Category Archives: Games

Like a film, except you get to decide what happens

Yes, videogames are escapist

After the tragic loss of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata the videogames community is still in a state of mourning. After trying to comprehend the news I, like many others on Monday, spent a considerable amount of the day playing Nintendo games.

Coincidentally that day Ben Kuchera, a writer I find myself either disagreeing or agreeing with but rarely ambivalent, wrote about how he plays videogames to “run from [his] problems”. The article was clearly written before the unfortunate news, and has no direct relation with it. But going back and rereading it afterwards it chimed with the very actions that I undertook, actions that I have done many times throughout my life to avoid my problems.

There has been, and continues to be, moral panic surrounding the notion that people will lock themselves away in virtual worlds to escape the real alternative. The irony with this is that whilst there is some truth to this, people rarely seem to question why people feel the need to escape the real world. Somehow the “cure” that people have resorted to is deemed more toxic than the real world problem.

Whilst I have been fortunate to have not felt the need to escape from the real world, I have delved into videogames multiple times to temporarily escape from a problem that is afflicting me at that moment in time. The thing is I am fully aware that the real world isn’t going anywhere, and the problem will still be there in some form waiting for me to tackle. Just like how a boss in a videogame will be waiting for you even when you turn off the game. In a way it is not too surprising that I often find myself viewing the real world through the lens of a videogame. I’ve said before that a past job of mine was like a videogame and my current job has it moments, or maybe it just seems that way.

When my parents split up and all of the chaos that was generated as a result came forth, the world of Johto and Kanto found in Pokémon Silver became my sanctuary, here was a world where I, as a ten year old, was in control. Whilst in the real world, the same ten year old was not. This was not something I could win at, let alone finish. That dragged on for years, but all the while I had videogames to escape to, helping me to tolerate the real world events constantly unfolding around me.

As I got older where the problems became more “grown up” be it dealing with breakups, betrayals, or death; videogames allowed me to take a breather from the real world for a couple of hours at a time to clear my head before returning to the real world to deal with these problems like the “grown up” I was becoming.

In less serious, but still important situations videogames have been effective at just providing some respite. This was notably the case during my first dissertation. Looking back now 10,000 words is really not that much, but, at the time, given that it was the longest single document that I had written it was a daunting task. Whilst I didn’t have the same panic as some of my coursemates, I made very effective use of dissertation breaks. Fez had just come out on the Xbox 360 at the time and could actually be played in productive hour or so sessions. Given the peaceful yet mentally challenging gameplay it providing, it was perfect for taking a break from writing, yet still keeping my mind stimulated. To this day I still credit Fez with helping me get through my dissertation.

Now back to why I wrote this article in the first place. On Monday afternoon I sat down, turned on my Wii U and played Splatoon for what ended up being almost three hours straight. In a way Splatoon is not the best game to play when trying to not think about Iwata’s passing, given that the in game plaza was covered in messages about Iwata. But the game represents everything that Iwata stood for; fun, innovation, and accessibility. What better game is there to play to honour the great man.

Advertisements

Arigato Mr Iwata

This morning was meant to be like any other morning. Unfortunately that was not the case, for I was greeted with the truly saddening news that Satoru Iwata had passed away during the weekend as a result of the cancer he had been battling, at the age of just 55.

Whilst he had undergone surgery and had returned to active duties as President of Nintendo, he was still unable to attend events abroad, such as the recent E3 in Los Angeles, and appeared visibly thinner.

Nonetheless it was great to still see him as an active presence at Nintendo, especially in the recent puppet themed Nintendo Digital Event, in which he maintained his humorous self-awareness, such as once again appearing with a bunch of banana’s in a throwback to Nintendo Direct from a couple of years ago.

Iwata increasingly came across as a rare breed of Videogame president, instead of merely a businessman trying to maximise profits to satisfy investors. Iwata was a gamer at heart, and a programmer who had worked his way up to being only the fourth President of Nintendo in its century long existence and the first outside of the founding Yamauchi family. Although Iwata himself explained his position best:

‘On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.’

Iwata truly understood what was involved in game development, and for him (like Nintendo as a whole) making the best game they could was what mattered. To him this was being financially responsible, as if a game was bad, people wouldn’t buy it. Iwata’s Presidency at Nintendo has been one of high’s and low’s. Coming in just after the release of the underrated (but by no means a failure) GameCube, he went on to help Nintendo think differently with the Blue Ocean strategy. This saw the release of the Nintendo DS and Wii which despite being technologically inferior to its competitors managed to dramatically surpass them in sales. During the initial struggle’s of the 3DS Iwata took a pay cut and refused to let go of any staff, stating that it would alter the environment in a way that would damage development. Plus the move separated him actions made by other CEO’s in similar situations.

