Building upon a commanding performance during last year's press conference, Sony launched into their E3 2014 presentation with confidence. They unveiled a stable of new game announcements, extended trailers, and updates on their upcoming hardware, culminating with the reveal of teaser trailer for the much-anticipated Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. There is a lot of ground to cover here, but the GameSpot editors are here to share their opinions and put all of these announcements in perspective. And in case you missed any part of the presentation, you can check out our live blog of the entire event.
Pie in the Sky -- Tom Mc Shea
No Man's Sky shouldn't be possible. As the action unfolded in this unbelievable adventure, I kept babbling, "Oh my god, oh my god" like I was on my deathbed. I was in awe. Being able to explore a small planet would be enough to make me giddy, but an entire universe? One populated with all manner of planets, ecosystems, animals, and who knows what else? That doesn't sound like it should be real. It's the most incredible game I've seen in some time, and the one that I've seen thus far that I'm most excited to play. Even thinking about it is making me anxious, so let me move on to a couple other things that caught my attention.
Abzu looks almost as stunning as No Man's Sky. Swimming through underwater locales with creatures drifting dangerously nearby? Sign me up. My greatest fear is being stranded in the ocean with a blue whale under my kicking feet (they're so huge), but seeing them realized in a game--where I can swim nearby without having a heart attack--makes me so excited. Finally, there was Bloodborne. We saw almost nothing about this game, but who cares? Dark Souls is my favorite game ever, and I'm excited for everything Hidetaka Miyazaki makes.
Sony's conferences often get bogged down by random pitches that have nothing to do with games, so I had to suffer through stuff I had no interest in yet again. But everything that was shown through the rest of the conference looked downright stunning. Plus, I'll finally get a chance to play Grim Fandango--and on my Vita, no less!
Keeping in Stride -- Justin Haywald
While it was disappointing to not hear again (for yet another year) about The Last Guardian, the bombshell announcement of a remastered Grim Fandango on PS4 and Vita makes up for it. And every time I see No Man's Sky and imagine the staggering depth of an explorable world they're creating, I'm dumbstruck that it's made by a studio of just four people.
Altogether, this E3 has been like Christmas for gamers: The ridiculously adorable LittleBigPlanet 3. The tension-filled gore of Bloodborne (or what we were previously calling Project Beast). The stupidly fun action of Far Cry 4. And of course, finally getting an announcement of Grand Theft Auto V on current-gen, with the ability to transfer saves from previous-gen. Now that the PS4 and Xbox One are out, I was anticipating a lot of big game announcements at E3. Sony delivered on that promise in spades.
Strong Promises -- Kevin VanOrd
While everyone else bemoans the (very predictable) lack of The Last Guardian, I will instead get giddy about the gaming future. Sony’s E3 2014 press conference was loaded with goodies to get excited about--so many that I don’t even know where to begin. But begin I must, and so I shall first start with No Man’s Sky, a procedurally generated game that has you flying through space and exploring planets, seamlessly transitioning from the blackness of interstellar space to the vibrant colors of entire worlds teeming with life. I don’t know how compelling the gameplay will be in either venue, but I am giddy just thinking of how many beautiful things there could be to discover and how many dangers there might be to escape. I am an explorer at heart; I long to find new worlds never before charted, and new sights never before appreciated. No Man’s Sky could very well be my dream game.
On the opposite side of the tonal spectrum is Bloodborne, which boasted a different kind of beauty. The game was previously being referred to as Project Beast, and is under development at From Software, the creators of Dark Souls. Bloodborne looks just as bleak as the Souls series, but it possesses a decidedly Victorian vibe; I half expected to see Jack the Ripper rise from the shadows. I’ve no doubt, however, that Bloodborne’s evil entities will be no less fearsome than the infamous serial killer.
How intriguing that Sony is bringing us darkness to offset the light. I expect enchantment and eeriness in equal measure in the year to come.