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Found 10 results

  1. 2016 was a mind-blowing year in the world of games. VR, massive Kickstarter successes and failures, games that pushed the boundaries of what games can be, 2016 had it all. Jeremy, Daniel, and Jack bring their number one game of the year along with one honorable mention apiece. What games from the past year will be remembered as one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Sunny Day Drive' by Just Coffee (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03474) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  2. 2016 was a mind-blowing year in the world of games. VR, massive Kickstarter successes and failures, games that pushed the boundaries of what games can be, 2016 had it all. Jeremy, Daniel, and Jack bring their number one game of the year along with one honorable mention apiece. What games from the past year will be remembered as one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Sunny Day Drive' by Just Coffee (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03474) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  3. It’s hard to believe that the Tomb Raider series is now 20 years old. The franchise has changed a lot during its long lifetime, and so has its iconic hero Lara Croft. The First Lady of Gaming has donned countless different appearances over the years and been rebooted two separate times. She’s travelled all over the world, solving deadly ancient puzzles and recovering artifacts of incredible power. She’s also had her fair share of enemies - everything from black magic cultists and corrupt corporate cronies to subterranean dinosaurs. While the Tomb Raider series has always been great at conveying the thrill of globetrotting adventure, recent years have seen game developers creating stronger stories and deeper characters to complement their ever-changing worlds. New intellectual properties and classic franchises alike are putting more time and effort behind writing better plotlines, backstories, and dialogue. It’s not easy, though - the biggest obstacle to a solid story in a video game is the fact that it needs to account for a random variable: the person playing it. As a result, most games struggle to balance the skill and entertainment of gameplay with the insight and subtlety that good storytelling needs. This is especially true for titles like Tomb Raider. The increasing popularity of narrative in games has brought Lara to a strange, conflicted crossroads. Her most recent reboot tries to retain the violent, explosive, trigger-happy sense of danger that the series has always been known for while also attempting to deeply humanize her in a pseudo-realistic setting. As Tomb Raider 2013 tried to get the best of both storytelling and gameplay, it only made the juxtaposition between the two more obvious. Tomb Raider created these jarring problems for itself, but its recent sequel makes noticeable strides towards solving them. The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was developer Crystal Dynamic’s first entry in the series after it was acquired by Square Enix, and the publisher wasted no time in hyping the game up before release. Tomb Raider 2013 promised to be a darkly compelling and intimately relatable origin story about a young, inexperienced Lara Croft. We would get to see her thrown into a do-or-die situation and watch her transform from a terrified archeologist into a hardened survivor. Once the game launched, it had a promising start – Lara and her crew were shipwrecked on the island of Yamatai. She was captured, injured, and vulnerable as she struggled to endure her early hours on the island. That pretense of believable realism didn’t last long, though. Despite Tomb Raider 2013’s deliberately slow start and steady buildup, it only had a growing sense of dissonance as the game went on. Lara soon seemed less like a survivor and more like a superhuman. Cutscenes and brief gameplay sequences that showed her hunting for food, bandaging wounds and subsisting off of what she could find began to look ridiculous in context. This was a character that didn’t have any of those human needs at any other time during the game - Lara had no necessity for sleep, shelter or even food. She was only required to shoot one deer to get the feeling of “survival” across. She could leap and climb with reckless abandon in spite of her injuries. When she was forced to kill someone for the first time, Lara collapsed to the ground and vomited from shock; seconds later, she was mowing down dozens of men and miraculously recovering from bullet wounds. Tomb Raider 2013’s gameplay experience ran completely counter to the story of arduous perseverance that it was trying to tell, and yet it was a well-received game that drew praise specifically for that story. Most of that praise was directed at the way that Lara’s ordeal transformed her as a character, but such acclaim ignored the fact that she wasn’t surviving - she was thriving thanks to her unnatural physical and mental powers. These recurring tonal issues in Tomb Raider are self-inflicted, sure, but they’re also pervasive in modern, semi-realistic games in general. The Uncharted series stars a savvy psychopath in Nathan Drake, who is really just a murderous avatar for the player. Yet the overarching narrative of the series portrays him as a likable thief with a heart of gold, and even as a sort of warped family man in Uncharted 4. Indeed, it’s never easy to write a good story with the knowledge that the story needs to be interactive. But respectable storytelling in games is rapidly becoming an expectation rather than a rarity, and developers of action/adventure games like these are learning how to adapt to that trend. A game like Rise of the Tomb Raider certainly doesn’t solve all the jarring inconsistencies of its predecessor, but it works hard to balance out as many of them as possible. While Tomb Raider 2013 tossed in a number of disposable secondary characters to provide Lara with motivation between shooting tons of cultists, Rise of the Tomb Raider introduces a militaristic Christian sect with roots in the Vatican who have manipulated her family for years. The backstory, revealed through audio logs, also shows how she was forced to confront the fairly absurd events of the first game (including her traumatic experiences, debilitating injuries and the fact that she had to kill dozens of people) in a series of therapy interviews. Rise of the Tomb Raider dives deeper into Lara’s personal history as well as her obsessive tendencies, both of which have a lot to do with her father. Suffice it to say (without spoilers) that relationships with old friends are strained as she grapples with her deceased dad’s wishes while trying to find her own legacy. She’s become almost disturbingly comfortable with killing the enemies that stand in the way of her aspirations, but the story leverages that fact instead of ignoring it. Other characters that Lara cares about worry about her, and they don’t hesitate to point out her issues. In the end, Rise of the Tomb Raider actually finds some success in making Lara seem more human than in Tomb Raider 2013 without shying away from that game’s contradictions. It makes her feel believably flawed and vulnerable – not physically, but psychologically. There’s definitely still room to improve the narrative dissonance; after all, Lara can apparently survive out in the Siberian wilderness in nothing but a long-sleeve shirt. But if Rise of the Tomb Raider is any indication, Crystal Dynamics can see those problems and is doing something about them. By acknowledging the dissonance of the past without making light of it, this retelling of Tomb Raider fills in a lot of its own plot holes and makes you start to take the new Lara Croft seriously. It manages to make me care about where the rebooted Tomb Raider series could go next, and I hope that developers of other games in the genre can learn from its small but significant steps forward. View full article
