The world’s biggest game show continues in LA with E3. It’s Sony’s turn to take to the stage and stake their claim for bragging rights for the next year of releases. 3D gaming is gets a real push and like Microsoft, motion control is going to be play a big part in the show. But will they be ignoring gamers in favour of the casual market too? We’ll tell you below while also looking at some proper games.
As you’ve probably heard we’ve already had some patches to current games to make them 3D, namely: Pain, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, Super Stardust HD and WipEout HD. Sony said other publishers are working on more, by March 2011 we’ll have at least 20 3D titles. We’d suspect a mix of old and new games to get the 3D. Still, can you really save £1500 for a 3D TV by then?
Some games that are already confirmed as 3D at launch are: Gran Turismo 5, MotorStorm: Apocalypse, Sly Collection, Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Shaun White Skateboarding, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Tron Evolution and NBA 2K11. Unfortunately there are only a few fleeting glimpses of these games during the rest of the presentation. All three Sly PS2 games in HD? That’s pretty damn awesome.
Apparently being built from the ground up with 3D in mind, this should be a stunning sight. The live audience were treated to a 3D live demo. While many were impressed others noticed the reduced resolution required to accommodate the 3D. We have to remember that the game shown was Pre Alpha Code, so obviously some way off completion.
The game itself looks impressive once again with the wintry landscape being a welcome change to the browns and greys of K2. The blustery snow will probably look awesome in 3D too. Which will probably make it even harder to hit the jetpack Helghast soldiers. You’ll get to steal a jetpack for yourself, but the demo seemed to hand out a broken one as it could only be used in short bursts for boost jumps and brief hovering, but it should be a cool distraction. There’s a gun turret attached to it too, so death from above will be a key theme. The demo concluded with an on-rails turret section on one of the flying transports, it’s just the sort of action set-piece needed that was missing from the last game. The game will also be fully compatible with Move from launch, which is in February 2011.
We’ve mentioned a few games below for the new motion controller. It’s a stark contrast to the show put on by Microsoft who concentrated on their casual gamer targeted titles. We know the shovelware is inevitable here too, but it’s good to see Sony using E3 to reassure their existing core gamer crowd. The PlayStation Move will be out in Europe first (about time we don’t get something last) on September 15th.
Prices will vary depending what pack you get. The Starter Pack with the Motion controller, PS Eye Camera and starter disc (demos) will be £49.99. The Motion controller on its own is an eye-watering £39.99 and the separate Navigation controller (the one with the analogue stick) is £29.99. What’s more daunting is that a lot of the best games seem to require the use of two Motion controllers, like in the archery video. This could get to be an expensive set indeed.
Sorcery (PlayStation Move)
A brand new game made for the Move. It’s a third-person action game starring what might be a teenager, casting spells in a fantasy world against goblins, imps and the like. It wasn’t clear how movement is controlled as the demo focused on the wand movements which seemed impressive enough. Flick the remote in a ‘spell-casting’ fashion in the direction you want to fire in and you’ll be zapping goblins all over the place with pleasing accuracy. Or you can wind the controller in circles above your head to create a whirlwind which you can then move around at will. Even the light on top of the remote gets involved; shake the controller to mix a potion and it changes colour when it’s ready. You can then drink it by making a realistic ‘knocking it back’ motion. Sorcery is currently headed for a Spring 2011 release and although it might be aiming at a slightly younger audience its blend of Fable and Folklore style gameplay could get us big kids interested too.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011 (PlayStation Move)
It was never going to live up to South Park’s version of the club swinger but the Move compatibility seems to be perfectly suited to the game, well, unless you’re terrible at real golf I imagine. The live demo showed how the swing, angle and even the rotation were all picked up accurately. We’d imagine the game will still support pad play, but this could be a great success if it’s as good as it looks.
Heroes on the Move (PlayStation Move)
When the showreel trailer showed PlayStation’s greatest platforming icons, all in the same game, I was almost bouncing off the walls with insane joy. Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank, Sly Cooper and Bentley will all be playable. I’ll admit I was mildly disappointed to hear it was a Move game and none of the original developers are involved. We’ll have to keep a close eye on how this one goes; there’ll be hell to pay if they mess with these legends though. I better calm down a bit.
Kevin the Butler
Kevin’s arrival onstage was greeted by the biggest cheering heard so far. Absolute legend. He’s been leading the American ad campaign for Sony for a few months now with his tongue in cheek humour and sly digs at Microsoft and Nintendo. Apparently MS’s Major Nelson Tweeted him an invite to the Microsoft booth to which Kevin replied: “Larry, I’d love to. But there’s a basketball team across the street expecting a pre-game pep talk. Have fun.” Kevin went on to deliver a motivational speech about our mutual love of gaming, adding a few good laughs to the otherwise slightly dry show.
