Sony E3 2015 Presentation Impressions
This generation of gaming consoles has clearly placed Sony in the drivers seat. With over 20 million consoles on the market as of May of this year, it is undeniable that Sony’s PS4 community is the largest of the current gen market. So when Sony took the stage after seeing Microsoft’s impressive presentation, fans were expecting a solid counter punch. Thankfully, they did not disappoint.
Rather than discuss each and every piece of the presentation, here are the important revelations the presentation covered.
As one of the most anticipated and most critically acclaimed gaming series since the launch of the PS2, The Last Guardian finally has a quasi-release date and some gameplay footage. Ticketed as the first reveal of the Sony presentation, fans of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were thrilled to finally see gameplay footage rather than screenshots of the long anticipated sequel. The concept of this action game is almost like giving an 8 year old a dog with wings that is the size of an 18 wheeler. As you can imagine, the game will play on your emotions as the two help each other building a friendship. The hazy griffin-like creature isn’t the boy’s pet but does come to rely on the recently kidnapped boy. For now, that is about all we know about the plot and what this game is about. I’ve yet to take the plunge to play Ico or Shadow of the Colossus so it will also be interesting to see what kind of relationship these themes or these characters have with the others.
Shortly after, a new exclusive IP was revealed called Horizon: Zero Dawn. Set as an open world post apocalyptic future realm filled with mechanized dinosaurs. Yup. You heard me. Mech-dinos. Concept seems a bit of a reach but after watching the gameplay demo, I’m certain a lot of PS4 heads will be all over this one. The game features a fiery haired female hunter with a wide set of mechanical hunting gear tailored to take down these wild… um…mechs. One moment had her using a energy (or maybe EMP) bow to launch blasts at her Tyrano-mech foe. Then, she knocked a piece of the beast off that was apparently a gun and proceeded to use this big gun against the Tyrano-mech she had just taken it from. As it stands, this game is set for 2016 release so it’s clear the game isn’t quite ready for a solid release date. Still, its E3 performance was very promising.
Many other gaming periodicals may not have considered this next game as important news but I did. No Man Sky is a high anticipated open-UNIVERSE exploration indie game that has us all intrigued and a little scared at the same time. With a massive playground to explore with undiscovered planets and various factions battling each other, this game looks a bit like Wing Commander: Privateer on steroids! The gameplay demo shown at the E3 conference was impressive in that the presenter from the developer simply loaded the game, grabbed a controller, took a chance on exploring a new and random planet, and then did it. He started from a starbase, hopped in his spaceship, participated briefly in a space battle, warped to an undiscovered planet, entered the planet’s atmosphere, landed, hopped out of his ship, battled a few robot sentries in FPS view, and explored a bit of the planet’s wildlife. All of this occurred without so much as a loading screen. It seemed entirely seamless which is amazing. This could very well be because he was the only player in the game at the time but it still was impressive. I love space combat simulations so it will be interesting to see if this game grows to allow for customization of your character and ship with all kinds of loot and gear that will assist you to do whatever in this game.
The concern is for how long will this game hold appeal for players. Each time I’ve seen this game, it seems like the same yellow-y color scheme is applied to every planet surface which just looks a bit off to me. Also, if the game doesn’t have a nice or decent loot system and/or crafting system, people will wonder what the payoff is for discovering brand new lands and naming them. We all want to be rewarded for our game adventuring in some manner and I didn’t see anything in this demo to that effect. We shall see though. Again, no release date was provided for No Man Sky as well.
The next couple of points of importance were the reminders that Call of Duty 3 and Destiny expansions will come first to PS4. On top of that, Street Fighter V will be a PS4 exclusive as well which are all very popular franchises. These are BIG exclusives for Playstation faithfuls.
Then things got real. First of all, Shenmue is a beloved franchise that began on the Dreamcast years ago and has a dedicated following. The third sequel to that franchise was announced as an exclusive title and a kickstarter was begun right at the conference to raise at least $2 million to cover development costs. It went on to raise all the money it needed in less than 2 days which I’m sure is some kind of record. This announcement was after a much larger reveal though.
Square Enix effectively broke the gamer internet with the announcement that Final Fantasy 7 was going to be completely remade. A beautiful FMV trailer teased significant locales from the original game that was released all the way back in the original Playstation console days. Billed as one of the greatest video games of all time by various gaming periodicals, gamers who remember the adventures of Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, Aerith, and their nefarious foe Sephiroth. This amazing adventure is one that gamers of this generation will finally get to embark upon in a more modern way. Playing the original is a bit hard on the eyes and the system is your typical turn-based JRPG style so attempting to play it now is a bit hard to do. Here’s hoping that Square Enix gets it right. Coming first to PS4 and later to other platforms, this is a big deal for JRPG lovers.
With that announcement, most everything else shown in Sony’s presentation was mediocre at best. Revealing Uncharted 4 was nice and seeing the next Assassin’s Creed and Hitman was interesting as well. Still, one can’t help but wonder why so little time was allocated for the PS Vita and Project Morpheus. PS Vita, while not dead like Microsoft’s Kinect accessory, only had a few mentions according to a few smaller title announcements. Project Morpheus had a short moment in the sun as well with a short speech that once again gave flashes of a few titles (Eve Valkyrie) that have already been shown in previous demos. Unfortunately there was new release date or price revealed.
Still, I’m certain that Playstation fans got their hype trains going. Oddly enough, it seems as if most of the best titles and announcements exclusive to Playstation are billed for 2016. Here’s to hoping some other interesting IP raise their hands to surprise us all.