Tuesday, June 10, 2014

E3 2014 - Sony, don't get cocky...

These are my impressions of Sony's E3 Press Conference, and as the title may suggest, I was generally stunned, sometimes amazed, but a little let down, too.

But first, here it is, in its fully glory:

The games:

Destiny: Casting Peter "Game of Throne's Tyrion" Dinklage as a really, really small one-eyed robot companion might not be entirely PC, but it's fun! And Destiny itself keeps looking better and better. Granted, it looks very much like Halo in a different dress with some cooler Powers, but still. Very Good. As it should. Release is only a few months away, with the Beta starting next month - and, as was announced, a 3-Day Alpha coming to PS4 this week (to register for a chance to join, go here). Playstation will get some exclusive content, including one full co-op mission, and a new PS4 Destiny Bundle will feature a WHITE PS4. Yay?

The Order 1886: Not so much action, but much more gloom in this gameplay snippet of the upcoming 3rd Person "Victorian Steampunk meets Werewolves" shooter. And... well, while it looks really nice - and gloomy - the gameplay doesn't wow me. At all. Too much control taken from the player, and put together with earlier gameplay footage, I get a feeling of it being a very narrow, almost on-rails experience. It's too early to tell, yes, but the high hopes I had, have died a quick ugly death.
PS4 Exclusive, for Life!

Entwined: A fish may love a bird, but where would they built a house together. No, not the edge of the river. On Playstation. As somewhat of a closet romantic, the game's premise (fish, bird, love) was instantly appealing. Controlling two different characters with each stick was intriguing. The mesmerizing graphics alluring. The price point, at 10 US Dollars (and it's available NOW), convincing. Of course, it might turn out to be ridiculously bad, but it looks nice enough to set itself apart from the "usual PS4 indie fare".
Might be exclusive, but it will come on PS3 and Vita, too.

Infamous - First Light: Stand-Alone DLC, basically small games in themselves you don't need the big game for, are starting to become something of a trend. And it's a pretty smart way to give people a teaser of what the "mother-ship" (the big, full game) might play like. Infamous - Second Son is the next game getting a stand-alone expansion, telling, presumably, the story of one of Second Son's NPCs. You don't need Second Son to play it, but if you do, you get some "additional content" - which could mean anything, really.
It's coming this summer, and will be showcased at E3 in the coming days. All only on PS4.

Little Big Planet 3: 4 player co-op (Yay!). New companions with new abilities. Cute, funny and endearing, a world to play and build in and get lost. LBP seems to never put a foot wrong, right down to the adorable lisp of the presenter. And know what else? LBP3 will be able to play ever single LBP level made by the community with LBP 1 and 2 - on the PS4, with enhanced graphics.
It's so damn cute, it's hard to not like. I will try, but I will fail.
PS only.

Bloodborne: The game most may know as Working Title: "Project Beast", coming from the creator of Demon Souls and Dark Souls. Which makes it pretty damned hard, not to get excited. Really, really excited. You don`t see much in the CG trailer, but it looks dark, foreboding, dangerous. I'm so happy.
Coming to PS4, possibly only PS4.

Far Cry 4: Looks gorgeous. Grappling Hook? Insta-win. The wing-suit? So much better than the sparsely doled-out hang-gliders of FC3. Co-op? Well, it's there, even if it might not be 4-Player (what a novelty), but it looks fun...ctional. You can never be sure about the actual fun. What does sound awesome is that on PS3 and PS4 you can (allegedly) invite players to join you, even if they DON'T own the game! Now, where was I? Right. Attack Elephants? Well, kinda. FC3 was great, but had its fair share of frustrations, most due to the lack of options moving around. FC4 seems to have learned from that. New moves (hijacking vehicles via takedowns), new location (gorgeous Himalayas) and hopefully even more diverse missions, and I'm loving this game already.
Coming this Holiday on consoles and PC near you.

Dead Island 2: Sequel to the surprise hit of Dead Island (Duh!), it was shown off in a small trailer. Funny, but who knows? Dead Island was First Person Zombie Survival with a focus on Melee Combat, and I wasn't too interested in it. Which kinda goes for this one, too.

Battlefield Hardline: Cops vs. Robbers, Battlefield Style. Leaked a few weeks ago, then presented at the EA press conference, including a closed Beta exclusively for PC and PS4 starting RIGHT NOW (well, yesterday, but back then it broke PSN for an hour, or so), I don't really know what to make of it. Car chases around a City, changing venues, different cars. It looks fast paced, but that might not be a good thing. But it could be fun. I got me a Beta Code, and I will report.
Coming Later this year, to all consoles.

Magicka 2: Coming to PS4. Magicka was, apparently, an up-to 4-player co-op, fantasy RPG. With wizards wielding laser staffs, or something. Apparently it was also pretty challenging, yet funny. Done by the people that will bring us Helldivers soon, Magicka 2 looked very enticing.
Coming. Sometime. Somewhere.