Iwata’s passing will be dearly felt by all of Nintendo’s supporters, no longer will we be able to see him in a humorous Nintendo Direct announcing a new exciting game, or even asking us to ‘Please Understand’ when something has had to be delayed in order to make it even better.

Satoru Iwata deeply cared about videogames, he wanted as many people to enjoy them and share in that joy, and for that he will be missed. But he leaves behind a legacy that anyone would wish for.

Metal Gear Hype

Having only transitioned to Sony consoles a couple of years ago the Metal Gear Solid series was one that I was very late in trying out. It was only until Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater came to the Nintendo 3DS that I finally decided to give it a go (helped that it is the first game  in the series’ timeline).

Somehow I had managed to absorb very little information at all about the series, aside from the fact that it is a stealth game but still has offensive boss fights. If you’re like I was a few years back and don’t want to know more about what Metal Gear is then stop reading now, then play through MGS 1-4 (including Peace Walker which is canonical) and come back.

If you’ve just come back or had already done so, then you’ll know that MGS is much more than just a stealth game. I still remember when I faced the first boss of Snake Eater “The Pain” all previous assumptions I had for the series were shattered. Here I was fighting what was essentially a bee man who kills his enemies by firing bees at them, and what’s more he goes by the name “The Pain” because that’s what he is feeling. All the while I’m in a jungle somewhere in the USSR trying to prevent the Cold War from going nuclear.

With the game featuring a James Bond style opening movie and the constant pop culture references of the era this was a game aware of the world around it. What’s more it knew how to make the most of the elements that make something a videogame, whilst also utilising techniques found in film to create an engaging narrative unlike anything I had played before. By the end of the game having defeated the original Metal Gear and then learning more about the Philosophers Legacy I was fascinated by everything that I was now having to comprehend. Why hadn’t anyone said about how great this entry of the series was? In hindsight people had praised the game, but despite focusing on the more likeable Naked Snake (AKA Big Boss) many seem to favour the original Metal Gear Solid for some reason.

When I had a system that could play it I decided to give Metal Gear Solid a go, and whilst for me it cannot compare to Snake Eater it was definitely ahead of its time. It is also an easy game to go back to, in the sense that it is not hindered by what would now be deemed anachronisms of game design. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty on the other hand (despite playing the HD remake) does not hold up as well. The original MGS essentially has a top down perspective (despite being in 3D), but as MGS2 launched on the PS2 (and later the Xbox) and had more power available, so to was the freedom for more camera angles (with further freedom afforded to the HD version). But the problem was that it felt halfway between the constant constraints of MGS1 (which was to its benefit) and MGS3 which by the Subsistence re-release (and the HD remake) basically played like any other competent third person game. Whilst I had no problem with Raiden being the main protagonist, the plot came off as trying its utmost to try and confuse the player with constant twists, thankfully the ending was an effective one, and manages to speak to the pitfalls that society is facing today, but managing to do so 15 years in advance. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, was a solid (pun intended) enough game, but would have been better served as a Blu-Ray boxset.

This brings me to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; the first part of of MGSV. Similar to how MGS2 is divided into two sections with the first smaller section (on the Tanker) contained to one area and has its own story that fits into the wider story. Except this time the first section has been physically separated into its own release. The problem with this was that Konami (in just one of many poor decisions) made this a full price release. Ground Zeroes as a separate entity is actually a good idea and works very well (which I’ll get to) but no way is it worthy of a full retail price tag, it just isn’t. On the surface Ground Zeroes (GZ) is one mission in which Snake (Big Boss) has to rescue Chico and Paz (who featured in the excellent and underrated Peace Walker of which GZ is a direct sequel) before his mercenary group, MSF (Militaires Sans Frontières) undergoes a nuclear inspection. The events that happen as a result of the mission will lead directly into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, albeit nine years later. This mission can be completed in a very short amount of time. My first playthrough took around two hours, but an hour of that was basically adjusting to the feel of the game.

