12 free downloadable titles starting tomorrow including: LittleBigPlanet 2, Infamous 2 & Saints Row 2. Sony will also start rolling out new free titles every month for everyone to enjoy! When the moment couldn’t get any better, Jack Tretton gives everyone in the audience a free 1 year subscription to PS Plus.
Playstation Vita is going to be getting better this year, with 60 new titles, PSOne Classics (Tomb Raider & Final Fantasy!), and the implementation of YouTube, Crackle & Hulu Plus! Two announced games will be: Call of Duty: Black Ops-Declassified & Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation. Liberation will star a female French assassin and allow you to cross-play with Assassin’s Creed 3, so that you can obtain Connor’s tomahawk and other amazing features. Sony is also announcing the first major Vita bundle, that comes with AC3: Liberation, a 4gb memory card and the first ever white Playstation Vita. The bundle and game will be released on October 30th, 2012.
Now onto Assassin’s Creed 3! 2 of the game’s creators come out and mention the game was fought by land and sea-now leading into a gameplay video of Connor in an American Uniform steering a ship while dodging British cannon fire. You then watch as your team fires back at the enemy vessel. The battle gets intense as the storm picks up and more cannon fire is exchanged. Once a ship has been sunk, the rebels grab their guns and prepare to jump onto the enemy vessel with Connor leading the way. The trailer ends with the AC3 logo.
Assassin’s Creed 3 will also launch with a Playstation 3 bundle which includes the game, the system and exclusive content!
Next up, is Far Cry 3!
FC3 is started off with a 4-player co-op done by Ubisoft Employees. The players are meeting an intense resistance and do a great job fighting their way through. The teamwork is very good, and they also did a magnificent job with communication. The match ends with them successfully blowing up their targeted bridge.
Far Cry 3 will have exclusive DLC for PS3 owners.
Jack Tretton pops back on stage and begins talking about the Playstation Move. Currently, there are over 250 titles available for Move. He then brings out Andrew House, the new President & Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. Andrew talks about Sony’s new idea: The “Wonderbook”, which is an AR (Augmented Reality) based game that allows you to enter new worlds and stories through this book and the Playstation Eye. The game that they will be demoing is called: “The Book of Spells”.
“Book of Spells”, is a story written by J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter Series. What’s so awesome about this title? Well, you’re learning different spells…..in the Harry Potter Universe! You’re learning to become the wizard you have always dreamed of (Now that I know the fire-making spell, I can finally cook food the way I want to—by incinerating it!)!
A young girl begins to learn the “Fire-Making Spell”. A small dragon pops out of the book and sets it on fire. The young girl struggles to put it out. The dragon progresses to set the other player’s book on fire and escapes. They then move to the next part of the demo where the book now creates a paper story. Another woman begins to learn a new spell, but shortly after trying to perform, the game doesn’t entirely work as planned. It takes her a few tries, only to succeed and receive an amusing comment from Dave mentioning that “This IS a live demo….” with the crowd laughing with him.
You now see as the first girl begins waving her wand with fire to be flung from it and hitting all over the room. The demo ends with a small video showing other features of the game. As the crowd applauses, Andrew House returns to the stage and mentions a quote from J.K. Rowling talking about the Playstation and her game.
Sony is ready to get their games on other platforms, starting with HTC Smartphones! The Playstation Suite (Now called: “Playstation Mobile”) will finally make its jump from Sony-only devices, to non-Sony devices.
A gameplay video is shown of “God of War: Ascension”. It shows Kratos walking up to a man on a pier with a sword in his back. The man dies, which then allows Kratos to take the sword and use it to fight off the enemies that have just appeared in front of him. He begins his massive slaughtering. The graphics are very sharp and impressive. Kratos finally destroys the Boss and continues to move on. As Kratos progresses through the level, he makes it to the end where a two-legged Elephant is waiting for him. The boss battle rages on and is pretty intense and bloody (Just like what you would expect from a God of War game). After defeating the Elephant, he is greeted by the Hydra, in which the video ends with him jumping at it.
The lights go off. You hear the beautiful sounds of nature and birds. You then hear people being chased. It’s the intro to the gameplay video of “The Last Of Us”. They begin walking through a rundown metro city filled with trees inside skyscrapers, massive water reserves, and anything you could ever dream of in a destroyed city. As the player progresses, they hear the voices of enemies talking. The player sneaks up and chokes a guy out while being spotted shortly after. As he continues throughout the building, he is met with confrontation, with at one moment holding an enemy hostage to ensure his safety. While fighting, the crowd cheers his success on.
The player then goes into his backpack only to get a molotov and throw it at his enemy. Another enemy comes by and is met with a shot to the face and ending with the game logo. Jack Tretton comes back on stage and as a wrap-up, gives a small speech and tells everyone to never stop gaming.
Sony did an amazing job for this years E3. A lot of folks were hoping that the rumors were true that Sony was planning to announce the Playstation 4, but instead were met with nothing. A really nice move was Sony proved that the Playstation Vita will not meet the same fate of the PSP and be ignored. It has great titles coming this year, along with more titles for the Playstation Network. This is another step in the right direction for Sony, and I look forward to what else they have to offer.