Hands-On with upcomming titles from Sony's Press Event

I quickly wrote up my impressions and brief descriptions of games I played at this afternoon's Sony press event.

Killzone 2
Killzone 2, first off, looks super, super nice. Right off the bat it doesn't seem like this game does much different but improve upon features, enemy AI, and settings that have become standard in the first person shooter genre. It has a really intuitive cover system that works well. You can hide behind walls and lean out to the side to shoot. Also, weapons in this game feel very powerful, and you can see the damage they deal in in the destructible environment. Weapons in the game seem standard so far, Carbine rifle, machine gun, rocket launcher but my favorite weapon has to be the go-to revolver pistol that shoots much more like a shotgun blast then some weak handgun. This game will hopefully have more to show us when it comes out.

Resistance 2.
Played through two missions on this one. The first starts off as the evil chimera are attacking a US base in Greenland and the second set in the marshland of northern California.. Joining commander Nathan Hale again fighting his way through hoards of enemies. I didn't get my hands on two many different weapons other then an improved version of the gun that could shoot through walls (this time you have the ability to see where enemies are hiding through the walls (guess what's going to be the noob gun in multilayer) and a pistol that can fire charges into enemies and the environment and be set off with the push of a button. New enemies were shown such as hulking monstrosities and predator like creatures that are invisible AND have a one hit kill... yeah... that got annoying. Luckily the go down easy. Still Resistance 2 goes away with the features that made the first game unique such as the health bar that regenerated in quarters or the pause screen when selecting for your arsenal of weapons. Hopefully this translates into a better game experience.

Mirror's Edge.
This game will make you look awesome or like a clumsy idiot depending on if you know what you're doing (I didn't). I took off in the level many people have already seen on the rooftops of skyscrapers. As a I ran through the obstacle I ran into a few fences and off a building once or twice at first but once I got into the rhythm of the game everything started going a bit more smoothly. The game isn't all about running however, there's some combat with enemies. Even though I was old to run away from most enemies I went back and tried taking the gun men on... it didn't work out so good. Faith the main character can disarm her opponents with her martial arts and the combat felt like it had the same rhythm needed throughout the game. You can choose to pick up the gun and fire a few shots back but you can play through the game without firing a single shot. There's also a time trial mode where you run an obstacle course and try getting the best time, these times will also be uploaded to leaderboards.
Really looking forward to this one.

Fallout 3.
If you like Elder Scrolls: oblivion but wished there was some heads exploding and also wished you could launch mini nukes at your enemies then check this out. Starting in the game and walking around the setting of a post-apocalyptic Washington DC you really get the sense that this world has gone right down the tube. Your character is fresh out of an underground bunker, protected from the horrors of outside. The game will play much like Oblivion, wandering from city to city, picking up quests that can be achieved in really any order with a main quest that should average a player 20-25 hours to complete with possibly 100 hours worth of other quests. The world is just as large as oblivion with even more things to do. I found myself wandering into a former elementary school filled with punk raiders then I wandered over to a town called Megaton, a city surrounding an unexploded atomic bomb that people worship. I was asked to disarm it by the sheriff or denote by a shady fedora wearing man in the corner of the saloon. The combat is mostly your average fps except if you have the points you can stop time and select parts of a person to shoot then your character will automatically shoot those parts. Really looking forward to fully exploring the dark humor filled world of Fallout 3 in the coming weeks.

Sonic Unleashed.
I was always a huge classic sonic fan. Sonic was always about speed, which to me meant pressing the right button, occasionally jumping, and seeing stuff happen. Sonic seemed to lose all that in the transition to 3D but Sonic Unleashed hopes to change all that and from what I got my hands on it seems like fun sonic all the way. You're either pushing right or up on the control stick and hitting the square button constantly to boost your speed. You occasionally have to hit a button to slide underneath building or attacking enemies, sometimes even participating in small quick time button presses. Apparently what I saw was only 50% of the game as when the sun sets in the game, Sonic will become a warehog and the game moves from fun classic Sonic The Hedgehog to a platforming action game. I was told they added this because with focus groups with young children, they enjoyed the more ratchet and clank style of platform game. Well... at least they'll be happy. Luckily I was told that besides the first level you could stick to “day time”Sonic for the whole game.

LittleBig Planet
I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this game but when I did, I didn't quite 'get' it. I played through the pre-made levels and they felt like a nice side scrolling platformer with a few nice neat elements but nothing really too special. I was told that the real game was in the making your own content and I tried and failed at making my walking hammers with lips. I think once I get more time with it and there's some great user generated content I'll change my mind.

