Sony kicked the conference with an impressive montage of game footage from Playstation and Vita games. It got the crowd into the spirit of gaming and had us looking forward to the pending announcements.
The first of those announcements was “Heavy Rain” creator, Quantic Dream’s, latest project called “Beyond.” Much like “Heavy Rain,” “Beyond” looks like a story-driven cinematic journey. We saw a bit of what Quanitc Dream was working on when they showed their “Kara” short, which showcased the potential of facial mapping.
The lead character of “Beyond,” Jodie Holmes, is voice acted and motion captured by actress, Ellen Paige. Holmes appears to be some sort of medium for another soul. Details of how that works were scarce, but she does appear to have some sort of super natural power. “Beyond” looks more of an action thriller, than the dramatic “Heavy Rain.” The facial mapping looked better than “L.A. Noire.”
Never before seen “Assassins Creed III” footage was showcased. We’ve already seen the protagonist jumping from trees and his prowess on the battlefield. Now, we’re shown a new side while in control of a battleship. The footage showed an epic battle at sea, which further strengthened “Assassins Creed III’s” best-in-show talk.
Environmental effects looked stunning as rain and wind took hold of the water and ship. Cannon fire came from all ships involved and maneuvering meant victory. The cinematic ended with an enemy ship being boarded. The audience went crazy over this footage.
“God of War: Ascension” took the second-to-last spot, with in-game footage. “Ascension” looks like the tried and true “God of War” formula, but pushed up to eleven. The violent as ever action excels in its fluidity, making every scripted animation feel organic. I’m a big “God of War” fan so this footage had me excited to see what’s next.
Sony truly ended their show with a bang. Never before seen footage of “The Last of Us” blew the roof off the arena. This gritty, post-apocalyptic thriller from Naughty Dog looks like the next step in cinematic gaming.
The two main characters are on a quest for survival. Along their way, they encounter murderous bandits. “Kill or be killed” becomes the game’s motto, and killing has never looked so real. The violence of “The Last of Us” doesn’t look glorified or overly stylized. It looks serious and more of a dramatic tool, than gore for the sake of gore. Drama looks to play a serious part in this game, and story is always essential in Naughty Dog titles.
The action in this game looked so natural, that it was difficult to tell what was scripted and what was real-time gameplay. So far, this is the best game I’ve seen.
Here are some other key points for the Sony press conference:
- All Star Battle Royale looks EXACTLY like “Super Smash Bros.” Sony didn’t try to change the formula at all. The game will be cross-compatible with the Vita.
- 200 digital downloads are coming to the PS3 in the next year. Wow.
- “Black Ops: Declassified” is coming to the Vita. This means no “Black Ops 2.”
- “Assassins Creed: Liberation” is an exclusive coming to the Vita. It follows a female assassin and looks to be set in the revolutionary period like “ACIII.”
- Sony brought the press conference to a screeching halt with Wonderbooks. I understand that they had to talk about this new kid-friendly toy for the Move, but it was longer than any other demo. It was dreadful.
- There was literally no talk for upcoming Vita functionality