We just got back from our first day on the floor of E3, and it’s insane! There are tons of people, all ready to see the newest technology and games. We were lucky enough to catch a lot of new titles, as well as tech demos for all the company’s new hardware. So let’s dive in a bit, shall we? Let’s dive into the top five takeaways:
5: Spider Man is a Sony Exclusive
This may be unsurprising to those who are familiar with Sony’s hold on the Spider-Man franchise: you’ll notice the web slinger is noticeably absent from Avengers movies, and the series is twice rebooted by Sony studios in attempts to keep the series relevant. Yet for all the hype surrounding the most famous superhero of all time, the new game we saw at E3 is easily the most impressive entrance into the world of Peter Parker in years.
The game is similar to Arkam Asylum, a super hero sandbox where you can fight crime with more agility than Batman. Where as Arkam had a bulky fight style to fit the Batman build, Spider Man flies through the air with the greatest of ease. He shoots a web at an enemy, pulls him into the air, and slingshots him back into his group of goons, knocking them all unconscious. It’s incredible, and totally exhilarating.
This one will be a PlayStation exclusive, and perhaps a good reason to upgrade to the PlayStation 4 Pro. The draw distance and detail we saw in the tech demo was incredible, and will know doubt be benefitted by the extra processing power of the Pro.
4. God Of War: Kratos Has a Son
At the E3 Coliseum, several developers got to speak about the experience of making their respective titles. The day started off with the team responsible for the “God of War” series, a PlayStation heavy hitter. They were able to talk about one of the most exciting developments to the series: the addition of a son to carry on Kratos’s legacy. And you are able to command your son to help you in battle.
During the talk, the developers showed a video of the filming process between the actors who did the voices/motion capture for the game’s characters. It was an emotional experience, watching him pass on the paternal wisdom of a god of war, literally responsible for the senseless death of hundreds. Yet for all the tugging-on-heartstrings of the moment, it ends with a funny mock-boxing training session between Kratos and son. It was great to see that the actors are so tightly bound behind the scenes.
Also revealed is the fact that they are attempting to do the entire game with no cuts whatsoever. What this means is, you will never see the camera perspective change. It will always stay front and center on Kratos and son, with absolutely no cuts to a different scene, place, or dialogue. It’s all one continuous experience, like the final scene of “Children of Men.” The director described this as a daunting challenge. We can imagine it was.
3. VR Titles Are Still Scarce:
While the VR market has expanded significantly, with over a million units of the PlayStation VR being sold, there is still one noticeable problem: the lack of content. Though PSVR recently had a killer app in “Farpoint” (which we livecasted as soon as we picked it up), which included the PlayStation Aim controller. This controller acted as a full functioning virtual rifle for the game, and it was a dream to use. With this controller, they had truly changed the first person shooter game. It had been the dream of many to have a peripheral that could be used so functionally in VR, to fully immerse you in the experience. No more quick aims with a D pad: now you have 360 degree firing power!
Still, one thing that was noticeably absent at the show: a plethora of new titles to re-assure us that VR is indeed the future. Sure, there were some cool looking titles like “Bravo Point,” which looks to use the PSVR Aim controller in creative and more gritty ways. And Aim controller aside, there is a game called “The Inpatient” that is coming out, which looks to be fairly creepy. Well try to nab a demo of it tomorrow.
The point is, there were only about 5-10 new VR titles on the horizon that were ready to display at E3. While it’s relieving to see that Sony is taking their new toy seriously (and we’re glad we bought the PSVR above the others for this fact), it’d be nice to know that a $400 VR setup is going to get you your money’s worth.
2: Mario Odyssey is Out In October:
Nintendo had teased Mario Odyssey (along side with the Zelda title) back in January, but none of us knew when it would actually hit shelves. It was a cool and refreshing reboot of the series, where Mario hits the streets of the “real world” to try and find the princess once again. Who wouldn’t want to have Mario’s insane jumping abilities and sweet flying abilities in the middle of a metropolitan the size of the Big Apple?
We finally found out when the title will be dropping: October. While they’ve tried to promise a specific date, we wouldn’t be surprised if it got pushed back to November. As long as it comes out before Christmas, there are sure to be millions of kids ready to go on Mario’s latest adventure. We’re pretty sure they’ll hit that deadline.
1. 4K is Finally Getting Supported…. But Does It Still Matter?
The number one take away is that many game companies seem to be taking 4K resolution extremely seriously. The TVs with this kind of processing power have been around for years, and yet no video game systems have fully supported it. Why is that? One simple reason: 4K resolution in gaming requires an amount of processing power developers just hadn’t hit yet. To even do it right, you had to invest in insanely expensive graphics cards like the NVidia GTX Titan X, which retailed at over $1k.
The technology has finally come along to support this bump in resolution and properly give it to the masses: Microsoft announced the Xbox One X, which has 12 GB of VRam (same as the Titan X) and more processing power than any gaming machine on the market. They’re all in on 4K gaming. In the PC world, NVidia has released an “affordable” option for 4K gaming: the GTX 1080ti, which boasts framerates similar to the Titan X. Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro may not be as powerful as the Xbox One X, but it’s still boasting 4K and increased frame rates as well.
It took a long time. (Editor’s Note: I’ve had my 4K TV for 3 years now.) But it seems, at long last, we’re ready to game past 1080ppi. To some, this may be just a “meh” reaction to the hopes of new technology greater than a resolution we’ve supposedly had for a while. But for some, it’s a sigh of relief that our investment in a high-definition television or monitor is sound.
That’s all for day one! Tomorrow, we’re going to try out some of the new gaming hardware, as well as some hands on of Destiny 2, Mario Odyssey, and the new PSVR titles. Check in as we update regularly on our Facebook Live feed!