Console gamers have nostalgia for games played on prior consoles, games that left a lasting impression, or a game series they remember with fondness that never was finished. Today at Sony’s E3 press conference, the deepest wishes of many gamers was granted.
The spiritual successor to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian has been clamored after by a small but vocal group of fans. Originally announced for the Playstation 3 in 2009, but in development since 2007, this game has been rumored to have been canceled many times. The name The Last Guardian even lapsed at the patent office at one point. Many people joked that this would be the year The Last Guardian would be given a release date, not expecting that Sony would do just that! There was an audible gasp, then wild applause when the following trailer was played at the Playstation E3 Experience theater I was attending to watch the conference.
Final Fantasy 7 was the first major RPG for many. Lured in by CGI cutscenes, impossibly spiky hair, and giant swords, these young gamers experienced a connection to characters, a grand sense of drama, and even the sense of loss. Many have asked for a HD remake of this beloved RPG, and finally, after 3 console generations, their wish is granted.
Like The Last Guardian, Shenmue has a small but vocal fanbase. The fans of Shenmue are dedicated, following the series from its beginning on the ill-fated Dreamcast to the next generation on Xbox. Whether buying cat food at the convenience store, or playing Space Harrier at the arcade, Shenmue created an interesting world where even driving a forklift was fun. The series seemed to die without the story being finished in the PS3/360 generation, but the faithful fans of the leather jacketed Ryo were rewarded for their patience with a glimmer of hope. Yu Suzuki, creator of Shenmue, stunned the E3 crowd by announcing a Kickstarter to develop Shenmue 3. At least one person in the audience looked like they were literally going to faint. The 2 million dollar Kickstarter was half funded in under 2 hours. On a personal note, I’m thrilled that Ryo has the same deadpan delivery of his lines as in the original games.
Sony really created a lot of excitement with these three announcements, but there were many other announcements, and here are some of the highlights.
No Man’s Sky created a big buzz last year, and this year we got to see the game actually being played. Saying the game is vast is a huge understatement, as there is a literal universe in this game to explore. In the trailer below, you’ll see the player pan back from one point of light representing a solar system, to thousands of lights spiralling in all directions. It’s amazing that every point of light is another system that could be visited, with it’s own unique vegetation and animal life. The trailer also revealed that everything on the planets are fully destructible. I’m eagerly anticipating the chance to explore No Man’s Sky after watching this.
Sony made the world exclusive announcement of Hitman. Everyone’s favourite assassin, Agent 47, is back. The trailer looked very much like a James Bond or Bourne Identity trailer, take a look.
Guerilla Games, known for the Killzone series, was very excited to announce a new Playstation exclusive game, Horizon Zero Dawn. Set in our world hundreds of years after an unknown calamity destroys our civilization, clans of humans hunt mechanized monsters roaming the plains with weapons like bows and spears.
Firewatch from Campo Santo is a first person adventure/mystery following a ranger in a forest fire watching station with only a walkie talkie and a woman on the other end giving him a connection to the world outside the wilderness. Then strange things start happening…
Sony wrapped up the show with the much anticipated Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. There was a bit of unintentional comedy when they had to restart the demo because for whatever reason Drake was just standing there. After the reboot, the demo was very impressive. Besides the running, jumping, and climbing from danger we’ve come to expect from the series, this demo also featured a fully driveable car chase.
Sony also announced a significant partnership with Activision which will bring maps to Playstation 4 first in the just announced Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and exclusive content to Destiny: The Taken King. Street Fighter 5 will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, Batman Arkham Knight will have Playstation 4 exclusive Scarecrow levels, and the Disney Infinity Star Wars Saga Starter Pack featuring Boba Fett is coming exclusively to PlayStation.
I felt Sony had a very strong E3 press conference, and speaking for the audience of 200 I was a part of, Sony fans are very excited about the announcements this year. If you’d like to hear more E3 discussion, please tune in to next week’s Plug and Play podcast