Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Anon of Holland’s E3 Recap

So unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are a casual) you might be aware that this week is pretty much the most important week of the year (after Sinterklaas week, of course): E3!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) is the biggest video game event in the world where loads of new games, hardware and services are announced and this year was especially exciting since Microsoft and Sony would be going head on into the fight to become the most hyped console of the upcoming generation. Microsoft took a big hit after their terrible (and I mean TERRIBLE) unveiling conference earlier this year, where the PS4’s unveiling was kind of mediocre but looked nothing short of amazing next to that of the Xbox One. Sony showed a lot of games at their conference while Microsoft kept droning on and on about TV and sports, seemingly giving Sony the upper hand for E3.
However as we all know, the consumer landscape can change in the blink of an eye and if Sony had already played all their cards at the unveiling, what would stop Microsoft from steamrolling them with a torrent of great games? Many people however didn’t expect that to happen and expected more of the same, a focus on TV, sports and broshooters instead of interesting core games. And what to think of EA, who would be showing their plans for the Star Wars franchise and the first ever footage of Dragon Age 3 – Scared of the Witcher Edition? Ubisoft in turn would appeal to the dudebro audience with Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, perhaps leaving room for a few completely new IPs.

I’ll provide you guys with a summary of everything that went down so that you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything important.

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Microsoft kicked off the E3 proceedings with a conference opening with two old guys on horses, sand blowing unto the camera as it slowly panned around to reveal Snake’s face. Yup, you read that correctly, a Microsoft press conference started off with a trailer for an ex-Sony exclusive game. Those sneaky bastards. Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain looked so good in-game that I thought I was watching a cutscene and the trailer was extremely well done; it totally looked like a trailer for a movie (no ‘lol MGS games are like movies’ joke intended). Apart from that though…can’t say I was very happy with the WE WANT THE SKYRIM AUDIENCE open world and blatant Assassin’s Creed ripoff gameplay. MGS: Snake’s Creed might excite ‘a new generation of gamers’ or whatever the most recent buzzword is, but it certainly didn’t excite me when it came to gameplay. Of course it might actually work extremely well though, and if it does it would be the game Assassin’s Creed wishes it could be with a rich and detailed history to boot.

After this great looking trailer some bigwig came on stage to tell us that “Today will be all about the games”…after which he proceeded to talk about Xbox Live and the redesign of the Xbox 360. Yeah, they ‘updated’ the Xbox 360 look ‘to look modern like the Xbox One’…which looks like a friggin’ VCR… Who the hell will buy a redesigned Xbox 360 just months before the Xbox One is coming out is beyond me, but I suppose a big price drop might lure some people in? It should be available from today, so if you want you can pick one up. Also, speaking of Xbox Live, they finally dropped the stupid Microsoft Points system in favor of just paying with normal currency. Which means they can ramp up the European prices again of course, but at least you will be able to actually tell how much you’re spending on something now.

After that little housekeeping they immediately bombarded their viewers with more trailers, this time for the Xbox 360 which will totally still be supported guys!!… Except that they only showed three games for it and they were World of Tanks (which, apparently, is quite popular but should they really make such a big deal about a F2P game?), some Max and the Magic Marker ripoff (or sequel, since it was actually called MAX so I’m not sure what the deal is with that), and Dark Souls. Of course many people are excited for Dark Souls, but if those other two games are the most interesting things they could find to announce for the 360, it’s pretty clear they’re hoping everyone will just sweep it under the rug and move on and get an Xbox One. Microsoft won’t be supporting the 360 much anymore, but I think many games will still be coming out ‘cross-gen’ for at least a year or two. Since the install base might not be very big with the next gen consoles, looking at the horrible sales of the WiiU, publishers might want to play it safe and keep releasing stuff on both platforms for a while.

Anyway, it seems like Microsoft really got all of their casual crap out of the way at their unveiling because the rest of the conference was filled to the brim with game trailers, live demos and more. Kicking it off was Xbox One exclusive ‘Ryse‘ (yeah, they really spelled it like that) which takes place during the BEST PERIOD EVER: Ancient Rome. The live stage demo starts off with a scene that seems like Saving Private Ryan but with Roman soldiers (down to the bobbing camera movements and gross mutilations) which promises a lot but ends up kind of disappointing as the game devolves into God of War gameplay with Quick-Time Events to kill every other enemy. After about 5 minutes I felt like I’d already seen every ‘cinematic kill’ like five times already, but apart from that it did look to play very smoothly and since it’s the first game of this kind since Spartan: Total Warrior that’s set in this time frame I’ve got to admit I’m quite excited.

