Sony E3 2015 Press Conference [Not so] Live Blog

sonyate3-1440x564_cSo can you believe it’s that time of year again when Sony does their E3 Presser and I have to go to bed cos I’m up for work early. As with the Epic 2013 and the slightly lacklustre 2014 Pressers I’m going to watch the presser as if Live and give you my reaction and impression of the event as if I was actually sat on my sofa watching the events unfold in real time. Thankfully with the benefit of the ability to pause it in case my aged bladder can’t make the full 90 minute presentation.

So let’s get it started…

Starting with footage of Uncharted 4 we’ve seen before and a sizzle reel which I’m sure is saying fucking in the lyrics to the song over the top.

“Please Welcome Shawn Layden(President and CEO of SCEA) he’s sporting a very unbecoming grey beard that I wasn’t expecting but he’s welcoming everyone, including me sat at home watching it a day later. There appears to be a lot of hot air, that I’m so not audio typing and uncomfortably having to encourage applause.  AWKWARD!

“Best entertainment experience available, Historic Evolution in gaming full stop. Our first game tonight has been long anticipated by the gaming community [crowd noises] it has been conceived as a poetic story of adventure and friendship, heroism and companionship.”

ON SCREEN: Dust particles through light and a feather floats down, Directed by Fumito Ueda on screen to a feathered creature with spikes sticking out of it. Japan Studio logo on screen, Creative by gen DESIGN . Yup it’s The Last Guardian looking very Ico and appears to be actual gameplay footage. TLG_E315_06_1434429523 Child (let’s call him Wallace) calls the big bird-dog creature (and for ease of typing I’m calling it Grommit), Wallace then pets Grommit. TLG_E315_04_1434429514Wallace jumps to get Grommit to copy and leap over a ledge to a wooden platform which falls under his considerable size and weight. Wallace climbs down to cross the gap makes a leap of faith and is caught by the his clothes with Grommit’s mouth. TLG_E315_07_1434429528Wallace explores the rickety wooden structure as Grommit starts hissing at some kind of windmill on top of a cage, Wallace pushes it off the platform’s edge and over causing it to crumble. Wallace has to make another leap back to Grommit who’s ready to catch Wallace by the mouth but misses, instead Wallace grabs Grommit’s dangling tale, and is lifted to safety. TLG_E315_08_1434429529Only for the platform they’re on to start to crumble Grommit jumps to a near by ledge trying to cling on as Wallace scrabbles up Grommit’s feathers, over it’s head. Wallace then pushes a pole to allow Grommit to get some purchase and climb up. Wallace returns to Grommit’s feathery back as it scrabbles up to a safe looking door way. Grommit gives himself a big scratch with his back claws, releasing loose feathers. The Last Guardian.

Well considering how long this has been in development I was expecting something that looked much better but let’s see if we’ll get a release date and what platform it’s releasing on. 2016.

“Thank you” exclaims Shuhei Yoshida (President of Worldwide Studios SCE) “I could not be happier standing here today, you do not know how long I’ve waited for this moment to reintroduce The Last Guardian with first ever seen gameplay footage on PlayStation 4” Now he’s acknowledging it’s creator.

“Introducing Herman Hulst Managing Director and Co-founder of Guerilla Games talking about leaving behind “the comfortable and the familiar” so it’s not another Killzone then.

ON SCREEN: Captured on PS4. Guerilla logo then cave painting and a female narration. Herd_1434425337Looking very pretty and a bit Shadow Fall skyscrapers styled cities, now looking a bit The Last of Us or Enslaved with plants overgrowing and dilapidating everything. “There’s the hird”

Scouts_1434425345Oooo it’s a Dinobots hunting game with a female lead looking like a female Elf from LotR. Looks incredible with foliage and giant robot dinosaurs. Legolass (that’s what I calling her) starts shooting arrows to knock off green vats from little dino’s backs with her bow.Aiming_at_Thunderjaw_1434425331 Now a Robo-T-rex is trying to squish her, she dives through a break in the rocks as it smaches through them after her. The footage seems to have turned into Evolve as she tries to down the big mechanical beastie, even using it’s own rockets against it, then firing grapples from her bow to stop it moving before delivery a killing blow. More narration about the “Old ones” andOutro_1434425342 Horizon Zero Dawn. Well that looked very pretty but not obvious if it is open world or areas like Tomb Raider (prequel) was.

