Thoughts On Sony's E3 Press Conference

I've been working since 1:30am, and I'm starting to get pretty bloody well exhausted at this point, but I still have the energy — I think — to write some barely coherent thoughts on Sony's E3 conference.

I Got Legitimately Excited

In wrestling terms you would use the words 'marked out'. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, maybe it was the low blood sugar, but on plenty of occasions during the Sony conference, I totally got legitimately excited. Sony just announced/showed a tonne of video games I'm truly excited to play. Bloodborne, LittleBigPlanet 3, Uncharted 4, No Man's Sky... the list goes on. Let's talk about some of them.

Announcing A Game That Is Already Available Is Genius

Sony Just Announced A Beautiful New PS4 Game, And It's Out Right Now

I'm talking about Entwined of course, the gorgeous indie game that Sony showed off for the first time today, before announcing that you could actually buy the game right this second. Such a great move on a number of levels. To begin with it shows just how committed Sony is to backing off-kilter indie experiences. Secondly, it gives a genuinely cool game a great chance at success. Plenty of folks will have already downloaded Entwined because of its presence at E3, it's going to be the first thing I do when I get home tonight.

And on that note...

Sony Gives Indie Games The Time And Space The Deserver

Sure, Sony had the age-old Indie montage, but they also gave smaller games time and space to properly show themselves off during the presentation. There was Entwined, of course, Abzu, the Capy stuff.

No Man's Sky, technically, is an Indie game.

The Game From The Future

No Man's Sky, You Win E3, Forever

Sweet lord. How is it possible that this game even exists? No Man's Sky has no right to exist. This bloody game, made by a four man team, continues to gloriously outperform games with 300 people behind the wheel. I just don't understand.

It looked absolutely glorious. Already it feels like my favourite game of the show. Already it feels classic. It has space dinosaurs.

Space Dinosaurs.

No Man's Sky feels like it dropped in some strange capsule sent back from the future. I have no idea how the game will end up, what it will look like, or what it will play like but, for now, it has fried my tiny little synapses. I am in love.

Project Beast Is... Bloodborne

A new IP from the man who made my favourite game of the last generation. Yes, this is a cause for celebration. We saw little of Bloodborne, and precisely zero gameplay, but when a game is made by Miyazaki, you give that video game the benefit of the doubt. I have no idea what Bloodborne will play like, but it's already one of my most anticipated video games. From Software has a way of creating the most compelling game experiences imaginable and I can't see that track record faltering any time soon.

It would have been nice to see the game in action though, considering the GIFs that have been doing the rounds.

Grim Fandango... Ahahahaha. What?

I did not see that one coming.

Did anyone see that coming?

Probably the most pleasant surprise of E3 so far.

Grand Theft Auto V On PS4

GTA V Is Coming To PC, Xbox One & PS4

Did anyone not see that coming?

I think I was the only one who didn't see that coming!

LittleBigPlanet Has A Dog

And for a period of two seconds, I'm pretty sure I started vomiting rainbows.

I've heard plenty of people complaining that LittleBigPlanet 3 was just more of the same, but it's all about timing for me. I'm so ready for another LittleBigPlanet game. I'm ready to have that experience again. I loved the original game and I loved the additions to the core mechanics shown at E3.

Sackdog, or whatever his name is, is the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my life.

Uncharted 4 Wasn't A Surprise. But It Kinda Was.

Uncharted 4 Stars, You Guessed It, Nathan Drake

I expected to see Uncharted 4 this year, I really did. I wasn't quite prepared for the aesthetics of it though. Bizarrely I wasn't really prepared for the visual leap. Uncharted has always looked good, so I just expected a higher res, smoother version of that. After all, that's what we're seeing from most next gen games.

But nah, Drake looks striking. He looks old. The detail is incredible. The facial animations are incredible. Some folks criticise Uncharted for being linear, for being too story driven, blah blah blah. I maintain that it features the best writing of any game out there, especially in the AAA space, and no other game can match it for sheer experiences. No game series can match its pacing, its set pieces, its dialogue.

In short: there's a lot to love about Uncharted. I'm thoroughly excited for Uncharted 4.


    Bizarrely I wasn’t really prepared for the visual leap. Uncharted has always looked good, so I just expected a higher res, smoother version of that. After all, that’s what we’re seeing from most next gen games.

    That sums it up for me too. I don't want to believe it will look like that in game and look like a twat when it doesn't because.. well, look at it! It looks fantastic!

    But I also know that I've been saying that since Uncharted 2: "It can't look that good?!" Then the game arrives and it looks very almost like that but with some small tweaks. (Uncharted 3 they tweaked the lighting and some particles etc, but nothing drastic and it still looked great if you follow.)

    Last edited 10/06/14 4:11 pm

    Uncharted 4 is the first game where I've gone, "yep, that's next-gen". And that's exactly what I expected from it - a level of "wow" which mirrors that of my reaction to the visual strides taken between Uncharted 1 and 2.
    And I'm happy that Naughty Dog seem obligated to show off how much better they are at rendering jungles with each successive title.

    Last edited 10/06/14 4:28 pm

    I’m talking about Entwined of course, the gorgeous indie game that Sony showed off for the first time today, before announcing that you could actually buy the game right this second

    I was REALLY happy to see them release something this way. Back at the start of the year when you ran the article asking people what they were looking forward to, one thing I said was that I hoped something new would come along and blow our socks off without any kind of marketing or hype leading up to it. Just *bang*, there it is one day, fully formed. Too often these days games have so much hype and marketing that by the time a game is released you feel like you've already seen most of it already. While I still don't know if Entwined will blow our socks off, I love the fact they're willing to hold back on something to surprise us like this.