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Later, a woman would come on stage to talk about the useless features of smartglass, mentioning that her ‘favorite feature in Ryse is the timeline’ where she can see what her friends are playing…honestly if that is her favorite fucking feature I’m not sure if I still want to play this game.
They pushed smartglass a bit during this conference and it looks absolutely useless; basically it’s just a way to make your phone or tablet interact with your gaming experience, so you can get some useless information or push some buttons or whatever on there. It’s completely useless, but I guess it does mean you technically have all the functions of a WiiU controller without actually having to buy anything.

Next up was a short trailer for Killer Instinct, a fighting game that was last released on the Super Nintendo and apparently has a cult following that doesn’t include me. It also seems like a pretty big waste to put Rare to work on a fighting game when they have such great experience with platformers – a genre that Xbox could certainly use more of.

KI
A completely new game was revealed made by Insomniac, called Sunset Overdrive. As soon as the Insomniac guy described it as a ‘stylized open world shooter’ I lost all my interest, and when I saw that the game basically looks like a playable Fanta Commercial I went to get a coke.

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This still being a Microsoft conference, we of course had to have some driving as well, and the creators of Forza were happy to provide it. The cars in the new Forza look more real than real cars (even the one that came out of the floor in a bombastic way with some crappy dubstep playing in the background), but obviously it’s just another racing game so I can’t say I was even the slightest bit interested. Fun fact was though that it remembers your driving habits, so not only can Microsoft provide your government with a direct live feed into your living room, but they can also send them information about how you drive! Truly this is the next generation of spying. Uhh, I mean gaming.

They showed Minecraft after that, but as you might be aware it’s 2013 at the moment so there wasn’t a single person alive who cared about the fact that Minecraft will be less shit on Xbox One than it was on Xbox 360. After that though they showed a little more about Quantum Break in what they said was a trailer running in real time (but not in-engine?) but looked like possible CG where the protagonist stops time and messes around with some pieces of glass. Apparently the game will be linked to a TV show (yes, one more of those) which is great if you live in America I guess but for people who just want to play an awesome game it certainly looked like it had potential. However, since we didn’t see any actual gameplay there’s not much to say about what kind of game this will end up being.


Also, because the graphics were so good I got a really bad case of uncanny valley because the lipsynch was so off.

Considering the recent success of the re-released Deadly Premonition, it’s perhaps no big surprise that the guy who came up with that, Swery65, is given the chance to release his new game on next gen consoles as well. It’s called D4 and the extremely short trailer that was shown didn’t really show anything except for the unique-but-not-necessarily-good-looking graphics.

One new IP after the other, as the game SPARK is shown. SPARK is a game that could’ve been conceived by Peter Molyneux himself, as they made it look like you can basically DO EVERYTHING. It’s reminiscent of Scribblenauts, where you can create and use almost anything you can think of. The gameplay they showed looked quite impressive in this regard, but naturally I’m worried if it won’t end up being extremely limited when it comes to the final product. The style and idea behind the game are great though, so it would be nice to see if it can pay off on its promises.

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After some well needed information about Social Features (who doesn’t want to hear about those!?) a really big surprise came on in the shape of Crimson Dragon; a kinect game that’s basically a new Panzer Dragoon, by the actual guys who made Panzer Dragoon as awesome as it is! There was another not so great surprise as the sound of the video crapped out and people in the crowd kept yelling random
shit throughout the short video, but apart from that it looked really promising. Even though I sucked hard at it, I always enjoyed playing Panzer Dragoon on my Dreamcast and Xbox, so I’m glad there will be a new one.

CrimsonDragon6

The next video might confuse you because what you’re looking at is not yet another open world zombie game…well…actually it is yet another brown and grey open world zombie game…BUT it’s called Dead Rising so please like it okay guys!?

Open World is easily the worst thing that’s happened to gaming in the past few years and Capcom shows again that it’s easy to make any bad game even worse by adding it in. Dead Rising 1 and 2 were already pretty crappy games, and this one seems to be continuing this fantastic legacy. The trailers shows the protagonist killing about 200 zombies before breakfast (because as you know that’s totally what would happen in the case of a zombie apocalypse) but this time without keeping the characteristic colorful and somewhat unique style Dead Rising had and trading it in for an extremely generic look instead. The gameplay is totally on-par when it comes to being generic and you’ll basically spend the entire game running around killing stuff. I liked the part where he cut a zombie in half by throwing a chainsaw at it though.