ONSCREEN:  Square Enix and Io Interactive logo’s with I’m guessing Dianna explain a mission to everyone’s favourite shiny headed lethal covert operative as camera pans over snowy terrain, with a man jogging through it. Now a montage, (cos everyone loves a montage), which does look incredible to be fair, fashion show, poolside, then cuts in of Agent 47 and various executions. Hitman

Looks very nice but no actual game play shown sadly, I hope Square Enix Presser shows some.

“Please welcome Asad Qizelbash (Head of something at SCE) telling us that was the world premiere of Hitman,

No shit!

“Most ambitious Hitman ever created.. Console and PC as a digital release”

Oh oh, no disc for this one then!?

Console exclusive Beta on PS4 when pre-ordering and 6 exclusive contracts. This sounds like episodic Hitman to me.

ONSCREEN: Console exclusive Streetfighter V lots of flashy footage, pretty but I’m not interested, but that logo’s very impressive.  SFV_PS4_1418042107Exclusive to PS4 & PC, public beta starts July 23rd.

“Next title capture whole industry” Asad welcoming Sean Murray from Hello Games so it’s gonna be No Man’s Sky with a Live demo.

ON SCREEN: BlueSpace_1434425150Still looks very nice, launching into the middle of a battle between two sides whilst in space ship. Showing off the star maps and the epic scale of the map “every sun has a solar system, planets, life ecology” Aim is to try to get to the centre of the galaxy. Sean picks a random world and warps there in an undiscovered solar system, scans for points of interest, red ones are beacons. RedSpace_1434425155Flies his ship into the planet’s atmosphere and lands near the beacon. Procedurally generated “Planet E3” fully destructible environment and big giant robot that protect the planet pops up and now he’s underwater.SunsetBots_1434425168 Then gets to beacon and uploads discoveries. “Announce a release date soon I promise, trading, fighting, exploring survival”. We it’s still very daunting as a concept with very little detail about the game play / story (if there is one).

Back to Asad talking about human imagination, changing the very nature of how we create, sounds like a Media Molecule game to me and up pops Alex Evans from said studio. “It’s sort of crazy, most exciting thing I’ve ever worked on.. we call it Dreams. “Open dreameverse.. sketching collaboration and sharing.” Create-Animate_1434428288Looks like a moving painting, using a DualShock4 to model in what looks like virtual clay. Performance capture puppeteering saying more at Paris Games Week.

ON SCREEN: Pianist_1434428299Bloke playing Row Row your boat on a pianoPolarBear_1434428301 and now a polar bear with cub in the snow,SciFi_1434428306 now flying through space, Zombie_1434428308now zombies and a teddy with a hammer, 5_Remix_1434428270back to Mr piano man who now has a polar bear’s head.

dreams_logo_TM_temp_1434429768What the holy hell was that!?

Asad again “an intense mystery set in a Wyoming wilderness” Firewatch: first person view wandering around a cave by Campo Santo developers, lots more exploring and talking to walkie-talkie.

Impressive looking could well be a mix of survival and story with hints of mystery.

“Please welcome Adam Boyes“This shit just never gets old” announces the potty mouth. Talking about Activison and Bungie‘s Destiny being the biggest launch of a new IP ever. Next great adventure in Destiny cue trailer

ON SCREEN: “His name is Orix the Taken King”. I so think it should be voiced by Liam Neeson.

Ooo, Showing off action and big beastie, a bow of light and an axe.

Sorry Adam this shit has got very old for me.

Releasing 15/9/15 “new supers are delicious” with “Exclusive PS4 content”. Argh but that still doesn’t tell me is they’re releasing a GotY edition that gonna cost Graham a Fiver because of my podcast prediction.

