E3 Impressions: Sony’s Press Conference

After Microsoft’s E3 conference Monday morning, it was Sony’s turn later that evening to try to wow us. As Chas and I mentioned in our podcast, we had similarly low expectations for Sony this year. Let’s see if they can also live up to those expectations!

Sizzle Reel of Past/Present/Future Sony Titles: A
I’m always a sucker for sizzle reels! Sony’s got my attention. Let’s do this thing!

Beyond: Two Souls: A+++
The rumors were true! We get to take a look at a new game from Quantic (makers of Heavy Rain, one of my favorite games this generation). We don’t really get a feel for what the gameplay will be like but check out those facial expressions! The graphics are really quite outstanding. Ellen Page is our protagonist and I’m not sure how I feel about this yet as I liked not previously knowing any of the Heavy Rain actors. No news on a release date so we could be waiting awhile for this one. Regardless, this just shot up my list of most wanted games. Great start for Sony.

 PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: C
This is quite clearly a gigantic Smash Bros. rip off. During the show they demoed an entire match which was terribly boring. I’ve seen Smash Bros. I’ve played Smash Bros. I get it. You know exactly what you’re getting with this game. So if you want Smash Bros. with Sony characters, here you go. If you don’t, skip it. They announced Nathan Drake and Big Daddy will be playable.  Also, they’ll slowly announce characters over the next months to stay in the news cycle build interest. There will be cross play with the Vita so if you don’t own four PS3 controllers you can just do that.

General Housekeeping: D

  • PlayStationPlus is getting more games. If you’re at the show you get it for one year free. This does not help me.
  • PSOne Classics coming to Vita. They showed off Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII. This is like NES classics on your 3DS. Fun if you are looking for that.
  • Assassin’s Creed PS3 Hardware bundle. I am so bored of hardware bundles. I already own a PS3.
  • Assassin’s Creed Vita bundle. This does not inspire me to buy a Vita.

Assassin’s Creed 3: A-

I’m not interested in Assassin’s Creed 3, but I know many of you are. The new feature they showed off was sea battles where you tried to sink enemy ships by hitting them with cannonballs. The demo they played was exceptionally long, but right at the end you seemed to be able to board an enemy ship and start executing people. This did not inspire me to buy the game, in fact I’d say that it looked more boring than normal Assassin’s Creed stuff, but I’m trying to be fair in my grading.

Far Cry 3: A-

The four player co-op demo looked pretty cool, dare I say Left 4 Dead-esque? I had zero interest in this game until I watched the trailer. I’m now very interested in picking this up. Unfortunately for Sony and their crappy online, I’ll be getting it on Xbox.

Wonderbook: D

This was Sony’s big Move announcement for the show. It’s a book that uses The Move to display images on the screen. They’re breaking out J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter to try to sell a billion copies of this thing. The demo did not go well and it lasted for what felt like hours. The screen seemed to have trouble recognizing the movements and when it did pick them up it seemed more random than anything. I could see little kids thinking this was cool and I could also see them trying it once and never playing it again. I had Lisa watch this (the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world) and she said it looked cool. I say it looks terrible.

God of War: Ascention: B

For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone wants to play this game. It looks identical to the last God of War. But, for the sake of consistency I’m rating this a “B” the same as I did with Resident Evil and Call of Duty yesterday. You know EXACTLY what you’re getting with this game. Yet another demo that went on for WAY too long.

The Last of Us : A+

This game looks a lot like Uncharted, which is a good thing. You may remember I said the same thing about Tomb Raider yesterday, which is totally fine with me. The Last of Us is one of my most anticipated games this year and this demo showed why. The game looks pretty darn sweet and this was a solid way for Sony to close their show.

Conclusion: C+

While I was certainly excited by the Quantic announcement I’m trying not to let it cloud my judgement of Sony’s show as a whole. Besides Two Souls they were pretty darn conservative in what they showed off. As predicted they didn’t mention anything regarding Playstation 4. Also, while the show started and ended with a lot of good energy the middle of the show was very drawn out and incredibly boring. I’m leaving Microsoft and Sony’s show much the same as I did last year. I’m very excited about very specific games on Sony’s console but at the end of the day I’ll spend the majority of my time on Microsoft’s machine as their online system is far superior. As I mentioned, Sony’s press conference may have convinced me to buy a game on Xbox.

Stay tuned later today for my impression of Nintendo’s show and on Friday I’ll give my final impressions of the show. Let me know your thoughts on Sony’s E3 showing!

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