Following Dead Rising 3 was another wonderful example of how Open World is the buzzword of this year as everyone is preying on the Skyrim audience; CDProjektRed came on to show a little bit of The Witcher 3, the first time we’ve seen some actual in-engine stuff. It looks really good, but I’m still worried about the open world ruining everything. However, if there’s one studio I’d trust with it, it would be CDPR, so I hope they can pull it off. Naturally this game will play and look better on PC, but for people who can’t afford a $500 PC but can afford a $500 console getting it on the Xbox One or PS4 will be a good alternative.

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Shooters have always been Microsoft’s thing, so with the absence of Call of Duty (perhaps due to the hilarious response to their state-of-the-art dog?) of course it would be up to Battlefield 4 to fill the gap. As they prepare to start the live demo, however, the sound craps out again and the entire show grinds to a halt. Of course, no one care about that silly dragon game but this is Battlefield guys!! Gotta hear those bullet casings drop! It’s nice that they showed actual gameplay, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been seeing stuff like this about this game for over a year already so I couldn’t bring myself to give even the tiniest of shits. They ran around an aircraft carrier for a while, shooting stuff, and then got on a jetski in a –I must admit- completely seamless transition. The graphics look great and all, which is to be expected I suppose, but I was quite impressed by the detail that was put into the environments.

Since I don’t want to leave anything out, I guess I should mention this super unimpressive indie game called Below. That’s all I have to say about it too because it literally looks too dull to even talk about.

After this, Microsoft announces that their bottomless wallets have caught a total of five new studios that will be developing for Xbox One. One of them is Black Tusk and they’re working on some sort of espionage game. They said the trailer was running in-engine but it was clearly prerendered and, even worse, didn’t show anything about what kind of game we were actually looking at, so I’m not sure what the idea was there. I’m not intrigued or interested, but who could be based on nothing but a short clip of someone rappelling down a building and kicking someone?

The next video was a nice surprise as it looked like a new IP with a cloaked figure walking through a desolate desert. However, before long a giant robotic bird rises up from the sand and the mysterious figure is revealed to be none other than…
MASTER CHIEF
There wasn’t much else to this trailer, except the fun fact that the game is just called Halo and not Halo 5. Truly a shame they didn’t just go the complete dick route and go for Halo One to tie it in with the retarded console name. I would’ve enjoyed that.

With the conference almost over, I was deeply shocked and pleasantly surprised to see so many classic E3 staples missing from this year’s conference. Microsoft’s 2 hours really were all about the games, and the ever present singing games, social games, gimmick games or fitness games were completely absent. It was almost like Microsoft really made a conference for core gamers, and it should be noted that all other conferences were in this same style as well. No useless sales figures, little to no sports, very little casual crap, celebrities and terrible jokes…E3 has really grown up compared to the last few years.

In closing, they revealed a sort of Armored Core/Killzone mash up called Titan Fall. Well, they did so after quickly and quietly noting that the Xbox One would be available in November 2013 and will cost $499 in the US and €499 in Europe. That’s right, we’re getting the short end of the stick as usual. €499 is actually $665, making the XBone 166 USD more expensive in all of Europe, and even more in the UK. This isn’t something that was unexpected as American companies tend to pull this sort of shit all the time, but it’s still a bit painful, and €500 is quite a lot of money for a new console that will always be online, has draconian DRM, doesn’t accept used games and will spy on you 24/7, all the while not having more than one or two worthwhile exclusives.

Anyway, Microsoft understandably glossed over this as quickly as possible by showing this Titan Fall, a game that I’ve already seen enough of for the rest of my life after watching all E3 conferences. It’s a multiplayer only shooter where you can shoot as a guy, or you can shoot as a guy driving a giant Mech. While it does look cooler than an average multiplayer fragfest, in the end it’ll be nothing more than a decent looking game with 10 maps that people will pay to play over and over again for months.
Although that’s exactly what most braindead players nowadays like it, it’s definitely not something I can get excited about.

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In conclusion I think that the Microsoft conference seemed pretty good because we were all expecting a complete and utter failure and instead just got some mediocrity, so it didn’t feel so bad. If you remember, even last year E3 was nothing but waggling, gimmicks, dancing games, fitness games and celebrities, so this was a HUGE step up in that regard. Showing off games and only games was great, and that’s what we want to see, but all in all the games that were shown weren’t really all that impressive. At least for me there isn’t a single System Seller in that list of exclusives (except maybe Quantum Break), so I’m hoping Sony can top this with something good.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft didn’t bother to address all the recent problems concerning DRM, used games, always online requirements and the Kinect being always on and spying on you. Of course they want people to actually buy their console, but if it wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying I’m sure they would’ve mentioned something.

