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CES 2009: Sony Press Conference

Posted by: John at 1/8/2009 9:25 PM
Sony didn't say much about about the PlayStation 3 in their initial press conference but one was held today to demonstrate three upcoming products. First up was the team behind Resistance. Resistance is coming out for the PSP in the form of a third person shooter called Resistance: Retribution. Taking place hree months after the first Resistance game, you play as James Grayson. Grayson saw his brother being turned into a Chimera at a conversion station and had to deal with ending his brother's life because he was too far gone. Later on, he's recruited by the Maquis to fight the Chimera.

So what they demoed at the press conference is the interopterability between the PSP and PS3. First up is the ability to use a Dual Shock controller to control Resistance: Retribution. Hook up the PSP to the PS3 via the USB cable and you'll be able to then utilize the option to play with a full sized controller. Rumble is even supported in this mode. You do lose the portability factor by having the PSP tethered to the PS3 this way but you gain the ability to control the game with a familiar controller.

The other portion demonstrated was the Infected mode. Once initiated, the main screen with the picture of James Grayson changes with a new outfit and his eye colors change to that of one being infected by the Chimera. Now the gameplay changes as well as Grayson can regenerate health just like in the Call of Duty games by staying out of the line of fire for some time. The .44 is also ported over from the game and you can use it in Retribution. It fires explosive rounds which can be set off by hitting the alt-fire button. There are also some intel that's specific to the Infected mode of the game. Having the gameplay and content change just by hooking up the PSP to the PS3 is a great way to reward those that bought copies of both games.

Update next was a demonstration of inFamous. The trailer showed had a very comic book feel as they showed the main character and some scenes in a comic style before getting into the main game itself. The main character, Cole, is a package delivery person and he's the one that delivers a package that ultimately explodes and takes out a city. He's left alive of course and develops a power to harness electricity. Some of the gameplay shown was his control of and  manipulation of objects with his electrical powers. Throughout the game, he'll even run into others that are developing super powers as well. The developers really wanted to create a game where you write your own super hero story or comic as you will.

Watching Cole jump around was reminiscent of Crackdown. While Cole can't leap really high, he can fall great heights. The way he does reach high places though is his use of the environment. He'll latch onto pipes and ledges while scaling buildings in a Spider-Man like fashion. The way he moves looks very fluid though as he changes from grasping pipes to tight roping lines and then scaling the side of a building by holding onto the ledge.

The part of the game shown was something was contaminating the water supply with black tar. Cole used his powers and abilities to find the source and take care of the situation. Since the city population I simulated, the citizens will  emember your actions. If you save their lives and are nice to them they'll go so far as to put up posters of you around the city. Be evil and they will rally against you. I really am interested to see how the game plays out on both ends and how
different it will be from being a righteous good guy to downright evil.

The last game shown was Killzone 2 and this is Chuck's current favorite. They showed the initial 2005 trailer or as they called it their target trailer. The Guerilla Games guys wanted to make an intuitive and consistent first person experience. They made sure every bullet had a dramatic effect with destructible environments and a variety of hit responses. The system they developed blends the motion capture animations to generate a wide variety of reactions when being hit. To demonstrate this , a trailer was shown with various response that the enemies have to gun fire all set to ballet music. I have to  say it was a pretty impressive showing and it displayed some of the nicest animations I've seen in this  department.

Another point they wanted to hit home was they wanted to display a large scale planetary invasion with big set pieces and dramatic events To help accomplish this they had a lot of little things in the game engine and paid great attention to  even the smallest details. A video  was shown of various environments and how they help convey a sense of a living breathing world. Things such as bugs crawling around, smoke blowing, pipes bursting, debris floating around in the wind, dust blowing everywhere, even a cool effect of large banners burning from the bottom up showed Guerilla Games knows how to do the little things well and combine them all to generate a really active world

They are aiming for a 10 hour single campaign with a much larger  multiplayer experience. Killzone.com tracks all the stats in the games online so you can go there and see how you do against others as well as look up other players stats. Chuck will have more with his review but from the video shown Killzone 2 looks like an intense and fun first person shooter.

Overall, not too much new in terms of announcements at the game specific CES press conference and I was a little disappointed in the turnout as the Sony Theater was probably only 1/8th full with a few folks walking out. Let's hope some bigger things are announced come E3 time.