That’s right, full price (£40/$60) for a two hour game. Except that’s not quite accurate, as the main Ground Zeroes mission is not the sole activity available, as finishing it unlocks Side Ops; which are other missions with different types of objectives set in the same Cuban camp. These present the player with different possible play styles and even then the missions can be played how you want, as is the main mission. Recently I have been delving into the Side Ops and having a great time experiencing the different ways I can interact with the game world that Hideo Kojima and his team have created. What’s more I have gone back to the main mission and played it a further three times, each time my playthrough has been different, and my time shortened. Even though that means I can finish the “main game” in less than an hour now, it shows the possibilities of how to approach The Phantom Pain when it comes out. That was Kojima’s aim for GZ, to Metal Gear fans a chance to try out the game in a self contained level to their hearts content whilst they continue to make the best Metal Gear Solid game they can. Unfortunately Konami struggled to get that message across.

The Phantom Pain is still a couple of months away, but the final trailer (aside from the inevitable TV spots) for the game, and the last ever personally by Hideo Kojima, was for me the best trailer that came out of E3, and it wasn’t even shown off at one of the presentations. Like many people I have rewatched the two available trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens multiple time, but I can easily say that I have watched the last Phantom Pain trailer more. It manages to not only show the transition that Big Boss is going through and his need for retribution, it also provides hints towards other narrative points by straying the line into spoiler territory. Plus it suggest towards a possible philosophical basis for some of the characters motivations, an aspect that has been a highlight for me throughout the series. In addition the music choice of New Order’s Elegia is outstanding and captures the tension and (to take a name of another boss from MGS3) “the sorrow” that encompases Big Boss and his comrads.

There are many great games that are coming out later this year, and more following into 2016, but for now Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is my most anticipated (hyped for if you will) game right now, and being able to play Ground Zeroes is both helping and prolonging the wait. Excuse me whilst I watch the trailer again for the umpteenth time…

Late to the Party: BioShock 2

When BioShock 2 was announced there was understandably quite a bit of excitement. Though when it was revealed that the original developers (Irrational Games) were not working on the direct sequel and instead another 2K owned developer (2K along with 2K China) was to take the reins (with assistance from Irrational such as game assets and the engine), people were concerned, especially given what the original game had achieved narratively.

Nonetheless there was still a fair amount of anticipation and many chose to give the game the benefit of the doubt, mostly because they just wanted to return to Rapture. When the game did launch three years after the original game it did actually review very well; just not as highly as the previous entry. Considering this was made by a different studio and still managed to capture the same atmosphere was a tremendous achievement.

However despite this (and achieving respectable sales) why is Bioshock 2 not often looked back on fondly? In part because people think back to the impact that the original created, the lack of a big reveal near the end, and possibly because some people weren’t too keen on the fact that this time you play as a Big Daddy. Whilst BioShock 2 isn’t as revolutionary as the original it is still a unique FPS. It’s plasmid, tonic, and weapons systems build upon that of the first game, as well as adding more enemy types and new means of interaction, such as a hacking mechanic that had more impact.

BioShock 2 has a more straightforward narrative, and focuses less on personal morality. But this is a wise decision as it helps to separate itself from the original, and instead it often feels like the real focus is Rapture itself. Eight years have passed since the last outing in Rapture, and what little sensibility that was present then has all but gone. As Subject Delta your main objective is to rescue Eleanor, the Little Sister that you were once paired with. Except now she is back under the “protection” of her mother, Sophia Lamb, who has filled the power vacuum that was created eight years ago.

Sophia Lamb can be seen as the main antagonist as she is constantly baiting you throughout your traversal through Rapture as well as trying to orchestrate your demise by the hands of her followers (cult) “The Rapture Family”. Whilst it might seem odd that a Big Daddy trying to rescue his Little Sister can be portrayed as the “good guy” given that he is trying to take a teenage girl from her biological mother, the origins of his journey provides an explanation that subverts the notion of saving the girl whilst still adhering to similar rules. Furthermore Eleanor is no longer with her mother by choice.

Sophia Lamb was brought to Rapture to help its psychologically stressed residents manage to adapt to the lack of sunlight, and the whole notion of living in an enclose city under the sea (think of it as a more extreme SAD [Seasonal Affect Disorder]). However she subsequently used her position to persuade her patients to join her cult, and therefore ignore the ethics of her profession (although this is Rapture after all). Andrew Ryan had her thrown into prison after learning of her perverted notions of altruism (for an objectivist altruism is seen as incompatible with freedom and a constraint on individual will). When Rapture finally fell this enabled Lamb to gain control and to seek her aim of creating a perfect embodiment of her altruistic ideals. This involves using ADAM (and the genetic memory it can contain) to transform Eleanor so that she possess the collected minds and memories of everyone in Rapture, and therefore becomes the physical “Embodiment of the Family”. Lamb believes that doing so will bring an end to “The Self”, which of course goes against the very founding principles of Ryan’s Rapture.

