Sony E3 2015 Report Card
Sony’s E3 2015 conference is going to be one for the ages. People will be telling their kids of the day that Sony brought the heavens down upon their competitors and crushed them under the weight of three suns. Okay, not really, but Sony’s press conference will definitely be something that a lot of people will remember. Sony knew what people wanted and they delivered it in spades. From three massive showings, to some breathtaking concepts, to some fantastic looking gameplay. Sony was able to make their conference stand out among the crowd.
The Last Guardian. Sony’s figurative prodigal son came home with the re-announcement at tonight’s show. Originally announced at E3 2009 with an initial release date of 2011 for the Playstation 3, The Last Guardian is the third game from Team Ico and was formally reintroduced with a gameplay trailer showing some of the puzzles that the Boy and Trico will have to overcome together. The gameplay looked fantastic and visually the game looked like it would fit right at home with Ico or Shadow of the Colossus. The animation was absolutely on-point with Trico acting like a very large cat. Right now the title is tentatively set to be released in 2016, but with the game’s troubled past it’s best not to get your hopes up. That said, get your hopes up because Sony has actually acknowledged the game is still coming.
Ten years ago, Sony was touting their soon to be released console, the Playstation 3. As with any console unveiling, tech demos are produced to showcase the power of the new system and show off what it can offer. Among them was a real time rendering of Final Fantasy VII’s opening cinematic where Cloud Strife arrived to Midgar on a train. Since then, the tech demo has been a source of fan speculation that Square Enix was going to remake the popular title for the Playstation 3. SE was quick to point out that it was only a tech demo and that such an endeavor was costly and could never be produced. I guess enough people wished upon a star, because Square Enix has decided to go through with the Remake teasing it in an absolutely fantastic way. Sure it was a CG trailer that showed very little of Barrett or Cloud’s faces, but the build up to the “REMAKE” reveal was, for lack of a better word, epic.
Never in a million years would I consider Shenmue a show stopper. The first game was released on the Dreamcast back in 2000 with the follow up being released in 2002 on the original Xbox in North America. Neither were a big financial success. In fact, the failure of Shenmue 1 was very costly to Sega. Since the cliffhanger from the second game, Shenmue 3 was always considered a joke as if it would never actually come. It was trotted out to make fun of people who wished to continue the adventures of Ryo. And tonight, Sony shut those people up by helping announce Yu Suzuki’s Shenmue 3 Kickstarter.
Of course, the those announcements weren’t the only thing Sony brought. There was a wonderful focus on indie games this time showcasing stuff from publisher Devolver Digital as well as several others. There wasn’t too much info shown off on the indie titles except for No Man’s Sky which was incredibly impressive in scope. They even focused on some big third party titles like the Hitman reboot aptly titled Hitman. There was also a big focus on Treyarch’s Call of Duty Black Ops 3 with some campaign mode focus and some quick talk of the multiplayer mode and news of maps being a timed exclusive on the Playstation 4. Of course the show had some sweet Star Wars action as they showcased some Disney Infinity 3.0 exclusive content by way of a special edition which comes with a playset and three figures on top of the normal starter pack. Even going so far as to include a Boba Fett figure. DI wasn’t the only Star Wars game shown as the conference had their own exclusive look at Battlefront which, needless to say, looked amazing.
The show ended with an extended look at the recently delayed Uncharted 4. With actual, ACTUAL gameplay. Of course this was shown off because the demo had a hiccup and Sony had some control issues. Regardless, the game is visually outstanding and looks tight and fun. Most of the gameplay demo was focusing on the driving segment, but also had some fire fights thrown in with some great gun and melee action. Honestly, it was great to see a game that didn’t focus so heavily on gore but still looked really awesome when being performed. It’s a shame that the game was delayed, but the Uncharted series is known for the exceptional polish.
Outside of the big three Sony announcements/reveals, the Sony E3 Experience Conference was fantastic. There were tons of games shown off that ranged from the big AAA blockbusters to the more humble indie titles. Everything from first party exclusives, to third party exclusive content, to even showcasing Morpheus. But if you include Shenmue III/Final Fantasy VII REMAKE/The Last Guardian, you have yourself a showcase that will excite you to your core and keep you smiling for days. Even while sleeping. Seriously, bust out your cellphone camera and videotape yourself sleeping. You’ll be having a great time imagining all of those titles within the palm of your hands.