Sony E3 2012 press conference wrap-up

The Last of Us

Sony held its 2012 E3 press conference earlier this evening, and here’s a recap of what happened for those who missed it.

The first big reveal of the night was the newest project from Quantic Dream, the makers of Heavy Rain. David Cage came out to talk about Beyond, an upcoming title that deals with death, the afterlife, and invisible entities. Jodie, the game’s young protagonist, feels some connection to an unspeakable force, and that becomes more apparent after seeing one of the game’s opening scenes.


Jodie is being questioned at a police station by a cop who found her on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. She is completely unresponsive…that is until she throws a coffee cup against the wall without moving a finger. After the cop leaves the room, things get a little more interesting.

A SWAT team infiltrates the police station to search for Jodie. After opening the door and peering inside, the video switches to a montage of exploding helicopters, chase sequences, and numerous other exciting scenes. In the end, Jodie vows to kill anyone who gets in her way.

The biggest piece of news came at the beginning of Cage’s presentation though, when he revealed that actress Ellen Page will be playing the role of the protagonist. Not much speech was used in the video, but her motion-capture was in full effect.

Next up was PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, Sony’s own take on the Super Smash Bros. formula. Before the live presentation it was revealed that the game will be coming out for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita, and cross-platform functionality will be available.

PlayStation All Stars

At this point a gameplay demo was shown with four players (two on the PS3, two on the Vita). Apparently the goal of PlayStation All Stars is to acquire the most points by collecting energy and using super attacks. There are varying levels of super attacks, with higher ones rewarding more points.

When the timer reaches zero, the point totals are added up and a winner is revealed. It’s worth noting that there are no point indicators during the match, so the results essentially remain a mystery until the fight is over. Whether or not players will enjoy that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly an interesting decision.

Kratos (God of War), Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal), Sly Cooper, and Fat Princess were used in the live demo, and a Helghast (Killzone) and PaRappa the Rapper could also be seen in the intro video. At the end of the demo two new characters were revealed: Nathan Drake (Uncharted) and Big Daddy (BioShock).

Then Sony President and CEO Jack Tretton came out to talk about the PlayStation Network, PlayStation Plus, and some new features being introduced to the Vita. Those in attendance got a free year of PlayStation Plus, and it was announced that PlayStation One classics and Hulu Plus will be coming to the Vita in the near future.

The next big game to be introduced was Assassin’s Creed Liberation, a PlayStation Vita title from Ubisoft. The design and mechanics seem to hold true to the Assassin’s Creed formula, but the protagonist was female, a first for the series. Sony will be bundling it with a special crystal white Vita system when the game is released on October 30.

Also coming out on October 30 is Assassin’s Creed III, which got some time in the spotlight as well. Brand new footage was shown of an intense naval battle – players will be able to manually steer the ship and fire cannons as they traverse the treacherous seas. Whether or not it will be a large focus in the game is unclear, but it certainly looked great. In addition, Assassin’s Creed III will be getting its own bundle with the PS3 this October, including some exclusive DLC.

One more Ubisoft game was up on the schedule: Far Cry 3. A live demo was shown of the game’s four-player co-op, which didn’t look particularly impressive. It appeared to be reminiscent of plenty of other shooters and didn’t stand up to the single player footage from the Ubisoft’s press conference earlier in the day. The players on stage were certainly into it though, shouting their way to cooperative victory.

After this the enthusiasm of the crowd dropped quite a bit while Sony emphasized the PlayStation Move and announced Wonderbook for the PS3. This interactive storytelling device is aimed at children and families in an effort to make reading more exciting. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was announced as a collaborator.

Rowling’s first effort for the Wonderbook, Book of Spells, was shown off on stage. The goal is to learn various spells, using the PlayStation Move controller as a wand. The demo dragged on for quite a bit, and there were a few technical difficulties.

The excitement picked back up again with some single player footage of God of War: Ascension. The combat looked as brutal as ever, but most noteworthy was how Kratos had some kind of magical power that allowed him to piece together broken structures. For the most part it looked similar to God of War III though, which isn’t a bad thing.

Oh, and at the end Kratos fights some elephant monster and rips its head open, exposing its brain. Now that’s the God of War we all know and love.

The Last of Us

Closing out Sony’s E3 press conference was The Last of Us, the latest game from developer Naughty Dog. The game’s visuals looked absolutely incredible, but who could expect any less from the company that brought gamers the Uncharted franchise.

The game’s two central characters, Ellie and Joel, traversed a seemingly abandoned building before coming upon other individuals. At this point Joel performed some stealth and melee takedowns reminiscent of the Uncharted series. There was also some impressive-looking third-person shooting, and when the 14-year old Ellie helped attack one enemy the crowd was quick to applaud.

The sense of dread and despair in The Last of Us was what made the footage so impressive. In the very last moment of the video, Joel wrestles away a shotgun from one of the enemies and shoots him point blank in the face. It was a powerful moment that received a huge ovation from the crowd.


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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