Sony E3 Conference: ‘Beyond’, Ubisoft, and ‘Wonderbook’
05 Jun, 2012
Defined by a similar series of lengthy trailers and/or gameplay demonstrations as most of the day’s pre-E3 events, Sony’s 2012 Press Conference has already birthed one particular moment of lingering infamy; one particular demo destined for a meme legacy alongside “$599 U.S. Dollars” and “I’m going to attack it’s weak point for massive damage.”
Quantic Dream opened the program with an extensive gameplay (?) sequence from its new IP Beyond: Two Souls, a cinematic-adventure game taking place over 15 years of Jody Holmes’ (Ellen Page) supernaturally tinged life. A 3-minute bout of Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale led into a discussion of cross-play between the PS3 and newly announced Vita version of the game, and the reveal of Nathan Drake (Uncharted) and Big Daddy (Bioshock) as playable characters.
Sony’s answer to the Wii U Gamepad and Microsoft’s SmartGlass came in the form of Cross Controller, which allows for unique motion and touch inputs in PS3 games using the Vita (DLC for LittleBigPlanet 2 used as an example). 200 new titles were announced to be coming to the Playstation Network in the next 12 months, with Playstation Plus getting “amplified” with new free games (inFAMOUS 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Saints Row 2 available starting tomorrow). PSOne Classics were also revealed to be coming to the Vita.
Assassin’s Creed hardware bundles were announced for both Assassin’s Creed III and the Vita-exclusive Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (both launching October 30th), the latter including a new Crystal White color handheld. The equally Vita-exclusive Call of Duty tie-in – Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified – was given a Holiday release date. Far Cry 3‘s second demo of the day focused on 4-player co-operative multiplayer, Ubisoft announcing PS3-exclusive DLC for both it and the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed III, which would receive its own demo later in the show focusing on ship-to-ship combat.
And then there was Wonderbook. An augmented reality game platform in development at London Studios that aims to “bring books to life”, the service was demonstrated with “Book of Spells”, the first step in a partnership with “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and her interactive Pottermore online community, due out this Holiday. Using the Playstation Eye and Move controllers, the resulting demo of wand waving and paper dragons flying at the screen suffered significant technical difficulties, stretching its time far beyond what its relatively simple concept ultimately demanded. The short film-makers Moonbot Studios will also be creating exclusive Wonderbook content, the film noire-inspired “Diggs’ Nightcrawler”.
Playstation Suite was then renamed Playstation Mobile, with HTC emerging as the first non-Sony partner for the service. God of War: Ascension then had Kratos cutting through Goat-men and a bi-pedal Elephant creature in its lengthy live demo, culminating in an announced March 12th, 2013 release date. The evening ended with a brutal demo of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, showcasing a weapon manufacturing system similar to what kind of worked in Alone in the Dark: Inferno, and a few tag-team talents of Joel and Elly.