 EA_logo

This year, I was actually looking forward to the EA press conference. Yeah, I know it’s foolish, but since they got the rights to Star Wars and Bioware had been teasing something new at E3 for weeks, I was hoping I’d get to see the announcement for some great Star Wars games and perhaps some gameplay for Dragon Age 3 which has been cloaked in mystery ever since they announced it would be arriving later this year.

In true EA style though they opened with the worst possible game you could ever imagine..The new Plants VS Zombies. I’m not talking a direct sequel though, I’m talking about a fucking third person action shooter that is multiplayer only. Basically, there’s absolutely no way to make this game any worse. Looking at the live demo was cringeworthy and painful as four team members were holding off horde after horde of zombies in the most generic shooter gameplay possible in a game that’s about shooting plants. Truly, this is the number one worst game I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I can’t believe someone actually greenlit this atrocity.

Then it’s time for more Titan Fall, which we’ve already seen at Microsoft’s conference. Unfortunately they didn’t show anything new, instead showing once again how it’s just a storyless shooty shooty game that’s online only just like Plants VS Zombies.

At least this game has mechs, I guess.

Then, completely out of left field, came the announcement for Star Wars Battlefront.


When the trailer started, I thought it would be for Battlefield 4, but suddenly blaster fire hit the snow and a snowspeeder came crashing down, the foot of an AT-AT closing in to crush it.
Out of all the Star Wars games I expected to be announced, this certainly wasn’t the one I was looking forward to. Battlefront is yet another online only multiplayer deathmatch game with zero story and generic gameplay, so I was sad to see it was the only Star Wars game announced at this point. I was hoping that maybe EA had picked up Star Wars 1313, or at least had Visceral working on something new but alas, we’ll have to wait until later.

That teeny tiny trailer was quickly forgotten in favor of a new Need For Speed game called Rivals though, that yet again has a bunch of online features where you can race against other people etc, etc. They talked about that for a while, and then suddenly Aaron Paul (who is apparently famous?) comes on stage to talk about the Need for Speed movie. Protip: They already made that and it’s called The Fast and The Furious. I’m not sure what this had to do with video games, but I hope there was someone out there who wanted to hear about this.

Then it was finally time for Dragon Age 3, but instead of showing the expected gameplay, we were treated to a pretty crappy CGI trailer that didn’t show anything about the game nor stirred any interest whatsoever. For a game that was originally supposed to come out in only a few months, you’d expect that they could show some gameplay, or at least come on stage to talk about what they’re doing with the game, but all we got was ‘Lol here’s Morrigan guys plz get xcite!’
Actually, speaking of randomly adding Morrigan, it’s especially sad that they feel like they have to do that to create any interest in their new game. If they weren’t so scared of the Witcher and would just focus on crafting an enjoyable game, they could go far, but since they’re EA now they’re also focussing on the Skyrim audience and Dragon Age will be dead forever in just one short year, just like every other franchise EA got their grubby little hands on.

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Another staple of EA, next to ruining franchises, is of course Sports. Can’t have an E3 without Madden, Fifur, NFL and UFC, so EA decided to bring in some famous basketball player to talk about how great the new engine for NBA is. They also brought in some guy called ‘Drake’ to talk about Fifa, which is interesting because I have no friggin’ idea who that guy is. Is he an American football player or something? If that is the case perhaps he should stick to playing FIFA then, so he can win a game for once. The FIFA stuff was also one giant FCBarcelona circlejerk which was kind of annoying, but I guess next year it will be all about FCBayern München so that would be nice. The new Ignite engine looks really good, but I’m not sure if FIFA will be more fun to play than PES if they don’t implement some ball physics.

Nearing the end of the show, EA throws some more Battlefield 4 at us, showing in a live demo how you can play with up to 64 people at the same time. You know, like how you could on PC since the dawn of the internet. They also showed a kind of Dungeon Master mode so you have something to click on on your phone and people can ignore your orders.

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In their idea of a grand closing, EA showed off Mirror’s Edge 2, much to my disinterest. I wonder where all those Mirror’s Edge fans came from, because the first game was absolutely horrid and played like a FPS while not really being an FPS, but, well, here you go there’s another one.

Summing up this turd of a conference in one short sentence: Nothing I wanted to see was shown, and everything was shown was not something I wanted to see.
On to Ubisoft!

ubisoft

Even at the start of Ubisoft’s conference it was clear that they were the only ones who didn’t get the memo that they weren’t going to do a retarded E3 shows anymore this year. They literally started with a celebrity (the guy from Alice in Chains) doing something completely unrelated to gaming (playing guitar) and once again they chose that black chick from last year to host the conference and make lots of terrible jokes that no one laughed at, making the entire conference an awkward experience for everyone.

