E3: SONY Conference 2015
Sony’s E3 presentations have a habit of presenting games that aren't exclusive to their console as if they are. You’ll usually hear the words “first on PlayStation 4”, “Console Debut” or simply “and PC” a lot, which in other words means “not an exclusive.” The rule of thumb is “If it isn't made or published by Sony Computer Entertainment it’s usually a multiplat.” This year was no different, while there was a few coming exclusively to the PS4, there was plenty of multiplat’s. So now I’m here to answer the question of “What a PC-first gamer was able to get out of a conference done by a console maker, supposedly showcasing console games?” Well, let’s get down to it.
The first thing showcased was a new Hitman game. Called Hitman. Immediately, I must dock points due to it pulling the whole “Just name the sequel whatever the series is without a subtitle or incremental mark so that it's ambiguous as hell when talking about or seeking information for it.” However, I will say that at least this is the first game simply called Hitman, and it’s not pulling that Alien Vs. Predator bullshit of having seven fucking games with the same title. Anyway, to actually delve into things, in Hitman, Agent 47 returns to travel around the world to do his usual business in the usual Hitman way of using disguises and roundabout plans. No actual gameplay yet.
Street Fighter V
What was shown next was a trailer for the next instalment of what is essentially one of the faces of the fighting game genre, coming “Exclusively to PS4...and also PC”, Street Fighter V. In it, there is indeed fighting occurring but oddly not in a street. If it's not blatantly obvious, I'm not very knowledgeable of the fighting game genre and I'm sure there are plenty of people who’d do a lot better at picking through what was shown and dissecting the very minutia of this minute long trailer consisting of mostly kicks, punches and energy blasts.
Devolver Digital, the kind of indie...publisher...thing that publishes awesome games had a sort of mini-presentation with a minute-long trailer containing a taste of four of their upcoming and recently released games: Ronin - a sort of turn based action platformer; Eitr - a topdown game with really heavy, brutal Dark Souls-esque combat; Mother Russia Bleeds - an ultraviolent Beat ‘Em Up taking place in the seedy underbelly of an alternate reality 1980s USSR; and finally Crossing Souls - a kickstarted old-school RPG with puzzle elements. Not really much, but hopefully they will make another appearance in the PC conference, bringing more information on Shadow Warrior 2, Talos Principle: The Road to Gehenna, and, if I may dare to dream, Serious Sam 4.
Shenmue 3, or rather, The Kickstarter of Shenmue 3 was announced and opened with a countdown. Like with Street Fighter V, I’m kind of out of my element here, but I’ve heard nothing but excitement and joy from any and all Shenmue fans about it, so I suppose I’m really happy for them.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Another year, another Assassin’s Creed. This time a little more of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate in case the Ubisoft showcase wasn't enough for you. This time, the trailer focuses on Evie Frye, The Eldest of the Frye twins (yeah I’m not sure how that works either) as well as a few weapons she has in her arsenal.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Do I really even need to say anything at this point? It’s another Call of Duty. It’s brown. It’s generic. It’s the same thing that comes out year after year after year after year, under the guise of “It's totally different this time!” because we all know Call of Duty has managed to carve out a little comfort zone that feeds it money.
Star Wars Battlefront
A bit of Star Wars Battlefront was shown, showcasing its Survival mode where you play as a rebel defending yourself against wave after wave of storm troopers and everything else the Empire has at its disposal, like AT-STs and lasers that make the classic “pewpew” star wars laser sounds.
No Man’s Sky
Probably one of the more interesting presentations Sony had to offer was about five minutes of No Man’s Sky gameplay. From the looks of it, it seems like its randomly generated nature might be a huge plus for it on the scale that it takes place on. I doubt it will truly be a game that is huge as Space Engine but with an actual game in it, but it seems like it might be fairly promising.
To finish up here, despite this being a PC-focused site, it would not be fair to cover Sony’s presentation and turn a blind eye to games that look really good, simply because they are not coming to PC. To start off, right off the back, Sony finally showed something for The Last Guardian, which they’ve pretty much were silent about for years now. Maybe now that Sony’s lost title has been revealed, maybe Valve can get around to doing something with THEIR lost title. Another game that piqued my interest was Horizon: Zero Dawn, which can best be summed up as “Cavepeople vs. Robots.”
All in all, through the half-truths about exclusivity, talks about their new TV service, and Uncharted: Nathan Drake Stands in a Crowd Awkwardly, while it had its moments, and had a few things people are getting really excited about, the presentation was mostly lackluster. I haven't been sold on buying a PS4 yet but I’m sure one year I will be, if the Last Guardian, Horizon: Zero Dawn, are good alongside Bloodborne, and maybe a few game releases that get me legitimately excited, like Kingdom Hearts 3 (that is if Square Enix doesn't jump ship from the PlayStation exclusive bandwagon like they have with everything else) I will end up tempted to drop several hundred dollars on the PS4. However, that year is not the year.