  4. Connor Trinske

    The Adventurer's Identity Crisis

    It’s hard to believe that the Tomb Raider series is now 20 years old. The franchise has changed a lot during its long lifetime, and so has its iconic hero Lara Croft. The First Lady of Gaming has donned countless different appearances over the years and been rebooted two separate times. She’s travelled all over the world, solving deadly ancient puzzles and recovering artifacts of incredible power. She’s also had her fair share of enemies - everything from black magic cultists and corrupt corporate cronies to subterranean dinosaurs. While the Tomb Raider series has always been great at conveying the thrill of globetrotting adventure, recent years have seen game developers creating stronger stories and deeper characters to complement their ever-changing worlds. New intellectual properties and classic franchises alike are putting more time and effort behind writing better plotlines, backstories, and dialogue. It’s not easy, though - the biggest obstacle to a solid story in a video game is the fact that it needs to account for a random variable: the person playing it. As a result, most games struggle to balance the skill and entertainment of gameplay with the insight and subtlety that good storytelling needs. This is especially true for titles like Tomb Raider. The increasing popularity of narrative in games has brought Lara to a strange, conflicted crossroads. Her most recent reboot tries to retain the violent, explosive, trigger-happy sense of danger that the series has always been known for while also attempting to deeply humanize her in a pseudo-realistic setting. As Tomb Raider 2013 tried to get the best of both storytelling and gameplay, it only made the juxtaposition between the two more obvious. Tomb Raider created these jarring problems for itself, but its recent sequel makes noticeable strides towards solving them. The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was developer Crystal Dynamic’s first entry in the series after it was acquired by Square Enix, and the publisher wasted no time in hyping the game up before release. Tomb Raider 2013 promised to be a darkly compelling and intimately relatable origin story about a young, inexperienced Lara Croft. We would get to see her thrown into a do-or-die situation and watch her transform from a terrified archeologist into a hardened survivor. Once the game launched, it had a promising start – Lara and her crew were shipwrecked on the island of Yamatai. She was captured, injured, and vulnerable as she struggled to endure her early hours on the island. That pretense of believable realism didn’t last long, though. Despite Tomb Raider 2013’s deliberately slow start and steady buildup, it only had a growing sense of dissonance as the game went on. Lara soon seemed less like a survivor and more like a superhuman. Cutscenes and brief gameplay sequences that showed her hunting for food, bandaging wounds and subsisting off of what she could find began to look ridiculous in context. This was a character that didn’t have any of those human needs at any other time during the game - Lara had no necessity for sleep, shelter or even food. She was only required to shoot one deer to get the feeling of “survival” across. She could leap and climb with reckless abandon in spite of her injuries. When she was forced to kill someone for the first time, Lara collapsed to the ground and vomited from shock; seconds later, she was mowing down dozens of men and miraculously recovering from bullet wounds. Tomb Raider 2013’s gameplay experience ran completely counter to the story of arduous perseverance that it was trying to tell, and yet it was a well-received game that drew praise specifically for that story. Most of that praise was directed at the way that Lara’s ordeal transformed her as a character, but such acclaim ignored the fact that she wasn’t surviving - she was thriving thanks to her unnatural physical and mental powers. These recurring tonal issues in Tomb Raider are self-inflicted, sure, but they’re also pervasive in modern, semi-realistic games in general. The Uncharted series stars a savvy psychopath in Nathan Drake, who is really just a murderous avatar for the player. Yet the overarching narrative of the series portrays him as a likable thief with a heart of gold, and even as a sort of warped family man in Uncharted 4. Indeed, it’s never easy to write a good story with the knowledge that the story needs to be interactive. But respectable storytelling in games is rapidly becoming an expectation rather than a rarity, and developers of action/adventure games like these are learning how to adapt to that trend. A game like Rise of the Tomb Raider certainly doesn’t solve all the jarring inconsistencies of its predecessor, but it works hard to balance out as many of them as possible. While Tomb Raider 2013 tossed in a number of disposable secondary characters to provide Lara with motivation between shooting tons of cultists, Rise of the Tomb Raider introduces a militaristic Christian sect with roots in the Vatican who have manipulated her family for years. The backstory, revealed through audio logs, also shows how she was forced to confront the fairly absurd events of the first game (including her traumatic experiences, debilitating injuries and the fact that she had to kill dozens of people) in a series of therapy interviews. Rise of the Tomb Raider dives deeper into Lara’s personal history as well as her obsessive tendencies, both of which have a lot to do with her father. Suffice it to say (without spoilers) that relationships with old friends are strained as she grapples with her deceased dad’s wishes while trying to find her own legacy. She’s become almost disturbingly comfortable with killing the enemies that stand in the way of her aspirations, but the story leverages that fact instead of ignoring it. Other characters that Lara cares about worry about her, and they don’t hesitate to point out her issues. In the end, Rise of the Tomb Raider actually finds some success in making Lara seem more human than in Tomb Raider 2013 without shying away from that game’s contradictions. It makes her feel believably flawed and vulnerable – not physically, but psychologically. There’s definitely still room to improve the narrative dissonance; after all, Lara can apparently survive out in the Siberian wilderness in nothing but a long-sleeve shirt. But if Rise of the Tomb Raider is any indication, Crystal Dynamics can see those problems and is doing something about them. By acknowledging the dissonance of the past without making light of it, this retelling of Tomb Raider fills in a lot of its own plot holes and makes you start to take the new Lara Croft seriously. It manages to make me care about where the rebooted Tomb Raider series could go next, and I hope that developers of other games in the genre can learn from its small but significant steps forward.