The game that Alice in Chains guy was playing was Rocksmith, by the way, and it’s basically a next gen version of Guitar Hero. Except instead of a plastic guitar, you spend hundreds of dollars on buying a real one and plugging it into your console so you can learn to play it.
Okay…cool story, bro.

Next up was yet another amazing Ubisoft game everyone’s looking forward to and definitely not tired of called Splinter Cell. While I was watching it, I was wondering if this wasn’t the same trailer I had seen at E3 last year, but apparently it was indeed a new game and that previous one has been released already. This time it looks more like Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Released A Few Years Later Edition. That can be a good thing though, as Ghost Recon was a great game (number 18 in my list of top 20 games of this generation, actually) and I suppose I might pick this one up since I haven’t played a Splinter Cell game in forever and it’s not like it’s raining video games nowadays.

Then there’s Rayman Legends, coming out 3rd of September. I’ve never been big into Rayman so I can’t say if it’ll be good or not, but the in-game stuff they showed definitely looks like a low-budget iPhone game. I understand Rayman is more about gameplay than aesthetics though, and I actually quite enjoy the art style, so it might be a worthy game in spite of its flash-like looks.

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Staying in the casual realm, Ubi follows Rayman up with an XBLA game called The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot. You can build a fort to protect your loot and then you have to raid the forts of others ONLINE. When the trailer started, I was completely ready to hate it, but I have to say it kinda grew on me. I really liked the style of the mock-documentary trailer, and even though it had a bunch of pretty bad forced comedy I still dug the general feel and style of it. Since I love building stuff in games, and this might end up being kind of like Dungeon Keeper light, it might be cool.

The following South Park: The Stick of Truth trailer poked some fun at its turbulent development cycle by adding “Coming this holiday season…or…you know…some holiday season sometime soon. You know how videogames are” at the end of it, which I thought was a pretty classy way to deal with it. I can’t say I care much about South Park, but I do care about Obsidian Entertainment, so I want this game to do great, and everything I’ve heard and seen about it seems to point at it being a great game that truly captures the feel of South Park. For Obsidian’s sake I hope it sells millions.

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The next game shown was some racing game where you can customize your cars. I’m not really sure who buys all these things. Isn’t 2 racing games enough? Do we need more? There’s not even guns on these cars!? It’s called The Crew and at least it looks like you can crash some fucking cars in it I guess?
On the other hand, it’s an MMO driving game and it looks last-gen as hell, so even crashing some fucking cars won’t save it. It’s open world though (because people love that shit, as you know) so you can basically drive anywhere you want. The actual game looks really boring though. The best bits were where the cars drove straight through pedestrians and the rest of them magically jump aside just in time even though you’re driving like 200 kilometres per hour.

Of course Ubisoft’s only actually interesting game, Watchdogs, can’t be absent, and they showed yet another awesome CGI trailer. I’m really interested in this game, but all the exposure is wearing on me. I’d rather just, you know, play it.

Confirming once again that they didn’t get the memo, Ubi followed up with a cringeworthy Just Dance commercial that was way too long and way too embarrassing.
The new game includes Nikki Minaj, Psy and One Direction, so best get your wallet ready guys!

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At last E3, Ubisoft talked a lot about wanting to break into the TV business, even going so far as to invite James Cameron for a talk that ultimately resulted in absolutely nothing. Apparently they’ve not been twiddling their thumbs for the past 12 months though as a Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed movie are in the works, just like a TV show based on Rayman’s Raving Rabbids (or however you spell that). The cartoon will be interactive, because that’s what kids want these days, but it isn’t exactly clear how this will work. Ubi showed off some of the CGI cartoon, and it looks very good, and then showed some minigames as an example of the ‘interactivity’, which raised a lot of questions such as ‘how is this actually being an interactive tv show if what you do doesn’t impact the show’, ‘do I need a game inside of my Xbox to play these minigames or will it be like Dora where I’m just yelling at the TV but not actually doing anything?’ and ‘who the hell likes these kinds of games anyway?’

However there was no time to adequately address these questions since it was time for Ubi’s Call of Duty: Assassin’s Creed! My interest in Black Flag has hit rock bottom after being treated to CG trailer after CG trailer, and once again Ubisoft does nothing but show us yet another CG trailer and some cherry picked in-game parts that we’ve already seen before. The developer did add that “You can discover the world the way you want and do a bunch of stuff” and pronounced Pirate as Parrot though, so I guess we did get some enjoyment out of it. I’ll talk a little more about this game later at the discussion of the Sony conference since they actually showed some gameplay there, but all in all I’m not impressed by Assassin’s Creed 3.5.

