E3 2012: Sony Press Conference

Long Live Play Beyond

Amuro reporting in to talk about the Sony news revealed at E3 so far. The Sony Press Conference was a big chance to show the world why the PlayStation name is still relevant, but did they take advantage or squander the opportunity? That my dear readers, is mixed bag. As a Sony fanboy, I had high expectations going in, and I’d be a liar if I said they were all met. For the most part, I liked what I saw, however there were moments where I could do nothing but cringe at what I was seeing.  I’ll be breaking things up into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to highlight what worked for me, what didn’t, and what nearly made me want to jump ship.


Beyond: Two Souls

I’d say this was the biggest reveal at the Sony Conference. From the makers of Heavy Rain comes Beyond, and it’s looking like it will blow its predecessor out of the water in terms of its graphical and acting performances. The game focuses on a girl with connections to the afterlife, and is set to follow her over the course of 15 years. The demo really showed off how great the motion capture technology is able to translate the performances of the actors into the game world. Speaking of performances, Ellen Page was cast in the roll of the lead character. What the demo didn’t really show is how the game will be played, but those who have experience with Heavy Rain will likely have some idea of what to expect. In any case, this game is certainly one to keep an eye on for all the controversy that is sure to surround it.

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Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

If you at all follow video game news, then you’ve at least heard of this game. There’s also been no shortage of video coverage either, so if the gameplay demo we actually saw at the conference was all they had shown, then I would have listed this under bad category if only for there being a lack of any actual news. However, there was a twist to the demo and it came with a big, if not unpredictable announcement: All Stars Battle Royale is coming to the PSVita. What’s even better is that the game will be fully cross compatible with the PS3 version allowing for any combination of local or online multiplayer between the two versions. Even better was the official reveal of Nathan Drake and Bioshock’s Big Daddy (the first 3rd party character to be revealed) as playable characters. While no concrete release date was given, they’re shooting for 2012 holiday release.

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Assassin’s Creed III

As if this game’s showing at the Ubisoft press conference wasn’t awesome enough, Ubisoft also took the Sony stage to show us some never before seen gameplay. The demo featured a fantastic looking sea combat level. It was actually hard to believe how great that demo looked. More than that, Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for the Vita was shown off featuring a female lead character and taking place in New Orleans during the revolution. Both games will come bundled with their respective systems, Liberation in particular to come with a brand new Vita color: Crystal White. In any case, as someone who’s never actually played an Assassin’s Creed game, III looks so good that even I want to play it.

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God of War Ascension

It’s safe to say that Kratos is one of Sony’s biggest hitters, and God of War Ascension is one of the bigger games on the radar. Previously we had seen the big new addition to the franchise: Multi-player. At the press conference, we finally got to see what most fans actually care about: Single Player. It’s safe to say that this is more of the God of War we know and love, but it looks absolutely gorgeous. That’s right, it looks better than God of War III and that’s an achievement. Also on display were time manipulation puzzles, new weapons that Kratos can use on the fly, and the big set pieces that God of War is known for.  The game looks great, and hopefully it will delve into aspects of Kratos we haven’t seen before while giving us the same great action that we’ve come to expect.

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  • Far Cry 3 Four Player Co-op
    • Now, this wasn’t necessarily bad, just kind of…underwhelming and kind of “meh.” To say the least, the game looked unfinished, and of course that’s to be expected since it of course a work in progress. The announcement that the game would have exclusive DLC on PS3 was a bit of an afterthought, and one has to wonder if it was worth showing this off during the big Sony conference.
  • Playstation Move
    • Honestly, why do they even bother anymore? They listed a bunch of titles that use Move, but then didn’t actually show any of those games. The list included Bioshock Infinite and LBP Karting, games that would have been GREAT to see, and of course what we got instead was so much worse…
  • Call of Duty Black Ops Declasified
    • So why is this bad? Because it was nothing but a logo. We already had an announcement at last year’s E3 about a Call of Duty game coming to Vita, and what we got this year was…a name for the previously unnamed game. That’s it. No demo, no trailer, not even a screen shot.
  • Playstation Mobile and other stuff no one cares about.
    • Conferences always have their dull moments. Talking about numbers for example. What we also don’t care about is Playstation Mobile. It’s hard to say what it even is. The only thing that comes to mind is that the time spent on this should have been spent on the Vita!

