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E3 2018: Sony Showcase

Sony did something new with their conference. 

I turned to Graev and called it within the first 30 seconds. They moved the audience to a new venue after their first lengthy game showcase, during which they subjected the audience to pretty much a commercial segment. They finally settled everyone down into the showcase venue.

Here are our thoughts on the games Sony showcased. 

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When Cross-Play is a “Bug”

I saw this yesterday and had to chuckle. Epic Games "accidentally" made Fortnite cross-play for a bit. Cross-play means players could play together on Xbox One and Playstation 4.

What a funny world we live in when this is even capable of being a "bug" or an accident (which imo remains to be seen).

In case you don't follow the cross-play news, Microsoft doesn't care about it. In fact, I think they'd actually like it if PS4 would play with its players.

In response to a player asking on Twitter what he thought about the "accident", Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated, "I would have liked to see them leave it on."

We know where Sony stands on this one.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Jim Ryan (Head of Global Sales and Marketing) stated, "Unfortunately it's a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I'm not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling." Yep, my eyes are rolling.

Why would PS4 want to give up that market share? They want people to buy PS4's to play with their friends on PS4. Sony has the lead here in market share over Xbox, which is why Xbox is all about that "let's play together!" mentality. 

So long as Sony remains ahead of Microsoft, they won't be interested in making this work.

It's up to the software developers to resist this one. It's their fight, not ours. I own all of the consoles. I don't care. I'll buy the games on the system that plays them best or provides me the best experience. If software wants to win, stop letting hardware dictate your future.

Sadly, in this case Epic Games doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. Fortnite is on life support and I definitely do not recommend the default game. Their PUBG clone, however, is quite fun.

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Sony E3 2016 Playstation Experience

Sony kicked things off with a full-blown Orchestra that would then segue into game after game after game at a pace that rivals if not beats Microsoft’s non-stop game reveals. Let’s go!

G… G… God of War??? – WOW that’s a change.  That’s a COMPLETE GENRE change for God of War. That was like God of Skyrim!

Days Gone – New IP from Sony. Sounds deep, heavy, and completely unexplained. They did not elaborate on it at all beyond the cinematic narrative.  [Update] They returned to this at the end of the conference to show gameplay. Looks great, but it’s another zombie title. 🙁 I’m so tired of zombies. Dare I say it looked generic.

The Last Guardian – Ugh, Sony is pulling hard on those heart strings. The live orchestra does a nice job at making that impact. I’m a huge softy, so these emotional games end up being skips for me because I can’t take it. 😛

Horizon – Another title on the top of my most anticipated list. I feel like I’ve been saying this for the past two days about several games now. Really though, this looks incredible.

Detroit Become Human – A choose your own adventure android detective game. Incredibly thought provoking and intriguing, but ultimately not my type of game. None of the games made by David Cage end up being my type of game.

Sony is going straight movie games. Everything was a cinematic experience with deep story and rich character narrative. The general sense out there is that the guy(s) behind Last of Us ruined Uncharted and now God of War, but I think the verdict remains to be seen.

Resident Evil Bio Hazard – Nope. Nope. Definitely not.

Playstation.VR– $399 (hella cheaper than Oculus). 50 games. October 13, 2016 release. Here’s the VR titles:

  • Farpoint – Survival story in space with guns and generic monsters. Meh.
  • Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission
  • Some Batman game by Rocksteady
  • FFXV VR Experience (doesnt look first person friendly at all)
  • and more… holy smokes. Taking this VR thing seriously I guess.

Graev believes all of these VR games are nothing more than tech demos that won’t be full-blown games but rather short “experiences” in the VR tech. I think he’s totally on to something.

Call of Duty in Space – It looks so cool conceptually but it’s CoD. Going in and out of ships in real time, floating around, etc. I like to hate on CoD, but it goes beyond that. It just didn’t look interesting.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered – Okay, arguably one of the best CoDs remastered looks way more fun than Cod in Space.

Crash, Crash 2 (Bandicoot) Remastered – Now that’s awesome.

Skylanders Imaginators – Make your own Skylanders! I’m a sucker for Skylanders.

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens – I’m a sucker for LEGO games. I’ll be picking this up. (But there’s a lot of emphasis on multiplatform titles here.)

Death Stranding – What did I just watch??

Spider-man PS4 – Insomniac is making this?! It looks SICK! I don’t say that lightly. Most Spider-man games suck, but this one actually looks good. If anyone can do it, Insomniac can show us how it’s done.

