Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sony E3 Conference Was Games Haven

I'm really digging this new direction Sony has been going for the past two years with their E3 content. Instead of standing up on the stage and giving speeches by multiple developers and executives, they let the games speak for themselves. And this year it was ramped up with a whole lot of game footage, and not a lot of talking. Plus, NEW GAMES. Two years in a row there are new IP's on the table? Sweet. Thanks Sony! You are restoring faith in this gamer once more.

I ended up live tweeting my reactions throughout the event, and they started off with one hell of a mind blowing moment. God of War is back. While I'm a bit tentative about the game content, given that the last round I was able to beat the game in 8 hours - and that was me being lazy, what we saw opening up the show was not only visually astounding, but meaningful for our Kratos. He's really evolved over the years, became a grizzled man with a beard and he has a family once more. But now he's moved to Norse Mythology. He's done his deeds against the Greek Gods. Time to piss off the Norse! And the game play seems as fluid and combo heavy as the original set of God of War games. Can't wait to see more. This is a sequel I'd be willing to invest time into again.

This was followed up with The Last Guardian. I rolled my eyes at this point because this has been the 15 year project that will not die, no release. #willthisgameeverrelease hit my feed, and then I had to retract my tweet a few seconds later when a date was on the screen. Finally. October 25, 2016. Not only this year, but soon enough that we don't have to wait until Christmas. About. Damn Time.

New games announced include Detroit, which puts you in the mindset of an android cop and you are tasked to stop a rogue android who is holding a young girl hostage. You can change the outcome of the game based on your decisions and how you investigate the matter. It looks like LA Noire meets Blade Runner. Really stylish visuals and I'm curious to see the complexity of the story line that would allow you to change it so drastically based on your decisions.

Days Gone is a post-apoc zombie game. Not much detail about the story other then you are playing as one of the few surviving humans on Earth, and most of civilization has been wiped out. And there were a butt-ton of zombies. Everywhere. Left 4 Dead level of zombie hoard that are fast, and ready to eat you for lunch.

And then there was the man himself, Kojima, making his debut with Sony and dropped a very mind-bending wtf trailer for his upcoming game Death Stranding. It stars Norman Reedus, of Walking Dead fame. If you recall, Kojima was working with Reedus on the Silent Hills game before Konami cancelled it. Apparently the relationship between the two was strong enough that they partnered up for this new project. The trailer is...confusing. And will have you scratch your head. But it's glorious to watch and it's Kojima. We will follow this man to the ends of the universe.

Sony is also attempting to capitalize on VR. With the release of their model later this year, they will have 50 games on board, including Batman Arkham and Final Fantasy XV. Yep. FF15 will have a VR component. No wonder it's taken them over a decade to develop the darn thing. Though truth be told I'm so sick of FF15 that I tuned out at that point. I was more interested in Resident Evil 7 and it's VR ties. The RE franchise looks to be heading back to it's roots with more eerie, closed world, puzzle-solving zombie scares versus the run and gun style of the recent releases. I can't imagine how it would be in VR. I'd probably be jumping at every window creek.

Sony is also remastering Crash Bandicoot for the PS4. And we got a hands-on demo of Horizon. I'm still very much in love with that game. Basically...Sony is winning E3. Not a lot of talk, and a ton of game play. Nintendo has a lot to prove today to retain the teen to adult audience.

On the Ubisoft side of things, only one thing caught my attention from their presentation: The Fractured But Whole. South Park's new game, a sequel to The Stick of Truth, will be releasing later this year. If you pre-order the new game, you can get a copy of Stick for free. But Whole has a new fighting system that is geared more towards action games, but will still maintain it's turn-based combat. Players can now utilize cover and move around the screen to attack enemies. And the game does pick up after Stick where the kids have now moved into superhero land, create origin stories for their powers, and end up being divided on how the team's "franchise" should move forward to make the most money. Because Marvel vs. DC. It's a thing. I enjoyed the jokes and I'm excited to play this game.

Your move, Nintendo!

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