Sony’s press conference was a real…well, let’s just say they had the opposite effect of Microsoft. Instead of too much cinematics, Sony had too much gameplay, and generally too much gameplay from games that are only worth the briefest of mentions. But Sony did do a few things very, very right, most notably The Last of Us, which is by far the best thing to come out of E3 thus far.
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation
Assassin’s Creed 3 comes in two colors: home consoles and Playstation Vita. There was very limited Vita news during Sony’s press conference, but the one highlight for the portable console was an exclusive version of Assassin’s Creed 3, dubbed Liberation. It features the first playable female assassin, who looks straight out of New Orleans and Pirate of the Caribbean, dreadlocks and all, and promises to be a full Assassin’s Creed experience instead of a stripped down mobile version.
Little of the actual game was shown, but there are two important things to note: first, the game will release as part of a bundle that includes an exclusive white Vita and the game. Second, Liberation will include PS3 extras for Assassin’s Creed 3, including a multiplayer character, several player skins, and a few other extras.
HTC now a Playstation Mobile partner
Today, if you want to play anything on the Playstation Mobile app (previously the Playstation Suite), you’d need a Sony product. That means an Xperia phone like the Xperia Play, or one of the two Sony Tablets (S or P). While Sony Mobile puts out a handful of phones a year, it doesn’t heavily influence the market, so adding hardware partners is a very smart move. HTC is one of the largest Android handset makers, behind Samsung, and with their recent One series has the current fastest Android phones in the world.
This opens up the Playstation Mobile app for millions of users, and is a huge step forward. Especially now that Sony will start selling PS1 games on the Vita, and will increase the library of games over time.
The Last of Us
I’ve been looking forward to three, maybe four games. Call me a tough critic with ridiculously high expectations. The Last of Us was already on my list, because of the interesting story, the intriguing world, and the whole father-daughter relationship. Then Sony showed the demo to close out the company’s press conference.
Holy hell. Words don’t do the demo justice. It is remarkably good looking. Imagine Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception graphics in an apocolyptic world where a broken family is trying to survive. Where it’s so similar to what you’d expect to see in a show like The Walking Dead, or great TV shows or Film. It has a level of detail that is just not seen in games today.
The two walk into a broken down 5-star hotel and come across a gang looking through it for supplies. The father strangles one, surprising him from behind, and the man claws for dear life. The second the father picks up the gun, someone else notices him and yells for help. With just six bullets to spare, the father wastes one shot, puts two in one guy and downs him, and misses the next one. The father takes a bullet and instantly he writhes in pain.
Then the unthinkable happens. The daughter asks if her dad is okay. I’ve never seen this sort of realism, in real time, happen in any game. The live demo had several moments just like this, one later when the two hide out in a bedroom, and another when the father runs out of bullets and the gun makes that resounding click of empty. A guy comes out and says “I know that sound!”, and starts putting bullets into the wardrobe the father uses for cover. Then suddenly the daughter throws a brick at the guy. Everyone in the audience held their breath the second the guy recoiled and pointed the gun at the daughter. It was unthinkable.
And that was just five minutes of the game. It was by far the best demo at all of E3 thus far, and the one game I look forward to the most on the show floor.
Sony showed a lot off, but very little was anything to write home about. Here’s a brief look at all of the other major points:
- Beyond: Two Souls is the upcoming title from David Cage’s Quantic Dream, the makers of Heavy Rain. It features Ellen Page as the main character and looks very similar to Heavy Rain when it comes to gameplay.
- Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is the Mario Party of Sony titles. It’ll be cross-platform between the PS3 and Vita, and thus far includes Kratos, Sweet Tooth (from Twisted Metal), Fat Princess, Sly Cooper, Nathan Drake, and a Bioshock Big Daddy.
- LittleBigPlanet 2 will receive an update to allow the PS Vita to act as a cross-controller for the game. It’ll work as a controller and secondary display while connected via Wi-Fi.
- Video services including YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Crackle are coming to the Playstation Vita.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified has been announced for the Playstation Vita, and will release this holiday. That’s all we know.
- Far Cry 3 will include a four player coop campaign, a map editor, and will have exclusive free DLC on the Playstation 3.
- Wonderbook: a physical book that, with the PS Eye, is an augmented reality game that pops up images on the screen above the book. The first book will be Book of Spells, partially written by J.K. Rowling, which is more of a kids peripheral and game.
- HTC will have the Playstation Suite, now titled Playstation Mobile.
- God of War: Ascension is planned to release on March 12, 2013. It looks almost identical to God of War 3, and nothing was shown or discussed except for some basic gameplay that isn’t any different from any other God of War 3 gameplay.