ONSCREEN: Assassin’s Creed: SyndicateJacob doing narration and introducing Evie his twin sister and she’s a sneaky madame “Don’t mess with Evie.”

Ok so this is the same style as the reveal trailer for Jacob with lots of pre-rendered fighting and tag line / descriptions. “Dreadful Crimes solve a series of murders by famous novelist”, Arthur Conan Doyle!?

Personally I thought Unity had too many murder mysteries but hey.

ON SCREEN: Cutie looking cartoon kids running as a very sickly sweet female narration welcoming us to Grimoire. Looking like a Fisher Price Final Fantasy, yup it’s World of Final Fantasy.

Does anyone have a bucket I think my dinner is going to make an unwanted return blurgh!!!

Adam again saying its exclusively on PS4 & PSVita coming 2016.

“By Popular demand we have a very special treat for everyone”

ON SCREEN: A very near photo-realistic CG trailer, kids playing, swat team, grimy club Final Fantasy 7 Remakeand a familiar looking sword and hair do. “At last the promise has been made”  Final Fantasy logo followed by the work REMAKE 1st on PS4.

Massive cheers from the crowd as Adam understatedly ”A little bit of excitement. Proud to announce that Final Fantasy 7 remake is coming first to PS4” Lots more cheering. Having never played a Final Fantasy game I’d certainly be interested in playing this. but I’m confused is it a Remake or the PC remaster cos it doesn’t look like an up-port of a PC Remaster of a PS1 game.

Now Adam’s talking about the prolific Devolver Digital and four new games getting a console debut on PS4

ONSCREEN: Ronin a side scrolling hack & slash / stealth ‘em up!?; Eitr – an Isometric 16 bit looking hack and slash; Mother Russia Bleeds – looking like the bastard child of Streets of Rage and Splatterhouse a gory side=scrolling beat ‘em up, I’m up for some of that; Crossing Souls – looking like an ‘80s kids cartoon but not sure what’s going on with it.

Adam’s back talking about Kickstarter and showing off games funded for PS4 and announcing a PC & PS4 Kickstarter project launching on stage Shenmue 3Shenmue 3

Is that the sound of Sega rapidly HDing Shenmue & it’s sequel and can hear in the background. Looks pretty, and I’m sure that’s gonna get funded quickly I’d expect, as Yu Suzuki Creator of Shenmue launches the Kickstarter with a count down…

Adam’s now smuggly recapping what’s been shown.

ON SCREEN: a CG trailer with Frank Sinatra singing over it and a revealing Mr J getting a fiery end. “This is how it happened, this is how the Batman died” Voiced by Commissioner Gordon. Now first person view walking into a Gotham Diner revealing you’re a Police  Officer Owens. He goes over to investigate a smoker in a booth, then it goes mental, very Scarecrow, now an exploding Batman Arkham Knight logo. Scarecrow Nightmare mission and skins DLC (yawn) 23rd June 2015.

“Please welcome Andrew House” President and Global CEO SCEI. Prototype_1434426797 Straight into Project Morpheus games appearing on exceptionally panoramic screen behind him: Eve Valkyrie on the bottom of the stream “Images reformatted for non-virtuality display”.  Football tech demo (unnamed); Solfar. – Godling; The Deep; “inherently solo experiences..the connection friends and families love about PS4 and the ability to play together. Imagine playing Morpheus game whilst 4 of your friends and in the same Virtual world playing alongside of you with Dualshock 4’s on the couch.”

Well that’s gonna replace the my house my pad rules, to my house I’m wearing the goofy head gear whilst you all flick the V’s at me without me being able to see it.

“And for the multiplayer experience we are introducing RIGS_Logo_1434425690RIGS Mechanical Combat League 3 V 3 online Multi-player VR eSports from Guerrilla Cambridge.

Well if Killzone Mercs is anything to go by they know how to make a tight small player number Multi-Player game.

More games in the background: World War Toons; Wayward Sky (by Uber); “it’s a choice”. Now talking about Spotify partnership “5 million downloads”; PlayStation Vue rolling out to more US markets San Fransico & Los Angeles, and in July a la Carte single channel purchasing with PS+ discounts.