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Playstation Wonderbook

I want to paint you a picture. There I am, with my brother and cousin as we all watch the Sony press conference via live stream on my TV. Up to this point the games Beyond, All Stars Battle Royal, and Assassin’s Creed III have all had a great showing and we’re getting hyped. THEN, Sony reveals the Wonderbook. The guy on screen makes a flat joke about how they actually managed to keep the thing secret. They then go on to actually show the thing off. The idea is good in theory, however it just doesn’t work. In fact, it’s such a bad showing that it’s embarrassing to watch. “Why are we watching this?” my naïve little cousin asks in bewilderment. “To get through to the good stuff,” I reassured, because I thought that surely this will be over soon. Then it kept going, and going, and going. It was so bad that my previously interested family actually gets up and leaves, not wanting to even stick around for God of War or the Last of Us. Why waste so much time on this when it could have been better spent showing off new stuff for the PS Vita!? It just doesn’t make sense as a thing for kids to play with either. You need a PS3, a PS Eye, a Move Controller, and the actual Wonderbook peripheral. It’s like Sony is purposefully making things people won’t be buying.
  • What wasn’t there
    • What was the most offensive thing about the conference wasn’t even the wonderbook, but what wasn’t shown at the conference. Why not show more Vita games (noticing a trend here?) Beyond even that, there were plenty of games for the PS3 that weren’t shown off. Why not emphasize the exclusive and brilliant looking Ni no Kuni? How about showing off Sly Cooper 4? LBP Karting? Hell, Last Guardian has been out of sight, out of mind for a long time now, and at this point, it’s hard to believe Sony execs when they say the game is still coming along. It’s all a great shame.

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The Last of Us

Okay, I don’t want to end on a low note, and just like the Sony conference, we’ll end things by talking about The Last of Us. Yes, this is a game we already knew about and of course since it is from Naughty Dog we would expect it to be awesome. However, after getting a look at the first ever gameplay footage, I can only say that I was blown away. As expected, the game is a third person action game akin to Uncharted. What’s different is just how brutal Last of Us really is. Despite all the fun people poke about Drake being a mass murderer because just how many people he kills, the Uncharted games all sit at a safe T rating. The Last of Us however is clearly going to earn its M rating and it does so in spectacular fashion. You really feel the brutality of the violence here as even taking one enemy down is a struggle as you see the life forcibly choked out him. Ammo scarcity is a big factor here compared to Uncharted’s ample supply of weapons and ammo. All in all, The Last of Us is Sony’s most impressive offering, and we still haven’t even seen the infected in gameplay yet. Naughty Dog is poised to hit another one out of the park.

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Closing Comments

Sony did a lot of things right at their conference, but they’re low points were real low points. It all sort of balances out to something in the middle, but it’s undeniable that the big name games we all care about had a strong showing. The Last of Us was the best way to close out the show because it left us with a great impression, but again, you have to wonder why waste valuable time with marginally interesting stuff and downright awful stuff like Wonderbook. In the end, there’s plenty to be excited about as a PS3 fan.

Amuro is a fanboy in the truest sense of the word, whether it be Gundam, Megaman, Final Fantasy or whatever other thing he’s currently obsessively devoting himself to. Amuro started gaming on the NES and hasn’t stopped since, and has developed a love for anime since an early age. His true calling is anything with giant robots. Link Twitter // Anivision

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16 Responses to “E3 2012: Sony Press Conference”

  1. Metalsnakezero says:

    I feel that they had more high points than low. Knowing that they have new IPs like Beyond and Last of us means Sony is willing to push for progression. They should had push a bit more on Vita content as it making people wonder if they really care about that system (I still do).

    • Amuro1X says:

      I own a Vita, and as an owner I wanted to see what games I’ll be buying. They showed off two games (All Stars and Assassin’s Creed) for the Vita at the show, but where was LittleBigPlanet Vita, Sly Cooper 4, or anything NEW that we haven’t heard of? The thing is, there were plenty of Vita games on the show floor, but to the huge audience watching, they’d never know it. It’s just a shame, really.

      That said, I will agree that there were more high points than low.

  2. Hawthorne says:

    Never heard of The Last of Us before now, so I was completely surprised. It was probably the best trailer for a game I’ve ever seen, even better than Watch Dogs IMO. At this point I really want to get a PS3, now to find the money for it … ><

  3. Kitty says:

    I don’t want my story books re-invented thank you. Also I was wondering what J.K Rowling was doing this days…. another sell out!! Sorry is actually not a HP fan… I did read the books, I didn’t like them XD No you cannot shoot me.

    Look’s like Nintendo is King of E3 again this year, as it should be!! I dunno about everyone else but the Wii U blows me away. Then again Sony has hadn’t any games I play so I could be biased.

    Thanks for the guest post Amuro!! *claps*

    • Amuro1X says:

      Thanks for Jrow who invited me to write it and helped me actually post it since I suck at actually formatting posts.

      That said, I can’t say I’m too keen on Nintendo right now. I don’t own a 3DS, and while I recognize it’s a decent system with worthwhile games on it, they’ve done nothing to sell me on Wii U. I also don’t give two craps about Microsoft, so I’d say that even with the low points, Sony still had the best showing in my mind. If for nothing else than Last of Us.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Beyond: Two Souls: I’ve never played the first installment but looks action packed and full of suspense. I’ll be on the lookout for this.

    Assassin’s Creed III: The more gameplay I see of this, the more I want to get my hands on it. October 31st just can’t come fast enough. They’ve done a first in the franchise putting the Assassin in a situation without his trademark hood and clothing. It was hard recognizing him from the last gameplay demo.

    God of War: Ascension: The only God of War game I played was the PSP’s Ghost of Sparta and I loved every bit of it. Now it’s clear why Kratos is such a icon and his popularity is well deserved. The only trouble with the franchise is that in every game, there is no sense of time to know which installment is set in the past, present or future. Particularly the PSP versions.

