Welcome back! In this part of our slack-stravaganza we'll be checking out the presentations of Ubisoft, and Sony continuing our trend of one minor company, and one major company for each part. I have a good feeling about Konami which we'll be seeing later with Nintendo. Why, I bet it'll end up being the winner of the entire show! For now, I guess we'll just deal with Ubisoft.
We begin with a FMV trailer for Farcry 4. It looked nice enough, but the speaker can go fuck himself with his implication that it's the first five minutes of the game. To me the game begins when you actually can move yourself with the controller. What's worse is apparently there's a seven minute gameplay demo that was pulled from youtube during this presentation, so seems odd they didn't use it here. Next up we have Just Dance 2015! Not only that but a new mobile version called Just Dance Now! I cannot begin to describe how little I give a shit about this franchise so we'll just go ahead and move on to the next bit. More Assassin's Creed: Unity!
This time around we get not only an FMV trailer, but also some single player gameplay footage to show the differences in playing mutliplayer and playing by yourself. You can check that out above. Following this we see some more of Tom Clancy's The Division, another thing we already saw earlier. Next we spend what seems like a fucking eternity on Shape Up, a fitness video game.
Look, I fully understand the need for these type of games. I'm sure they sell decently well to the casual audience. However, can we stop pretending these games are actual mainstream audience games worthy of what feels like twenty full minutes of a presentation? Holy fucking Christ. We get a World War 1 setting game called Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Honestly it had a nice art style, but I was so drained after the fitness game that didn't end I was having difficulty focusing on it and developing an interest. Still, I feel like the game probably is worth a look for the art style, so I'll go ahead and post the trailer above.
Lastly (yes, their show is already over. Felt like they showed nothing, doesn't it?) we have Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. It looks like a home invasion game that takes place in Boston. Alternatively, just an average day in Boston. Not sure if we need multiple Tom Clancy games a year, but I guess there's an audience for it.
Ubisoft Final Grade: D+
The extra footage of Assassin's Creed was nice, and some of the lesser known IPs looked decent enough, but that Shape Up crap running so long murdered the fuck out of this presentation. They could have shown me a way to get a billion dollars for free no strings attached after that and I wouldn't have cared because I was that drained from it. What the fuck, Ubisoft. This HAS to be the worst show of E3 this year. I can't see anybody doing any worse unless they do something stupid like no show. I'm sure nobody would ever be dumb enough to do that, however, so lets move onto Sony!
Right out of the gate we begin for an extended updated trailer for a game announced last year: Destiny. If you don't recall the game is being made by Bungie, the creators of Halo and just sort of looks like Halo in space. So, Halo. This game will be running a beta test starting in July, so check it out if you're interested. All I really know about the game is the trailer last year looked mildly post-apocalyptic and this year we were informed guardians will be fighting the darkness.
I run into the first of MANY issues attempting to watch Sony's stream (and that's not even counting the fact their microphone guy sucks and often you can barely hear the guy talking, even when there isn't a video playing to drown them out), but thankfully I'm able to jump onto Twitch, and later UStream in order to finish the presentation without missing anything. Which is good as I don't know what I'd do if I missed out on the most unusual version of Bilbo Baggins meeting Gollum I've ever seen in the new IP The Order.
Another new IP is up next, called Entwined. I, however, feel Acid Trip: The Game would be a better title. I'll go ahead and leave the trailer above this so you can judge for yourself. I can barely tell what the game even is, aside from a fever dream. I feel like a really good mod guy could turn this into a Reading Rainbow game. Just when I'm about to ask myself if we'll be getting any big game reveals this year Sony drops Little Big Planet 3 on me.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Little Big Planet games. On the one hand the actual developer made levels are pretty decent platforming, and the fact players can make almost anything they want opens the door to really good stuff. On the other hand the internet connection for the games are often slow as fuck, and you have to wade through a TON of crap to get to a game that's even semi-decent. This time around we'll have multiple characters to play with, rather than just Sack Boy with different costumes.
The characters introduced are: Odd Sock, a dog-looking thing that can wall jump. Toggle, who's powers consist of shrinking, growing back large, and being McDonald's The Grimace on his days off, and Swoop who is a bird that can pick up other characters and fly with them. There is also a new gun that blows air upwards to move spiked doors and the like. Gameplay-wise it's more of the same stuff - but hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it. But seriously you guys, fix your fucking internet server connections. You're almost WWE video games online bad.
We get a brief trailer for a game named Bloodborne, which looks like it happens during the dark ages. I'm not sure what the game is, however, as I couldn't really hear much of what the presenter was saying beforehand due to his accent. All I know about the game is people are pissed on the Internet that it's PS4 exclusive (for now anyway). Following this we get that previously mentioned several minute gameplay demo for Farcry 4, which I'll post above. It looks like your standard shooty game, but I enjoyed Farcry 3 due to the open worldness of it. So it might be a surprise hit again.