No PSP2, instead a promise to give the current model a boost with a new ad campaign that follows the trail blazed by good old Kevin. Admittedly there are some great looking games on the way as the showreel displayed another GOW prequel with God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Valkyria Chronicles 2 and Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip.
Little Big Planet 2
When it was recently announced and the developers started saying how it could create any game type I thought they were probably stretching the truth a little. Turns out they weren’t telling porkies.
Side-scrolling 2D shooters, Rez-style shooters, top-down kart racers, and even RTS games were all just some of the ideas that were created in the 24 hours that Media Molecule gave to some of their favourite LBP community creators to test out the new features with no tuition. Naturally platforming games are still a big part of the game with sackbot AI and grapple hooks being amongst the new additions. It’s just an unbelievable feat already; this really does look like a game that could last forever.
A new subscription service for the PSN. Don’t freak out, everything we have for free now, will remain free. The new, optional paid service will give gamers early access to betas, free themes, some free PSN titles and PSP Minis and exclusive PSN discounts. Sounds ok, but there is one glaring catch, any free games you’re given, will only last as long as your subscription. So if you cancel after a year, they’ll be taken away. Can you imagine if they did that with your magazine subscription and asked for the free Blu-ray back? It’ll cost £11.99 for 90 days and £39.99 for 12 months.
Medal of Honor
If we’re honest this looks great from the video we’re shown, but there’s no getting away from the fact it’s become a Modern Warfare clone. At least Dice (Bad Company 2) are handling the multiplayer so that’ll be solid enough. I was more excited about the special edition of the game which will come with an HD version of the PS2 classic, Medal of Honor: Frontline.
Dead Space 2
The incredible footage shown in this live demo carries on where the EA conference demo ended. Enemies that have your mind screaming “That’s fucking wrong man!” creep or burst out of the darkness in what looks like another classic that is rapidly hammering the nails into Resident Evil’s coffin. No new weapons on show today, but Isaac’s classic Plasma Cutter is back, piercing the darkness, lopping off limbs and aiming for those yellow weak spots on the bigger necromorphs. Sound design is reliably fantastic, displayed best when Isaac is sucked outside into space with only the muffled gasps and clanging metal to be heard. It was also announced that the special edition of the game will come with the Move version of the Wii’s Dead Space: Extraction (you’ll want that).
Previous PS3 disser Gabe Newell from Valve is rolled onstage looking like he’s royally stuffed with humble pie. He then announced that the PS3 version of Portal will be the best version on any console. Didn’t say it would be great though did he?
Final Fantasy XIV
No gameplay footage still (yawn). We do get a little montage video with flying galleons, open plains, monsters and emo haircuts. All very pretty, but the lack of any real details is frustrating.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
We know that this game is a direct sequel to the impressive AC2 and it’s disappointing there’s no demo footage available yet. Good news for PS3 fans though as they’ll be getting some exclusive missions and even better, the multiplayer beta will be exclusive to PS3 too.
Gran Turismo 5
Another game we really want that’s without a live demo onstage. But hey, now we know it’s going to get the 3D love. More importantly though, it finally has a confirmed release date. November 2nd, this year.
Cole has had a visual redesign and no longer looks like an identikit hero. He will start off with plenty of superhero powers, hopefully matching those of our save files from the first game. We can see him using a new, metal melee weapon too. The video shows off the new location of New Marais which is slightly more colourful than the last city. There are some parts clearly influenced by New Orleans. Keep your fingers crossed this PS3 exclusive will improve on the potential of the original.
David Jaffe you little liar. For months he’s said he’s not been working on a new Twisted Metal but he wishes he was and so on. If you played the rather lacklustre online PS2 game you might not be too interested, but one look at the live demo might just change your mind.
For a start, you can fly helicopters this time as well as the bikes and cars. Everything’s packed with weapons, hell you can even pull over and do a spot of sniping out the window. Online and splitscreen options will feature as the perfect tonic to revive the car combat genre for the current generation, well, as long as you have a PS3. Map design is deeper than even with combatants able to climb to the roofs of skyscrapers (in their car) or roam the streets, go up hills or tear up the freeway, all on the same map.
So that’s the Sony Press Conference wrapped up. Move seems to have a stronger gaming lineup than Kinect by some distance, but many gamers may be put off by the expensive setup. We’re missing any real wow moments too, if we’re honest there’s nothing that really blew people away like last years Uncharted 2 demo (will anything again?). Sure 3D gaming is a big part of the future, but I don’t think the mass market is ready to invest in a pricey 3D TV when we’re still in love with our current HD model. Two games that really impressed everyone the most though were Little Big Planet 2 with its limitless potential and Dead Space 2 that looks set to tear apart the survival horror genre again. Big shout to Kevin the Butler too, we love you man.