Cinematic PlayStation E3

SONY as a games company has always succeeded when Nintendo has failed. PlayStation was a success when Nintendo 64 pushed 3D and less games, PlayStation 2 did more things right when GameCube’s games were lacklustre and we got Wind Waker instead of badass Zelda we saw at Spaceworld 2000. Then Nintendo did DS and the Wii, and they were massive hits while PlayStation3 took the back seat. SONY has always failed with the handheld consoles, and just like with every competitor with Nintendo’s, the Vita is essentially dead in the water, abandoned by Sony without anything to push it forwards. Pretty much like the Wii during its latter half of the life.

There’s nothing much to take from SONY’s E3 this year. Bad acting from a hipster guy and black top girl made things cringy didn’t make watching the Press conference any easier. Every single thing was so by the numbers that nothing stood out. It doesn’t help that they had repetition from UbiSoft’s presentation with Watch Dogs 2. Hell, let’s talk about that for a bit.

UbiSoft’s presentation was generic game showcase that didn’t show anything, but it showed that we are going to go into an era of video game movies similar to what comic book movies have been going on. Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs movies are indicative that companies want to start making these cinematic takes on games, and while America may give cold shoulder to WarCraft, the Chinese loved it and that’s a market that’s taking over as the money-making machine. Hollywood has been progressively been moving towards the Chinese market and have included content that panders straight up to them, with varying success.  Iron Man 3 had an extra scene where a Chinese doctor did the surgery for Stark and the reason Pacific Rim had Chinese triplets was to pander to them. Pacific Rim 2 seems to be development solely because of its success in China, and to the fact that Legendary is now owned by a Chinese millionaire makes thing easier.

The trouble with game movies is that they’re very much the same as comic book movies, and those have burnt out the audience pretty well already. The fatigue is setting in and it doesn’t help all these super hero movies are melding together to one very similar bits. Their formulaic approach has tired the audience out, just like the Westerns did.

Anyway, a new God of War got flack for having father-son bonding through hunting. These people need to get a better job or hobbies if they get insulted by games like this. Grow a pair of balls or something.

SONY has always managed to make their E3 rather cinematic to the point of being jarring. Nothing has changed this year, with SONY showing The Last Guardian loads of other concept trailers alongside with number of faux gameplay. At least SONY allows these to play without much interruption. Credit where credit is due, on-stage presence was superior to those they had outside. Unlike how Nintendo usually tends to have a Japanese person speaking in broken English, SONY had PR people speaking in clear, easy to understand English. Well, outside sucking up to Kojima. He has stupidly rabid and large cult worshipping him.

This cinematic presence thou extends to the games as well, with most of the shown titles, including Horizon: Zero Dawn showing cinematics takes on the gameplay elements over pure, undiluted gameplay. It’s an interesting dichotomy, where game developers claim they can’t do anything due to the lack of power in the machines, but still sticking with cinematics instead of games’ own forte to push these titles onwards as games. By that I mean they’re essentially still doing glorified FMV sequences and throwing movie effects into games rather than refining gameplay elements for the sake of play.

Of course, E3 has been progressively less about the games themselves and more about hyping.

The thing we’ve seen this year is push for VR titles, and none of them were impressive. Almost all of them have the same gameplay problems from movement to essentially being the same game in a different setting. VR in itself won’t make games any better or innovative, it only showcases another challenge to the developers. SONY sure has put a lot of money and faith into VR, as evident on the number of developers choosing to develop games for it. Then again, maybe it’s easier to just tie camera movements to the VR headset’s accelerators instead of trying to code one yourself. This is of course limits the game to first person only, and that’s something not everyone enjoys.

And the Vita is dead, no games or anything for it. Long live the Vita.

But y’know, I must admit that the Spider-Man design they used in the PS4 game trailer looked pretty spiffy with its silver spider back and forth. It’s an interesting combination of the black symbiote suit and the classic red and blue.