E3 2015 – Sony Press Conference roundup

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Posted June 16, 2015 by Dominic Barbiran in Games

Sony slayed at their press conference today, with a slew of great, upcoming titles including two resurrections and one very BIG remake…

Sony really delivered a knockout presser that showcased hit after hit of memorable, wallet-crushing games to look forward to. We cut through the treacle to bring you the most notable aspects of the Sony E3 2015 press conference. Without further stalling for time, let’s get right into it.

 

The Last Guardian Lives!

Team Ico’s legendary epic adventure title has finally resurfaced after years of twiddling thumbs and furrowed brows. The Last Guardian, which was announced all the way back in 2007 (with a planned release on PS3 in 2011) was the product of ‘development hell’, suffering from numerous delays, and the radio silence from Sony at latter E3 conferences seemed to suggest that the game was cancelled. After a few scraps of recent news from Sony representatives insisting it wasn’t dead, we’ve finally bore witness to a full resurrection! The conference opened up with a six-minute trailer which confirms a 2016 release date, proving once and for all that The Last Guardian is all but deadIt was also confirmed that the title is an exclusive PS4 title, meaning the development shifted from the PS3 into the latest console generation, possibly explaining all the delays.

The game still very much looks the same as we last saw it, with the boy protagonist and his furry griffin-like friend Trico attempting to escape from a crumbling, labyrinthine castle ruin. In much the same vein as previous Team Ico titles, The Last Guardian has a focus on puzzle-platforming and giant monsters, although this time the monster is on your side, and is a crucial part of gameplay, helping you solve some of the larger-scale puzzles and catching you during those hard-to-reach jumps. The upgraded specs of the PS4 seemed to really help with the games rendering of feathers, bringing the griffin creature to life like never before.

The hype has been reignited, and we’re looking forward to playing this one when it arrives on the PS4 in 2016!

 

Guerilla Games Debuts new IP, ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’

The developers of the Killzone series of games, Guerilla Games, announced a new IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn, a thrilling third-person, action-RPG title set in a world where tribal humans are the hunted, and robotic dinosaur-like creatures are our hunters. You play as a young, female named Aloy, an outcast from her tribal society who seeks to discover the origins of these mysterious machines, armed with her bow and some serious Katniss-level sniping skills.

I always welcome new IP’s and this one seems like a fresh, new direction for Guerilla Games, who’s past lineup almost entirely consisted of first-person shooters (with the exception of Killzone: Liberation). The gameplay reminds us a lot of the Tomb Raider reboot, though your enemies are mecha-dinosaurs, which is always a plus. You can see elements of stealth to hunt predators unseen, and you can craft a wide variety of weapons, ammunitions, tools and traps to use at your discretion. We love the art direction, with its lush environments, and the premise seems interesting, especially the dinosaur-mentality that these machines seem to abide by. Rob0- raptors and mecha-rexes? Just hand me my bow.

Nock your arrows and draw your bowstrings in anticipation, cause this Jurassic Park x Tomb Raider hybrid releases in 2016 for PS4.

 

Hitman returns in…Hitman?

Agent 47 is back as a professional hitman in the brand new title… uh…Hitman? Apparently that’s not a working title. The legendary assassin returns to the fold in a globetrotting adventure developed by series alum IO Interactive. This sixth entry in the series is treated as a sort-of reboot to the franchise (which is why it’s just called Hitman), and the foundation for the new future of Hitman games. IO Interactive are promising a great big sandbox with all the necessary tools required to eliminate your chosen targets the way you want to, with levels “substantially larger and more complex than those in Hitman: Absolution”

Though we were only given a cinematic trailer, it’s great to see Agent 47 back in his prime. This isn’t your aged-up Max Payne, this is Agent 47 sprinting up a snowy mountain. In the trailer, he eliminates his targets with a lethal combination of sniping, poisoning drinks, and planting IED’s. Seems that IO Interactive are going to make good on their promise on bringing back the real assassination simulator we’ve wanted since Blood Money.

Keep this target in your sights when it releases in December 8, 2015. Pre-order it on PS4 for some exclusive contracts and early access to the beta.

 

Cammy and Birdie confirmed for Street Fighter V

Street Fighter staple Cammy is bringing her punishing, offensive moveset to Street Fighter V. In the midst of her kicking M. Bison butt, we get a glimpse at her V-Skill move known as Axel Spin Knuckle, which she uses to both evade projectile attacks, and deliver a crippling gut-punch to her opponent. If used at a closer range, she’s able to cross to the other side of her opponent. Her V-Trigger move, called Delta Drive, boosts the speed and number of hits that Cammy can deal for a short period of time.

