Similar to the other companies that presented at this year’s E3, Sony did host a pre-show which discussed a number of things including the Battlefield: Hardline Beta currently going on as well as Killzone Shadowfall’s “Intercept” co-op expansion pack releasing June 24, 2014 for the PS4. Once this was through the actual show began and if you missed any of those speed interviews during the pre-show, worry not – RGN is all over the details and you can find plenty of content in our E3 and News Sections respectively.
Destiny opened up the PlayStation E3 Press Conference as Sony brought the co-operative, narrative-driven Sci-Fi New IP out to show a very cinematic quality display with gameplay snippets following shortly after. I must say that, I had doubts about this game but then Sony announced a PS4 exclusive Alpha Test the very weekend after E3 and ever since – many RGN Staff have gotten their hands on the game and love it. Bungie developed the game under publisher Activision, and during the Press Conference it was announced that a white PlayStation 4 would release September 9, 2014 complete with Destiny bundled in and a white PS4 controller. Those who signed up for the Alpha through PSN stood a chance at getting a code, but pre-orders for Destiny on PS4 also resulted in a code as well as Amazon handing out codes to people that pre-ordered their PS4 from them back when it released.
The Order: 1886 debuted with seamless transitions between cinematic visuals and gameplay action, just as promised. The game has been delayed to 2015, but it was nice of Sony to recognize that gamers still care a lot about this game and wanted to see it. Entwined is a brand new indie IP that got debuted as well and given major support during the conference at which it was announced that a small team of students were responsible for the game and that it would become available that very night for just $9.99 on the PS Store. Infamous: Second Son DLC was detailed and is called First Light, features a female playable character with new powers, a new chapter in the game’s very cinematic adventure story-line, and is even expected to release some time mid-August.
LittleBigPlanet 3 was announced and completely unexpected. New characters were added to the game including OddSock which introduces new platforming mechanics to the gameplay such as running up walls and jumping from wall to wall. Additional characters were also added to enhance gameplay such as Swoop who can fly and Toggle who can be massive but can also shrink to a smaller, more dense size (though light enough to walk on water apparently). Using Toggle’s weight in combination with the flying and platforming abilities of Swoop and OddSock, SackBoy now faces a much more versatile co-op experience for up to 4 players. Something different will be experienced by each person, and finally players can stop fighting over which part of a level they want to do. Creative layers have also been added that weren’t possible before in previous LBP games.
Of course, the main draw for the LittleBigPlanet series has always been the ability for players to make their own levels. The audience was shown a myriad of levels that have already been created by those who are in closed testing phases, and it was revealed that all of these levels and every level ever made by the LBP community would be available day one. That’s 8.5 Million Levels in total. This game is releasing November 2014 for PS4. Pre-ordering the Collector’s Editon of LBP3 nets you an OddSock plushie.
Keeping right along with great pace here, because there is a lot to cover, Sony moved on to a few huge AAA announcements after their brief departure into Indie and Family gaming. Bloodborne was revealed for the first time ever and given a 2015 release window. This is another game that harkens back to medieval times in the way that The Order: 1886 does except with a more visceral set of weaponry such as cleavers and flaming torches to fight off those who have been infected with a rampant disease turning them into monsters. From Software, best known for Demon’s Souls, has teamed up with Sony Japan Studio to put this game together which will be exclusive for the PlayStation 4 and has been designed to take full opportunity of its specs. Take whatever you want from that claim, and be on the lookout for Bloodborne which also features character customization including the choice to use a female main character.
Far Cry 4 was shown off next from Ubisoft who announced that players can invite friends to play Far Cry 4 co-op with them, even if they don’t even have the game! This feature is exclusive to the PlayStation 4, and quite frankly hasn’t been done before in such a major console release. Far Cry 4 takes a different direction than past entries by being more linear but when players go from place to place they are given crazy action battle scenes. If you haven’t seen the gameplay yet, you’ll need to check it out for yourself below. Ubisoft aims to make it feel as good as free roam but with a focus on cinematic experience and co-operative destruction with ‘weaponized animals’ and a fictional city run by a dictator in the Himalayas as the setting.
In the gameplay trailer we were shown wing suit gliding quickly deteriorating into a blazing gunfight involving driving and shooting at the same time, easily highlighting the intense fluid action Ubisoft had mentioned. One player used a grenade launcher while flying a helicopter and it became clear that every moment of Far Cry 4 pushes the story further through brutal destruction and a fight for survival. Ubisoft mentioned that many of the gameplay mechanics put into Far Cry 4 were directly requested by letters from the fans and that they will continue to allow users to improve their ideas and experience after the game’s release November 2014.