In a small surprise, Ubi then proceeded to announce a Next-Gen Trials called Fusion, and a tablet/phone-only variant called Frontier. Trials is a game that works extremely well on phones, so an iteration developed specifically for phones is without a doubt good news. Fusion looks to be sci-fi themed, so that could also be a positive assuming they won’t change anything about the basic functionality.

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Next up was THE surprise of E3 for me, an MMO third person shooter that they accidentally called an RPG called The Division. The initial trailer reeked of delicious conspiracy theories and perfectly set the mood for the live demo. In fact, I think this is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in years. It was so interesting and mysterious that I really wanted to know what the game would be about, and for once they didn’t disappoint.

Division looks amazing and seems exactly like something I would love to play. The setting looks great and has lots of potential, and the gameplay looks fluid and enjoyable. If only this game wasn’t online only I would be hyped out of my mind, but as it stands it’s just another game that could’ve been great but will be wasted on 16 year old retards calling your mother a whore.
Truly, this game was the most interesting game unveiled at E3 this year and I’m really sad that its great potential has been wasted on a multiplayer game. There’s already so, so much online-only stuff coming out for Next-Gen consoles that it would’ve been nice to at least have this, but I suppose it wasn’t meant to be ;_;

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Sny

Sony closed off the conference day at 3 in the morning, leaving me with the choice to go to bed and get up on time to go to the tour of my new job, or stay up and watch what could be yet another disappointment until 5 AM. I decided to take the chance and at least stay up to see what the PS4 looked like because I’d no doubt be spoiled the next morning, and was immediately trolled by Sony who got off to a slow start, talking about the Vita and PS3 instead of jumping right into the PS4.
Showing those games had me worried there was nothing new to show for their new console and they might’ve blown their load completely at the reveal months ago, but I suppose if I owned a PS3 or Vita I’d be glad with this information, since it definitely sucked how Microsoft just brushed the 360 off, implying you’d better get a next-gen console because they really don’t care about Xbox 360 anymore. Interestingly enough, Sony didn’t use canned applause and people in the audience actually seemed excited, something that Microsoft and EA certainly didn’t manage. Maybe that’s because the PS3 actually still has worthwhile games coming out for it instead those three uninteresting games they showed for Xbox 360…

After they spent some time stroking their own ego at the 10/10 GOTYAY review scores of The Last of Us, convinced us (or themselves?) that the PSVita isn’t a sinking ship and gave us a look at a few more upcoming games (Rain and of course Beyond: Two Souls looking especially interesting) (Oh, and BATMAN KILLED SOMEONE GOOD JOB NOT-ROCKSTEADY GREAT WAY TO STICK TO THE ESTABLISHED CHARACTER), it was finally time however for the good stuff.

Well..I say good stuff but the actual unveiling of the console itself certainly wasn’t very good. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the PS4:

PlayStation4-FirstLook

Yeah..kinda looks like a PS2 slammed into a DVD Player, doesn’t it? I guess they took some hints from Microsoft on how to design a ‘modern’ console. It’s a giant flat square that definitely rivals the Xbox One in ugliness and, in my opinion, transcends it easily. The Xbox One looks like a VCR, sure, but at least it looks like a pretty one. The PS4 just looks…weird..

We all know it’s not really about the looks of the console though, so if Sony had followed up with something awesome it would’ve easily been forgotten but they choice to show us…TV.

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Borrowing the look of the console from MS and also borrowing the epic downfall huh? We are all very much aware that Sony also does TV and movies, so what the hell? Sure, you can mention that you’re going to make TV shows that will be exclusive to PSN “with gamers in mind” but to be honest that just seems like a recipe for financial disaster. Obviously they don’t want casuals to think they can only watch TV and SPORTS on Xbox One but I wish they’d spent a little less time on all this television, movie and music crap.

Luckily, the next words out of Tretton’s mouth were “Of course at its core the PS4 is about delivering breakthrough gaming experiences”, and he shared that there’s currently 20 titles in development for PS4 internally and 12 of them will be new IPs. That’s even more than the Xbox One’s, but those also included third party exclusives, so it kinda shows how Sony might not be so strong on the exclusive front.

My fears were quickly dispersed however as they showed one of the games they’ve been working on, called The Order, which was so awesome I almost wet my pants. Of course, no gameplay was shown, but it was a new IP and the world was a sort of early industrial revolution setting with steampunk, sci-fi and horror thrown in, which is a great way to get me excited. If they had some gameplay to show, I might’ve been able to tell you if it will be a worthy rival to Microsoft’s Ryse, but as it stands it’s anyone’s guess.

