Konami Pre-E3 Show 2013: Announcements, Highlights, and Where to Watch It
Konami’s E3 2013 show just recently concluded, bringing with it some interesting new factoids about the studio’s upcoming titles. As expected, Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain and Lords of Shadow 2 both took center stage; Konami also discussed its forays into the social gaming arena as well as its upcoming Soccer title, PES 2014.
First before the screen was Konami’s Director of Digital Publishing, John Coligan. Coligan took the stage to speak about Konami’s social and mobile efforts through its Digital Publishing Division. The studio, he said, is currently hard at work on MLB 9. They have also recently signed on indie studio Kung Fu Factory to develop multiple titles for iOS. The first will be Domo Jump, which Coligan said is "coming out soon."
Coligan also briefly discussed MLB Live Challenge; a fantasy baseball game developed by BCS Studio whose combination of light fantasy mechanics with team management represents a title “never before seen on Facebook or iOS.” Lastly, Coligan explained how the Orange County Development Studio is making Konami’s jump into social casino apps, with titles such as Slot Revolution and Casino League.
Coligan concluded by promising that all titles mentioned will be playable at Konami’s E3 booth, and there will be a teaser for MLB Live Challenge, as well.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
Next up was PES Creative Producer Kei Masuda, who came out to talk about PES 2014. Most of the time here was devoted to discussing the new engine, known as Fluidity. The name, Masuda explained, was derived from an analysis of football, which is characterized by fluid, constant switching of positions.
Originally based on the FOX engine, Fluidity was created exclusively for PES 2014, and is centered on six key elements, though Masuda only discussed three. The first of these is Trueball Tech, which allows more intricate and advanced ball control. Players will now be able to control player and ball separately, which Masuda hopes will lead to a more instinctive style of play.
M.A.S.S – Motion Animation Stability Studio – simulates body contact with “animations that flow seamlessly in play.” The studio, Masuda explains, didn’t want to just add a bunch of flashy moves and animation: they wanted to bring real play and real tactics to the game through advanced physics.
Lastly, Masuda spoke about heart. This, he says, captures the essence of both home and away games. As you play and do well, your entire team’s morale will improve; influenced by home and away environments. As their morale improves, their personal motivation and abilities will also grow stronger.
The other three elements – The Core, PES ID, and Team Play – weren’t really addressed, but Masuda explained that more features will be announced in later updates.
Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain
The biggest announcement concerning Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain was that David Hayter will not be playing Snake this time around. Instead, Sutherland will take on the role.
MGS Creator Hideo Kojima explained that the theme of Phantom Pain is markedly different from that of previous titles, and takes on topics such as race and revenge. In light of this, they wanted a more subdued performance from Snake, with emotions conveyed through subtle facial expressions and tone of voice rather than dialogue.
Given that Phantom Pain takes place in 1984, when Naked Snake is 49 years old, Konami felt that they needed someone who could convey both his vocal and facial qualities. For this, they chose Sutherland. As it turns out, he’s a near-perfect fit, and is "honored" to play the part of Snake.
Kojima also talked about Konami’s emphasis on realism in this iteration; “we want to see just how far we can go in creating a truly believable, living and breathing incarnation of Snake,” he explained. Further, Kojima continued, they’ve embraced a more open-world game design, which he hopes will bring players a more intense experience.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Last on the menu was Konami Digital Entertainment Studio Head David Cox and Mercury Steam co-founder Enric Alvarez, discussing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Picking up right where the original Lords of Shadow left off, Konami Digital Entertainment head Dave Cox described Lords of Shadow 2 as a sequel with a renovated spirit. It’s a story of intense and often contradictory feelings, with elements that become dark; perhaps even cruel.
Dracula takes center stage as the protagonist, sporting three new abilities which players can see in the demo. The combat cross has been replaced with the blood whip (though the latter is very similar in function to the former), while Dracula’s Chaos Claws will allow him to shred through enemy shields and armor. Lastly, the Void Sword allows Dracula to cleave through his foes and regain health in the process.
The world design has changed quite a bit from the previous entry, as well. The Mercury Engine has had to be adapted to a new era of gameplay. Konami wanted the levels to grow organically rather than on a level-to-level basis; like Phantom Pain, a greater emphasis was placed on open-world design with a free camera. The most notable change, though?
This will be the first Castlevania title to take place in the modern day.
The Castlevania segment – and the conference – concluded with a first-look trailer for Lords of Shadow 2, which you can see above. We won’t discuss the short video that played afterwards... but you can watch the full Konami pre-E3 2013 video
Konami's "Pre-E3 Show 2013" will take place June 6, 2013 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. It will be streamed in seven different languages including subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Japanese for the international audience.
The live-streamed event will include company news, interviews, game trailers, and announcements. Kojima's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will no doubt be the highlights. Stay tuned for all the info right here after the event, and if you'd like to watch it live, please visit Konami's official Pre-E3 Show 2013 website.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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