Zombies took center stage next as Deep Silver brought out Dead Island 2 with an incredibly entertaining CGI trailer. Sony also showed off SOE’s new game based on open-world online interaction called H1Z1 playing off the name of the virus that caused a zombie scare in real life not too long ago. This will be released as one of Sony’s many free to play games, and has a DayZ sort of feel to it. Other free to play games coming to the system include Let It Die (which I’ll speak about later in this article in more detail), Deep Down, Loadout, War Thunder, Planetside 2, Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, Everquest: NEXT, Onigiri, Kingdom Under Fire II, Guns Up!, and more.
Some people look down on free to play games, but one thing about PlayStation 4 is that users can enjoy online experiences together without the need for PS+ and this opens up the door for friends who might not have any money at the moment to always have the ability to play with you while waiting to get their hands on that hot AAA title. What Ubisoft has done with Far Cry 4 is just another example of how this feature can expand over time, and that’s not even an exhaustive list of free games that are out or coming to the system.
Sony next announced that clickers, bloaters, and other creatures from The Last Of Us will be integrated exclusively on the PlayStation 4 within the Adventure Mode of Diablo III via a DLC pack. It was then announced that a ton of exclusive content exists for Destiny on the PS4 including everything from exclusive weapons, exclusive multiplayer maps, to exclusive co-op experiences like a strike team mission on mars and other co-op boss battle action. Disney Infinite 2 will get exclusive content as well. A new Battlefield: Hardline trailer was shown to the people as well as the Beta rages on with tons of people on PS4 getting into the action. In fact, I don’t know a PS4 owner who isn’t in the Hardline Beta at this point.
Paradox Interactive hit the scene next with Magicka 2 and teased with an awesome and creative marketing campaign that players will learn to spell again as part of a long-term agreement with the indie developer / publisher to work with Sony on getting more games onto the PlayStation 4. Beyond that, Tim Schafer of Double Fine pretended to be a little girl writing in a letter to Sony requesting Grimm Fandango receive an HD Remaster. Turns out, that’s exactly what’s happening for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita thanks to a new deal with Double Fine and Sony. Devolver Digital spat more indie games at us then we could take a shovel to including BroForce, Titan Souls, Not A Hero, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, and The Talos Principle. These all looked great in their own way, and many of these have been in our hands already. We can’t wait to tell you more about why the Indie Takeover is a complete success – but you’ll see for yourself soon enough.
Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture announced Let It Die! Let It Die… where do I begin? This is an incredible new concept and is being made available as a free to play game exclusively on the PlayStation 4 which takes the way users play and puts it in a pool of death. In Let It Die, the information doesn’t die – it comes back to haunt you. The way you played will result in enemies who fight the same way, have the same level, and the same styles / gear. Not much is known still about this online multiplayer experience, but we are keeping our third eye on it and are very excited for the unique aspects it aims to bring to the table.
Giant Squid (the makers of Journey) announced ABZÛ which could very well become an indie game of the year contender. It is a very abstract game that doesn’t take the camera angles and gameplay mechanics players expect – it creates new ones from scratch. Imagine how it will feel to let your mind run free in something that is actually new. I would be remiss to say that this didn’t intrigue me, and I applaud Sony for continually supporting abstract art like this – even if it doesn’t always sell particularly well. Thankfully it seems Giant Squid has found a home on PlayStation and is being appreciated by its fans and user-base though, so we have high hopes for ABZÛ.
Hello Games took the stage next and stated that they couldn’t believe they were really standing on the E3 2014 stage announcing their game for PS4. That’s quite a true statement considering that their development studio was flooded out and they received nothing from insurance to help out with the recovery. Some data may have been lost, but we sure didn’t notice. The debut trailer for No Man’s Sky on the PlayStation 4 was simply astounding.
No Man’s Sky is a procedurally generated infinite universe where each player starts off on a different planet. Free will is a major focus of the game which houses nearly every science fiction nerd’s ultimate fantasy in one massive concept. Seamlessly travel from planet to planet without a loading buffer and experience freedom in space as you discover new species and star ships with your choice of nature or working with / against other players. This is a New IP, and it’s one that’s really hard to put into words. Please allow the main creator to do so for me instead in this E3 2014 interview which also features the gameplay shown on stage at Sony’s event as a visual backdrop to the discussion. And be sure to give this game a real chance when it reaches release, the developers put their all into making this a totally unique experience.
