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E3 2014: Sony Press Conference Reaction

Posted on Tuesday, June 10 @ 10:47:54 PST by KevinS

At this year's press conference, I saw the upcoming lineup of titles through Sony. I've watched them before online so I knew what to expect, but I was still more than pleased with the plethora of solid PS4 exclusives, and with the overall creativity of it all; while some companies might present a more focused vision of a company's direction, Sony is going all over the map with intriguing new ideas, strong takes on old concepts, and supporting the idea that gaming can reach all people and tastes. It's nice to see a big company not come off as the ultimate enemy of the little guy, y'know?

Sony opened its conference with a one-two punch of Destiny and The Order: 1886, a couple AAA titles covering the past and future. With players controlling one of the few "guardians" remaining to save the human race from overwhelming odds, Destiny boasts some beautiful visuals, though a little drab on the color scheme, with a "first look" alpha coming on July 17th for PS4. Meanwhile, The Order: 1886 didn't display much actual information through its pre-rendered fight, but did show a lone fella searching a building for something and finds what appears to be a zombie... then becomes something of a werewolf. It's like a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, only with fantasy horror monsters and fewer burritos. Meaning, I'm looking forward to it.

Following that was a short presentation for Entwined, a dual-stick-controlled journey between two pixilated creatures (at first glance looked like a blue bird and a goldfish) weaving throughout a world in reminiscent fashion to Rez. As described in the keynote, they're two souls in love that, for some reason, can never be at peace together. As they journey they spread across the sky a living paint, though it's not known just what effect that may have on any possible enemies or the environment (though it does look pretty). As it's available right now, sounds like a fun distraction to keep an eye on.

After some stand-alone DLC for Infamous, the first really big gun was whipped out: LittleBigPlanet 3. And it looked... like LittleBigPlanet 2, which is still pretty on the PS4. But the big news was to add some creative flair to the puzzles via the addition of three new friends, each with a unique skill brought to the table. Oddsock is faster and can wall-jump; Toggle is both the biggest and the smallest, and by extension the strongest; and Swoop is a bird who can fly and pick things—even members of the party—up and over tricky obstacles. Not only are they available for puzzles, but they can each be controlled by a different character, which makes for good four-player co-op solves... as well as "we all hate Kevin because he's not cooperative." Top that with every LBP user-created level being available for play in this one, and that's a world of content available right from the get-go.

There was Bloodborne, formerly known as "Project Beast" from FromSoftware, more Far Cry 4 footage, and the trailer for the new Dead Island 2.(I'm sure Jessica Vazquez will be so thrilled to hear about that. Good trailer, though.) Battlefield Hardline took some display time with touted exclusive PS4 content, as well as the first beta release on the console, and Disney Infinity is getting its own exclusive bits. The crowd popped gleefully when Grim Fandango found the spotlight again—​for the first time in over a decade—​and a bevy of Devolver Digital titles found their way into the PSN library.

Suda51's Let It Die was an eye-popper, more for its possibility of actually offering eyeball-popping physics. Damn that was violent. Following the most elegant transition I've ever experienced, sarcastically stated, next shown was Abzu, a floaty title from the guys that created Journey. The newly formed developer Giant Squid has decided to take on the serenity of deep diving and snorkeling, exploring underwater depths in more appreciative practice than the more educational Endless Ocean.

An unexpected pleasure was No Man's Sky, a small indie team building not just a worked exploration simulator, but a universal simulator.  Every player starts on their own planet somewhere in the vast eternity, and a system that can somehow create a massive number of attributes per planet, with no two being totally alike. It should keep things flowing for some time. 

Add in some of the games we already know about, like Metal Gear Solid V, a new Batman title Batman: Arkham Knight to continue the Bat's current streak of hits, the collective groans and giggles of "FINALLY!" when watching the Grand Theft Auto V trailer, and a remastered-for-PS4 The Last of Us and your console should be getting the exercise it seriously needs.

The real stars of this conference were two, one we all knew was coming, and one we had hoped was coming (with, of course, no big updates or details to give us any insight as to their playable future).  The one we all knew was coming was the amazeballs-awesome that is Mortal Kombat X with gameplay footage. There was some new demonstration, like how the environment can be brought into play as both interactive and outright useful, and two new unnamed characters—​a wasp-like lady and a massive dude with a jockey—​and they did a number on one another, but until we know anything about them, that's about where that stays.

And then... then there was the big final reveal. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. A PS4 exclusive. We don't know much about it except that Nathan Drake looks as amazing as ever, and that it should drop in 2015. But that's all that's really necessary, just look at the short-yet-epic trailer for it:

If you watched it, what did you like best about the conference? Anything you hear about that really strike you like a MAC truck?

Tags:   E3, Sony

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