After that they showed the games we’ve already seen in February; Killzone Shadowfall which looks like, you know, a bunch of shooting but with great graphics; Driveclub, which..is racing.. Infamous Second Son..which looked better than I expected (I never thought infamous was very interesting because people compared it to Prototype (which was shit) but this new trailer looked alright) and Knack, which we already saw quite a lot from at the console unveiling earlier this year. I wasn’t blown away by it then and still aren’t, but if it has good platforming it might be cool. At least it’s colorful and stuff.
Killzone, Knack and Drive Club are confirmed launch titles, while Infamous will follow in Q1 2014.

At the PS4 unveiling event, Quantic Dream showed only a tech demo, and this time they’re back with a much, much longer tech demo called The Dark Sorceror. They say it’s all running ‘in real time’ but didn’t mention anything about it being in-engine so that unfortunately doesn’t mean much. If this kind of graphical fidelity is possible in-game though…next-gen is best gen. If you don’t look at the hair it looks like you’re looking at real people.

After watching this demo we also finally know who that old guy at the unveiling was; it was some evil wizard who employs asian looking but black speaking goblins! I’m not sure if there are any plans to turn this into a game or not, but it looks doubtful as the Evil Wizard is already shown to be an actor in a scene reminiscent of Iron Man.

Then it’s time for the obligatory ‘we care about indie games’ that Microsoft also had to squeeze into their presentation. Apparently some people care about this, but I certainly don’t. The guys who did Bastion (which is, I’ve heard, extremely good) finished something new called Transistor. The art style is quite interesting, but the gameplay looks especially uninspired.
Unlike Microsoft however, Sony will allow people to self-publish indie games which has led to some actually decent looking games shown (and on an interesting note, apparently one of these games could be ported from PC to PS4 in a mere 4 weeks. That’s looking promising compared the PS3’s shitty ports running worse than the 360 ones).
More importantly though, one of these indie games is A REMAKE OF FUCKING ABE’S ODYSSEY GUYS GET HYYYYYYPE.

03

Also, if I understood it well, all these indie games are Playstation Exclusive. And since one of them is the Abe’s Odyssey remake, it’s safe to say that

IT’S OVER
MICROSOFT IS FINISHED

Following these no name developers is one of the only publishers who hasn’t turned to complete shit the past years: Square-Enix. While their Final Fantasy games have been getting progressively worse, everything else they’ve put out there has turned into gold, but this time they’re here to show that they can also take care of their own franchises by…renaming Final Fantasy Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV… The reason for this name change is unknown to me, but I have a feeling it might have something to do with it being in development for so fucking long that they’d like it to actually sell. This long dev time certainly shows in the decidedly unimpressive graphics, unfortunately, but the Europe-inspired designs are beautiful and the gameplay looks much more interesting than any previous titles. The battle system looks rather strange and confusing, but at least it will be a huge step up from the horrors that were FFXII and FFXIII.

04

Increasing the hype a little more and answering thousands of landwhale’s prayers, Squeenix then proceedes to unveil a new Kingdom Hearts game. I didn’t enjoy Kingdom Hearts 1 much and thus haven’t looked into the series again since then, but I was kind of hoping for a new one since I definitely digged the idea of mixing Square-Enix characters with Disney characters. It looks like they took the active battle system and changed it to a shitty turn based system that I just complained about though…what the hell?

05

Interestingly enough, both Final Fantasy Versus and Kingdom Hearts won’t be Sony exclusives. That’s a painful blow to Sony as two heavily anticipated games have slipped through their fingers and unto the multiplat floor.

Next up was Black Flag once again, because you want to see more of this truly next-gen game that looks like a current gen game with some particle effects, right!? At least they did a live demo though so we could see it in action. Well, when it decided it wanted to work properly. Guess you don’t have much time to iron out the kinks when you have to release a new game every year huh? The setting seems fun, but the gameplay…eh. It’ll be fun to play but hardly revolutionary. In fact, half of it seems directly ported from Ass is Red 3. No surprise of course considering the development cycle, but it’s kind of sad. The navel battles especially stick out as being nothing but 1:1 copies. If you can’t make a new game, just make an expansion pack or something.

And since they were on the subject of games that we’ve already seen too much of, they thought it would be a good time to show some more Watchdogs. It’s a nice game and all, but we’ve definitely seen enough of it, and it’s ultra-multiplat just like AC3.5 so why show it here? Sony is clearly hurting for exclusives, which is kind of sad.. This time we do get gameplay footage again though, which was nice. At least Watchdogs actually runs decently too instead of crashing constantly. The graphics are clearly held back by the cross-gen nature of the game when you compare it to, for example, Xbox One’s Division (though the water looks amazing), which is too bad, but I am glad I’ll be able to play it without getting a next-gen console since it seems like a great game. The gameplay shown today wasn’t especially inspiring, but I think the amount of possibilities for original approaches has a lot of potential.