There was a sort of moment of awe, intense, and final feeling that came over viewers of Sony’s Press Conference once No Man’s Sky was shown. It felt like the conference was over, and perhaps it should have been. But Sony decided now was a great time for an intermission filled with boredom, followed by a ramped up part two to the conference that satisfied any gamer who wasn’t moved by this abundant amount of games and announcements. Here’s what came up next after No Man’s Sky was center stage.
Virtual reality headset PlayStation Morpheus was announced as a product that gamers can use in harmony with the PS4 Camera and three exclusive titles were available for press to play on; Jurrasic Encounter, Eve Valkyrie, and Street Luge. For now, Sony chose not to really try marketing the device or explaining it to the masses – and instead just verified that they are indeed pushing forward with their plans for virtual reality. This is likely something players can expect to see more of in the coming years, but to avoid scaring off potential PlayStation customers who might be short on cash nothing further was said about it.
Some stats were delivered including the fact that 95% of all PlayStation 4 consoles have been used online with 1.25 billion hours of single player and 1 billion hours of multiplayer recorded. The share button has been hit 220 million times and YouTube was announced to be added soon to the ShareFactory and Share button features on the PS4. 150 million spectator sessions have taken place thanks to “Live From PlayStation” in which players watch others during gameplay broadcasts, and Sony reminded us that more features are coming to this soon including ways for players to help / harm broadcasters during play. Sony re-confirmed their dedication to free to play games as I discussed below and rattled off another incomplete list showing that they truly have tons of free gaming experiences out now and planned in the future for those who decide to buy a PS4.
PlayStation Now (the upcoming digital streaming and rental service for games on the PS family of hardware) was given a formal date for its North American Open Beta (US / Canada) on the PlayStation 4. This will take place starting July 31, 2014 and will also hit the Vita some time after. Sony discussed the fact that they are not totally sure how much they would like to charge for renting games through the service just yet, and are testing different pricing options. I personally hope to see this digital rental service grow to one day replace snail-mail services like GameFly which often fail to please their customers or make a decent value proposition. For now, testing existing games on the service will be the main course of action and support for the service will also hit Sony’s TV line meaning that just a controller and a Sony TV will be enough to play PlayStation games in the future. A list of games supporting this was given including ‘Deep Silver Games’, Tales of Hearts R, Child of Light, Dead Space 3, God of War Ascension, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, Tales of Borderlands, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Minecraft (with full console experience) and more.
PlayStation TV (the new name for VitaTV) will be able to do PS4 remote play on a new TV, play hundreds of PS3 titles thanks to PS Now, and supports PS1 / PSP Classics. Sony announced that the product will hit North America for $99 and supports “nearly 1,000 games” at launch with a bundle announced that includes the DualShock 3, PlayStation TV micro-console (complete with HDMI ports and HDMI cable), an 8GB memory card, and LEGO The Movie Video Game. Sony said they are “unafraid to go against the tide” and that PlayStation TV was “all about the games”. This segment was a bit hard for some people to watch after Xbox set the precedence of showing almost purely games only, but with that note more games were given to us shortly after and we’re happy for that.
Mortal Kombat X hit next and has everybody talking as new characters which actually look fantastic were introduced, real live gameplay was shown and seemed flawless, and the bone-breaking X Ray makes a return as well as a return on emphasis on environmental combat. The game has taken a way more creative approach than many past Mortal Kombat titles and as you may know, MK is the go-to game for those who aren’t really into the whole fighting sticks and memorizing combos scene as well as a respected fighter that pros can enjoy too. This plus 3 alternative versions of every character (not just in looks, but in style and abilities) means that players are really going to get a good bang for the buck in this completely fresh installment in the series.
Something horrible happened next. POWERS (a comic book / tv series) was discussed for what felt like an eternity, but was realistically around 7 minutes, and for all the talking and waiting that made us consider carrying out Seppuku on ourselves – NO TRAILER!? This was unacceptable Sony, and you had better learn from this. Not everyone stuck with you through that segment, and the fact that segments like this existed caused a lot of people to not even realize just how many amazing games were shown at your press conference. A ton of other boring crap happened like the comment that Sony has seen a 190% increase in PS+ subscribers, and the fact that POWERS will be free for PS+ owners, and one episode is free for every PS4 owner, but nobody clapped. It was time for more games.
