E3 2012: Sony Unveils Quantic Dream’s Beyond, The Last of Us Gameplay, & Hardly Nothing for Vita

Sony gives us games, and lots of them for their E3 2012 keynote. So come on in and see a new game from Quantic Dream, gameplay footage of The Last of Us, and a sad, scant presentation for the Vita.

Sony E3 2012 Presser Image

Monday night’s E3 2012 keynote for Sony was a mixed bag. Moments of awesome – i.e. the majority of games shown for the PlayStation 3 – in-between sluggish performances of sheer “I can’t believe I came all the way to Los Angeles for this” horribleness – namely, a bad PlayStation Move demo, and little-to-nothing revealed for the company’s fledgling new portable, the PlayStation Vita.

But we’ll get to those items, soon enough, with this Sony press conference review, as we start at the top of the event with a stunning new game from the creators of Heavy Rain.

Beyond: Two Souls, PlayStation 3 exclusive starring Ellen Page

Beyond Two Souls E3 2012 Image

I’ll give big props for Sony for beginning their presser with a new I.P. Also, bigger props for it being a new I.P. from Quantic Dreams. Beyond: Two Souls, a PS3-only game which takes the cinematic chops of Heavy Rain in a trail-blazing direction, even enlisting the acting skills of one Hollywood’s Ellen Page for the main heroine, Jodie Holmes, who apparently has a gift of the paranormal.

In a game which spans 15 years, players will control Jodie’s life and navigate her to become the person she will eventually be. What a bold concept, but certainly not uncommon from the kind of experiences audiences expect from David Cage and his talented staff down at Quantic. Personally, I really can’t wait to see more .

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Confirmed for Vita, with cross-platform play and two new characters

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale E3 2012 Image

What I learned about PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale from developer SuperBot Entertainment: 1) The gameplay looks like Super Smash Bros. (Sony even posted, then removed, a YouTube video tagged as such to confirm this), but with Super Combos; 2) It’s coming to the PlayStation Vita with cross-platform play and save functions, and 3) Two new characters BioShock’s Big Daddy, and Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, have been announced as playable characters for the game.

My teasing aside, what Sony showed of this game does look like solid fun. Plus, anything with Captain Qwark from Ratchet & Clank getting hit by that Hydra from the first God of War is a must see in my book. Carry on with your work SuperBot.

PlayStation Plus News, free library of games for subscribers

PlayStation Plus Free Game Collection Image

Two-hundred new downloadable releases are headed to PlayStation Plus in the next 12 months, mentioned SCEA president Jack Tretton on stage. A rumored cloud-gaming service that was in the headlines weeks in advance before Sony’s press conference, though? Nada of the sort.

Instead, Tretton announced that subscribers for the premium PlayStation Network club will be receiving 12 free-to-download titles, featuring the likes of inFAMOUS 2, Just Cause 2, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. New games for PlayStation Plus will be introduced all the time, building an impressive gaming library to add to an already feature-packed service that has cloud game saves and early access demos.

Here’s the list of games that are available, for free, via PlayStation Plus.

  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • inFAMOUS 2
  • Little Big Planet 2
  • Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Just Cause 2
  • Saints Row 2
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Hard Corp: Uprising
  • Choplifter HD
  • Zombie Apocalypse Never Die Alone
  • Sideway NY

PlayStation Vita: Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Declassified, LittleBigPlanet2 DLC, and PSOne Support

Assassins Creed III Liberation E3 2012 Image

The Good: a dedicated Assassin’s Creed game, starring a female assassin in late 18th century New Orleans, which has unique incentives for players who purchase this and Assassin’s Creed III, dropping October 30; a special Assassin’s Creed ‘crystal white’ Vita bundle releasing alongside said Vita game; Call of Duty: Black Ops – Declassified announced for Holiday season; LittleBigPlanet2 DLC that will turn the Vita into an augmented controller for the PS3 version, and PlayStation One support is on its way in the summer.

The Bad: Nothing to convince Vita owners that the future for the portable is bright and sunny. Seriously Sony, where’s the avalanche original games from first-party and third-party devs? Heck, where’s any games for that matter? They only premiered the above two (if you can even say two; Black Ops – Declassified was only a title card) and spent what felt like a blink-of-an-eye on bupkis. Absolutely, bupkis!

