Microsoft, for the most part, jammed lots of games down our throats. They opened with a bang, debuting Halo 4 footage, which was very, very impressive. The Forerunners are making their in-game debut, proving to be quite a formidable foe. From there, we went straight into some footage of the newest entry in the Splinter Cell franchise, Splinter Cell Blacklist, featuring bullet time, the ability to climb terrain, and more stealth based gameplay. That’s not all, folks, as we saw trailers for Forza Horizon, Gears of War Judgement, as well as demos of a explosion packed Resident Evil 6, a, surprisingly, very impressive looking Call of Duty Black Ops, and a return to its adventurous roots with Tomb Raider. Despite all the impressive games, which felt like they wouldn’t stop coming, there were some lull points, more than Sony’s conference, which, with the exception of an embarrassing demo featuring Wonderbook, the, erm, interactive book coming for PlayStation Move, seems…well…gimmicky. Sure, Harry Potter fans might eat up the upcoming new material from J.K. Rowling, but it seems to be more style than substance.
That being said, Sony seemed to got the memo that their E3 press conferences have been lacking recently, starting with a bang as they featured Beyond: Two Souls, the newest game from Quantic Dream, featuring even more emphasis on story telling, but with the promise of more interactive gameplay. In other terms, it seems to be more than just an interactive story. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale followed and the premise of connectivity between PS3 and PS Vita seems great, but I’ll withhold judgement until I play; I’m not sold yet. I am sold, however, on The Last Of Us, which is probably the grittiest survival game I’ve ever seen. Before that, God of War Ascension made its debut and featured, well, more God of War gameplay.
Here’s one thing that stood out today: there was more time focused on the games themselves and less time dealt with banter and gimmicks. Ubisoft‘s press conference was, well, an embarrassment aside from the Watch Dogs (more on that tomorrow). The scripted banter fell flat, the conference’s emphasis on their target audience (opening with Just Dance 4?) seems like it was missed. It was almost as if Ubisoft was stuck in the past and Microsoft and Sony had been listening to the complaints that have been made.
But the question is: will the hands on time back up what we saw today? We’ll let you know tomorrow, but there’s plenty to be excited about, especially if you own a PS3.