{:en}Day 2 at E3{:}

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After a busy first day at E3, Day 2 managed to be even busier with back to back appointments all day. There was very little time to come up for air but it meant that a lot was seen and some great gaming was done.

When I jumped in the Uber this morning I was full of excitement for my first appointment, 30 mins with none other than PlayStation’s Virtual Reality Headset, Project Morpheus. I have put together a separate piece on Morpheus so for a full debrief read that here. I had very high hopes for Morpheus and after today’s hands on experience I just can’t wait for a release date to be revealed. The headset is extremely comfortable to wear and is super easy to adjust on the fly. London Heist was a major highlight and involved using Morpheus with 2 Move controllers. Throughout the demo I was a passenger in a vehicle attempting to escape a bunch of bad guys that wanted us dead. The Move controllers are used to shot and reload, creating a more realistic VR experience. Before long I had my head out the window shooting bad guys before they even got close. Morpheus suffered a bit, like all VR Headsets when using it with a flying demo that involved lots of tight turning and barrel rolls. When the experience remains closer to the outside reality then the VR experience is much more immersive and less likely to cause motion sickness. All up though Morpheus is comfortable and incredibly fluid, not a single demo struggled to produce smooth frame rates which shows that the PS4 is more than capable of delivering an experience that can rival the like of Oculus.

After a short break I was off to do a full behind the scenes tour of PlayStation and that was a real treat. On offer were upcoming titles like Until Dawn, Ratchet & Clank and Street Fighter V. I won’t go too much into Street Fighter V just yet because that will be covered off shortly but Ratchet & Clank, gee that was fun. Ratchet & Clank looks brilliant on the PS4, it plays just like I remember and is a beautiful mesh of colour and insane action. God of War 3 was playable and as much as I am against remasters in principle, God of War 3 is an exception to the rule. It is an iconic entry in the series and looks fantastic on the PS4. Kratos is as brutal as ever in glorious 1080p as he strings together wicked combos to take down the best the Gods can throw at him. The big highlight of the tour was Until Dawn. I am going to put together a separate piece on it but in summary this game is shaping up as one of the real highlights of 2015. Due out in August, Until Dawn sees 8 teenagers attempt to survive until, believe it or not, Until Dawn. The game is all about choices and those choices create Butterfly Effect moments that directly impact on the story and whether or not characters live or die. The demo on offer focused on a passage of play involving Emily and Matt, one of the couples from the game. To test out whether the butterfly effect really changed the outcome of the demo I played it twice making different decision each time. The first time through Emily was killed and Matt, who thought he was safe, was promptly taken away and impaled. The second time through, Emily death is not confirmed, although highly likely but Matt survived. It highlighted that the butterfly effect does have a very real impact on the gameplay, with the developers also confirming that finding or not finding items also impacts the story, as does past events. The final point is the visuals, my god are they stunning! Until Dawn is photo realistic facial rendering at its absolute best. Take it from me, those trailers are not doctored in anyway, the game looks just as good in a playthrough as it does in a trailer.

After my time with PlayStation reluctantly came to an end I went and played a round of Rocket League. I honestly wasn’t expected a great deal from it but gee it was some crazy fun. The basic concept is that you’re playing soccer in an arena but instead of players you drive cars to get propel the ball into a massive goal. It sounds stupid but it is actually a lot of fun, the best way to describe it is a bit like Demolition Derby meets Soccer. The game will be online multiplayer and I was reliably told that if someone drops out then the game will seamlessly transition without taken you out of the game. It may not be a triple A title but Rocket League from Pysonix, shows that Indie Devs are able to produce some genuinely fun games at a fraction of the cost of a triple A.

Next I went and checked out the cool new toys that PDP are bringing out this year. These guys have a reputation for producing quality peripherals at a very reasonable price and that trend appears to continue with a stellar lineup. On the console side a PS4 universal remote control is coming out soon for $30US. Xbox One is getting the Afterglow Prismatic controller that has some hidden buttons on the back that can provide quick access to Chat and Audio functions as well as allowing buttons to be mapped to some nifty quick levers on the back. The Afterglow AG7 looks to be an excellent headset for Xbox One users, offering a wireless headset for less than $100US.

Capcom was next on the list and yes this meant hands on time with Street Fighter V. 6 Characters were playable including the recently announced Cammy and Birdie. Birdie is a brute of a character who is incredibly powerful, I found myself liking him more than expected, mostly because his power can change the game in an instant. Cammy was my least favourite character to play with, maybe I just need more time playing as her but I found her repertoire underwhelming and lacking power. Ryu on the other hand, he remains as good as ever. Hadouken’s a quickly dispelled and his all round attributes make it easy to see why he remains the centrepoint of the Street Fighter Universe. Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition was playable and a lot of fun. Devil May Cry has some epic sequences and they are faithfully reproduced on PS4, the comba controls remain fluid and dispensing with enemies is incredibly intense. Lastly I checked out Resident Evil Zero remake and must admit that it underwhelmed me. Using the original controls is very clunky and even when switching to Alternate controls the mechanics just feel tired and dated. Graphically the game doesn’t appear to have had much of an improvement so it really just feel like a straight port without any graphical improvements.

After Capcom a visit to Square Enix put me in a bind. 30 mins of Deus Ex Mankind Divided gameplay footage hosted by the devs or standard floor show talks on Deus Ex, Hitman and Just Cause 3. If you were in that predicament what would you choose? Well in any case I took the 30 minute Deus Ex option and didn’t regret it at all. There is a lot to like about Deus Ex Mankind Divided, the stealth and combat styles are both catered for whilst 3 different ammo types and 3 different firing rates make for a my thoughtful approach being required by the player. A new Tesla weapon was a real highlight and has the power to take down 4 enemies simultaneously. Remote hacking makes an appearance although I honestly didn’t understand how the hacking worked in practice, it just seemed like there was no logic to it and no actual hacking puzzle to solve. Focus mode is a new addition and is something that doesn’t need much explaining, when enabled it slows down time allowing players to take out enemies more easily.

Bandai Namco was a late afternoon stop and honestly it didn’t excite me. Dark Souls 3 was not playable during our session with Bandai and other than that it just left us with the ability to play a bunch of JRPG games that are ultimately aimed at the japanese market. I don’t really find those games interesting so as much as I wanted to be enthused I just couldn’t bring myself to play for more than a few minutes.

The day ended on an incredibly high note with a private hands off gameplay walkthrough of PlayStation’s exclusive title Horizon Zero Dawn. If you’re anything like me then you will have been impressed by the reveal at the PlayStation Press Conference but left with lots of questions. I’ll be putting together a feature piece on Horizon Zero Dawn but here are some highlights. The world is going to be massive! The developers promised a game that will be a near limitless open world sandbox. The idea is that if you can see it in the distance you can go there. Stealth is a major factor in the gameplay, as is smart takedowns of the mech-dino’s. Go in too loud and you might scare a herd away, get too hasty with wanting a quick takedown and you will end up receiving less resources from the kill because valuable parts were destroyed in haste. There is such much potential here, the game already looks great but a lot of work needs to go in before this title is ready to get a release date booked in.

And that dear readers is Day 2 done and dusted! Tomorrow is the final day and there is at least one appointment that could become the highlight of the show, check back tomorrow to find out what it was.{:}

Written by: Ben Carmichael

Love Gaming and am a self-confessed Tech Geek. I created the site so I'm the guy you can either thank or abuse, either way I'm just happy to have some human interaction!

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