    In terms of stuff I thought / hoped we'd see but didn't, The Last Guardian obviously heads the list. Followed by whatever Santa Monica are working on, and Guerilla's new IP. And I have to admit to being very surprised by the complete lack of any mention of DriveClub.

    Last edited 10/06/14 4:28 pm

    The only real problem with the Sony press event was the 20 or so minutes where they went off track to talk about Movies and TV shows. If they'd kept that to a minimum they would have pulled off the same Zero fat content approach that MS had at their shindig. Still I really liked what they showed (Adam Boyes' segment was great) and yes, No Man's Sky looks like some form of black magic.

    I'm kind of sad that they didn't even really give the Vita a mention. Instead of that mucking around with TV shows, how about a 2-3 minute upcoming Vita games montage or something?

    You know Nintendo has already done the whole "Announcing A Game That Is Already Available Is Genius," right?

    On 18 December 2013, Nintendo released NES Remix as soon as the Direct ended.

    Did post in the live thread but will expand here: In a word it was disappointing. I was not expecting much going into it but i was hoping beyond hope that Sony would justify me buying my PS4 at launch in anticipation of 2014 but nope.... We have Driveclub (A little burnt out on racing games to be honest) and Last of Us Remastered (which i played less then a year ago where it still looked good then) for 2014 as exclusive for Sony and... thats it.

    So in the end i will only be picking up two games for my PS4 this year, being Infamous: SS and Destiny which is a multiplatform game. While Sony showing looks fantastic for 2015 i just wish they would come out and say "Hey we have this great thing for you to play before the year is out". At least this year on my Xbone i got PvZ: GW, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: Collection. And PC Watch Dogs, GTA V, Assassin's Creed, Dragon Age and the steam/origin sales.

    In regards to the rest of the conference - too much time was spent on third party games and too much bullshit PR lingo to try and make it sound like a game was exclusive to PS4 when it wasn't (MS seemed upfront that this is exclusive and this isn't straight up). So many people watching the stream thought that Dead Island 2, Farcry 4 and GTA V was exclusive to PS4 (especially the ability to import your online progress to PS4).

    But still, Bloodborne looks great, The Order looks like it needs time in the oven but thanks to the delay it will hopefully only improve and Uncharted 4 looks like the next step that everyone expected. However these highs were almost negated by some of the worst parts i have seen in a conference since Sony's e3 2006. It is almost believable that someone who organised the show is trying to get the top job at Sony America because they gave the new guy easily the worst way to make an introduction to the world stage. TV, Movie and Playstation Now. PS Now will not work for Aussies unless they got lucky and got Fibre (even then i imagine they would get imput lag), the Ratchet movie looks meh and the TV series is free for the US but everyone else has to pay? No thanks...

    Ultimately it started off strong and ended only slightly weaker but with a gut wrenching middle portion that almost made me turn off the conference. They needed to trim 30-40 minutes - basically eliminate the TV/movie/now, trim the LPB 3 demo, get rid of some the multi-plats that didn't offer anything exclusive and show some Vita games some of the time lost. Easily would have pushed the conference up a notch had they followed through and delivered even 30 seconds of teaser footage to say: Last Guardian is really still here - we were not just saying it wasn't cancelled in order not to ruin our E3. Didn't have to attach a date or anything - just a - "We are still here".

    Overall weaker conference then MS (not by much though) and i am bitterly disappointed there is not more there for this year but still looking good for 2015 (till half of it gets delayed to 2016).

    Last edited 10/06/14 7:35 pm

    Nintendo sweeping in to rescue E3 this year from a relatively bland showing? I think I can sum up E3 so far by saying "I was impressed by the things I was already going to buy and thought "meh" to the rest with very little in the way of genuine surprise".

    Surprise is what I miss from E3 which is a product of this day and age where you kind of know everything before you are supposed to. It didn't help that the big guns went and told us everything in the week leading up to their conferences which made the whole ordeal a case of "yeh I get it, where is the stuff I know nothing about?" Indie games are taking over E3 because they give us something that the AAA devs and big names have lost along the way, a sense of wonder about the future of gaming and they get a montage piece.

    Did anyone else sit there watching No Man's Sky and think, well it looks ok I guess, bit bloomy maybe, heh, space dinosaurs but meh... wait we can leave the planet? Alright, piqued my interest, off planet port, I can get behind this a bit more. Err...if you land on that other planet I'm sold! TOUCHDOWN! GET HYPE! Only to find out later you are also an indie game made by a handful of people? Shit man, charge me $100 and have all my australia bucks, you have earned it by having a refreshing presentation.

    Had the Battlefield Hardline changed a few of their UI elements so it wasn't quite so "HI I'M A BATTLEFIELD GAME" then they played through a bit, had the cops arrest the robbers, kept that crane scene in because that was awesome then gone "BAM! Battlefield Hardline" rather than going "hey, next battlefield game is cops and robbers these are all of the things now a week or so before the big event when we unveil all our new shit to make you excited" Then people would have left happier.

      Surprise is a rare thing since the dawn of social media. Hardline was leaked several weeks before e3 with basically a 7-8 minute internal video detailing the entire game leaked. Regardless of what they did, it was out and you were going to hear about it one way or another regardless of whether they offically confirmed it. It gets so hard for AAA game studios to keep a secret - Ubisoft has defied the odds twice with Watch Dogs and The Division but since they were new IP's it had less chance of getting out then say a sequel to a major AAA game series.

      Also No Man's Sky has been known about for quite some time (VGX if i remember right) so it most definitely wasn't a fresh presentation.

    Who complains that Unchartd story is too linear?? Lemme at him!
    I'll punch his stupid face back to watch dogs

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