This is Part Two of our three part E3 2014 commentary – check out Part One, about Microsoft’s offerings, HERE.
E3 is that special time that comes but once a year, a time where adults can be kids again and revel in explosion-laden trailers introduced by confused-looking corporate executives in suits. While I’m usually excited for this time of year, I honestly wasn’t feeling it too much this time. Maybe I was burned out or lost the sense of wonder after watching press conferences for about five straight years. I haven’t really written about it too much on here, but the state of video games has been turning me lukewarm about them at best, and that’s before you even add business practices and fan communities into the picture.
Regardless of my personal feelings about E3, I gathered up an expert panel from Deadshirt and Twitter to discuss this year’s press conference showings. How did the 2014 Electronics Entertainment Expo stack up against years past? You’re about to find out with the help of fellow Deadshirter Yen Nguyen (@yenissober), and game industry insiders extraordinaire Matthew Bremner (@Matthew_Bremner) and Robyn (@Twyst).
After an incredible victory at last year’s E3 by way of showing a variety of games after Microsoft’s disastrous press conference that focused on TV, Sony had this one in the bag. Or so many had believed. This year Sony decided to run overly long demos, talk about streaming services, and bring out Brian Michael Bendis to talk about the Playstation-exclusive show Powers for way too long without even a still photo of the set to show for it.
Sony also teased the crowd with a clip from Vib Ribbon, an old cult classic that was never released stateside. This tease went nowhere and seemed cruel to many fans of the original. Perennial no-show The Last Guardian also did not make an appearance, disappointing many.
They did, however, surprise many of these cult game fans by announcing that they would be publishing an updated version of the classic adventure game Grim Fandango.
inFamous: First Light
Matt: Big ups to the Sucker Punch for First Light. Biggest of ups.
Robyn: YES! I will actually buy that!
Kyle: I haven’t played Second Son, but this looks like a lot of fun. Plus this has a great logo!
Matt: So, for them to make a whole game with a female protagonist is just an awesome move and I salute the heck out of it. They’re one of the four companies with some self awareness and I’m on board.
No Man’s Sky
Matt: Not All Men’s Sky.
Yen: I’ve been hyped for this for a while! I am really excited to play it just to see how far that infinite generation algorithm goes.
Kyle: That team has a hell of a challenge. I was listening to an interview about how they test the algorithm generating system: they put bots on the server to play the game for them and then these bots compile GIFs.
Robyn: That is pretty awesome.
Yen: That’s a universe I wouldn’t mind just exploring.
Kyle: I’ve gotta say, for what little they showed, Bloodborne was one of my favorites, if just because of the pedigree and that sweet, sweet art design.
Yen: It’s funny because they actually have gameplay footage out for that game, but they showed none.
Kyle: Yeah, kind of odd, but Sony had a long show. Mainly due to Powers.
Matt: Yeah, which was super exciting for me, seeing Powers be a thing, but it came out of nowhere, and as good as Bendis was, he’s just not the guy to sell stuff at E3.
Yen: For something coming out later this year they had no visuals to show for Powers, so why talk about it?
Little Big Planet 3
Robyn: LBP3: It looks adorable, but I probably won’t play it.
Kyle: Same. I like the new characters, but I’m sick of that game.
Yen: The four-legged dog type character creeped me out, and I don’t know what justifies the “3” on the box. really.
Robyn: I played a lot of the first Little Big Planet, and Media Molecule said “we will never make a LBP2,” then got bought and immediately announced LBP2.
Yen: Sony just decided to slam the title up and then play through a whoooooole staaaaage.
Matt: God, that felt endless. The bird carries things. We get it.
Matt: The Journey team’s game looked pretty good. In the way that people loved Journey.
Kyle: I was never huge on Journey, but this does look really pretty.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Matt: Can we talk about Batman? Gun-firing, war-tank-having Batman?
Yen: He doesn’t use guns… BUT HIS CARS DO.
Kyle: They’re like probably not real or shoot rubber bullets or some BS. That’s what all my comics friends say, at least.
Matt: He had a missile launcher! For launching missiles!
Yen: Your friends that only exist in comic books, Kyle? Gotchaaaa. Looks good. Looks like Batman, I guess.
The Order 1886
Kyle: The transitions between gameplay and cut scenes are what grabbed me. The game, not so much, but the tech seemed cool.
Yen: The trailer lasted too long, and then they pulled their “cinematic” card when the HUD came up for a second and then disappeared again. The setting was pretty transparent, too.
Matt: I think its setting does a lot of the heavy lifting for it. It’s definitely a little transparent and I think a lot of people will have the same reaction. You either dig the setting or you don’t, and if you don’t, this has nothing for you.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kyle: I don’t really want to talk about Metal Gear. I loved that series so much, and now that Kojima has no one to tell him “no,” it’s becoming a really gross mess. He doesn’t have the tact to accomplish what he thinks he can.
Yen: Have we gotten an answer as to why Quiet looks the way she does yet? Other than Kojima’s cosplay fantasies?
Robyn: No, but you get to see right up her babymaker in the trailer, and not her face.
Kyle: I’m sure when you get your answer, you’ll “FEEL REALLY BAD.”
Yen: Yeah, noticed that shot.
Matt: They definitely learned nothing from MGS4 and barely escaping with the four women enemies.
Kyle: “We’ll make diamonds from the haters’ ashes and carry them into battle.” – Hideo Kojima
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Kyle: I’m surprised that Naughty Dog is back on Uncharted so soon.
Robyn: Same. Naughty Dog is also special friends with Sony, so they probably had to launch a game with the console.
Matt: Uncharted 2 is art. That game almost made me cry. I think that game should be shown to aliens as an example of art.
Yen: *powders hands for video games-as-art talk*
Mortal Kombat X
Kyle: Real talk: I really like Mortal Kombat, but they really seem to be pushing that M rating as hard as they can. I’m sure after playing it enough I’ll be desensitized, though.
Robyn: They also had equal ladies in their new character roster! 2.5 ladies, 2.5 dudes. The little one in the master blaster combo is a lady!
Matt: Yeah, I really liked MK9, and I really hope this one is at least that good.
That’s our E3 Sony commentary – don’t forget to read our Microsoft wrap-up, check back later today for our panel’s thoughts on Nintendo’s offerings!