Grim Fandango Remastered: Coming to PS4 and PS Vita, one of the most iconic and wonderful Adventures ever made, is getting the re-vamp treatment, exclusively on PS consoles. If you're old enough to remember Monkey Island and other Lucas Arts greats, you will already be salivating uncontrollably. Truth be told, right there, I loved Sony to bits.

AB-ZU: I want it. From the Journey Creator, under the sea. Beautiful, eery, fascinating. Words fail a bit. I'm totally stunned.

No Man's Sky: And I'm floored. Infinite, procedurally generated planets in a possibly "infinite" universe. Exploration. Space Combat. FPS-Combat. Colors. Seamless transition between ground exploration, space exploration and ground again. Walk around, jump into your Space Ship, fly off to another planet, walk around again. No loading screens. Floored.
If you loved Star Trek, and you kinda missed the planet exploration from Mass Effect 1 in the later games, it's hard not to get excited.
This seems to be a Timed Exclusive on Sony's Platforms, coming... well, not soon enough.

Mortal Kombat X: Gruesome, maybe too gruesome, but if you like the 2D side-scrolling beat-em ups, this one looks pretty, pretty deep, and pretty... well, gruesome.

Batman - Arkham Night: Finally, some gameplay. And Oh. My. God. Huge City, lots of verticality. The Batmobile - 'Nuff Said! It's simply amazing. Looks, gameplay, everything I was hoping for. Of course it got delayed until 2015, but still.
PS4 will also get some exclusive content, here.

Then we had a few more Trailers, one for The Last of Us - Remastered (nice, not in the least, because apparently the Last of Us Zombie enemies will make an appearance in the Diablo III Ultimate Evil Editions on PS4 and PS3), and one for Metal Gear Solid 5 (that scene where he rubs ashes from an urn on his face made me cringe - how melodramatic can it be before it gets unintentionally funny?), then one for Suda 51's Let it Die.

And there was that announcement about GTA V on Next-Gen Consoles and PC, but seriously, who cares? ;) Note of interest, current-gen GTA V players can import their online stats from PS3 AND Xbox 360 to the PS 4 Version. Nice.

The Indie-Games: Now, as much as I like Indie Games, I've really had my fill, since PS4 barely has anything BUT Indie Games. So I really don't care, especially about all the Pixel Graphics stuff. I don't see the appeal. There was one that looked at least decent, Talos Something, but apart from that, enough with the Indies, already.

Free to Play: I hate it. It's rarely if ever done right. Even Warframe, which is great fun and is finally now turning into the game it was supposed to be, does milk you for money in the most unexpected and frustrating places. I don't know why they thought this was a good idea to push this a something big, but that was huge let-down for me. Don't get me wrong, Planetside 2 might turn out great, but I was sorely missing one sentence here: "Free to play - but NOT pay to win!"

And at some point it was mentioned that the PS Vita has over 100 games in development. Some are Free to Play. Most might be indies. Yay...

And then there was other stuff. Something. I don't know. Why? Because as Europeans, all that PS Now and PS TV makes us do is get angry at being left out. Again. As always. Second-class citizen, complaining here. But if you care:

PS Now is switching from Closed to Open Beta on PS4 on July 31. US and Canada. Play streamed Playstation games on your PS4, and soon on your PS3, Vita and select Sony TVs. There`s talk about rental prices going from 3-20 dollars, as well as subscription models.

And if you buy a PS TV for 99 $ US, you can just plug that into your TV, get a DS3 (PS3) controller, and use PS Now. At least, that's how I understood it.

Again, I might be a bit biased, but since I cannot take advantage of any of that in the foreseeable future, I don't much care.

Last year, Microsoft was all about Media, this year it was all about games. So, I guess Sony had to pick up the Media stuff, and they ended that with announcing that one of the best ever graphical novels, Brian Michael Bendis's "Powers" will be realized by Sony into a live action TV series, green-lit for two seasons, and available for PS Plus members for free. In the US. Somehow I doubt Europe will get any of that. I'm a huge fan of Powers, and with BMB on as executive producer, well, I have extremely high hopes.

And that was it. Or was it? Oh, right, there was this itty-bitty trailer for Uncharted 4. You saw it. Drake gets up, walks away, some voice over dialog. Nothing special. Until you realize that this was NOT pre-rendered footage, but captured from the IN-GAME engine. Which means, that as amazing as that looked (and it did looks amazing), that`s how the characters will look while PLAYING the game. It's going to be 1080p, aiming at 60 FPS. Looking like that.

Think about that. Then smile.

For all your Playstation or Xbox or PC Gaming needs, especially the European needs, head over to Amazon UK - best deals in Europe (mostly). For TV or Movie Streaming needs, as well. Yes, I do buy there myself. Exclusively. Unless I find a better deal, elsewhere... 

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