In a way the background to the existence of BioShock 2 is not too dissimilar to its narrative. For in both cases an existing intimidating entity has been passed onto new proprietors, and whilst different ideas exists and will therefore be implemented differently, the means of doing so will be similar. Rapture remains a fascinating place to explore and nothing is black or white. BioShock 2 might have started as an attempt just to make more money out of a successful IP, but the end result was something that can can be praised for its own merits. It is what a sequel should be, and given how BioShock Infinite turned out it actually feels like the missing link that completes the narrative and gameplay cycle.

E3 2015 – Brought to you by nostalgia

E3 2015 was a solid event overall, for some it was one of the best in years, and for others it was some kind of living nightmare. E3 did do a lot right this year, it was great to see real attempts at better representation both on stage and in the games themselves, so it is hard to criticise it as a whole, but the benefit of covering it without actually being there keeps you out of the physical hype that exudes from the LA Convention Center.

I said it last week, and I still stand by it, but it felt like the EA and Ubisoft conferences (and definitely Square Enix) conferences were unnecessary. EA could potentially lessen this by splitting its conference into two, one focusing on EA Games and the other on EA Sports, as the two don’t gel together very well, and it’s not just that I’m not one for sports games on the whole, Twitter seemed to feel the same way. EA Sports can be present at E3, it needs to be as this is a press conference after all, but the stream for those at home having to sit through Pele (nothing against him though) talk about football for however long it was and the developer fanboy all over him was very dull. Ubisoft meanwhile could have folded into the Microsoft and Sony conferences quite easily. Then again Microsoft and Sony’s conference didn’t drag this year, so maybe we should be thankful for Ubisoft dragging theirs out.

Now onto the crux of my reflection on this years E3. Think back to what the biggest announcements were; Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, Final Fantasy VII remake, Shenmue 3. Also think about what people were angry about; Nintendo didn’t bring the right kind of Metroid Prime game, and Star Fox Zero doesn’t play how it should. People were excited over the fact that they could replay old games and that sequels for dead franchises were announced. In addition with the case of The Last Guardian excited that a game announced years ago was finally coming, eventually.

Before you start frantically writing in the comments regarding my cynicism towards those announcements, know that I too am excited by the announcements, and for those that I don’t care about (e.g. Final Fantasy VII) I am excited for others as they have been waiting years whilst being constantly baited by Square Enix. However I do think that it is a shame that so much focus has gone towards what is essentially using nostalgia to get people excited (or in the case of Shenmue getting people to cough up their money now) which is overshadowing the few new ideas.

E3 2015 did have new IPs except only two really stick out, those being Horizon: New Dawn and For Honor. Yes there were plenty of new games, but they were part of existing franchises. I do feel for Nintendo as often they just can’t win. With Federation Force if it was its own IP there is the very real risk that it would just be overlooked, but given the space shooter aspect to it Nintendo thought that it didn’t seem all too out of place from the Metroid Prime series. Yet because it is a spinoff and not a “proper” Metroid Prime game it was derided regardless of how good it might be. Remember Blast Ball looking interesting during the Nintendo World Championships before people were aware of the Metroid Prime connection (it is the second game in the package), well the Internet seemed to forget that pretty quickly. Meaning instead of new gameplay ideas, people wanted the same as they had before. Of course the irony with this is that when the original Metroid Prime was announced, it too was denounced because it wasn’t a “proper” Metroid game.

Nostalgia is great, I know that (I am a long suffering Nintendo fan after all) but people need to be willing to try out new types of games and hopefully new IPs. The big publishers are often criticised for not taking enough risks, but it’s times like this where I don’t blame them, if anything I’m amazed they take as many risks as they do, given how vocal people get when they try something a little different. Videogames might be something for us to enjoy, but we should not have this huge sense of entitlement. If videogames are to truly grow and expand, the industry can’t be afraid to take risks for fear of backlash. Risks can lead to progression, and whilst there will be failures along the way, at least they will be made with good intentions, and not just so that they can make money. Of course we’re still fairly early into this console generation, and given the experimentation that started to emerge due both to better familiarity and the technical limitations of the consoles next year could be just as promising.