Also playable in SFV is Birdie, who’s been absent from the series roster since Alpha, more than 10 years ago. He’s really let himself go since then, sporting quite a big gut. But don’t let that belly fool you, his swinging-chain and command grabs make him a sizable threat even if he can’t be assed walking to you. His V-Skill Break Time, has 3 variations, all of which involve him pulling type of food out of his pockets, depending on the direction you’re pushing as you activate it, and all of which grant you V-Gauge boosts. He’ll either trip up opponents with a banana peel, use an energy drink as a projectile, or scarf down a donut giving him a major V-Gauge boost. His V-Trigger Enjoy Time, enrages him and powers up his special attacks and adding armor to absorb some attacks.

You’ll be Tiger-uppercutting with the best of ’em when SFV releases in Spring 2016, exclusively for PS4.

 

Media Molecule taps into our creative unconscious with ‘Dream’

Media Molecule, credited for the LittleBigPlanet series and Vita-exclusive Tearaway, continues on with their signature delivery of digital creativity in their new project Dreams. It’s hard to tell what the nature of the game truly is from the trailer, but if it’s anything like their past titles, then it’ll be a great, big blank canvas for players to create whatever they want. The tools at your disposal in the LittleBigPlanet series has really given way to some amazing levels, so if content creation is your thing, then Dreams is something to look out for. Just remember, everything in that trailer was apparently created in-game with the PS4.

This teaser doesn’t reveal too much, but if you want to hear more about it, look towards Paris Games Week in October.

 

Destiny: The Taken King reaffirms the leaks

The next chapter to the Bungie cross-console, mega-franchise is Destiny: The Taken King, which will have you taking the fight to Oryx (the father of a Destiny raid boss that players have already defeated), and his army of the Taken. This expansion was leaked prior to E3 but now we have an official trailer and release date confirming its existence. The Taken King on PS4, will bring you exclusive legendary gear sets, a competitive multiplayer map, an exotic weapon and one co-operative Strike mission.  While not confirmed during the conference, if the leaks are any indication, it’ll release for $40 and offer a new subclass and elemental super ability for each of the three character classes. Expect these rumours to be confirmed or denied in the coming months.

This expansion is headed starside for a September 15th release. 

 

Campo Santo brings Firewatch to PS4

Campo Santo’s gorgeous first-person adventure game Firewatch is coming to PS4 as a console exclusive, in addition to its PC release. We’ve been eyeing this one a while and we’re so glad it’s coming to another platform. The trailer is brief but adds more fuel to the mysterious nature of the games fiery premise. You’re a fire lookout named Henry, who’s job is it to spot fires and keep the wilderness safe during those hot summer days in the woods. You’re only line of communication comes from your supervisor Delilah, over a handheld radio. But something else is going on out there, and it’s your job to explore the unknown.

Just like their previous teasers, we aren’t given a clearer picture as to what’s happening out in the Wyoming wilderness, be it supernatural or something else, and that’s the way we like it. Though the teaser has kind of a comedic slant to it, showcasing the playful but professional relationship you have with Delilah, at it’s heart is something so vague and mysterious we can’t help but be intrigued. We hope you are too!

Firewatch is aiming for a 2015 release date on PC and now on PS4.

 

The Final Fantasy VII Remake is seriously happening

The very, very long-awaited remake to one of the most celebrated JRPG’s of all time is finally, seriously going to happen, for real. Final Fantasy VII Remake was revealed to a jubilant, cheering crowd today, with a cinematic trailer that brought tears to our eyes. That playground slide, that glorious shot of Midgar and its inhabitants, the flowers, and the shot of Barret and Cloud from behind… At first I thought, a sequel? Another film? Oh my…this can’t be…t-this is… OH HERE GOES (this is just as the word ‘REMAKE’ shot up at the end of the trailer).

The remake is coming to PS4 but no other platforms were announced, nor did they hint at a release date. 

 

Oh yeah, there’s also World of Final Fantasy

Not to be overshadowed by it’s bigger, more popular brother, this cute little addition to the Final Fantasy series is World of Final Fantasy, a PS4 and Vita title that promises a big adventure with a cast of adorably small characters. Little was revealed about the story details, but we can see classic characters from other Final Fantasy games like Cloud and the Warrior of Light appear, as super-deformed, chibi recreations. Changing in size appears to be an important mechanic during gameplay, as mounting and stacking characters occurs throughout the trailer.

I can’t say much else just from this trailer, but the fact that it’s coming to Vita and that it’s Final Fantasy is good enough for me. Thanks for not forgetting about the Vita, Square Enix!