 “Committed to bringing the biggest titles and the best experiences to PlayStation” but not this year by the looks of things.

Partnering with Activision to bring the biggest single franchise in video games to the number 1 console in the world, played by 10’s of million. So not World of Warcraft then.

Worldwide exclusive Call of Duty Black Ops 3 reveal gritty co-op experience single to up to 4 players. Live play demo on PS4, no love for MicroSoft!?

ON SCREEN: Cutscene then clown car style appearance of co-op team mates hmmm. Lots of double jumping and shooting, wall running, robots and force powers!? And hacking abilities. CoD Montage to finish.

Looks like there’s a lot of aspects of Advanced Warefare on show with this. Multiplayer co-op looked very frantic.

“Please welcome David Vonderhaar representing Triarch.

ON SCREEN: More montage with some impressive Kill Streaking and robots.

Andrew again starting with BlOps3 getting Map packs first.

Safe to say Activision always know where the money is and an exclusive [pre-order] beta on PlayStation in August.

“Now let me show you some more of the great content coming to PlayStation”

ON SCREEN: Roll the Sizzle Reel again. I’m not gonna list all these as they’re coming up too fast for me to keep up. Now that Country Singing Cheerleader in digital form is on screen with Until Dawn, and it’s sounding like a Saw film. Now to a PSVita on screen and a short montage of games.

Showing Sony don’t think it’s dead but ain’t willing to evangelise about the portable pleasure provider properly. Now crowd shots more montage and Chemical Brothers’ GO playing the background.

Star Wars theme plays and Shawn’s back talking about said series and Disney Infinity 3.0 presented by John Vignocci talking Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars episodes and figures. ON SCREEN: Looking cute and PS exclusive starter park, with figures. Rise Against the Empire playset. I’m sure I can hear George screaming “NOOOO!” from under that mountain of cash he got from Disney in the background or maybe that’ll be in the remastered Blu-ray release of this presser.

Shawn again introducing General Manager of Dice Patrick Bach, now talking Star Wars Battlefront, offline solo and co-op or online, trials and survival missions.

ON SCREEN: Showing a very nice looking horde mode in the setting of Episode VII.

Shawn almost wraps the show thanking fans formally closing before with UNCHARTED_4_LOGO_FINALtm_BLACK_1434425949no introduction needed but someone needs to press play on the video as this logo has been there for an age.

ON SCREEN: A big statue of a beardy bloke, Uncharted-4_sully-door_1434547680Sully looking old and Nate helping to opening an old door out Uncharted-4_drake-sully-vista_1434547646to a pretty balcony full of people. A nice bait and switch I wasn’t expecting but I think the controllers disconnected as Nate’s just standing there. Time to reboot it, hahaha. Now a feeling of déjà vu sweeps over me. As what we’ve just seen in replayed. Yay Uncharted-4_drake-sully-stairs_1434547642Nate’s able to follow Sully. Uncharted-4_enemies-approach_1434547668And it’s all kicking off lots of cover based shooting. Looking like a pretty version of Among Thieves, massive APC is destroying everything and driving through wall, nice bit of fisticuffs, Uncharted-4_drake-jump-down_1434547613some jumping and into a jeep Uncharted-4_truck-street_1434547689and driving off. Uncharted-4_drake-sully-hill_1434547638The scale of this is looking incredible. Trying to catch up with Sam being chased then ends with Nate handing the steering to Sully and Uncharted-4_drake-rope-bridge_1434547624slinging his grapple to connect to a crane cut, swinging into some scaffolding to Logo and end. That was fantastic even if it did start poorly, loads of witty quips from the leads, a great level of tension and some serious level of detail.

Well that was a lot to take in so I’d better sum up:

1)      The Last Guardian is real and we’ve seen footage of gameplay. Doesn’t look as pretty as I’d expect but the stream I watch wasn’t as high res as I’d have liked. Seems very Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, which is what I expected. Coming next year, I’ll believe that when it’s on the shelves or digital store.