For some reason Sony put all their extremely multiplatform games together, as they continued with nothing less than SPORTS GAMES! Luckily it was quite a short little segment that was easily forgotten, and after that we’re treated to the official unveiling of a shitty Bethesda game called The Elder Scrolls Online. Will they succeed in turning the game into even less of an RPG? Will they be able to create even shittier quests? Probably! Now ONLINE.
I’m surprised it’ll be released in Spring 2014 though, that’s not that far away.

Then out of nowhere comes a Mad Max game, based on the new shitty movie no doubt. That certainly curbed my enthusiasm immediately, but still it might be cool? Who knows; they didn’t show a thing about the game and we don’t know anything about the movie yet either. I’ll be watching it with some interest, but I’m not expecting much more than a bad car combat game.

To wrap the show up, Jack Tretton comes back on stage to talk about the 140 games that are in development for PS4, of which 40 are apparently exclusives. Unfortunately, we certainly haven’t seen many of them tonight. However, Sony has a good track record when it comes to exclusives, unlike Microsoft, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
As if knowing what I was thinking, Tretton suddenly launches the most wonderful jab at Microsoft in years by saying that yes, PS4 supports used games: why wouldn’t they? Based Sony. They might use THE POWAH OF DA CLOUD but at least they learned from Microsoft’s mistakes by supporting used games and making the console REGION FREE. Also I haven’t heard this much fucking applause in all of E3. People were seriously chanting “SONY SONY SONY SONY” in the crowd. THIS is how you win console wars, gentlemen.


He then proceeded to fuel the fire by confirming there will be no always online requirements and NO ONLINE CHECK-IN OF GAMES. The crowd goes fucking wild, and yeah, even if PS4 had no games it would’ve been the best fucking console this gen. Luckily though it has all the games Xbone has and then some, stronger hardware, a lower pricetag and none of the anti-consumer shit Microsoft has filled its console with.

IT’S OVER
MICROSOFT IS FINISHED

I honestly expected publishers to push Sony into forcing DRM and other terrible measures but they didn’t (or if they did, Sony didn’t budge) and Sony instantly became the world’s favorite company.

Honestly after that I didn’t even mind the talk about PSN and stupid social features, it’s clear there’s no better console than the PS4 this gen.
It looks like multiplayer will be PSN+ only though, so it’ll basically become Xbox Live Gold but better and cheaper. But it won’t be possible to play your vidya games online for free anymore.

In a completely uninteresting turn of events that was very much unlike the grand re-announcement of The Last Guardian that I was hoping for, Sony had saved Bungie’s Destiny for last. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be any less interested in this shitty sci-fi MMO shooter…or so I thought. The live demo was so utterly generic and boring and the level they played in was so incredibly uninspired (some abandoned factory or something) that I fast-forwarded through it (and I even sat through the EA Sports stuff!). Obviously Destiny won’t be as horrible as that Plants VS Zombies shooter, but God just looking at it bored me to death.

In closing, Tretton explained that they’re using THE POWER OF THE CLOUD to emulate PS-PS3 on PS4, not to ‘enhance games’ in the way that SimCity did it and Microsoft will be doing it, which is nothing but a weak excuse for the most horrible DRM ever. In this case though, Gaikai streams PS, PS2 and PS3 games to your PS4, so even though it’s not backwards compatible at least you can rebuy all your games and still play them if you’re retarded enough to have thrown away your old consoles.

And for the final, glorious nail in Microsoft’s coffin, the price of the PS4 was unveiled to be $399. Also €399, because why the hell not right? But obviously Microsoft was just stomped REALLY hard by a completely superior Sony.

484764_615956771748731_754838396_n

To be fair, it seems like Sony had already won E3 by default since Microsoft dug their own grave so diligently beforehand, and as it turned out Microsoft’s weaknesses were where Sony really made an impact. The used games, no online connection needed and lower price point made the PS4 the only console to consider this gen, but judging purely by this show the PS4 will have even less exclusives than the Xbox One and we might have to wait a long while before seeing a worthwhile exclusive. Sony exclusives series such as MGS and FF have been taken from them due to their low install base and Microsoft’s botomless pockets, but I think developers like Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream will be able to create exclusive games that will be so much better than what MS can offer that it’s a no brainer this gen.

.

Please get hacked first, PS4, I’m rooting for you!

.

Oh, and P.S.

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