Nintendo E3 2015

Nintendo like to do things differently with their E3 presence. Three years ago they stopped giving traditional press conferences and instead provide a pre-recorded video. Since starting the Nintendo Direct videos the E3 video has since become the Nintendo Digital Event, with event being very apt, as Nintendo clearly has a lot of fun making its E3 videos. These are still informative, but provide the the main facts you need with some complementary background information. Whilst this year’s was not as big as last years, then again that brought us Smash Bros and Splatoon, it was nonetheless a joy to watch.

Star Fox Zero

Just before the new Star Fox game was revealed Reggie, Iwata, and Miyamoto, were depicted as puppets and then slowly turned into the respective animals that comprise the Fox team (it’s not as creepy as it sounds). Then the majestic Arwing flies into view and we know that the game that Miyamoto teased last year is now a reality. Zero takes full advantage of the Wii U Gamepad as it depicts the same action that is taking place as on screen, but from a first person cockpit perspective, with the TV screen showing a third person “cinematic” view providing you with two different perspectives of the action. As the Gamepad is in first person the gyro controls can be utilised making it feel more like flying a plane. Also as the Gamepad has speakers, in combination with the TV screen a 3D sound effect is created adding to the immersion. What’s more they have managed to bring back some of the original voice actors.

The Arwing can also transform into a walking mode which is not as silly as it sounds and the trailer does a good job of demonstrating the advantages. The landmaster also makes a return and other vehicles were shown off as well. Whilst this wasn’t made clear during the presentation, afterwards it was announced that Platinum Games are co-developing the game, which came about after they showed Nintendo the Arwing section that appears in Bayonetta 2, and Miyamoto was so impressed they asked them to get involved. Seeing the gameplay footage after the Digital Event it was a good choice.

Skylanders amiibo

Skylanders Superchargers on the Wii U is getting two special figures, Bowser and Donkey Kong. But these aren’t traditional Skylanders as they are also amiibo with a switch on the base to change their function. This is a symbolic partnership with Activision and also a sign of the flexibility of amiibo.

Zelda Tri Force Heroes

Essentially Four Swords but with three Links instead. But the decision to have three Links is because of game design reasons as it uses the same engine and art style as A Link Between Worlds and they found that for one of the main mechanics in which the Links sit atop one another doesn’t work visually. As a result they made the decision to base it around three, and given the Triforce has three pieces makes sense as well. Even though it can be seen as multiplayer game it will also support single player with the other Links being dolls. Also the fashion plays a big role with different outfits altering the powers available to Link.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

This was revealed prior to E3, but it was confirmed that the 3DS version would contain all of the DLC found in the Wii U version as well as the new advertised Wind Waker content.

Metroid Prime Federation Force and Metroid Prime Blast Ball

So this was surprise double announcement for the 3DS. A Metroid Prime themed co-op shooter. That’s about all we know. What’s more Blast Ball that was revealed during the Nintendo World Championships is actually a Metroid game as well. I don’t see why it had to be tied to the franchise? When people said they wanted a handheld Metroid game this wasn’t what anyone had in mind.

Fire Emblem Fates

The game is already out in Japan (because of course it is) under the subtitle If. Now it is revealed that the Western subtitle is Fates, which does make sense given that you can choose the path you take which will affect the entire game. A 2016 date was given, and I realise translation takes a long time, especially for a game like this, but this seems a bit much. Hopefully Europe doesn’t have to wait even more, although at least with Awakening the British translation was different to the American version.

Shin Megami x Fire Emblem

No one is really quite too sure what this game really is, and the ridiculously Japanese anime style video didn’t help answer things either. 2016 was stated at the end, but it still doesn’t have a permanent title.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Another game that has already come out in Japan, but there is a now a release date of 4th December 2015 in the US, Europe, and Australia.

Animal Crossing

Happy Home Designer: The amiibo card based interior design game will be launching 25th September 2015.

Amiibo Festival: Some kind of board game with amiibo functionality. So that means Animal Crossing amiibo. Need to resist the urge to buy a Tom Nook and KK Slider. We’ll know more around the Christmas period.

Yo Kai Watch

We knew that this Japanese phenomenon from Level 5 was coming to the West, and will be just in time for Christmas this year.