  5. Jack Gardner

    A Summary of Paris Games Week Briefing 2015

    If you didn't have time to sit down and watch the announcements from Sony's press event in Paris yesterday, we've got you covered with a condensed version of the conference. You can view the recorded version of the entire Paris Games Week kickoff event. Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, took the stage to start the announcements. Ryan made it clear what Sony was going to be emphasizing with its bombshells. “Tonight is all about games,” he stated to applause. Things began relatively light, discussing European PlayStation 4 price drops and bundles before easing into the first game-related announcement. Sony is expanding its partnership with Activision. The first sign of this improved cooperation between the two corporations will be PlayStation gamers having access to all foreseeable Call of Duty map packs thirty days before any other platform. Following this announcement, a new trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s zombie mode on a bonus map called The Giant. A new trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront manipulates some serious nostalgia. The new trailer focuses on a variety of new heroes including Princess Leia, Han Solo, Boba Fett, and the Emperor. It also prominently features the different alien races that players will be able to customize their various avatars to look like. Additionally, a new Darth Vader PlayStation 4 bundle releases when Battlefront launches next month. A new Street Fighter V trailer displays almost the complete roster in action, debuting a bearded Dhalsim beating a poor Zangief into submission. Yoshinori Ono, executive producer of Street Fighter V made an appearance to give a few more details about the fighting title. On top of the revamped look, new moves and abilities complement Dhalsim’s new look. Six characters will be added over the year following release. All can be unlocked through normal play by using an in-game currency called Fight Money. An image accompanying this information hints at the identity of those characters. Street Fighter V will be coming to PlayStation 4 on February 16, 2016. Transitioning smoothly from one fighting game into another, Sony pulled Tekken 7 out of the arcades and onto their console. The seventh installment of Tekken progresses the series’ storyline in a decidedly over-the-top and dramatic fashion. The secrets of the Mishima clan are teased in the latest trailer, which also features armies, fights in volcanoes, and people being thrown off cliffs. Later on in the show an off-hand comment revealed that Tekken 7 will be compatible with PlayStation VR Gearbox Software showcased a new Battleborn trailer that gives a small tease of the tongue-in-cheek story while primarily focusing on the gameplay. Specifically singled out are the different gameplay modes and some of the mechanics of the first-person MOBA. PlayStation 4 owners will be the first to gain access to the console beta of Battleborn next year. Sony made it clear that the next few games to be announced would be console exclusives for the PlayStation 4. Developer Wonderstruck presented a trailer of Boundless that revels in voxel visuals and dimension spanning works of wonder. The project looks like it has some definite Minecraft ambitions and seems like the grappling hooks, moving terrain, and large scale worlds might be enough to back those aspirations. Vector, a new indie music-rhythm game shows some promise. Taking a lot of inspiration from titles like Audiosurf, Hello There’s upcoming game allows players to design their own levels and compete against other one another. Trailer stars the artist Avicii talking about his collaboration on the project. Finally, No Man’s Sky has resurfaced! The new trailer features an amazing voice over that many have related to an iconic speech from the movie Blade Runner. The trailer attempts to mash a lot of different gameplay demonstrations into its short duration while also flaunting the title’s scope. Most importantly, we now know that No Man’s Sky will release sometime June 2016. Michael Denny senior VP of Sony’s World Wide Studios Europe took the stage to introduce Housemarque’s Matterfall, a voxel-based shooter with a main character that looks like a cross between the protagonist from Vanquish and Megaman. A new trailer debuted for Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank that shows off a wide range of activities. Players can expect the usual running, gunning, and rail grinding, but will also be flying jets, spaceships, and even scuba diving throughout the adventure. The title will release this coming spring. Horizon Zero Dawn has been one of the most hotly anticipated games since it was first presented at this year’s E3. They demoed the gameplay on stage, showing how hunting colossal and dangerous machines would work in practice. Guerilla Games set traps, using specialized ammo to manipulate enemies. Described as an action-RPG, players will use materials picked up from fallen robots. The developer took pains to point out that damage to larger creatures is area-specific, leading to situations where you can systematically dismantle powerful foes. A variety of different tactics are available with the tools at the player’s disposal, whether that is a straightforward assault (generally not a good idea) or tethering enemies to the ground and leaving them defenseless AT-AT style. Guerilla plans for a 2016 release. Bloodborne: The Old Hunters expansion teased in a new trailer that shows some of the new weapons and one of the grotesque fallen hunters that players will have to contend with should they brave the horrors. The expansion drops November 24. Driveclub Bikes introduces the best super-bikes in the world to Drive Club. Players can purchase it either standalone or as an expansion for Driveclub. It released immediately following the conference and should be available to download now. Japan Studio’s creative director Keiichiro Toyama took the stage to confirm that Gravity Rush 2 would be coming to Europe and North America (there had been some doubt on that point since its initial announcement during this year’s TGS). Toyama made it clear that a lot of new features differentiate the game from its predecessor. A new combat system was shown with gameplay demonstrating the three different gravity fighting styles: Normal style – as seen in the first game, Luna style – lighter and quicker, and Jupiter style – heavier and more powerful. Environments take damage and shift based on how players use their gravity powers and those changes persist as fights progress. The title promises challenging battles that you can tackle alone or with the assistance of an AI ally. Christophe Balestra, co-president at Naughty Dog, hopped up on stage following Gravity Rush 2 to talk about Uncharted 4, specifically its multiplayer. Using lessons learned from Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has implemented some intriguing features to A Thief’s End. Balestra stated that players will be able to summon sidekicks, use supernatural relics, and more. Uncharted 4 releases March 18, 2016. If that sounds like too long a wait, Balestra also stated that the multiplayer beta will be active from December 4 through December 18 of this year. Media Molecule followed up Naughty Dog’s Uncharted announcements with new information on their creation tool/game Dreams. The title’s technical director, Alex Evans, talked about what the game will actually be like when players get their hands on it. To do this effectively, Evans demonstrated the game live on stage, the first time it has ever been seen outside of their studio. Every player creates a customizable imp that goes everywhere in Dreams and is used to explore and communicate. Imps follow the movements of the PlayStation controller and players can give them different expressions with the controller’s touch pad. “You use the imp to grab, pull, and poke at the world. It’s very direct, tactile, and intuitive,” said Evans. The imp can also possess characters, vehicles, or inanimate objects, which allows players to move them around inside the game worlds. Creation and gameplay are intertwined. “Each dream can go from traditional platforming, to racing, to sandboxes, puzzles, and of course making things.” Doors are special in Dreams. Each door can take you to a completely different place, and almost anything can be a gateway to another world. No premade assets were shown in the gameplay demo; everything was made on the PlayStation 4. The beta begins sometime during 2016. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s World Wide Studios, arrived on stage to show Sony’s commitment to bringing virtual reality to mainstream gaming with PlayStation VR. “We believe that virtual reality doesn’t have to be a solo experience. There’s unlimited potential for social and competitive interaction in VR,” said Yoshida. He then went on to introduce RIGS Mechanized Combat League, a competitive shooter in which players battle in giant mech suits in sporting arenas. RIGS makes a compelling case for competitive VR experiences and invites the comparison to modern sports through bright visuals and sports commentators in the trailer. The existence of a VR game based on the surprise hit Until Dawn was revealed. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood could best be described as a roller coaster in which everything is out to kill you. Players must try to survive the hazards of the track and escape unscathed. Beware, dangers can come from any direction. Cevat Yerli, the co-founder, CEO, and president of Crytek, ascended to the stage to discuss Crytek’s VR effort with PlayStation. Robinson: The Journey looks like an amazing adventure with dinosaurs that will make everyone who ever dreamed about Jurassic Park being real a little bit giddy inside. Walking around with the robot from Destiny and seeing colossal dinosaurs seems like a good time to me! Rebellion debuted their geometric VR title following Crytek’s announcement, showing a flashing tank combat game called Battle Zone. Without a whole lot of details, it looks fairly straightforward, flashy, and fun. Yoshida then shifted from talk of VR games to VR movies, giving a small demonstration of the VR experience from The Walk, a film about a man who walked on a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. And, just in case there was any lingering doubt over PlayStation’s commitment to making VR work, Yoshida casually mentioned that over 100 developers are currently working on VR projects for PlayStation. This segment of the show was largely to show that PlayStation VR is strong and in it for the long haul. The gaming landscape could look very different in a few years if this technology catches on. A few final surprise announcements landed after the VR showcase. First, Polyphony Digital showed the debut trailer for Gran Turismo Sport, which will appear on PS4 for the first time. Kazunori Tamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital, talked about the improvements in graphical fidelity they were able to make with the hardware of the PS4. Additionally, Polyphony will be partnering with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) for Gran Turismo Sport. Two flagship FIA championships will run simultaneously throughout the year within Sport. One will be the Nations Cup where players represent their country. The other will be the Manufacturer Fan Cup where players represent their favorite car manufacturer. The champions of these competitive racing circuits will be awarded their prizes alongside the winners of real-world FIA races around the holiday season. This partnership between the Federation International Autosport and Polyphony Digital represents efforts from both sides to move racing ahead into the future. A beta test should be going public in early 2016. Gran Turismo Sport will be compatible with PlayStation VR. Wild Sheep Studio’s creative director, Michel Ancel, stepped up to talk about their upcoming project Wild, another PlayStation console exclusive. Gameplay depicts animal summoning, possession, and combat as players try to solve problems and allow their primitive tribe to survive. The segment shows one route a player might take to attempt to heal a poisoned clan member. The final announcement of Paris Game Week featured David Cage taking the stage to reveal Quantic Dream’s new project. It’s an extension of the Kara tech demo that the studio released several years ago to show what was possible with the PlayStation 3’s technology. The new title, called Detroit: Become Human, stars a robotic woman who has gained sentience in a world where robots are resented and treated as tools. However, the trailer makes it abundantly clear that there is something different about Kara and that other robots might not be as robotic as they seem. There were a lot of really phenomenal announcements at the show and a fair number of downright surprising reveals. PlayStation’s dedication to making VR a viable thing shows a lot of confidence in their technology and the draw of its novelty. The sheer number of exclusives for PlayStation 4 was a bit staggering, though it was surprising that Sony made next to no mention of the PlayStation Vita, PSTV, or the PS Vue service that they pushed so strongly earlier this year. Most importantly, a lot of actual gameplay was shown. Only a few trailers were composed of entirely cutscenes or pre-rendered animations. Notably, we saw more of No Man’s Sky, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Wild, Uncharted 4 multiplayer, and Street Fighter V. While the wait could be quite long for some of these titles, there seems to be a lot of good things coming down the pipeline for PlayStation owners.
  6. If you didn't have time to sit down and watch the announcements from Sony's press event in Paris yesterday, we've got you covered with a condensed version of the conference. You can view the recorded version of the entire Paris Games Week kickoff event. Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, took the stage to start the announcements. Ryan made it clear what Sony was going to be emphasizing with its bombshells. “Tonight is all about games,” he stated to applause. Things began relatively light, discussing European PlayStation 4 price drops and bundles before easing into the first game-related announcement. Sony is expanding its partnership with Activision. The first sign of this improved cooperation between the two corporations will be PlayStation gamers having access to all foreseeable Call of Duty map packs thirty days before any other platform. Following this announcement, a new trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s zombie mode on a bonus map called The Giant. A new trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront manipulates some serious nostalgia. The new trailer focuses on a variety of new heroes including Princess Leia, Han Solo, Boba Fett, and the Emperor. It also prominently features the different alien races that players will be able to customize their various avatars to look like. Additionally, a new Darth Vader PlayStation 4 bundle releases when Battlefront launches next month. A new Street Fighter V trailer displays almost the complete roster in action, debuting a bearded Dhalsim beating a poor Zangief into submission. Yoshinori Ono, executive producer of Street Fighter V made an appearance to give a few more details about the fighting title. On top of the revamped look, new moves and abilities complement Dhalsim’s new look. Six characters will be added over the year following release. All can be unlocked through normal play by using an in-game currency called Fight Money. An image accompanying this information hints at the identity of those characters. Street Fighter V will be coming to PlayStation 4 on February 16, 2016. Transitioning smoothly from one fighting game into another, Sony pulled Tekken 7 out of the arcades and onto their console. The seventh installment of Tekken progresses the series’ storyline in a decidedly over-the-top and dramatic fashion. The secrets of the Mishima clan are teased in the latest trailer, which also features armies, fights in volcanoes, and people being thrown off cliffs. Later on in the show an off-hand comment revealed that Tekken 7 will be compatible with PlayStation VR Gearbox Software showcased a new Battleborn trailer that gives a small