2)      There’s a new Hitman game, yay! Is it episodic? Given it is sounding like download only to start with I’m thinking it might be, possibly a TellTale Games style season pass model? Only time will tell. As someone who enjoyed the narrative and style of Hitman: Absolution I’m happy to play more.

3)      The PS Vita / PS TV isn’t dead but I could count the number of mentions using testicles. (ie Adam saying My first FF game & that blink and you’ll miss it montage. Come on Sony PSVita owners love their console and yet again you’ve left us high and dry. Even if they menetion it was going the way of a portable Indie / Steam machine that’s fine with me.

4)      Prototype_04_1434426798Project Morpheus isn’t called RealEyes thank goodness but neither does it have any other official name. Still unsure about it and if it’s gonna be a reasonable price, what’s gonna be in the box. Looks like there’s at least some content for it unlike the PS4 Eyes that sits under my TV solely for telling it to load Netflix and watch me stream my first plays for JoypadAndMe. If Sony includes that weird floaty hammock from The Lawnmower Man then it’d be a day one purchase for me.

5)      Publishers seem to see that Sony is leading this generation console race and are throw exclusivity to PlayStation, quite a few betas and DLC packs coming first. I certainly wasn’t expecting the annualised get your gun off game from Activision to release Map packs first on PS4 given there long history with releasing on XB360 first. Such a shame Sony didn’t have a lot of their own IPs and franchises to show off. Their reliance on Third Party support could turn people off PS4 and back to The Dark Side.

6)      Final Fantasy 7 is getting a remake!? Now I’m confused that can’t be out anytime in the near future. I’m sure that’s gonna take a fair few years to redo all the assets for that?

7)      As @CronoTime on twitter suggested just after I’d tweeted about writing my impression that “How Sony broke kick starter…” Shenmue 3 kickstarter reveal on fairly impressive given there’s been a lot of rumbling about it happening. At the time of writing it’s already at $2.7 million and rising and it’s not even been going a day yet. That’s fairly damn bonkers. But why hasn’t Sony just paid for it out right. I’m not gonna get on my high horse about crowd funding on here as my opinions have been stated previously on JoypadAndMe JAMcasts.

8)      Media Molecule are totally bonkers which I’m sure most of us already knew given there puppettering show that they did for PS4 reveal but now we know it’s called Dreams. It’s totally unique concept but I’m not at all artistic but really wanted to go into animatronics as a kid. I can see this creating a new generation of Jim Henson wannabees and I’m all for that.

9)      Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End is right to be delayed until 2016 as this is the second live play that’s borked for poor Naughty Dog but damn does that game look amazing. Feels almost open world and extraordinary in scale just looking at the driving scenes alone. I cannot wait for that game but I will happy wait a year if it means it bug free and there’s always UC_Logo_ENG_1433499022 to tide me over.

10)   Bye Bye Hellgan, Hello Robo-Dino Crisis. Guerilla know how to make something pretty and  Horizon: Zero Dawn looks to continue this trend. A post near mass-extinction survival game, I’d certainly be interested in finding out more about that.

An that’s it for another year , not reaching the dizzy heights or 2013 but an improvement over 2014. That said given E3 isn’t over yet I’m sure there’s more to be revealed over the next few days and I know full well that we’ll be discussing this and all the other Developers Pressers and news from E3 on the next JoypadAndMe JAMcast Episode 74. Right I’m gonna watch some more pressers and read up on other games that missed making it on to the mahoosive screened Presser.

Connor McKervey (@vdjomb)

Hull based self confessed PlayStation fanboy, never far from his PSvita.  Writer, dev liaison and podcaster for JoypadAndMe.com. Currently trying not to fail his Year Of Shame Challenge.

Hull based self confessed PlayStation fanboy, never far from his PSvita.
Writer, dev liaison and podcaster for JoypadAndMe.com. Currently trying not to fail his Year Of Shame Challenge.

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One response to “Sony E3 2015 Press Conference [Not so] Live Blog

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