The affluence of trailers pouring out of E3 won’t be ending for quite some time, but many of the bigger show-stealers have already taken shape after Monday’s round of press conferences. Here, we lead off with Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, and then round up Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Quantic Dream’s newly-announced Beyond: Two Souls from the Sony presser.
Not long after the demo starts for Watch Dogs, the new open-world action-adventure title from Ubisoft Montreal, it’s clear the game has a certain way, a certain confidence about itself. That it came to E3 ready to own the conversation.
The game takes place in Windy City (the Chicago to Liberty City’s New York, if you will), and is predicated on a near-future supercomputer that rules over every aspect of urban life. Ubisoft describes its protagonist, Aiden Pearce, as an antihero who can hack any piece of electronic infrastructure around – and defend himself with almost equal skill. The incredibly rich detail displayed so far – lively CPU behavior, beautifully rendered environments and shootouts, powerful sound design – had us hooked from the start, and we can’t wait to get a closer look at how it all works.
Watch Dogs has yet to project a release date, but is in development for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog prefaced their E3 gameplay demo of The Last of Us with last month’s cinematic trailer showing protagonists Joel and Ellie crashing their pickup into a downtown-Pittsburgh store. The level shown here appears to fast-forward from their precarious entrapment, but it allows for even more scenes of urban traversal and violent human interactions. The developer reiterated how enemies will react dynamically to whatever combat style they’re forced into, be it hand-to-hand brawls, lead pipe swinging, 0r shootouts with ultra-scarce guns and ammunition. Ellie also seems to be anything but a liability in combat – saving Joel’s skin a number of times – and the final shot shows just how intimately gory the gameplay can be.
The Last of Us releases is slated for release in late 2012/early 2013, exclusively on the PS3.
Beyond: Two Souls
As expected, Quantic Dream CEO and co-founder David Cage made an appearance at Sony’s E3 2012 press conference to reveal his upcoming game. Beyond: Two Souls stars Ellen Page (Inception, Juno) as Jodie Holmes, a young woman with extraordinary supernatural powers tied by a psychic link to a paranormal entity she calls Aiden. Her likeness – at times buzz-cutted and bruised, at times bloody and disheveled – emanates the kind of traits Quantic Dream put to great use in Heavy Rain: haunted, emotionally perplexed, tortured. But it also has an edge. David Cage says the game is a “more action-driven experience” with “much more spectacular action” than Heavy Rain. It also lets us play through 15 years of Jodie’s life, as our “actions and decisions determine her fate.”
Cage stated back in October that a Heavy Rain 2 was of little interest to him, and with the intensely different direction of Beyond: Two Souls, it’s easy to see why.
Beyond: Two Souls is expected to release in February of 2013, exclusively on the PS3.
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