World of Final Fantasy is dawdling on cute lil’ legs, to Vita and PS4 in 2016.

 

Shenmue resurrects on Kickstarter!

If resurrecting The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy VII weren’t enough for you, the new sequel to the criminally under-appreciated Sega franchise, Shenmue III is finally seeing the light of day, with a Kickstarter page that is fast on-track to becoming one of the most, if not the most funded game on Kickstarter yet. Series creator Yu Suzuki took to the stage to officially announce their intent to develop a true sequel to the first two Shenmue games, with our support on Kickstarter. It’s developers are hoping to earn $2 million within the month, and as of right now, sits at 85% of the needed funds with over $1.7 million raised. It reached the halfway point within 3 hours of the campaign launch! That just goes to show that series fans are really excited about seeing Ryo’s story continue.

If you haven’t heard of the Shenmue series before, let’s just say it predated games like Indigo Prophecy and the Telltale adventure games, as far as cinematic, interactive adventure games go. But unlike Telltale and David Cage games, the Shenmue games are completely non-linear and set in an open world, coining it’s own genre called FREE (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment), which lets you simulate a lot of real life elements including fully-voiced NPCs with their own daily schedules, day and night cycles and real-time weather effects. At it’s core is a mish-mash of different gameplay genres including role-playing and real-time brawler elements.

If you want this game to be fully realised, please visit the Kickstarter page. and consider pledging. It may be very close to funding, but that’s only with your help!

 

No Man’s Sky soars, as does our expectations

Another important title that we’ve been keeping close eye on is No Man’s Sky, and we got a lovely dose of real gameplay footage to go with our unquenchable thirst for more information. This hugely ambitious project from Hello Games aims to be an adventure game of universal proportions, as you take the role of a planetary explorer with a spacecraft who aims to catalogue the flora and fauna of the many (think quintillions!) procedurally-generated worlds in the universe.

The gameplay trailer gives us a microcosm of some of the sandbox elements within the game. The demo kicks off with an in-progress space battle between two warring factions, which you are free to intercede. Every planet is fully destructible, shown when the explorer chips away at a large tree with his laser pistol. He’s able to go underwater where he catalogues all the new fish species he’s found swimming around. Plus, we get another good look at the touted, seamless planet drop-in, where you’re able to fly in and out of planets without any loading screens. This game looks to be really expansive despite being developed by a tiny team of ten people, but if they can pull it off it will really raise the bar for indie developers and the spacefaring sim genre. We’ll keep you posted.

No release date as of yet, but the developer promises to announce one soon.

 

Sony rounds off with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Last but definitely not least, Sony caps their awe-inspiring press conference with a trailer to one of the most anticipated Sony-exclusive titles, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The breath-taking, 7-minute gameplay demo shows that the game hasn’t deviated from the core formula of the previous titles, but polishes them up to a gleaming shine. Seriously I won’t be able to do it justice, just watch it.

The incredible, cinematic set-pieces are back in full swing, like when that armored car comes crashing through a building as you’re fighting your way through it. Sully and Nathan Drake’s playful banter is always a treat to listen to as soothing commentary in between the tight gunplay and environment-sensitive fist-fighting. The trailer rounds-off with a high-speed car chase that takes them from one end of the map all the way to the other, dodging bullets and leaping off rooftops, until Nathan leaps out of the car and grapples onto a taxiing plane. If you haven’t already watched the trailer more than once, then check it over again and this time take in the amazing amounts of NPCs rendered on-screen, the realistic facial animations and character animations, and the overall jaw-dropping visual fidelity of the game.

If you haven’t caught up with the series yet, Sony also recently revealed an Uncharted Remastered collection for release on PS4 in October, featuring all three games in the series enhanced with better lighting, textures and models, all in eye-watering 60fps, 1080p. Play ’em and realise why it’s one of the best game franchises out there, and then you can curl in a ball with us as we wait for 2016 to come.

Will this game live up to it’s title and spell out the end for our globetrotting treasure hunter? We’ll find out in 2016 when this releases exclusively on PS4 in 2016.

 

Phew! Just when you thought you couldn’t top Bethesda’s showcase, huh? Sony really brought out the big guns for E3 2015! What did you think of the games showcased? Did you think Sony killed it? Could this be one of the best E3’s ever? We’d love to hear your comments below! Don’t forget to check us out on Twitter and Facebook, as we’ll be providing coverage of all the next conferences of E3 2015!

 
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook (Echo Bite), Twitter (@echobitemedia) and on Youtube (Echo Bite). There’s lots more where this came from!

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Dominic Barbiran


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