Daav Discusses E3 - Sony

Don’t start it with Dubstep.

By Daavpuke, Posted 10 Jun 2011

Note to anyone wanting to create a conference: Don’t start it with Dubstep. Desperately trying to make sure you have the cool kids’ attention is useless, since most gamers aren’t affiliated with the cool crowd and don’t consider games a commodity.

Yet, without this faux pas, Jack Tretton joined the stage and didn’t beat around the bush. The man apologized in a humble manner for the elephant in the room, being the PSN debacle. It was classy of Sony to address this head on and they made sure to explain as best they could their feelings for it. I tip my top hat to them for doing so.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - PSN
That's pretty much it. and still better than "It Only Does The Undead" *shivers*

After that it was time to address the crowds for games and that they did, with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. At first the demo started off slow and didn’t exceed the second iteration, but once the ball, or better yet the ship, started rolling, then the impressive use of space came to play. As Drake is aboard a lower deck of the ship, he breaches a hole in the hull and the entire area that was already rocking starts taking in water fast and shifting direction. The combination of this orientation, plus the direct threat of water was a mighty impressive setting to hold a deadly shootout and plan a daring escape, which makes doors into holes and hallways into steep drops. Add to that the stunning, crisp visuals of Uncharted and unparalleled lighting effects and what you get is one of the biggest adventures since Indiana Jones. Uncharted is Tomb Raider, For Men!

Resistance 3 went a similar direction of a slow start and more impressive unfurling. If anything, Resistance 3 retains its own face in shooter land and that isn’t an easy feat. With the creepy crawly vibe of a realistic alien takeover and solid, futuristic visuals; this campaign yet again looks to be promising.

Then on to some 3D push, because Sony needs to sell their TV’s as well after all. Now, no one cares about 3D glasses, but offering personalized splitscreens might just be the best gimmick ever invented. And at $499 for a 3D TV bundle with several extras, it’s a generous offer that might seduce some of you that aren’t stereo-blind. Hell, if I had friends, I’d just do it for the splitscreen madness.

But Sony also has to push their other gimmick, the Move. And to do so, they were pulling out all the stops as well, giving a barrage of games that were going to support it. A new Medieval game, Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest was supposed to charm the masses, but what an annoying demo. Also, it’s hardly anything new, now is it? It will take more than the same old, over the shoulder, swordy game to sway people.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - Sorcery
This isn't even Medieval Moves: but it could've been.

Luckily, there were also plenty of regular games that were displayed and most looked pretty good. The new Star Trek game is a co-op with perhaps a little too much attitude, but it looked appealing at least. So did the SSX reboot that was shown. There was also Starhawk which is the sequel to Warhawk, meaning that game did well enough. But perhaps the fan favorite would be Sly 4: Thieves in Time, which was a nice gesture of Sony to listen to their consumer base.

But then, out of nowhere, Sony brought on some Icelandic volcano in the name of CCP games to bring what I believe is this E3’s show stopper extraordinaire. The makers of incredibly complex universe EVE Online announced to be working on a game called DUST 514, which would not only work cross-platform, but also cross-game. That’s right, players on PS3 would play DUST 514 that is directly incorporated into the vast world of EVE Online. And while the bounty hunter shooter on PS3 didn’t look anything beyond generic, the sum of its parts with this expansive universe is so mind-boggling; it’s still hard to wrap my head around it. Suffice to say that DUST 514 is a game you should all be looking out for, if you value playing games. If you want my game of E3 this year, consider DUST 514 to be it, until I get my hands on indie miracle Bastion.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - DUST 514
Track down DUST 514. This is not a request.

More Move games were introduced, such as Infamous 2 and LittleBigPlanet 2’s update, both of which will allow users to mess around with user generated content. I have to hand it to Sony for creating the perfect game from a game company point of view. LittleBigPlanet is an infinitely free brainstorm that lets them just ship their technology to millions and let them figure out how to get the most out of this, instead of paying developers for it. It’s the closest experience to having modding tools on a PC and that’s a success story time and again.

Perhaps the most surprising Move game would be coming from Ken Levine that came on stage to explain his disdain for motion peripherals and then announced Bioshock Infinite to also have this support. He assured people it wouldn’t take away from the core experience, but the demo showed a lot of perspective orientated gameplay. Still, Bioshock still looks like it’s steampunk gold for any fan and the entirely new universe of Infinite’s airborne city is definitely interesting. Also, a Bioshock game is being made for the newest Sony handheld and it’s not a port. We’ll have to wait and see with that one.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - Bioshock Infinite
This man hates the Playstation Move. But he loves it. But he hates it. But he loves it.

