E3 2015: After Conference Report – Sony

As E3 continues throughout this week, Geek Syndicate will be covering as much as we can – as soon as we can. In addition to these “after conference reports”, check out our E3 twitter coverage, using the hashtag #GSE3.

Over the past couple of expos, Sony have easily arguably come out on top of the “console war” for those who are keeping score. With very few exclusives already announced, I was interested in seeing what the focus of the company’s presentation would be this year. It’s reasonable to expect a focus on Morpheus and an Uncharted 4 preview … but other than this I was pretty much a blank slate.

Would their conference impress me enough to consider getting a Playstation 4 this year? Let’s find out in this look back at the show!

Playstation

The Last Guardian

The conference opened with an exclusive title. One that has been “long awaited” by the gaming community. The Last Guardian is finally revealed in full. The footage showed a small boy and his not so small … dog/bird thing in an environment of giant, ruined structures. As the boy, players can command the creature to leap and solve platforming puzzles –for example, knocking a ledge to make it usable. The dog / bird thing will also catch the player’s character when jumps that are too far for him on his own are attempted. When positioned correctly that is!

I have to say I wasn’t impressed. Despite the game being pretty. Very pretty, it seemed from the footage we saw that it would be quite annoying to play through. Constant calls to the dog / bird thing to get it into position, potentially lethal jumps that seemed to always happen in slow motion … Nothing to write home about.

 

Horizon Zero Dawn

Another exclusive title was next up – This looked more interesting. A beautiful, fantasy world in which the female protagonist is a hunter. Creatures of all size roam the world. The world seems to be a mix of tech and fantasy, with creatures having canisters, technological armour and weaponry and so on. Once past this, the game seemed to play almost like Dragon’s Dogma or Monster Hunter. From the end of the play through it seems the machine creatures rule the land and the humans are fighting back? Very interesting. I’ll need to see more before I commit to that … and a Playstation 4!

 

Hitman

No subtitle for this “most ambitious Hitman ever created” … is it a reboot? It doesn’t seem to be. The game will come with six exclusive contracts to Playstation. No other details were forthcoming but a trailer is available to watch.

 

Street Fighter 5

The latest iteration of the grandfather of beat-em-ups debuted at the Sony conference. The game is exclusive to Playstation 4 and PC and the beta begins for Playstation this July.

 

No Man’s Sky

This year, gameplay for the surprise hit of 2014’s conference hit the conference. This showed a little bit of space combat, the scale of the game … and this was impressive. Zooming out at super speed took long enough. The procedurally generated universe is truly massive. The aim is to get to the centre of the universe. The ship’s hyperdrive has a limited range. Flying to systems, planets can be approached and landed on. Scans show items of interest in systems or on planets. Every planet is fully destructible. Buildings and so on can be blasted. Sentinels guard the planets however – so take care!

 

Dreams

A game where players create and experience dreams. I couldn’t quite envisage this from the description. There are no pre-made assets – just those created by other players and yourself. If the creation process is truly as simple as sold, then this is potentially going to be a truly unique experience. Not a game. An experience.

 

Destiny

The Taken King DLC was announced in the Sony conference and more content will be available for the Playstatrion. Destiny is a game that I enjoyed despite its flaws and one that I want to get back into. Perhaps the new DLC will be the impetus?

 

World of Final Fantasy / Final Fantasy 7 Remake

This cute instalment of the Final Fantasy game was announced as a Sony exclusive but the trailer clearly said “play it first” so it looks like it will be arriving on other platforms too.

Also a timed exclusive is the remake of Final Fantasy 7.

 

Indie Titles

A series of quick looks at some indie games debuting on Playstation 4 was shown. I missed a lot of the titles but there was certainly a mix of different games in there.

Sony also brought a kickstarter game that will be out on Playstation 4 and Windows. Shenmue 3. Fans of the franchise will definitely want to get over and check out the kickstarter for that.

 

Batman Arkham Knight

Set nine months after Arkham City. Interestingly, the beginning of the game is taken from the perspective of a police officer rather than the Batman. Scarecrow is definitely on the prowl as the officer discovers his fears!

 

Project Morpheus

Undoubtedly the best looking of the VR headests, Sony detailed some multiplayer VR games. Rigs is a VR enabled 3 on 3 multiplayer shooter developed for Morpheus.

Playstation Music / Playstation Vue

New digital offerings were announced – with vue, you can subscribe to individual channels rather than set packages which is something I wish more services would offer. Discounts are available to Playstation Plus subscribers. A partnership with Spotify was also announced for Playstation Music.

 

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Interestingly a co-op campaign was announced. Players can equip themselves before each mission meaning that the campaign is less scripted than usual. Four players can work together in the campaign mode. Okay so this is more interesting than it could have been for someone with Call of Duty fatigue. But as with Rainbow Six Siege, I would need a constant group of friends with the same system to get the most out of it.

The game is also set in 2065 so takes a bit of Advanced Warfare to mix into the Black Ops formula. Bionic legs for jumping and wall running, advanced vehicles and weaponry etc. The campaign looked action packed and if you can get a team together I imagine this could be Gears of War co-op levels of fun.

It was announced that map packs will be available on Playstation 4 first and that the beta in August will be on that console.

 

Disney Infinity 3.0

A Playstation exclusive pack was announced with two playsets – one Clone Wars and one Original trilogy. Again, this is a timed-exclusive not an actual exclusive. Boba Fett will also be available first on Playstation 4 though I am not sure how that works, given how Disney Infinity works.

 

Star Wars: Battlefront

A horde mode was showcased on Playstation. I love me a horde mode. Perhaps this is where I can do my levelling up?! Solo and split screen co-op briefly flashed up on the screen which is something I would miss if it wasn’t in the game at all … which I thought it wasn’t!

 

Uncharted 4

Sony presented some gameplay of the next instalment of Uncharted. Well they tried to. For some reason, they needed to restart the demo as Nathan didn’t move when control was given to the player. The second time around the game kicked in! As always, the gameplay looked solid and wooden cover is destructible, which is a nice inclusion to the game.  If there is a game that sells the PS4 to me it will be this one – together with the re-mastered collection so I can play through them all. I have only played Uncharted 2 so that wouldn’t be a waste!

The gameplay footage lacked the drama of the sinking ship level showcased for Uncharted 3 but this is a minor criticism.

 

Trailers

  • Firewatch – I am not really sure what this is … but it does look interesting. Different art style – almost Team Fortress-ish.
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Evie was showcased and she has a sword cane and throwing knives. I missed whether this is a special mode, but exclusive PS4 content was again mentioned for the game.

 

Round Up Thoughts

I commented on our E3 preview episiode of The Next Level that it seemed Sony were concentrating on in game exclusives rather than exclusive games and that certainly seemed to be confirmed with this conference. I was somewhat disappointed as I was looking for a “console selling” title that would make me want to dive in and buy a PS 4 but there was nothing that made me think “I have to have that”.

Personally, I found the conference somewhat lack lustre. Even the Morpheus demonstration was limited. I can’t help but think that the company has missed a trick or three this year. I was expecting so much more from the company that has ruled E3 the past couple of years.

On its own, Uncharted 4 is not enough to sell the console to me.

Sorry, Sony.

GS Blogger: WedgeDoc

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