The Average Gamer

Sony Media Preview – gamescom 2012

Sony Media Preview - SackboySony had a lot to show in last week’s gamescom 2012 “media preview”. Established franchises like Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sat neatly alongside a raft of new games from developers including Media Molecule, SCE Studio Japan and smaller Indie studios.

We saw more information about the PlayStation Mobile platform and its upcoming games, more offers for PlayStation Plus subscribers and unlike E3 2012’s press conference, the PS Vita was the main focus.

PlayStation Vita:

The upcoming PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royal, Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time will all support the freshly named Cross-Buy feature i.e. pick up the PS3 or Vita version of the game and get the other version for free. Actually, this is something that was started earlier this year by Evolution Studios with MotorStorm: RC, but didn’t have a fancy marketable name back then. It’s a great move by Sony as it not only gives the consumer even more value for money but also the opportunity for some serious cross-platform (Cross-Play) gaming between the PS3 and Vita.

Media Molecule demonstrated how the Vita could be used as an extra screen to show you new information about a level (e.g. invisible traps, solutions to puzzles) in its upcoming DLC pack for LittleBitPlanet 2. Sackboy was also shown flipping between the PS3 and PS Vita screens at various points throughout a level showing off the Cross-Play functionality.

On the games front, there was a glimpse into world of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation which is looking very nice indeed with the Vita’s touch controls used to move, dodge and perform kills. I hope that Ubisoft Sofia hasn’t gone overboard with the touch controls, as I’d be quite happy playing the game without having to poke the screen/rear touch pad at all.

LittleBigPlanet Karting will be racing onto the Vita on the 19th Sep 2012. It’s a cross between Mario Kart, LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers, so yes, you get Sackboy whizzing around in a tiny kart shooting giant missiles. Brilliant.

Killzone Mercenary was revealed for the first time and looks quite a bit like the forthcoming Prey 2 game but in portable form. This being Killzone, there will be plenty of guns, action and Helghast but being a mercenary and all, this time you’re in it for the money.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will support 4v4 multiplayer over wifi with Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed modes also available. Based on the trailer, the game looks very unfinished. The graphics were rough and the gameplay looked uninspiring with clip after clip of people being shot at close range. I hope this was an early build of the game, as, on this evidence, it doesn’t look good or fun at all.

There’s also over 100 PS One classics coming soon to PS Vita.

PlayStation Plus:

Red Dead Redemption from Rockstar Games is going to be September’s game of the month meaning that PlayStation Plus subscribers will get the game for free for as long as they remain members. Sony are also expanding the cloud storage for saved games from 120Mb to 1Gb per subscriber. PlayStation Plus will also be coming to the PS Vita soon and for two weeks from the 5th Sep 2012 you will get a 25% discount on subscriptions.

Brand New IPs:

SCE Studio Japan, responsible for games like ICO, LocoRoco and Shadow of the Colossus showed two distinctly different games – Rain and Puppeteer.

Rain puts you in control of an invisible boy who you can only see when he’s being rained on. You have to track down an invisible girl who is being chased by invisible dog-like creatures. Thank God it’s raining all the time or you wouldn’t be able to see anything!

Puppeteer on the other hand is a very trippy looking platformer which takes place inside a magical theatre and comes complete with a nonsensical plot. You play a boy called Kataro who gets kidnapped by the Moon Bear King, transformed into a puppet, loses his head (eaten by the King) and has his body thrown away. With the help of a special pair of scissors you have to track down puppet Kataro’s lost head.

Until Dawn is a PS Move game with a classic horror story plot – girl (mainly in her underwear) + boy + cabin + woods + darkness + psychopaths + blood. You have to prevent the main characters from getting their very own Darwin Awards for stupidity and help them survive until dawn, when presumably the bemused local Sheriff arrives.

Tearaway is first non-LittleBigPlanet game from Media Molecule in which you control a messenger character on a delivery adventure in a paper-based world. One of the game mechanics shown had a person’s fingers appearing to squish enemies and move things around in the world by using the rear touch pad. Tearaway looks like a fusion of the cuteness and playfulness of LittleBigPlanet and the look of Paper Mario.

PlayStation Mobile:

When you buy any PlayStation Mobile game from the PlayStation Store you will also get to play the game on all your PlayStation certified devices, i.e. Android 2.3+ smartphones/tablets and PS Vita. A number of upcoming games were shown including Aqua Kitty from TikiPOD Ltd which has you saving milk-mining kittens in an underwater defender-type of game. We’ll have more from Aqua Kitty and its developer on the site very soon. He used to write for us, don’t you know.

There was also Underline from Albino Pixel which is a mix of Tetris, Scrabble and Bejewelled. Two classic Amiga games – Alien Breed and Lemmings – also made an appearance. However, it would have been more helpful if Sony had bothered to put the logos on each of the PlayStation Mobile games as it made it bloody hard to identify them.


Diggs Nightcrawler from the Academy Award winning Moonbot Studios was shown in trailer form after being announced at E3 2012. Sony is also working with the BBC to bring the tv show Walking with Dinosaurs to Wonderbook. On top of J.K Rowling’s Book of Spells, Sony now has the animation and film studio giant Disney bringing its own content to Wonderbook. If you’re a kid you are going to love Wonderbook.

Other PlayStation 3 titles:

The darling of Sony’s E3 2012 conference, Naughty Dogs’s The Last of Us only made a brief appearance with another brutal peek into the desperate lives of Ellie and Joel as they brutally killed a number of attackers. Last week we published a snippet from the talk with their voice actors, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson.

FIFA 13’s PS Move functionality was demonstrated on stage. Unfortunately, from my viewpoint in the third row it looked like two blokes urinating on stage as they held their move controllers at waist level and waggled from left to right to move their on-screen players. I’ve no idea what the game was actually like.


Sony crammed everything from blockbuster AAA-titles, new IPs and PlayStation Mobile Indie games into its briefing. It was great to see so many new games coming out of Sony’s bulging catalogue of development studios and that it’s prepared to take a risk on developing new IPs. This can only be a good thing for both the industry and consumers.

There was clearly a push to show of the value of owning a PS Vita, with more opportunities to Cross-Play against your PS3 friends thanks to Cross-Buy. Coupled with a number of big titles like PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, this could seriously improve PS Vita sales during the latter part of this year.