That means it’s time to look into the new handheld and none other than Kazuo Hirai came on stage to reveal the newest puppy in the Sony line: PS Vita. It’s safe to say they did their homework on this one and with a front and back touchscreen, there’s a lot to work with. Add to that 3G and Wi-Fi, connectivity options and networking and at $249/$299 you’ll be left with a decent handheld, in theory. It’s stranger that the 3G model is exclusively tied to 1 provider, such as AT&T, but hopefully the kinks will get worked out of that before long.

The best way to see what this puppy could do is by showing some games on it and Sony again had no shame in bringing out the big guns. A Vita version of Uncharted showed just how conventional controls could be alternated with the new touchscreens. In particular the finger tracking exploits that made Drake follow ledges effortlessly looked like it could facilitate gaming in a simple but effective manner. This was followed by a new game announcement called Ruin. I have no idea why this dude was so out of breath, perhaps they whipped him on stage, but it didn’t help the presentation at all. Ruin is as action RPG as they come: Monsters, dungeons, an isometric view and slashing until there is no more. It looked just as generic and boring as Untold Legends was on PSP, but now with social networking. For some reason, the saving and picking play back up on a PS3 got a huge cheer, but it couldn’t get me interested in this dreck. I expect games to save and let me continue effortlessly since 1990, this isn’t a revolution, even cross-platform.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - Ruin
Wheeze, wheeze: this game will Ruin your health. Also, it's not Diablo.

Luckily, there were some flagships that showed just how crazy it can get. Again, LittleBigPlanet would show how you could utilize Vita technology and mold it to your hand. But in particular ModNation Racers showed just how easy and effortlessly the technology could be used for creating levels. With simple finger strokes, ways were paved and elevated, mountains were made and lakes got created. In mere minutes, it allowed for a complete level to be created and still have some complexity to it. It reminded me of being a painter or an artist and having the creativity flow directly from your fingertips, rather than a surrogate like a controller. This sold me the most to the technology. But just to kick it up another notch, Capcom showed off Street Fighter X Tekken or the other way around or whatever for Vita. And to get fanboys foaming at the mouth, they’ll be implementing Cole from infamous into the Vita version.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony - Littlebigplanet Vita
LBP again on the forefront to show 'em how it's done, Sackboy style!

In all, only 2 minor things bothered me. One was that the HD collections are still as lazy as I ever felt they were. Metal Gear is being redone, the god-awful Zone Of The Enders games are getting redone and ICO and Shadow of the Colossus is finally hitting market soon.  But perhaps worse than that, is that also the PSP versions of God of War will be remade this way.

This officially states that Sony is trying to cut out any recollection of the PSP, like the remains of a dead conjoint twin on one’s abdomen. Last year, PSP was still promoted on E3, but when has the handheld gotten any push outside of that conference? Was it Marcus; that annoying kid who did 3 commercials before also he was sent to the legendary farm for PSP markets?  As a person who bought into the PSP’s incredible potential at launch, it’s a kick in the sack, boy. The handheld never left the ground and the only time it got some attention, it was already marked with words such as ‘revival’, implying it had died off early. While last year I finally thought there was some great content to be brought onto PSP, the end result is sadly a very minute library, with only 1 must buy that came out years ago. Shame on Sony for shafting us like this. But more importantly, this is making me more skeptical about how they will push their newest handheld when all is said and done. It’s safe to say I won’t make that 250 bucks mistake again; I advise anyone to do the same.

NoobFeed Editorial - Daav Discusses E3 - Sony

Still, when all is said and done, Sony pulled off a major tour de force this year. While there were slightly less interesting games here and there, you can’t deny the fact that they went to the limit and consistently brought exciting content and that for a full 2 hours, which is a half hour longer than any other conference. With exclusives, new exciting hardware, tons of games and a bunch of great ideas for the future, Sony did everything right and could only have done better were they to announce Diablo III for PS3 or something. And most importantly, they didn’t feel the need to cram Kevin Butler down our throats this year, so kudos Sony!

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@DaavPuke)

comments powered by Disqus

  • Yes, they were rather incredible this year. the simple and quick apology followed by right away by uncharted was quite nicely done.

    Posted Jun 10, 2011

  • You've pretty much summed up how I feel about the Sony conference. As it turns out, they didn't need Kevin Butler to produce a good show after all. :P

    Posted Jun 10, 2011

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