At E3, Sony attempted to save the best for last, coming out at 6pm with the final conference of the day. The company generally focused on games, with only a small portion of the conference dedicated to those patented Sony conference charts. All in all, it was a pretty good show, although I think I might go all Kratos if I hear the phrase "Sony ecosystem" one more time. Here are some of the highlights of Sony's presentation:
It's true; game journalists love nothing more than free stuff. I mean, who doesn't? That's why Sony's PlayStation Plus promotion was a great idea for the middle of its presentation. "Hey guys, we're putting out twelve free games on PlayStation Plus this month. Oh, and you're all getting a free month." As cheers rang out through the amphitheater, everyone was primed for the last half of the conference, and Sony had the chance to show up Xbox Live Gold. Well played, Sony.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale might be a Smash Brothers clone with a terrible title, but it actually looks pretty fun. The super attacks are a cool idea, and the game seems more focused on flat-out brawling than on crazy item collection. It was the character reveals at the end of the presentation that made people sit up and pay attention, though. When Nathan Drake showed up as expected, people clapped happily, but the crowed loved it when the dulcet tones of a Little Sister were followed up by a looming Big Daddy appearing on screen. Now that's a good third-party showing for the All-Stars.
Where can the God of War series go after Kratos has taken out the entire Greek pantheon? Although some fans have cheekily suggested he move on to other religions, a prequel was probably a more natural (and less offensive) direction. Thus we have a younger-looking Kratos gracing the PlayStation 3 in God of War: Ascension. The gameplay showed off during the conference looked solid, with Kratos using a variety of weapons to take out satyrs, an elephant man who looked a bit like Ganesh (perhaps echoes of other pantheons are in, after all,) and ending with a patented Kratos-dive into a giant Kraken. He's even got a new power that allows him to manipulate the environment. God of War is back, baby.