Call of Duty: World at War.
Back to World War 2, things pretty much are as you remember them. Nazi's are bad and you shoot them. I played some of the Russian campaign set on the road to Berlin and I totally shot Nazis. This time the Russians get molotov cocktails in as a grenade this time. Fire seems to be a theme this time around as the American campaign uses flamethrowers in many areas against the Japanese forces over in the pacific theater. I was also promised flame tanks in the Russian campaign...SOLD!

Spiderman: Web of Shadows.
If you played any recent Spiderman game you know the drill. Swing around New York City, helping those in need and fighting crime. This time however New York is being slowly taken over by Venom's symbiote making citizens turn evil and of course it's Spiderman's job to kill those citizens...(yeah). Spiderman's powers always came from his speed and agility and you can see that in Web Of Shadows' combat as Spiderman is constantly in the air, kicking off enemies and pulling back to them with his webs. Spiderman has his own dark symbiote suit he can dawn at any time with the click of a button and he becomes more agile and aggressive. This translates to a good and evil theme in the game as spider man can ally himself with the villains or good guys in trying to stop Venom. He can also call for help from an ally at times. The combat was a bit sporadic and button mashy and I wasn't sure what was going on all the time (although I'm pretty sure I grabbed Black Cat and pushed her face against the side of a skyscraper and dragged her down the building)

Resistance: Retribution
A PSP spin-off to the resistance series on the PS3. This looks like a pretty fantastic game on the psp. A third person shooter follows another character, James Grayson. The shooter resembles for of the first game with the ability to hold every weapon and a partially regenerating health bar. If you can get used to using the face buttons of the psp to look around (which isn't all that fun while sniping) the auto-lock should help you. I found out the hardway though that just relying on the auto-aim to do all the work for you will result in many deaths. You must use cover to the best and choose the right weapon for the situation. It's looking like someone is doing shooters on the PSP right.

Prince of Persia.
A restart for the series, this Prince has a much different feel. I played through the main hub world as I was told by the level designer that there are many branching paths here. No longer are you limited to one area. The Prince still has his acrobatic abilities and can jump, wall-run and swing with the best of them. He's joined by Elika, a computer controlled ally. The game's controls are interesting because each face button is allocated to different uses. The square button is for his sword, O button is for the Prince's glove which ca be used to grab on to rings while wall jumping and the Triangle is for Elika who can give him an extra jump. This is also true for Combat where the player must use the right element at the right time and combine them. Battle are now cinematic duels of one on one (or actually with Elika, one on two). It makes every enemy seem like a threat and a real challenge. Now the prince can never die in this game, he doesn't have a health bar and he can't fall off ledges. However if he falls out Elika saves him and returns him to the previously safe platform. You can't die in battle, however being injured raises your opponents health bar, prolonging the battle. It's a really unique idea that I hope pans out for the game.

Guitar Hero: World Tour.
I only had a brief time with this game and got to play the drums a bit. The game is essentially Rock Band with the art style carrying from the previous Guitar Hero game. I checked out the Drums which have a nice quiet mushyness to them with enough bounce back. The biggest difference between these drums and Rock band ones are the elevated cymbals which really didn't make a huge difference in practice. Since your not reaching far for them they just felt like raised pads. The guitar was sturdy and the guitar hero difficulty definitely makes its self known. If you have the skills to show off and like your metal, Guitar Hero: World Tour is just fine.

Dead Space.
Do You Like Gore? Do you like Walking very slowly? Hate messy HUDs? Well Dead Space is right up your Alley. Walking the corridors in this third person space survival horror game definitely gives off a unique atmosphere. It feels a lot like Resident Evil in Space except you can actually aim over the shoulder and walk at the same time. Your first weapon shows off the gore factor in dead space, a cutting too you can shoot designed to cut the limbs off your enemies. I didn't get too much time with it but it definitely looks really nice and if you can handle being spooked constantly I bet you horror fans will dig Dead Space.


Stop forcing me in to Braid!!!

Braid is a very unique game with a vibrant atmosphere and a wonderful use of gameplay, but it is not for everyone! I keep reading blogs that are really making a case for the game and telling everyone how much their missing out on playing it. I have played it and the gameplay just is not my thing and it's not everybody's 'thing' either. This is also beside the price point which is a matter dealt with by many other people. I understand why people dig it, as my favorite games have always been 'artistic' I really wanted to get in to it but having to perform all those timed jumps just made me frusterated and my brain just could not see the patterns to a lot of the puzzles.

My point here is if people just don't get Braid then leave them alone, they are not trashing the game or anything, but a lot of people just can't get into somthing like that for one reason or another.