Here is all the latest and greatest from this years E3 conference, with Sony taking a firm foothold. After not having the greatest games to show last year (as opposed to Microsoft), they’ve really stepped it up this time.
Whilst currently outselling the Xbox One, it seems that Sony are really turning it up a notch now. Here are just some of the best announcements so far..
Instead Sony chose to open their show with Activision and Bungie’s Destiny, which despite being multiformat they’re almost treating as an exclusive. There are certainly plenty of exclusive extras on the PlayStation 4, including early access to the beta on July 17 and a super early ‘first look alpha’ starting this Thursday and running through the weekend. That’s on top of a ton of exclusive content, including extra missions and co-op areas. There’s even going to be a special white PlayStation 4 console bundle released that contains a copy of the game and a white controller.
Dead Island 2
At this point in the conference Sony started showing off their other exclusive deals, starting with extra content in the newly announced Dead Island 2. The trailer was fun but it was obviously pre-rendered and the series already has a bad reputation for misleading teasers.
The other quickfire exclusives included The Last Of Us enemies in Diablo III, the Hulk in Disney Infinity 2.0, and extras for Battlefield Hardline. PC publisher and developer Paradox also revealed that every one of its studios are currently working on console exclusive PlayStation 4 games, starting with Magicka 2.
Although Sumo Digital has been widely rumoured to be working on the next LittleBigPlanet it was a surprise to find the game is coming out as early as this November. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of it being rushed though, with Sackboy being joined by three new playable characters: Oddsock (a dog that can run fast and wall jump), Toggle (who’s very big and strong but can also shrink down to miniature size), and Swoop (a bird that can fly and pick up other characters).
Armed with a new Pumpinator power-up, that blows scenery-moving gusts of air, Sumo demonstrated a fun-looking new level that emphasised the new abilities and the fact that the 2D action goes ‘into’ the screen a lot more than usual. The only downside is that all four of the developers were absolutely terrible at playing their own game, and couldn’t even manage the wall jump most of the time. It was also odd how the creative game construction elements weren’t mentioned till the trailer at the end, but the news that all LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2 creations are backwards compatible is an unexpected bonus.
Far Cry 4
This isn’t an exclusive but as expected from Ubisoft’s pre-E3 event Sony has organised themselves an exclusive extra. It’s a very unexpected one though, in that any of your PSN friends can join in and play along with you – even if they don’t own the game. Which is something that apparently won’t be available on Xbox One.
The gameplay trailer itself was great and featured everything from using a grappling hook to a truck chase reminiscent of Radiers of the Lost Ark and a co-op moment with a gyrocopter and a very angry elephant (weaponised animals, Ubisoft called it). It doesn’t seem to be much of a departure from Far Cry 3, but bigger, better, more is always an acceptable approach in certain circumstances.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Sony’s very final reveal was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which got surprisingly little screen time and looked suspiciously like pre-rendered footage. It also clearly featured Nathan Drake and Sully, despite the pair being conspicuous by their absence in the earlier teaser and rumours that they were going to be sidelined as characters. It’s not hard to imagine this is at the root of internal problems at Naughty Dog, that led to the game’s writer and director both leaving. Not least since the game is now suddenly being referred to as Uncharted 4, rather than just ‘Uncharted’.
Still, more Uncharted has never been a bad thing and despite some curious omissions (Driveclub wasn’t even mentioned, although it did appear in the final montage) this was another successful pre-E3 event from Sony. As with Microsoft we still worry about the lack of new mainstream IP, but with so many significant Sony studios yet to declare any new games for the PlayStation 4 there’s every reason to be optimistic about the future.