What We Expect from Sony at E3 2012 (God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, The Last Guardian, Vita titles...)
The past year or so has been a rough one for Sony, as the electronics giant faced two massive blows to its video game division. The first was the infamous PSN outage, keeping gamers from online services for over a month and reducing confidence in Sony's security. The second was the pathetic launch of the PlayStation Vita, with the device's hype squandered on a shallow line-up of games. Sony's going to have to work hard to win back the interest of their frustrated customers. Fortunately, they've already given gamers plenty to look forward to when this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo rolls around, and they haven't even revealed their full hand! Here's what we know so far about Sony's E3 2012 plans:
- Sony Press Conference: Scheduled for 6PM on June 4th, 2012.
- 20 New Titles: Information beyond the raw number has yet to be revealed.
- PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: While some may criticize this as a crass imitation of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros., there are far worse franchises to copy. Though heavily influenced by that cross-over fighter series of killer apps, Sony's new game promises to build upon that formula, offering even more depth in its character sand moves. Plus, while Sony's first-party stable may not be as iconic as Nintendo's, it's hard to fault the line-up they've so far confirmed. Who wouldn't want to play as Kratos, Sweet Tooth, or even the Fat Princess?
- God of War: Ascension: The sensationally violent God of War series has been one of Sony's top first-party brands since 2005. While this is a prequel to the first game (given the fact that the series ended with 2010's God of War 3), more Kratos is a good thing. We already can rest easy knowing that the main campaign will give us more of Kratos disemboweling his way through all obstacles. What hasn't been confirmed is the multiplayer mode, a first for the series. Hopefully Sony will show us that the traditionally solo gameplay of the series can be adapted to a glorious online free-for-all.
- The Last of Us: Naughty Dog has been one of Sony's top developers since the days of Crash Bandicoot, back on the original PlayStation. After concluding their spectacular Uncharted series, the California-based studio has moved to survival horror with the upcoming title, The Last of Us. While little is known about the game itself, Naughty Dog's pedigree alone is enough to make this a title to watch.
- Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time: The classic PS2 series returns! While Sly's creator Sucker Punch won't be attached, the dimension-spanning return of stealth-platforming will be in the hands of Sanzaru Games. Their previous titles may not have gotten great reception (most notably Ninja Reflex), but this presumably has a bigger budget attached, and thus greater resources for Sanzaru to prove their merits.
- LittleBigPlanet Karting: An LBP-style kart racer for fans of the platforming series, with racing and battles included, as well as multiplayer competitions. What's more, like previous LIttleBigPlanet titles, the game will focus on community features.
More Greatest Hits Titles
- More Vita Titles: Unfortunately, we don't know what, and it's unlikely that it'll be any kind of killer app, but who knows!
More Social Apps for the Vita
- Final Fantasy Versus XIII Information: Though at this point, Bigfoot riding the Loch Ness Monster on the show floor seems more likely.
- The Last Guardian Gameplay Demo: Likelihood similar to the above
- Xperia Play / PlayStation Suite: Sony's "PlayStation Phone" came out with a blip that has since turned into a whimper. The Xperia Play and the Android downloadable service, the PlayStation Suite, haven't made many waves. If Sony doesn't make a big announcement about the device, the expensive phone with some attached gaming capabilities will end up as little more than a curio. Hopefully PlayStation Suite will be a bit more promissing for PlayStation Certified Android devices...
- HD Remake Announcements and Release Dates: Both Final Fantasy X and the Zone of Enders Collection were announced last year, though neither has a release date. Hopefully we'll learn more.
What We Hope For
- New Hideo Kojima Game: Even if Kojima is burned out on Metal Gear, he could still dazzle us with a new title that plays to his unique directorial voice.
- Unique Vita Games: It's no wonder that the Vita hasn't taken off, when its launch line-up consisted mostly of ports and reduced spin-offs of console titles. If it gets more games like the upcoming Gravity Rush, original software with high production values, it could really compete in the mobile market.
Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
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