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

Take the series of Mario & Luigi action RPGs and merge it with another Mario spin off Paper Mario. For some reason Luigi doesn’t get a doppelganger though. It rips things up in Spring 2016.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash

There was a Mario Tennis game on the 3DS a couple of years ago, but it’s been quite some time since there has been an original game dedicated for a home console. The game smashes onto consoles this Christmas.

Super Mario Maker

Like most Nintendo games now amiibo support has been revealed. Current amiibo can be used as controllable power ups in the game, although it’s not clear how that works when a level is shared. Also there will be a special 8-bit Mario amiibo that gives Mario more power in the game, as well as being one cool looking figure. Plus there is a special book that shows off design ideas. The game will be coming out 11th of September this year.

Other projects

The other two projects (Robot and Guard) are still being worked on (possibly with support from Platinum Games) but there was nothing new to reveal.

For the rest of the week Nintendo will be hosting live videos on the show floor as part of the Treehouse, so there will be more announcements to come.

Sony E3 2015

Time differences suck. The Sony conference ended at 3:30am here, but it thankfully it ended up being a show that was the most memorable so far. In recent years Sony have learned the key to generating good will, and this was on full display last night. It was the same length as the Microsoft conference, but revealed less overall. However the show also had a much better pace, only overwhelming people with the sheer magnitude of the announcements themselves. Talking of which:

The Last Guardian(!)

It’s back! The Last Guardian is still alive and it is coming sometime in 2016. Unsurprisingly it is now coming to the PS4 and the bird dog creature is just as endearing. There isn’t much more that can be said, but it was possibly the best way Sony could have started the show.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

How do you follow up The Last Guardian? Well announcing a new IP from Killzone developer Guerrilla Games isn’t a bad way to go. Horizon: Zero Dawn is set in the distant future where society has reverted back to tribes, but the technology of old is still sprinkled around, meaning high powered bows, which are necessary as the land is dominated with large robotic animals. What was shown off gave the game a visual style reminiscent of the criminally underrated Enslaved game.

Hitman

Hitman hasn’t had much luck of late, it had that dreadful trailer with the nuns, then the game itself wasn’t well received. However the new trailer was slick, even though it didn’t reveal much.

No Man’s Sky

Actual gameplay was demonstrated with a brand new planet discovered just for E3. Then they showed off just how bloody massive its universe is. Still no release date, but Hello Games seem to know how to be able to impress whilst also trying to not overpromise.

Dreams

This is the new game that Media Molecule (Little Big Planet, Tearaway) teased last year. As the title suggest it is about your dreams, so you can now recreate them in this game. It has a kind of claymation look to it, which to some is dreamlike, but for me personally I for some reason associate it more with nightmares. Regardless it does look very weird.

Firewatch

Ever wanted to be a park ranger? Well now you can, except there is more at play here.

Destiny

The third expansion pack was officially confirmed, The Taken King, and will be released 19th September.

Assassin’s’ Creed Syndicate

Yesterday I said the EA and Ubisoft conferences didn’t really need to happen. This trailer proved it, as it showed off more than what was shown by Ubisoft, and what’s more the focus was finally on Evie.

Final Fantasy VII

What’s that, one megaton announcement not enough? How about Final Fantasy VII finally getting that remake you’ve all been clamouring for. Well it was announced, and is coming to PS4 first.

Shenmue 3

Damn Sony do we deserve another highly requested game? After waiting for 14 years Shenmue 3 has been announced. However, there is a caveat, it is being funded via Kickstarter. Although just prior to writing this it has already passed its original goal of $2million, so it will happen. It will be available for PC and PS4. Turns out for some dreams can come true.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

It’s a Call of Duty game, so the standard things were announced. Except, wait, this is the Sony conference, not the Microsoft one? Turns out Activision has jumped ship and are best friends with Sony. Now that DLC will come first to PlayStation and not Xbox.

Star Wars

First up was news regarding Disney Infinity 3.0, specifically the Star Wars packs Twilight of the Republic (the prequel pack) and Shadow of the Empire (original trilogy). It was revealed that PlayStation would be getting these first, as well Boba Fett first as well.

Then DiCE came to the stage to reveal more news about Star Wars Battlefront, specifically the offline component which has AI and split screen support for what is reminiscent of a horde mode.

Uncharted 4

This introduced the only glitch in the entire conference, but at least we knew that what we were now seeing was a live demo. This showed off the increased prominence of vehicles. Whilst they are not new in Uncharted the scenario shown off was unlike anything seen before in the series. And with that the show was over.