If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of our Sony 2013 International CES coverage.
God of War: Ascension
The God of War: Ascension demo is the same as the one shown at last E3, but CES provided a much better opportunity to give it a thorough playthrough. The game itself looks even more cinematic than before. The new option to pick up the weapons of random enemies necessitated a minor change to the key bindings, so players will likely find themselves fighting against muscle memory when they try to grab enemies. Speaking of which, grabbing works differently now in that Kratos can use one of his blades to grab an enemy and then continue fighting with the other. For long-time players, this change is also a little disconcerting at first, but adaptation is quick. The little details have always been important to making the God of War franchise successful, which really has a very basic style of gameplay. God of War: Ascension appears to have the polish and style that players have come to expect.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time has a demo on floor as well, which finally includes a version of the wide-open hub areas typical to the other games. The stealth and parkour mechanics are as smooth as ever. The automatic switch from running to stealth movement near enemies feels even smoother, and Sly climbs better than a real raccoon. The aesthetics of this new playable area are reminiscent of the China levels in Sly 3: Honor Amongst Thieves. In fact, it might have even been the same area except in Feudal China, providing a nice continuity nod. Unfortunately, the Sony representatives declined to comment on such a possibility.
On the Vita side, Soul Sacrifice stands out as an interesting upcoming game. A co-op action RPG with a style similar to Monster Hunter, Soul Sacrifice’s main mechanic is the ability to sacrifice items, body parts, and perhaps even other people in exchange for more power. The game’s controls require some getting-used-to, especially in the middle of a large battle, but it looks like a solid game so far. The Sony representative on-hand said that Sony sees a lot of potential in the game is planning on pushing interest in it.
When Vikings Attack
When Vikings Attack is a surprise addition to the show’s small lineup. A quirky and far less ambitious $10 game already available on the PSN seems out-of-place next to the big guys, but it holds up well. A Vita for cross-play multiplayer is available as well, allowing a PS3 and a Vita to play against each other. The gameplay keeps it simple with each person controlling a horde of Vikings or hooligans that throw random junk at each other. The simple but entertaining mechanics combined with the quirky humor make it a good choice for a party game.
SimulViewThe SimulView television screens allow people to play splitscreen multiplayer without the splitscreen. Essentially, the screen shows both screens on top of each other, and each player wears glasses that filter out the other player’s view. Naturally, this eliminates the two worst complaints about splitscreen multiplayer: reduced view size for each player, and people screen-checking each other to cheat. Hopefully, SimulView will cause a resurgence of people choosing live-play multiplayer, something sadly lacking in the age of near-ubiquitous online multiplayer. The only downsides currently are the need for glasses and the fact that SimulView only works for two players. A Sony representative confirmed that this technology will be supported in the next Sony game system.
CES is primarily a technology show, so the overall lack of news on specific games is to be expected. However, since the selection is smaller, visitors can really see which game releases the company itself is focused on. The SimulView technology is a welcome addition that should make multiplayer, and especially co-op multiplayer, far more enjoyable. All-in-all, Sony fans have some good technology and games to look forward to.