    The Last of Us: Naughty Dog, one of the badasses of the gaming world. I’m definitely hyped to see it’s potential given that it’s the studio’s first post-apocalyptic game. The video alone manages to give raw tension as the character moves. I was blown away.

    Playstation Wonderbook: No, no, no, no… From this alone I can tell it’s a bad idea. I doubt anyone would be that interested in a system that re-invents storybooks. Not even quarter of the way through the video and I already found myself annoyed with it. So far, everything was good. The Wonderbook is the only black sheep in the lot.

    • Jrow says:

      Beyond: Two Souls is a new IP. It just happens that the name of the game has a two in it.

  5. Samantha Zan says:

    Beyond: Two Souls looks pretty cool too. I’m a big fan of Heavy Rain, so can’t wait to see what Quantic Dream has up there sleeve 😀

    The Last of Us just looks freaking amazing. I’m a huge fan of Naughty Dog, since I’m such an Uncharted fangirl, but anyway, this game just looks so beast. I love how much more brutal it is, it gives it a really dark and realistic tone. Can’t wait till this game comes out :)

  6. Jrow says:

    Ellen Page is destined to be a guest on Podcast Beyond sometime before the game comes out. Beyond!

  7. Joojoobees says:

    It was a pretty good showing from Sony.

    Wonderbook is an interesting idea and I’m glad someone is building an innovative Augmented Reality product, I just can’t imagine anyone actually buying it. Frankly it didn’t look fun at all.

    Last of Us was very impressive, as was Beyond. God of War looked cool, but I have no interest in it (not my sort of game).

    The game that just blew me away, though is Assassins Creed III. That naval battle was magnificent, and the footage they showed at the Ubisoft press conference was great as well.

    They didn’t show it in the Sony press conference, but an interesting trailer for a PS Vita game was released at E3. The game is called Soul Sacrifice – go to Youtube and check this out: watch?v=4MhCeWJ68pU

  8. Tofu says:

    Call me weird but I consider The Last of Us as one of the biggest, mind blowing game in E3 this year yet I feel that I wouldn’t get it because it might be too scary for me to handle ^^;

    I know, I know… you’re probably thinking why is it scary for me well… considering it’s a survival game and nearly abandoned, it’s that sense of loneliness that gets me scared. Walking around buildings and it’s all quiet then BAM I get attacked T___T But I do hope I’ll be able to muster more courage once the game is actually out because I know I’m missing out badly!

    I’m not sure if other games have done the same but I was really surprised how interactive and realistic The Last of Us was. The whole conversation between good and bad. The use of weapons and your current situation being constantly adapted by your enemies. It’s brilliant! The AI’s are so adaptable to the situation at hand plus with the beautiful graphics to go along with it, it’s so amazing! XD

    It really is a survival game to its core.

  9. Tzu says:

    I too am a vita guy, I understand you bro, no news for us specially in regards to new titles or anounced remakes with a TBA date like ZOE, FFX or even Persona. Since games take a while to show after we first hear from them it feels we are not getting much new games until late 2013 at least.

  10. Mint says:

    I’ve been dying to see more of The Last of Us ever since that first trailer came out and the gameplay looks amazing. It reminds me of a darker, grittier, version of Enslaved (which I desperately want a sequel but alas… ;_;).

    I just wish that there weren’t any of those watermelon-headed zombies in the game at all. I liked seeing the harsh/realistic combat in the gameplay demo and I’m not saying that TLoU is going to be a full-blown Zombie Game, but it removes some of the moral difficulty of killing other humans in such a brutal way…

  11. Overcooled says:

    I wonder if the novelty of Heavy Rain will still be there for Beyond: Two Souls. I’m gonna be keeping an eye on that. David Cage kind of sucks at telling stories despite what he says, but Heavy Rain was a fun experiment. The Last of Us looks brilliant, although it’s not necessarily something I’d play myself. Is it weird that I just want to watch someone else play it? It looks almost like a movie. Anyways, lots of good stuff from Sony game-wise.

    I actually missed Sony’s conference, so I didn’t have to sit through the Wonderbook stuff XD It’s a shame they didn’t replace the Wonderbook segment with a Vita section. I’m totally with you that they should have promoted it more. It’s their newest console! Come on!

    Now that you’ve done a guest post for Metanorn, we can call on you for slave labour annyyyyytime we need stuff done, right? Right? 😀

    • Amuro1X says:

      I don’t know about slave labor, but I did this mainly as a favor to Jrow, even though he did most of the work beyond me writing the post. I think I’d gladly right something for you guys again if I ever feel strong enough about it to actually get me motivated enough to write, haha!

  12. T.K. says:

    Like everyone else, Beyond and The Last of Us blew my mind! Was pretty much left agape after that showing. The Book of Spells thing seems interesting, it felt innovative to me.

    While God of War looks interesting, I was hoping Kratos would be put to rest permanently. GOW3 was a fitting end.

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