Sony has done a really, REALLY good job this E3, but a lot of emphasis was on multi-platform titles (multiplats) meaning they can’t earn full points on those titles. They did bring game after game, and they too are proving that they have the core gaming experience at the forefront of their two-year plan. I’m sold on that.  It’s clear to me that although good, it wasn’t great like Microsoft—not this year.

Keeping score up until this point (who knows what tomorrow may bring for Nintendo):

Microsoft: A
Sony: B+
Bethesda: C+
EA: D

What are your rankings for E3 so far?

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The Winners of E3

Every year we like to talk about who won the best of show at E3. We mostly focus on the ‘big 3’ — Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Without needing to go into much detail, this year was one of the best overall in a decade. The players win. We have a lot of great games coming out, and some really need things to look forward to in the future.

Let’s talk about the big 3. The winner this year was clearly Microsoft. They brought the strongest overall “wow” factor. For the first time in more years than I can remember, the emphasis wasn’t on their gimmicks. Microsoft is back to focusing more on the console itself being a gaming device, and them as a company being about providing entertainment for gamers. So many years it was flipped upside down and the console was all about being entertainment. Their use of HoloLens as it pertains to Minecraft is nothing short of amazing. The coolest part was being able to see the other people in the world running around this virtual representation. There are some really neat possibilities.

Sony was pretty good. I think their problem will stem from a lack of exclusives. They certainly rocked a few worlds by announcing the FFVII remake, but overall it was just “Hey there’s this awesome game coming to the PS4! Please don’t realize it’s also on the Xbox and PC!” Either way, they didn’t fall flat on their faces which is their usual modus operandi.

Nintendo… oh Nintendo. You are my favorite of these companies. You keep it simple, clean, and to the point. Nintendo’s focus is on their games. Unfortunately, it was mostly on their games they already announced. Nintendo does what they call “Nintendo Direct” digital conferences throughout the year. This means they are constantly in a state of doing what they did at E3 this year, and that means it’s hard to stand up to the other big announcements — especially when you reveal a week ago that you won’t be talking about the big Zelda open-world game.  Still, lots of great games. Skylanders meets Nintendo Amiibos? Mhm, yes please.

Virtual Reality is a gimmick. It’s motion controls all over again. We have absolutely no reason to believe in any of the potential until someone says, “You know that potential? We actually made it. Here, try.” Until then, it’s nothing more than Milo.

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PS4 Day 2: Assassin’s Creed and DCUO

We’re two days into the launch of the PS4 with lots more to talk about.  These aren’t full reviews — just a quick synopsis of our experience with a smidgin of impressions.  The images used for these games were taken with the screenshot sharing feature.  The quality on them isn’t great, but it’s nice to finally be able to take pictures without having to use a third-party device.

assassins-creed-black-flag-ps4

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

This might sound crazy, but this is the first Assassin’s Creed game I have ever played.  I’ve watched Graev play all of them, and I knew exactly what to expect, but I wasn’t quite ready for how awesome the free-run and acrobatic movement felt.  The high frames per second and gorgeous graphics made my first hands-on experience with AC really quite something.

I love pirates.  I live for this setting.  If there’s one setting I may love more than medieval fantasy it’s Pirates!  Black Flag captures everything I love about the setting and then some.  I talk all the time about being able to control my own ship, and Black Flag does not disappoint.  I love being able to sail around.

I’m not going to spoil anything, but the story in the previous AC games looked really crummy.  So much so that I almost didn’t pick this one up. Ubisoft takes the story in a much more believable, interesting direction.  Expect my full review to come when I’ve logged significantly more hours into the game.

dcuo-ps4

DC Universe Online

Years ago I played DC Universe Online for the PC, and along with Graev and several of our friends we reached the max level and completed everything there was to do in the game at that time.  When we stopped playing it was never because the game did anything wrong — We simply ran out of things to do.  Years later, the game is free to play with lots of microtransactions.  I can’t say for certain how the F2P model has improved or harmed the game, but I know I’ve been able to play everything I can remember without spending a dime.

The PS4 version is great.  I feel like the controls are perfect, and perhaps even better than the PC version.  I remember thinking that DCUO was always meant to be a console game with this inherent sense of combo button presses and beat’em up nature.  Using the new DualShock 4 controller, I never felt wanting for a keyboard or mouse.

I think they did a nice job upgrading the visuals.  Everything looks high-res, and load times are quick.  I haven’t experienced any slowdown or performance issues.

If you just got a PS4, or heck even if you’re still gaming on the PS4, it can’t hurt to give DCUO a try.  I think the potential for MMOs on consoles is quickly catching up the PCs.

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