Jack's View: Sony at E3
Being totally honest, the reason that I opted for a Playstation 4 over and above an Xbox One is purely down to the games. In the previous generation I felt that Sony’s machine had the better exclusives and it’s certainly a trend which I hope to see continue with these new consoles. We’ve already had a few excellent exclusives, like inFamous: Second Son, and it was good to see Sony bring out some of the heavy hitters during their E3 press conference this year.
Starting with a game which we’d already seen previously, the more I see of The Order 1886, the more excited I get for it. I’m a huge fan of Sony Santa Monica’s previous work (the excellent God of War games), so it’s nice to see them trying their hand at something a bit different. Granted, it’s cinematic approach and focus on QTEs has a lot in common with their previous work, but it’s completely different in terms of it’s tone and execution. I love the dark, steampunked influenced world on offer here. It looks similar to the incredibly under appreciated Dishonored but told from the other side. It’s a stunning looking game too, easily one of the best we’ve seen on Sony’s machine so far.
And speaking of stunning looking games, the biggest announcement of Sony’s conference has to be the fourth entry in the Uncharted series: A Thief’s End. Granted, we didn’t get to see that much in the way of story or actual gameplay, but the teaser trailer was enough to get me excited. Uncharted is probably my favourite Playstation exclusive franchise and although we knew a fourth game would be coming, it’s great to finally get some more detail on it. Looks as though it’s a way off yet, but I can’t wait to find out more about Drake’s fourth adventure.
Uncharted 4’s developer, Naughty Dog, had also previously confirmed that they would be bringing their seminal The Last of Us to Playstation 4 with upgraded graphics and including all of the previously released DLC. The Last of Us was easily one of the finest games of the previous console generation in my opinion and whilst it seems strange that they’d be bringing it back so soon after it’s original release, I can’t wait to play through Joel and Ellie’s quest for survival again, more so with enhanced graphics. The trailer showed at E3 didn’t show any in-game footage, just the cutscenes, so we don’t know how good this one is going to look yet. Given how beautiful the Playstation 3 version was though, I’m going to assume this one will be a stunner.
Speaking of games getting a comeback, I don’t think that anyone foresaw that classic adventure game Grim Fandango would be making a return, and yet it’s slated for both Playstation 4 and PSVita. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that it’s a game that I never played previously, but I’ve only ever heard good things about it so I’ll definitely be picking this one up. Hopefully it’ll do well and encourage Sony to try and get more of these classic games updated for their systems. I’d love to go back and play the likes of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis again.
The conference also marked the return of Sackboy, who will be starring alongside some friends in LittleBigPlanet 3. I loved the previous LittleBigPlanet games and their infinite possibilities when it comes to designing your own levels. This one was a little overshadowed by Nintendo’s own Mario Maker, but I’ll still be picking up Sackboy’s latest just to see some of the brilliant creations that my fellow gamers can coms up with. Being able to create and share your designs with the while world is still an excellent feature and one which extends the life of the game indefinitely.
One other game which really impressed me during Sony’s conference was Bloodborne, the next game from From Software (who previously developed Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls). Whilst it doesn’t bear the “Souls” moniker, it certainly seems to have a lot in common with those games, with a dark, brooding world and an insane difficulty level to push players to the limits of their abilities. I’ll admit that I really struggled with the studio’s previous titles because of this publishing difficulty but they still managed to keep me coming back for more, and I’m sure that Bloodborne will be exactly the same.
Of course, there were a few omissions from Sony’s lineup at E3 that I’d really have liked to have seen. We’ve heard a lot of rumours that Team ICO’s The Last Guardian had been cancelled, but Sony insists that it’s still on. It would have been nice to see some work in progress for this one, as it’s been in development for years at this stage.
We’d also heard a lot of rumours that Sony had bought back the rights to the classic Crash Bandicoot franchise, who I don’t think has starred in a worthwhile game since the original Playstation. I’d have loved to see him back on his spiritual home and I’m sure that many others who grew up playing his adventures in the 90s feel the same. That’s not to say that it won’t happen at some stage. After all, Naughty Dog have another secret game in the works allegedly, and which studio would be better equipped to bring Crash back than the one that created him in the first place?
And finally, there wasn’t nearly enough God of War for my liking. I know that Santa Monica Studio has their hands busy with The Order 1886 at present, but hopefully they’ll get back to Kratos again in the future.
And for a summary of everything that Sony confirmed at e3, click here.