by Charles Webb, published on June 5, 2012|
It took Sony all of no seconds to start off with dubstep. Let's do this.
The presentation opened with Sony President Jack Tretton heralding his company's creative as the greatest in the industry, in a show all about bringing gaming to wherever you are. With that said, Quantic Dream's David Cage cam up to talk interactive storytelling, emotion, and his company's new project, Beyond. The Heavy Rain studio's next game deals with the very idea of life after death, featuring protagonist Jod Holmes over a 15 years as she deals with things beyond the world of the living. Ellen Page will be the actress portraying Jodi.
Cage presented footage from early in the game which he said was running in real time. An obviously traumatized Jodi sat in a police station as an officer attempted to find out what happened to her and why she was unwilling or unable to talk. From there, it was all SWAT teams and a montage of action setpieces but no obvious gameplay junctures. Plot-wise, there's definitely a Firestarter vibe with telekinesis and ghost talking skills.
Next up, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. SuperBot entertainment took the stage to announce that the game would be available for the Vita with PS3 cross-play. We saw a four-player fight, where players try to build up special attack energy based on scoring hits on opponents. Supers are multi-level a la SSIV and the likes. Twisted Metal's Sweet Tooth executes his level three super, transforming into a giant mech, killing the other three opponents. Plenty of interactive elements with the background, and Nathan Drake and a Big Daddy from Bioshock are joining the lineup of playable characters.
All-Stars will be available on the PS3 and Vita this holiday season.
Later this year, Little Big Planet 2 will get "cross controller DLC" allowing enhanced controls for the platformer. It will also provide additional story and stickers. Also, with YouTube on the way to the handheld, Hulu Plus and Crackle are on the way for additional video streaming options. Sony is continuing to push the Vita as a multimedia platform.
Vita will be getting PSOne classics like Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy starting this summer, with new games like When Vikings Attack and Retro City Rampage on the way as well.
Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is coming to the Vita this holiday season and Tretton promised that it would be a AAA first-person-shooter experience in the palm of your hand. This was followed by a teaser trailer for Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. It will still be an open world title and use cross-goods with ACIII on the PS3. You can pick it up separately or in a bundle with a crystal white PS Vita on October 30th.
Speaking of Assasin's Creed III, Connor will be heading to the high seas in some missions, with full controls of a boat and its canons against British forces (and a snazzy seafaring costume to match). In the demo, the player can turn the boat hard, aiming your gunports at enemy ships and letting loose with a mess o' cannonballs. The PS3 will also be getting an ACIII-themed bundle including the game and exclusive DLC.
I would like for you to know that I love, love the idea of murdering boats with other boats.
Far Cry 3 is getting four-player co-op. Was this part of a separate mode? It's part of a dedicated, co-op campaign, separate from the single-player mode, and PS3 users will get exclusive DLC.
On to the PS Move portion of the presentation, Sony's motion control hardware gets WonderBook which is an AR-game combining Move and the PlayStation Eye to provide animations and branching narratives for actual books. Sony's working with authors to create titles, with Moonbot Studios on board with the first project out, the mystery Diggs Nightcrawler.
WonderBook's biggest get: J.K. Rowling will be bringing Miranda Goshawk Book of Spells to WonderBook. Like Sorcery, Book of Spells will allow you to use your Move Wand like a magic wand. Rowling will be providing all-new writing including poems, new spells and their history. The demo involved a player summoning a dragon which subsequently set fire to the pages of the book before escaping. You can rotate the book to look at the pop-up objects, and I'm incredibly, absolutely bugged that it's a book in that it has written content, but the game simply reads it to you.
Which feels kind of like missing the point. Conceptually, I love the idea of WonderBook conceptually, but kids better be doing some readin' with something featuring the word "Book" in its name.
Sony was the only presentation today to talk about mobile gaming, announcing that HTC will be the first non-Sony platform to receive PlayStation content. Consequently, "PlayStation Suite" will now be "PlayStation Mobile."
Next, God of War: Ascension made its E3 2012 debut in gameplay. Some beautiful effects and amped-up graphics, but it's pretty recognizably God of War and Sony Santa Monica doesn't seem to be messing around with the gameplay all that much.
The big treat was seeing Naughty Dog's The Last of Us in action. Ruined cities, overtaken by nature were the most striking element of the demo. The lighting and texture (not textures, mind) have that Uncharted feel by way of decades of decay and neglect. During the combat sequence, your character flinches when gunfire whizzes past your head, and you can take human shields. There's a wisecracking, Nate/Sully vibe between the two leads, but it remains to be seen how at odds it'll be with the darker, post-apocalyptic tone of the game which straight up has you blowing faces off with a shotgun. Final interesting note about the game: your health bar doesn't replenish.