tease of the tongue-in-cheek story while primarily focusing on the gameplay. Specifically singled out are the different gameplay modes and some of the mechanics of the first-person MOBA. PlayStation 4 owners will be the first to gain access to the console beta of Battleborn next year. Sony made it clear that the next few games to be announced would be console exclusives for the PlayStation 4. Developer Wonderstruck presented a trailer of Boundless that revels in voxel visuals and dimension spanning works of wonder. The project looks like it has some definite Minecraft ambitions and seems like the grappling hooks, moving terrain, and large scale worlds might be enough to back those aspirations. Vector, a new indie music-rhythm game shows some promise. Taking a lot of inspiration from titles like Audiosurf, Hello There’s upcoming game allows players to design their own levels and compete against other one another. Trailer stars the artist Avicii talking about his collaboration on the project. Finally, No Man’s Sky has resurfaced! The new trailer features an amazing voice over that many have related to an iconic speech from the movie Blade Runner. The trailer attempts to mash a lot of different gameplay demonstrations into its short duration while also flaunting the title’s scope. Most importantly, we now know that No Man’s Sky will release sometime June 2016. Michael Denny senior VP of Sony’s World Wide Studios Europe took the stage to introduce Housemarque’s Matterfall, a voxel-based shooter with a main character that looks like a cross between the protagonist from Vanquish and Megaman. A new trailer debuted for Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank that shows off a wide range of activities. Players can expect the usual running, gunning, and rail grinding, but will also be flying jets, spaceships, and even scuba diving throughout the adventure. The title will release this coming spring. Horizon Zero Dawn has been one of the most hotly anticipated games since it was first presented at this year’s E3. They demoed the gameplay on stage, showing how hunting colossal and dangerous machines would work in practice. Guerilla Games set traps, using specialized ammo to manipulate enemies. Described as an action-RPG, players will use materials picked up from fallen robots. The developer took pains to point out that damage to larger creatures is area-specific, leading to situations where you can systematically dismantle powerful foes. A variety of different tactics are available with the tools at the player’s disposal, whether that is a straightforward assault (generally not a good idea) or tethering enemies to the ground and leaving them defenseless AT-AT style. Guerilla plans for a 2016 release. Bloodborne: The Old Hunters expansion teased in a new trailer that shows some of the new weapons and one of the grotesque fallen hunters that players will have to contend with should they brave the horrors. The expansion drops November 24. Driveclub Bikes introduces the best super-bikes in the world to Drive Club. Players can purchase it either standalone or as an expansion for Driveclub. It released immediately following the conference and should be available to download now. Japan Studio’s creative director Keiichiro Toyama took the stage to confirm that Gravity Rush 2 would be coming to Europe and North America (there had been some doubt on that point since its initial announcement during this year’s TGS). Toyama made it clear that a lot of new features differentiate the game from its predecessor. A new combat system was shown with gameplay demonstrating the three different gravity fighting styles: Normal style – as seen in the first game, Luna style – lighter and quicker, and Jupiter style – heavier and more powerful. Environments take damage and shift based on how players use their gravity powers and those changes persist as fights progress. The title promises challenging battles that you can tackle alone or with the assistance of an AI ally. Christophe Balestra, co-president at Naughty Dog, hopped up on stage following Gravity Rush 2 to talk about Uncharted 4, specifically its multiplayer. Using lessons learned from Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has implemented some intriguing features to A Thief’s End. Balestra stated that players will be able to summon sidekicks, use supernatural relics, and more. Uncharted 4 releases March 18, 2016. If that sounds like too long a wait, Balestra also stated that the multiplayer beta will be active from December 4 through December 18 of this year. Media Molecule followed up Naughty Dog’s Uncharted announcements with new information on their creation tool/game Dreams. The title’s technical director, Alex Evans, talked about what the game will actually be like when players get their hands on it. To do this effectively, Evans demonstrated the game live on stage, the first time it has ever been seen outside of their studio. Every player creates a customizable imp that goes everywhere in Dreams and is used to explore and communicate. Imps follow the movements of the PlayStation controller and players can give them different expressions with the controller’s touch pad. “You use the imp to grab, pull, and poke at the world. It’s very direct, tactile, and intuitive,” said Evans. The imp can also possess characters, vehicles, or inanimate objects, which allows players to move them around inside the game worlds. Creation and gameplay are intertwined. “Each dream can go from traditional platforming, to racing, to sandboxes, puzzles, and of course making things.” Doors are special in Dreams. Each door can take you to a completely different place, and almost anything can be a gateway to another world. No premade assets were shown in the gameplay demo; everything was made on the PlayStation 4. The beta begins sometime during 2016. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s World Wide Studios, arrived on stage to show Sony’s commitment to bringing virtual reality to mainstream gaming with PlayStation VR. “We believe that virtual reality doesn’t have to be a solo experience. There’s unlimited potential for social and competitive interaction in VR,” said Yoshida. He then went on to introduce RIGS Mechanized Combat League, a competitive shooter in which players battle in giant mech suits in sporting arenas. RIGS makes a compelling case for competitive VR experiences and invites the comparison to modern sports through bright visuals and sports commentators in the trailer. The existence of a VR game based on the surprise hit Until Dawn was revealed. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood could best be described as a roller coaster in which everything is out to kill you. Players must try to survive the hazards of the track and escape unscathed. Beware, dangers can come from any direction. Cevat Yerli, the co-founder, CEO, and president of Crytek, ascended to the stage to discuss Crytek’s VR effort with PlayStation. Robinson: The Journey looks like an amazing adventure with dinosaurs that will make everyone who ever dreamed about Jurassic Park being real a little bit giddy inside. Walking around with the robot from Destiny and seeing colossal dinosaurs seems like a good time to me! Rebellion debuted their geometric VR title following Crytek’s announcement, showing a flashing tank combat game called Battle Zone. Without a whole lot of details, it looks fairly straightforward, flashy, and fun. Yoshida then shifted from talk of VR games to VR movies, giving a small demonstration of the VR experience from The Walk, a film about a man who walked on a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. And, just in case there was any lingering doubt over PlayStation’s commitment to making VR work, Yoshida casually mentioned that over 100 developers are currently working on VR projects for PlayStation. This segment of the show was largely to show that PlayStation VR is strong and in it for the long haul. The gaming landscape could look very different in a few years if this technology catches on. A few final surprise announcements landed after the VR showcase. First, Polyphony Digital showed the debut trailer for Gran Turismo Sport, which will appear on PS4 