Ratchet & Clank will be getting a “re-imagined” release on the PS4 with Insomniac and Sony teaming up for a 2015 full film production hitting theaters as well as PS4’s digital film service. Some people criticized this announcement, but as a R&C fan – I was pretty happy about it. The Last Of Us was finally confirmed to be hitting PS4 with Naughty Dog later saying that it is 1080P @ 60 frames per second and one of their lead programmers Corrine Yu commenting further that the team at Naughty Dog might even reach beyond 60 frames per second – because win. July 29, 2014 was named as the day we will get TLOU on PS4 with HD Remaster.
Sony revealed that PlayStation 4 would receive GTA V. Rockstar Games later announced that the title will hit Xbox ONE and Windows PC as well, but Koller of Sony assured us that the PlayStation 4 version of GTA V will receive exclusive features. These features have not been announced yet, but one feature that was revealed at E3 2014 is the ability for gamers to bring their save file for GTA Online and GTA V story mode over to the PS4 version of the game from PS3, or even Xbox 360. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain got a deeply gripping and emotional trailer which was brand new for this event as well. Arkham Knight was given a brand new intricate and detailed trailer as well as talks of the open world and Batmobile tank abilities. New gameplay was revealed for the first time ever and it was announced that Scare Crow Nightmares for Arkham Knight are only on PlayStation.
Finally, last but not least – what looked like an Uncharted movie at first was shown to us. I seriously thought I was looking at a real life Nathan Drake… until Sony announced that all of the footage in the Teaser for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in 2015) was captured directly off of the PS4 itself. This is hands down the most advanced photo-realism ever seen in a console game and just like The Order 1886 will provide seamless cinematic to gameplay transitioning.
Although Adam Boyles and Andrew House should basically never be allowed to speak at a Sony Press Conference again, seriously, Sony cannot be denied at this year’s E3 2014. Sheer quantity and quality of new game reveals, unexpected surprises, and luxury features for owners of the PS4 outweighed the few moments of poor presentation by a long shot. From LittleBigPlanet 3, Bloodborne, Let It Die, too many others to count, to the ability to play Far Cry 4 with friends that don’t even own the game, as well as the announcement of a new SKU bundled with Destiny (that was given an exclusive PS4 Alpha phase directly after E3 which proved successful in getting gamers excited, and will receive tons of exclusive content just like Arkham Knight, Diablo III, and many more).
There’s just too much to keep up with. The amount of indie games cannot be met by any competitor either with No Man’s Sky being a clear and away winner for most exciting indie game at the E3 2014 event. Just when you thought the show was over, more and more features and highly demanded products continued to be announced. Sony may have abused their time with gamers during the middle of the conference when they allowed talk of a Marvel television series and then failed to show a trailer after a very boring speaker detailed this endeavor, but if you shut off the event at that time you sorely missed out.
The Last of Us for PS4, Grand Theft Auto V for PS4, a brand new Arkham Knight gameplay trailer that people are still talking about, and a very emotional cinematic trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain all wrapped up nicely with an Uncharted PS4 announcement / teaser finale. When it comes to press conferences, people say what matters most is the games. Sony brought more games and more announcements to their conference than any other company this year, and for that they’ve achieved the winning score. Our only metric going in to E3 was always the quality and quantity of game announcements.
Overall Score: 10 / 10
RGN Rating: Diamond Press Conference
Editor’s Note: This rating is the opinion of the author and may / may not represent the opinions of other RGN Staff.
The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Trailer
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Trailer
PlayStation TV – North American E3 2014 Announcement
LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Gameplay
Bloodborne (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Announcement Trailer
Infamous: Second Son (PS4 Exclusive) – First Light DLC E3 2014 Announcement Trailer
The Order: 1886 (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Gameplay
Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4 Exclusive) – Intercept E3 2014 Trailer
Deep Down (PS4 Exclusive) E3 2014 Trailer
Ratchet and Clank The Movie – E3 2014 Trailer
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Nemesis System A.I. E3 2014 Trailer
Let it Die (PS4 Exclusive) – E3 2014 Announcement Trailer
Batman: Arkham Knight – E3 2014 Gameplay
No Man’s Sky – E3 2014 Trailer
Grim Fandango – E3 2014 Announcement
Dead Island 2 – E3 2014 Announcement Trailer
Rainbow Six: Siege – E3 2014 Announcement Gameplay
The Crew – E3 2014 Gameplay
Magicka 2 – E3 2014 Announcement Trailer
Devolver Digital – E3 2014 Titles Trailer