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E3 2013 – welcome to the next generation

It’s that time of year again.

I’m not even going to attempt to keep up with the torrent of information that’s going to be pouring out of Los Angeles, starting in the next few hours and going on for 3 insane days. Heck, even full-fledged websites struggle under that kind of workload and I’m just one blogger. (A rather magnificent one, it must be said, but still just one.)

So here’s my plan, dear readers. I’m going to watch all the press conferences today, or at least as many of them as I can stay up for. (Future Me – 2 and a half. That’s not bad!)

I’m going to take notes while the conferences are going on and try uploading them as soon as possible once they finish.

And then, once the deluge starts dying down, I’m going to sift through the haystack of gaming news and focus on the important ones. The game-breaking ones. If all else fails, the shiny ones.

That’s my plan. It probably won’t happen, at least not as organized as I just made it sound. I’ll miss stories, whether through inattention or simply Not-Giving-A-Damn (hello, this year’s Madden!). Heck, I’m typing this minutes before I dash off to find someplace with a connection reliable enough to let me stream the conferences in a resolution greater than Minecraft’s, so there’s a good chance this post might be delayed as well. (Future Me – damn, I’m good.)

And there will be many of those – whatever else is revealed at E3, we know we’re on the threshold of something amazing. Next-Gen – the phrase is bandied about so much that it’s lost all meaning. I’ve been using it myself for years now, and it’s yet to sink in that we’re finally here. It’s finally here. Marketing hyperbole aside, I don’t think there’s any doubt that what we see over the next few days could potentially have a huge impact on what we play and the way we play for the foreseeable future. I am so excited right now, and so should you be. This is a wonderful time to be a gamer, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Show me the future, E3. Next-Gen is now.

God, what wouldn’t I give to be in the Los Angeles Convention Center now.


Drake v Cole v Kratos v Sackboy, only in the latest Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale trailer

Words I never thought I’d type, but that’s just a few of the potential match-ups available to you in PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale when it releases next month. As Sony’s elected to do a few times of late – most memorably with last year’s ‘Michael’ trailer – they’ve gone the live-action route, with the above result. Sony’s definitely got the character stable to make an awesome Smash Bros-type brawler, so here’s hoping they deliver.

Alone and forsaken in The Last of Us

Although country music legend Hank Williams is perhaps better known for more cheery songs, Naughty Dog appears to have adopted his hauntingly bleak ‘Alone and Forsaken’ as the theme for The Last of Us. Based on the above trailer shown at Gamescom 2012, the song’s a perfect fit for the grim post-apocalyptic hardships that Joel and Ellie have to face.

It’s safe to say The Last of Us won’t suffer such a fate at launch time, which simply can’t come soon enough.

Quantic Dream + Ellen Page = Beyond: Two Souls. (Also, profit.)

So this is what Kara‘s going to be when she grows up.

As  David Cage reveals in the admittedly-long-but-still-extremely-watchable video above, Beyond: Two Souls is the name of Quantic Dream’s new project. From the included cinematic, it looks like it’s a return to the supernatural element that so dominated Indigo Prophecy; also, Beyond definitely looks like it’s more action-oriented than Heavy Rain was, but only time (and a gameplay trailer) will tell.

Ellen Page will play the part of Jodie Holmes, the protagonist; and while that looks like a very promising setup indeed, I can’t help but wish for some kind of role for Valorie Curry, who was jaw-dropping as Kara.

With no word on a release date yet, all we can do is wait. And watch that trailer repeatedly. There are worse ways to pass the time.

New trailer for The Last of Us is all about road safety

Who said you can’t make a trailer for a post-apocalyptic game with an important message in the interests of public safety?

Jokes aside, this is looking very, very nice indeed. I can’t wait to see more of this game; hopefully, E3 will take care of that.

God of War Returns With ‘Ascension’

Everyone’s favourite Spartan with anger issues is making a comeback, as revealed by the above teaser trailer. Posted to the PlayStation Blog earlier today, the teaser reveals that Ascension will be set sometime before Kratos becomes the terrifying Ghost of Sparta. (Somehow, though, I think the game will still involve copious amounts of violence; call it a hunch.) More will be revealed via a live streaming event on Monday, April 30th.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, there’s going to be more God of War – and I do love God of War – but, on the other, I thought that God of War III wrapped things up to the point where the franchise was done, and I was okay with that. Not because I was sick of it, but because it was a satisfying resolution to the story that had been building momentum for three games. (Mass Effect says hel-…what? Too soon?) The fact that it’s a prequel means that they’re not messing with the established canon of the last game, which is a huge plus for me. Then again, that’s a double-edged sword – I, along with quite a few others on the Internet, am simply having trouble mustering enthusiasm for Ascension because of that very fact – did God of War really need another prequel?

Ah well. In Santa Monica Studios I trust. More to come on the 30th of April.

On another note, is it just me or was it strangely comforting to hear Gaia’s voice again? I should get that voice actress to narrate my dreams. Her, and Samuel L. Jackson. (They speak English in ‘What’?!)