What probably grinds my gears even more, and they’re already cranked up to eleven, is hearing that a whole bunch of different Vita games where on the showroom floor after Sony’s press conference. *Sigh* I don’t have an appropriate facepalm.jpg to sum up how much of a bone-headed move that was.

Lets just move on…

Assassin’s Creed III’s nautical battle scene, Far Cry 3’s four player co-op mode

They say good things come in threes, and when Ubisoft took over for a portion of the show, the good they brought with them were two new demos from Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3. The first – receiving a release date timely PS3 bundle – surprised the pants off everyone by demoing a nautical side of ACIII never seen before.

Wow, it’s just like that movie, Master and Commander with Russell Crowe, except not boring.

Far Cry 3 meanwhile, had a decent showing of its four player co-op. Some cool tag-team action, but hardly anything that’s record-scratching, stop the party, unique (if you must though, seek footage for yourself). The PlayStation 3 version will be getting exclusive-DLC when it releases September 4 in North America.

Wonderbook, The Book of Spells

Wonderbook E3 2012 Image

Okay… so, this is the part of Sony’s press conference where I would say the wheels pretty much fell off. Bad stage demos of PlayStation Move games aimed at children tend to do that, unfortunately. Which honestly sucks-rocks because past its poor showing, Wonderbook is a neat idea that could get kids into reading. An idea I’m 100% down with.

Now, basically, Wonderbook is an augmented-reality book that can project a range of images and interact with the PlayStation Move. Part of such tech has already been used in EyePet for the PlayStation 3, a pet game that used an A.R. mat placed on the floor in conjunction with the PS Eye to display a cute little furball in real-life through the TV screen.

Wonderbook, obviously, takes this concept further with PS Move integration, which showed an impressive license get, The Book of Spells, based on J.K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter’ books. And while it was boring to adults during its time on stage with its dull wand-waving, its made with kids in mind, so you can’t really be too cross about it (I know that won’t stop you, though).

Although, I wish Sony would have cut time here and used it for say, I don’t know, to show more PlayStation Vita games.

God Of War: Ascension game play, March 2013 release

God Of War Ascension E3 2012 Image

Its Kratos. Its Kratos killing things. Its Kratos killing things pretty violently. Its Kratos killing things pretty violently and looking visually superb doing so. What I would  probably imagine famous artist, Pablo Picasso, would create if he used the blood of his enemies as the paint for this pictures.

March 2013 is the tentative retail date set for Ascension, exclusively on the PlayStation 3.

The Last Of Us steals the show

The Last of Us E3 2012 Image

Sony should bless their luck stars that they’ve got such an amazing developer making games for them. They should also thank them for salvaging a E3 presser that was, by this point, beginning stink up the joint. In came Naughty Dog, thankfully, providing an excellent end to the event with The Last of Us.

Boy, did it ever deliver. My jaw dropped for so long, I think a fly might of flown into my mouth and built a fly-condo during the duration of which. The game is beautiful – no duh, it’s a Naughty Dog game – and the dialogue between the two main characters, Joel, the surely loner, and Ellie, a kid with a smart mouth, so far is spot on.

Go forth and check out the gameplay footage for the upcoming late 2012/early 2013 third-person survival adventure game, which goes a little heavy with the gun combat, but in a subtle difference (limited ammo and sometimes the lack of a weapon at all) that separates it from any Uncharted similarities.

After seeing that demo for The Last of Us again (for the fifth time), I don’t feel completely bummed out by Sony’s E3 presentation. Could it been better? You bet you rosy cheeks it could. In one specific area that I won’t mention for right now; you’ve heard enough of my crazy-man ramblings for one day.

There’s still more E3 2012 cover to come – Nintendo is up last and here’s hoping they don’t disappoint (me from the future: better lower your expectations, ya’ll.) Look forward to that event summary and if you haven’t check it out already, take a gander at Microsoft’s E3 2012 press conference review. Or, set your eyes on this  Legend of Zelda cake. It’s truly “legendary.”