Sony E3 2014 Press Conference – Our Impressions

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Sunday, June 15, 2014

Without question, Sony won E3 last year. After Microsoft horribly fumbled through their conference and took the major focus of their new console – Xbox One – off of games and on to their multi-media features (which I do love, but weren’t meant for the major focus of E3), Sony just had to sit back and laugh. Over the course of their conference, they poked plenty of fun at Microsoft’s expense, especially the used game joke. Still, Sony had to come out swinging with a powerful showcase and for the most part, they did that.

Destiny – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PS3:

Destiny has been one of the most intriguing games over the past few years. Developed by Bungie, the masterminds behind the Halo franchise, it’s hard to imagine that this game won’t be a slam-dunk. With that said, Destiny is far and away the most ambitious game they’ve ever made; fusing elements of not only first person shooters, but RPG’s and MMO’s as well. Incorporating all of this is no easy task and making these elements not only easy for those who are not familiar, but making them exciting for those people will be quite the task.

I had the opportunity to get a hands-on preview of the games multiplayer at E3 and was decently impressed with what I’ve seen so far. While the game strongly encourages playing with your friends, I had anticipated being given a slice of co-op to play with my friend, but sadly we were given a few matches of domination (or whatever the mode is referred to in Destiny). While the game was still in alpha, the textures and graphics were pretty sharp while playing on the PS4. Gameplay was fast and fun and the mix between shooting and powers seemed fun.

While my hands on with the game was brief, I came away more excited for Destiny’s release than I was going on. The Destiny beta is available now on PlayStation 4.

Plus, Peter Dinklage is doing a voice for the game. You can’t get much better than that.

 

The Order: 1886 – PlayStation 4:

When the PlayStation 4 was announced and they showed off some of their exclusive content, The Order: 1886 was what peaked my interest the most. Sadly, the more I’ve seen from it the more disappointed I’ve become. While, like most PlayStation exclusives, the story is built on a great premise, the gameplay falls short.

I had the opportunity to play through a level of the game at E3 and was not impressed. While the controls were simplistic, the combat itself was mediocre. Ammunition wouldn’t hit its target and most of the time it seemed like enemies would infinitely respawn.

The other thing that worries me is that, despite the game being revealed over a year ago, we’ve seen shockingly little of the game, save for the same mission played through multiple times. The Order: 1866 has already been delayed into 2015, but I’m not sure how much that extra time is going to help it. I’m holding off canceling my pre-order until I see more, but hopefully Sony shows us something other than a compelling premise soon because my interest is spiraling.

 

Entwined – PS4:

Entwined is certainly one of the prettiest games at E3. You can’t please them all, as they say, and this is particularly true of titles like Entwined, which speaks quite loudly to some players, and is a complete waste of time for others. While the game’s basic concept seems simplistic, the game gets progressively harder as you progress, making for some very challenging gameplay. The games musical score is also fantastic. Entwined is available now on PlayStation Network.

 

Infamous Second Son: First Light DLC – PlayStation 4:

We loved our time with Infamous Second Son and now we’ll have plenty more time to run around futuristic Seattle as we get our first look at the games first (true) DLC. The DLC will be available in August of 2014 and won’t require the game to play.

 

Little Big Planet 3 – PlayStation 4:

Little Big Planet 2 was easily one of the best games that came out on PlayStation 3. It was beautiful, charming and amazingly fun and challenging for kids and grown ups alike. While we all knew a new edition of Little Big Planet would come out at some point, the reveal of 3 took most of us by surprise.

The first thing you’ll notice with the new iteration is its depth and added gameplay elements. On top of the series’ main character Sack Boy, you’re introduced to three new characters – Oddsock, who can wall jump and runs faster than Sack Boy, and Toggle, who’s much stronger than the other two and can also shrink down to fit through tall areas. Swoop, the last character, can fly.

We’ve only gotten a slight teaser of what to expect, but the game looks amazing so far and the four play co-op looks even better. This is easily one of my most anticipated games from Sony’s line up. Little Big Planet 3 will launch in November on the PlayStation 4.

 

Bloodborne – PlayStation 4:

Bloodborne is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4 from Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki. According to the trailer’s description, Bloodborne takes place “in the ancient city of Yharnam. Inflicted with a spreading, cursed illness, it’s filled with death and madness. Your job: discover its secrets and survive”. Despite just being announced, the video ends with an offer to pre-order Bloodborne now.

Not sure how much this game will interest me, but based off the trailer, it sure looks cool.

 

Far Cry 4 – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC:

We already tackled Far Cry 4 in our impressions of the Ubisoft conference, but a fun new trailer was shown off here, so we’ll post it below. Different trailers in the other article!

It was also announced during the conference that if you own Far Cry 4 on either PS3 or PS4, you’re able to invite your friends to play the game with you, even if they don’t have a copy of the game. Given PlayStation Networks tendency for issues, I have a hard time getting too excited for this feature but it’s a cool feature nonetheless.

 

Dead Island 2 – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC:

Despite the many glitches Dead Island was plagued with (punny), it was an absolute blast to play with friends. By yourself, the game was still fun but became a chore, especially the repetitive side missions, but playing through with your friends was just an insane amount of fun.

It was definitely a surprise to see Deep Silver bringing back Dead Island, but it was certainly a surprise I’m excited for. Sony also announced that they’ll have a thirty day exclusive beta as well as a unique story mission exclusively on PlayStation 4.

 

Diablo 3 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC:

Sony announces that clickers and bloaters, two enemies from their amazing exclusive The Last of Us, will be coming to Diablo 3.