for the first time. Kazunori Tamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital, talked about the improvements in graphical fidelity they were able to make with the hardware of the PS4. Additionally, Polyphony will be partnering with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) for Gran Turismo Sport. Two flagship FIA championships will run simultaneously throughout the year within Sport. One will be the Nations Cup where players represent their country. The other will be the Manufacturer Fan Cup where players represent their favorite car manufacturer. The champions of these competitive racing circuits will be awarded their prizes alongside the winners of real-world FIA races around the holiday season. This partnership between the Federation International Autosport and Polyphony Digital represents efforts from both sides to move racing ahead into the future. A beta test should be going public in early 2016. Gran Turismo Sport will be compatible with PlayStation VR. Wild Sheep Studio’s creative director, Michel Ancel, stepped up to talk about their upcoming project Wild, another PlayStation console exclusive. Gameplay depicts animal summoning, possession, and combat as players try to solve problems and allow their primitive tribe to survive. The segment shows one route a player might take to attempt to heal a poisoned clan member. The final announcement of Paris Game Week featured David Cage taking the stage to reveal Quantic Dream’s new project. It’s an extension of the Kara tech demo that the studio released several years ago to show what was possible with the PlayStation 3’s technology. The new title, called Detroit: Become Human, stars a robotic woman who has gained sentience in a world where robots are resented and treated as tools. However, the trailer makes it abundantly clear that there is something different about Kara and that other robots might not be as robotic as they seem. There were a lot of really phenomenal announcements at the show and a fair number of downright surprising reveals. PlayStation’s dedication to making VR a viable thing shows a lot of confidence in their technology and the draw of its novelty. The sheer number of exclusives for PlayStation 4 was a bit staggering, though it was surprising that Sony made next to no mention of the PlayStation Vita, PSTV, or the PS Vue service that they pushed so strongly earlier this year. Most importantly, a lot of actual gameplay was shown. Only a few trailers were composed of entirely cutscenes or pre-rendered animations. Notably, we saw more of No Man’s Sky, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Wild, Uncharted 4 multiplayer, and Street Fighter V. While the wait could be quite long for some of these titles, there seems to be a lot of good things coming down the pipeline for PlayStation owners. View full article
  7. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, the directors of the upcoming Uncharted title, took to the PlayStation blog earlier today to state that Uncharted 4 will not be released until sometime in spring 2016: After spending so many years with Nathan Drake, he means a lot to the team, and telling the climactic chapter of his adventures is a task we don’t take lightly — this game deserves every bit of the attention to detail, precise pacing, and nuanced storytelling Naughty Dog is known for. So we’ve made the difficult choice of pushing the game’s release date. Giving us a few extra months will make certain that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End not only meets the team’s high standards, but the high standards that gamers have come to expect from a Naughty Dog title. The two thanked fans for their continued patience and promised that the extra months will deliver on the visceral and emotional levels that players expect from Nathan Drake. While this is certainly disappointing news, hopefully it works out for the best of the project. View full article
  8. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, the directors of the upcoming Uncharted title, took to the PlayStation blog earlier today to state that Uncharted 4 will not be released until sometime in spring 2016: After spending so many years with Nathan Drake, he means a lot to the team, and telling the climactic chapter of his adventures is a task we don’t take lightly — this game deserves every bit of the attention to detail, precise pacing, and nuanced storytelling Naughty Dog is known for. So we’ve made the difficult choice of pushing the game’s release date. Giving us a few extra months will make certain that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End not only meets the team’s high standards, but the high standards that gamers have come to expect from a Naughty Dog title. The two thanked fans for their continued patience and promised that the extra months will deliver on the visceral and emotional levels that players expect from Nathan Drake. While this is certainly disappointing news, hopefully it works out for the best of the project.
  9. Following Microsoft’s press conference earlier today, Sony had to be on its game. Microsoft showed a fair number of titles with first access DLC for Xbox owners and a couple highly polished an interesting exclusives (here’s lookin’ at you, Sunset Overdrive and Scalebound). Sony seems to have given a suitably escalated response. Sony began by showing a story-teasing, action packed trailer (narrated by Peter Dinklage!) and announcing that PS4 owners would have access to a special first-look alpha of the game beginning this Thursday and continuing through Sunday. It was also revealed that PlayStation owners would receive an exclusive strike mission (the Destiny equivalent of dungeon raids) for Destiny. July 17 marks when Destiny enters open beta. Furthermore, when Destiny releases on September 9, there will also be a bundle with a white PlayStation 4. The Order: 1886 also made an obligatory appearance with a brief segment showing off some atmospheric gameplay. It is worth noting that the trailer below was edited together and, while made up of the gameplay that I saw live, doesn’t quite capture the same intensity or urgency that the gameplay segment demonstrated. After The Order, Sony decided to introduce Entwined. Players control a bird and a fish that fall in love and over try to guide them through several lifetimes to be together. Yes, the concept is weird. On the other hand, the game is a joy to look at and the music relaxing and beautiful. Each creature is assigned a different joystick, meaning that you control both of them simultaneously. The best part about this announcement (I mean, besides that it exists) is that it is available today on PSN for a reasonable $9.99. If you thought that Sucker Punch and Sony had abandoned Second Son, think again! Entwined lead into the reveal of Second Son DLC titled First Light. Players take on the role of fan favorite character Fetch Walker as she deals with the demons of her past. First Light is slated for release sometime in August 2014. LittleBigPlanet 3 debuted with a live gameplay demonstration and trailer. The game introduces new characters as well as co-op gameplay. Sackboy is joined by the dog-like Oddsock who has the ability to wall jump; Toggle a blobby character who can grow and shrink at will; and Swoop who can fly around at will. LittleBigPlanet 3 is coming to PS4 this November. Additionally, you’ll be able to go online and play any level made in LittleBigPlanet 3. Sony had pulled out the big guns with the reveal of LittleBigPlanet 3, and like a comical scene in a sweeping action film they continued to pull out more big guns. It turns out those images and five second video clips that have been popping up and been attributed to a From Software game under the working title of Project Beast were genuine. Bloodborne appears to be a grim action game that makes use of Dark Souls imagery while making use of a slightly different premise. Count me in as excited for this PlayStation exclusive coming 2015. This might get a bit lengthy if I go too in-depth with what happened during the conference, so I am going to shotgun a number of highlights at you: Far Cry 4 was demonstrated live (and has co-op). Dead Island 2 is coming out