Another presenter comes out that looks like a fat Drew Carrey impersonator, who is perhaps the single worst person at doing segues I've ever seen in my life. He first introduces us to Dead Island 2, which has a FMV trailer that while not showing us anything about the game is entertaining as a concept. I'll post it after this paragraph for you to check out. We also get a trailer for the HD remastered edition of The Last of Us for the PS4. This involves the reveal that Diablo 3 for the PS4 will have a special dungeon which will include the clicker zombies from The Last of Us, for reasons.
Next up, Drew reminds us that Battlefield: Hardline is a thing in case you forgot from the last part of this. This quickly transitions into the most natural thing ever: Disney Infinity's new Marvel Comics character playsets. What follows this, however, is probably the most bizaree trailer they've run thus far this year. An unemployed warlock who's dealing with life after the events of the first Magicka game, to advertise Magicka 2. I got me interested in the franchise so I consider it a success. Drew reminds us that Magicka is actually not supposed to be spelled that way, and his life is considered a failure.
The next announcement is that Grim Fandango will be getting an HD remaster. Now, I never played the original but I know it has a pretty good cult following. I'd be happy to check it out if it's easier to get ahold of. From here we transition into Sony convincing us they have an active indy community via showing us a medley of Devolver games, which we only get a split second of content seeing. I can't name all of them, but the names I did jot down were: BroForce, Titan Souls, The Talos Principle, and Hotline Miami 2. I know Hotline is popular. I didn't like how it controlled, personally. But hey, a sequel is always welcome.
Next up we have Suda 41's new IP Let It Die which just looks like a serial killer murder game, so I look forward to hearing people bitch about it on the news when they release it. I'm sure it's quirkier than it looks since Suda is a weird motherfucker. The next trailer is pretentious the game. Otherwise known as Abzu. It looked like an artistic ocean simulator, and is made by the same people who made Journey. After that we have No Man's Sky, which doesn't seem like it's actually a game but I guess it looked nice enough doing it.
Unfortunately just as things were looking decent enough Sony brings up a brick wall known as the circle jerk hour where they tell us how great they are, and start going on about shit that isn't video games. The first of which is Project Morpheus which roughly translates to Sony made their own kinect combined with Occulus Rift, but not really. I'll excuse you for not being overcome with excitement. They mention that Free To Play games are a thing, in case you weren't aware every console has at least once. They do a very brief talk about Playstation Now! which is sort of like Netflix for their old games library, not that they bothered to explain it. I just knew about it from reading about it a few months back. Ironically as I'm re-writing this for the site Jimmy Fallon is playing with a Morpheus and it looks hilariously pointless. Still, it could be used well if somebody was creative enough.
They mention Playstation TV which is a much cheaper version of their consoles which plug into your TV and works off a rental system, but is overall cheaper to buy than the main console. So I guess good for a niche audience. The problem is this segment went really long and just like with the Shape Up it brought the fucking presentation to a skidding halt, and train wreck. This was EXACTLY what they needed to not do to keep up their lead over Microsoft and they did it anyway.
We get a trailer for Mortal Kombat X, which looks decent enough ...but unfortunately that was just meant to lure us into a false sense of security because now it's time to discuss TELEVISION AND MOVIES! Oh fucking boy! The majority consists of some animated show called Powers, which will be free if you have a Playstation Plus account. They also mention a Ratchet & Clank Movie. As in it'll supposedly actually be in theaters. I look forward to it being turned into a straight-to-DVD release by next year's E3.
There's a banner for Flower showing, and he's talking about a movie and re-make. I assume he's talking about Flower, but this show has gone off the fucking rails so I don't even know anymore. They follow this up by reminding us that the HD remix of Last of Us is a thing, which would have been cooler if it wasn't already mentioned earlier in this very same presentation.
Finally we get some glimmer of hope when we come to a trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I like the MGS series, but I admit I'm a bit cautious of this after the 50 dollar 20 minute demo called Ground Zeroes. I feel they should have shown us some gameplay to prove that it isn't just gonna be the same as that abortion. We also get a long video trailer for Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PS4. Coming this fall! So great for the five of us that don't already own it for 360, or PS3. They don't mention it but it'll also be getting a release on PC.
We start to get the show back on the rails as we transition into a gameplay demo for the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight, which shows off the Batmobile, as well as the awesome ejector seat. Midway through The Scarecrow hacks the feed to inform us that he's the main bad guy of this one. I can dig that. Although if Arkham City is any judge it'll likely end up being somebody completely different than what they're telling us since that game marketed Strange, but it ended up being Joker again. Lastly we close with a brief FMV for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. I never really played much of the other games, but I understand they're very popular.
Sony Final Grade: C+
This should have been a higher grade. With stuff like the Batman footage, and the Uncharted reveal it should have had me leave with a smile on my face. But the looooong section of circle jerkery, and television crap absolutely brought me out just as fast as the fitness crap did for Ubisoft. They needed a huge surprise reveal like Fallout 4 with gameplay footage to bring me back and they just didn't have it. Batman was nice, but we already knew it was a thing that existed before E3 even began. Very disappointing, especially how much shit they gave Microsoft last year (which is still hilarious, for the record).
Two down, one to go. Lastly we have Konami and Nintendo. See you in a bit for part 3.