 

Battlefield Hardline – PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC:

We already spoke in depth of our impressions of Battlefield Hardline in our feature on EA’s press conference, but here’s a brand new trailer shown off from Sony’s conference:

 

Magika 2 – PlayStation 4:

As Sony forges a new partnership with Paradox Interactive (the study has several exclusives in the works for PS4), we get a first glimpse of Magika 2.

 

Grim Fandango – PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita:

Sony announces that Grim Fandango will be remade for the PS4 and Vita.

 

Devolver Digital titles coming to PlayStation 4, PS3, Vita platforms:

Sony announces a partnership with Devolver Digital, bringing games like Broforce, Not A Hero, Hotline Miami 2 and many others will be coming to the Sony systems this year.

 

Let It Die – PlayStation 4:

The game will be out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015.

 

Abzû – PlayStation 4:

After their trek with the amazing game Journey, artist Matt Nava and composer Austin Wintory are back with their new studio Giant Squad, to bring you the new game Abzû. We’re not sure what to make of it so far, but it looks beautiful.

 

No Mans Sky – PS4 (timed exclusive), Xbox One, PC:

No Mans Sky blew our minds last year at E3 with its scope and its unique and gorgeous art style. More shocking than that, is the fact that the game is being made by less than a dozen people at Hello Games. The scope it promises is ambitious, but if what we’ve seen so far is any indication, No Mans Sky will quash what it means to be a “big game” in the industry.

While No Mans Sky will be coming to the Xbox One and PC, it will have a thirty-day head start on the PS4.

 

PlayStation Network/Now:

Shawn Layden breaks down the statistics of PSN’s success so far and makes the announcement that YouTube will finally be coming to PSN later this year.

PlayStation Now will open a new public beta on July 31st on PlayStation 4 and shortly afterwards it’ll come out for PlayStation 3 and Vita. The feature will also come to Sony televisions (if you’ve got a dual shock 3).

 

PlayStation TV:

Sony’s PlayStation TV, until now, has only been available in Japan but now they’re bringing their nifty little box to North America. Priced at $99, the system will allow you to stream content to a second TV and access features like PS Now, streaming services like Netflix and PS1 and PS2 classics.

I’m still not sold on PlayStation Now, let alone PlayStation TV, but if it ends up being worth the money, I may pick it up.

 

Mortal Kombat X – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC:

Fighting games, like racing games, have never been my forte, but damn does this graphic, gory trailer for Mortal Kombat X look amazing.

 

Powers – PlayStation Network:

The first original television show for the PlayStation is coming this December and it is called Powers. An adaptation of the graphic novel written by Brian Michael Bendis, the show combines elements of police procedurals, sci-fi, and fantasy, and follows a pair of detectives investigating people with superhero-like powers. The program will be debuting this December, and every PlayStation Network customer will get the first episode free of charge. PlayStation Plus subscribers will get access to the entire series.

Just from a quick first look of conceptual art, the show shows a lot of promise and I’m excited to check it out once it hits PSN this December. But this isn’t the only bit of new, original content for Sony

 

Ratchet & Clank (the movie):

Ratchet & Clank, the long time brainchild of PlayStation-centric studio Insomniac Games (who are, ironically, now making an Xbox exclusive called Sunset Overdrive), will now be made into a movie. The game has featured Pixar-like animation, so this seems like a good fit. The movie will be released in 2015.

It was also announced that the original Ratchet and Clank game will be remade with no visuals and released on the PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015.

 

The Last of Us (Remastered) – PlayStation 4:

As a surprise to absolutely no one, Sony released a trailer for the re-mastered version of 2013’s absolute masterpiece The Last of Us. The re-mastered game will launch on July 29th and if you call yourself a gamer, pick this game up.

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, 360:

Sony’s juggernaut franchise (which is also coming to Xbox this time around), gets an explosive and emotional new trailer.

 

Grant Theft Auto V (re-mastered) – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC:

While it appeared during the press conference that the re-mastered version of Grand Theft Auto V – the highest grossing video game of all time – might, in fact, be a PS4 exclusive, which would have been HUGE for Sony. However, Rockstar quickly stated after the conference concluded that the game would in fact be coming to Xbox One and PC as well.

If you played through the game on Xbox 360 or PS3, your online progress WILL carry over to your next generation upgrade.

 

Batman: Arkham Knight – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC:

One of the most anticipated super hero games of all time, Batman: Arkham Knight is the finale to the amazing Batman trilogy done by Rocksteady Studios. For the first time ever, the Batmobile will be usable and a part of the gameplay.

While the game was unfortunately pushed back into 2015, the added polish is going to do nothing but make the game even more exceptional. Scarecrow Nightmare missions will come exclusively to PS4.

 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – PlayStation 4:

This may only be a short teaser – “teaser” being the operative word – but man, oh man, does Uncharted 4: A thief’s End look amazing. I didn’t play the series until summer of 2013, but I fell in love. Naughty Dog is far and away the best studio in the world in terms of scope and quality and I couldn’t be more excited for Uncharted 4.

 

Final impressions:

Sony boasted a very good press conference highlighting the very best they’ve had and the best they have going forward. Their attention to games was well noted, especially indie games. Their big franchises made appearances and they threw in some great surprises like Little Big Planet 3. For a company whose soul focus is apparently on games, they took a bit too much time to talk about their new adventures in original programming for my liking. Unfortunately, there’s not much on my schedule to get right now as most of the games I’m interested in on the PS4 have been delayed into 2015 or aren’t scheduled to release until then. With that said, it was a very good conference for Sony. Perhaps not the mic-dropping that happened at last years, but still, a very impressive showing from Sony.

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