and one of the characters is voiced by Jack Black. There will be a Last of Us Remastered/Diablo 3 crossover mission that involves taking out infected zombies in Diablo 3. Battlefield Hardline had a trailer (plus the beta, which is available right now for PS4 players). Paradox Interactive has all of its development studios working on exclusive PlayStation titles; the first of which is Magicka 2. With a great live-action trailer and a tagline like “Learn to spell… again” how can you not smile and feel a twinge of anticipation? Double Fine is partnering with Sony to remaster the beloved adventure game Grim Fandango. *JOY SPASMS* Devolver Digital, the publisher behind Hotline Miami, is bringing a load of games to PlayStation consoles first, before they make their way elsewhere. This includes Broforce, Titan Souls, Not A Hero, Hotline Miami Wrong Number, and The Talos Principle. Sound like a lot or never heard of the before? Check out this neat little trailer thing that does your research for you! Then we arrived at the point during the conference where Sony uttered the words Suda 51. The ever unpredictable designer is in the process of crafting a game titled Let It Die, which received a trailer that is probably too graphic to embed directly into this post. Check it out here if you are interested. Suffice it to say that Suda 51 is either a genius or insane. I’m leaning more towards insane, but possibly in a good way? Regardless, Let It Die comes out in 2015. Remember how great Journey was? If you don’t it was fan-flippin’-tastic. One of the artists on that thatgamecompany’s last title spun off his own studio, dubbed it Giant Squid and began working on a mysterious new title called Abzû. Much like Journey, Abzû’s soundtrack has been composed by Austin Wintory. Unlike Journey, Abzû appears to take place completely under water with a diver exploring the unknown depths and interacting with the various denizens of the watery deep. Immediately following Abzû was a trailer that showcased the progress of the highly anticipated No Man’s Sky. I can’t really put into words how excited I am to one day get my hands on No Man’s Sky, but… ugh. It really seems to be doing something different and doing that different thing WELL. Also, I think I just salivated at the thought of playing this game with a VR headset. Sony decided that we needed a bit of a break from new announcements and spent a few minutes reassuring everyone that their virtual reality peripheral Project Morpheus is still a thing and it will have demos n’ stuff. An integrated YouTube app will be making its way to PS4 later this year. This will facilitate the watching of cat videos as well as uploading shared gameplay videos online with friends, family, and strangers. The game streaming service PlayStation Now will enter open beta on July 31 for PlayStation 4 and shortly after available for PS3 and PSVita. As an almost casual aside, it was mentioned that PlayStation Now will also be available on select Sony televisions. All you need is a DualShock 4 controller to play on qualifying television sets. PlayStation TV will be coming to North America. The PlayStation TV is essentially a streaming box that allows the PlayStation 4 to be played on other televisions in the house, can stream PlayStation Vita games to be played on your TV, and allows anyone to access PlayStation Now without the hefty investment costs of a fully-fledged console. PlayStation TV will retail at $100 for the base box and at $139 for a bundle that includes the box, a controller, 8GB of memory, and a digital voucher for a copy of The Lego Movie Game. Oh, and it can stream other services like Netflix, too. In a new push to create more PlayStation exclusives, Sony announced that there will be an PlayStation original series, the first of which is a two run series based on the graphic novel, Powers. The first episode will be available for free. All PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to view the entire Powers series free of charge. Not being super familiar with the graphic novel, for how it was described made it sound like a police procedural, if those police lived in a world where super-powers existed and there was a specialized police department for super-powered murder cases. That sounds pretty dang cool to me. Then Sony revealed that there is a Ratchet and Clank movie in the works for next year. Sony followed the Ratchet and Clank movie announcement with a drastic tonal shift to The Last of Us Remastered. Now, I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the trailer they showed for the enhanced PS4 version over PS3 version, but maybe that’s because my eyes aren’t discerning enough. However, as base and classless as my eyes may be, they couldn’t help getting excited for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A new trailer was shown that was edited together by Kojima himself. In it we watch Big Boss mourn with urns, grow a ponytail, and be a bit more hardcore than the Solid Snake we’re all accustomed to seeing. I’m relishing the prospect of jumping into whatever craziness Kojima has concocted for The Phantom Pain, because good or bad, it is going to be a ride. Grand Theft Auto V was announced to be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox one, and PC this fall (though at the press conference they conveniently left out the part about releasing on Xbox One and PC). Players looking to upgrade to a different version will be granted data transfers from whatever system they chose previously to the newer one of their choosing. Sony then revealed a new gameplay segment from Batman: Arkham Knight and, this is coming from someone who hasn’t played previous Arkham games and who is a professional critic, it looks amaze-tastical. I gotta hand it to Sony, they ended this conference incredibly strong. After so many great games debuted or showed impeccable polish, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End tipped the scales in Sony’s favor. Overall I was really impressed by what Sony brought to the table this E3. Maybe that’s partly because I was going in not expecting much besides a victory lap for The Last of Us, a few indies, and a possible Uncharted announcement. What Sony gave was so much more. They announced indie title after indie title, big game that people care about after big game that people care about, and while they kept non-gaming talk low, they hit all the bullet points they needed to and then got back on track with more game reveals and teases. What did you think of the conference? Good? Adequate? Meh? View full article
  10. Jack Gardner

    E3 2014 - Sony's Press Conference

    Following Microsoft’s press conference earlier today, Sony had to be on its game. Microsoft showed a fair number of titles with first access DLC for Xbox owners and a couple highly polished an interesting exclusives (here’s lookin’ at you, Sunset Overdrive and Scalebound). Sony seems to have given a suitably escalated response. Sony began by showing a story-teasing, action packed trailer (narrated by Peter Dinklage!) and announcing that PS4 owners would have access to a special first-look alpha of the game beginning this Thursday and continuing through Sunday. It was also revealed that PlayStation owners would receive an exclusive strike mission (the Destiny equivalent of dungeon raids) for Destiny. July 17 marks when Destiny enters open beta. Furthermore, when Destiny releases on September 9, there will also be a bundle with a white PlayStation 4. The Order: 1886 also made an obligatory appearance with a brief segment showing off some atmospheric gameplay. It is worth noting that the trailer below was edited together and, while made up of the gameplay that I saw live, doesn’t quite capture the same intensity or urgency that the gameplay segment demonstrated. After The Order, Sony decided to introduce Entwined. Players control a bird and a fish that fall in love and over try to guide them through several lifetimes to be together. Yes, the concept is weird. On the other hand, the game is a joy to look at and the music relaxing and beautiful. Each creature is assigned a different joystick, meaning that you control both of them simultaneously. The best part about this announcement (I mean, besides that it exists) is that it is available today on PSN for a reasonable $9.99. If you thought that Sucker Punch and Sony had abandoned Second Son, think again! Entwined lead into the reveal of Second Son DLC titled First Light. Players take on the role of fan favorite character Fetch Walker as she deals with the demons of her past. First Light is slated for release sometime in August 2014. LittleBigPlanet 3 debuted with a live gameplay demonstration and trailer. The game introduces new characters as well as co-op gameplay. Sackboy is joined by the dog-like Oddsock who has the ability to wall jump; Toggle a blobby character who can grow and shrink at will; and Swoop who can fly around at will. LittleBigPlanet 3 is coming to PS4 this November. Additionally, you’ll be able to go online and play any level made in LittleBigPlanet 3. Sony had pulled out the big guns with the reveal of LittleBigPlanet 3, and like a comical scene in a sweeping action film they continued to pull out more big guns. It turns out those images and five second video clips that have been popping up and been attributed to a From Software game under the working title of Project Beast were genuine. Bloodborne appears to be a grim action game that makes use of Dark Souls imagery while making use of a slightly different premise. Count me in as excited for this PlayStation exclusive coming 2015. This might get a bit lengthy if I go too in-depth with what happened during the conference, so I am going to shotgun a number of highlights at you: Far Cry 4 was demonstrated live (and has co-op). Dead Island 2 is coming out and one of the characters is voiced by Jack Black. There will be a Last of Us Remastered/Diablo 3 crossover mission that involves taking out infected zombies in Diablo 3. Battlefield Hardline had a trailer (plus the beta, which is available right now for PS4 players). Paradox Interactive has all of its development studios working on exclusive PlayStation titles; the first of which is Magicka 2. With a great live-action trailer and a tagline like “Learn to spell… again” how can you not smile and feel a twinge of anticipation? Double Fine is partnering with Sony to remaster the beloved adventure game Grim Fandango. *JOY SPASMS* Devolver Digital, the publisher behind Hotline Miami, is bringing a load of games to PlayStation consoles first, before they make their way elsewhere. This includes Broforce, Titan Souls, Not A Hero, Hotline Miami Wrong Number, and The Talos Principle. Sound like a lot or never heard of the before? Check out this neat little trailer thing that does your research for you! Then we arrived at the point during the conference where Sony uttered the words Suda 51. The ever unpredictable designer is in the process of crafting a game titled Let It Die, which received a trailer that is probably too graphic to embed directly into this post. Check it out here if you are interested. Suffice it to say that Suda 51 is either a genius or insane. I’m leaning more towards insane, but possibly in a good way? Regardless, Let It Die comes out in 2015. Remember how great Journey was? If you don’t it was fan-flippin’-tastic. One of the artists on that thatgamecompany’s last title spun off his own studio, dubbed it Giant Squid and began working on a mysterious new title called Abzû. Much like Journey, Abzû’s soundtrack has been composed by Austin Wintory. Unlike Journey, Abzû appears to take place completely under water with a diver exploring the unknown depths and interacting with the various denizens of the watery deep. Immediately following Abzû was a trailer that showcased the progress of the highly anticipated No Man’s Sky. I can’t really put into words how excited I am to one day get my hands on No Man’s Sky, but… ugh. It really seems to be doing something different and doing that different thing WELL. Also, I think I just salivated at the thought of playing this game with a VR headset. Sony decided that we needed a bit of a break from new announcements and spent a few minutes reassuring everyone that their virtual reality peripheral Project Morpheus is still a thing and it will have demos n’ stuff. An integrated YouTube app will be making its way to PS4 later this year. This will facilitate the watching of cat videos as well as uploading shared gameplay videos online with friends, family, and strangers. The game streaming service PlayStation Now will enter open beta on July 31 for PlayStation 4 and shortly after available for PS3 and PSVita. As an almost casual aside, it was mentioned that PlayStation Now will also be available on select Sony televisions. All you need is a DualShock 4 controller to play on qualifying television sets. PlayStation TV will be coming to North America. The PlayStation TV is essentially a streaming box that allows the PlayStation 4 to be played on other televisions in the house, can stream PlayStation Vita games to be played on your TV, and allows anyone to access PlayStation Now without the hefty investment costs of a fully-fledged console. PlayStation TV will retail at $100 for the base box and at $139 for a bundle that includes the box, a controller, 8GB of memory, and a digital voucher for a copy of The Lego Movie Game. Oh, and it can stream other services like Netflix, too. In a new push to create more PlayStation exclusives, Sony announced that there will be an PlayStation original series, the first of which is a two run series based on the graphic novel, Powers. The first episode will be available for free. All PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to view the entire Powers series free of charge. Not being super familiar with the graphic novel, for how it was described made it sound like a police procedural, if those police lived in a world where super-powers existed and there was a specialized police department for super-powered murder cases. That sounds pretty dang cool to me. Then Sony revealed that there is a Ratchet and Clank movie in the works for next year. Sony followed the Ratchet and Clank movie announcement with a drastic tonal shift to The Last of Us Remastered. Now, I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the trailer they showed for the enhanced PS4 version over PS3 version, but maybe that’s because my eyes aren’t discerning enough. However, as base and classless as my eyes may be, they couldn’t help getting excited for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A new trailer was shown that was edited together by Kojima himself. In it we watch Big Boss mourn with urns, grow a ponytail, and be a bit more hardcore than the Solid Snake we’re all accustomed to seeing. I’m relishing the prospect of jumping into whatever craziness Kojima has concocted for The Phantom Pain, because good or bad, it is going to be a ride. Grand Theft Auto V was announced to be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox one, and PC this fall (though at the press conference they conveniently left out the part about releasing on Xbox One and PC). Players looking to upgrade to a different version will be granted data transfers from whatever system they chose previously to the newer one of their choosing. Sony then revealed a new gameplay segment from Batman: Arkham Knight and, this is coming from someone who hasn’t played previous Arkham games and who is a professional critic, it looks amaze-tastical. I gotta hand it to Sony, they ended this conference incredibly strong. After so many great games debuted or showed impeccable polish, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End tipped the scales in Sony’s favor. Overall I was really impressed by what Sony brought to the table this E3. Maybe that’s partly because I was going in not expecting much besides a victory lap for The Last of Us, a few indies, and a possible Uncharted announcement. What Sony gave was so much more. They announced indie title after indie title, big game that people care about after big game that people care about, and while they kept non-gaming talk low, they hit all the bullet points they needed to and then got back on track with more game reveals and teases. What did you think of the conference? Good? Adequate? Meh?
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