Originally posted on May 22, 2007
Months before the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Sony Computer Entertainment of America flew a small army of journalists down to its headquarters in San Diego for its Gamer's Day, a pre-E3 sneak peek at games set to arrive on its PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PSP platforms. Featuring dozens of games from Sony and third-party publishers, several of which were unveiled and/or made playable for the first time, the event was a staggering look at a swarm of top-tier titles due out over the next year.
What follows is a complete, brief rundown of what was on display. For more details, check out our full coverage of E3 2007.
LittleBigPlanet | TBA | Summary | Preview | Screens
We don't know what's more surprising: that we've been able to play this adorable marvel so soon after its thunderous debut at the Game Developers Conference in March, or that it was every bit as cool and fun as it looked. Sadly, we didn't get a chance to try out its wealth of customization options, but we did get a crack at its ubercute, four-player, platform-hopping ragdoll gameplay. Granted, hopping around on platforms is nothing new, but what makes LittleBigPlanet especially cool is that you can literally tear the environments apart by grabbing hold of the scenery and tugging away, which sometimes gives you an advantage and sometimes ruins things for everyone else. It's also easy to wave to the camera or slap other players, although you'll be able to perform different actions depending on your ragdoll's facial expression, which you can control using the d-pad. "Slap" at another player while you're happy and they're sad, and you'll give them a hug instead. Awww.
PAIN | TBA | Summary | Screens
This is a long-overdue game, mainly because it should have made the second so-called "ragdoll physics" were invented. The concept of Pain is simple: as a complete idiot with no sense of self-preservation, it's your job to launch yourself out of a giant damn ballista and destroy as many things as possible, including yourself. Points are awarded depending on how many things you can smash your body into, and if you can start a chain reaction by slamming feet-first into explosives or grabbing and hurling bystanders into the mostly wreckable environment. Extra points if you get run over by cars, especially if those cars then flip over and go flying into buildings. The dynamic environment, ability to change your pose mid-flight and a bunch of competitive game modes should keep this from getting stale. And if Sony can just make each impact more of a sickening crunch and less of a cartoonish bounce, it should be awesome.
The Eye of Judgment | Fall | Summary | Screens
The rules of this collectible-card game take forever to explain, but all you really need to know is that the PlayStation Eye camera will turn your special, store-bought cards (the game comes with around 45 to start with, but after that you'll have to buy them) into monsters onscreen. These monsters will then attack each other across a nine-square grid, and you win the game when your cards occupy five spaces on the grid. Interestingly, each card only attacks in certain directions, and its orientation when you slap it down on the board actually determines which enemies it'll be able to fight. You'll also need to worry about picking a square with terrain that's friendly to your monster. Intense wow-factor aside, the card-battle system's been designed by the brains at Hasbro, so fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering should love it.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune | Winter | Summary | Preview | Screens
A brilliant-looking adventure from the minds behind Jak & Daxter. Heavily inspired by 1930s pulp fiction, it stars Nathan Drake, who's basically what Lara Croft would be if she were a dude wearing a perpetual expression of naked terror. Also, lots and lots of pirates get shot in a lush, ruin-filled jungle setting. Check out the preview for the full hands-on details.
SOCOM: Confrontation | November | Summary | Preview | Screens
So far, the only things we know about this are that it'll focus heavily on multiplayer, with tons of options for customizing your commandos and clans, and that it looks amazing. Check the preview for more details.
Folklore | TBA | Summary | Screens
A beautiful, deeply engrossing action-RPG from the makers of the Genji games, Folklore features two heroes - a journalist named Keats and a young girl named Ellen - who venture into the lands of the dead to fight monsters. It's a lot less morbid than it sounds, though; the netherworlds we explored included a "Faery Realm" and a warrior's paradise called Warcadia, both of which were populated by weird-but-friendly elf-looking creatures. The actual game revolves around capturing the souls of defeated monsters, which you can then assign to buttons and use as attacks. Capturing these souls can be an ordeal, and it frequently takes some serious Sixaxis shaking to reel in the big ones (the rest are captured with a simple tug). Expect a full preview of this one real soon.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | Fall | Summary | Preview | Screens
Finally, fans of the Boy Who Lived will be able to freely explore his school in all its ridiculously detailed glory. Even when you're just wandering, you'll need to bust out the wand to repair random objects scattered around the school to gain experience; luckily, spells can be performed either with twitches of an analog stick or by just jerking the Sixaxis controller around. The characters' staring, unblinking eyes kind of sketched us out a little, but other than that this looks fantastic.
Heavenly Sword | TBA | Summary | Preview | Screens
This God of War-esque fighter promises to eventually feature epic battles against thousands of opponents, but so far all we've seen are intimate arena fights, and the new demo we played was no exception. More or less the same sequence you might have caught a glimpse of on the TV show Heroes, the new level introduced us to one of heroine Nuriko's weirdo friends, hurled us into a quicktime sequence where we ran along giant cables as they were cut one by one, and then made us fight a bunch of guys in an enclosed space. This was followed by a bunch of guys getting crushed by a giant pillar, after which we fought more guys in an enclosed space. Still, the beautiful, flowing animation and rapid switching between three distinct fighting styles (more if you pick up someone else's weapon) kept us riveted throughout the carnage.
Home | Fall | Summary | Preview | Screens
This 3D social network was a little more sedate and boring than we expected it to be, but to be fair, it's still far from finished. And it looks great, with crisply detailed avatars that are fully and instantly customizable, from their genders and clothing to the 3D crow's feet on their faces. Interacting with fellow Home users is as easy as typing messages (with a real keyboard or an onscreen one), although you'll be able to use a USB headset if you'd rather just talk, and each character comes with a fairly broad set of actions, all of which are easy to activate and most of which revolve around dancing. There's also plenty of game-within-game goodness scattered around, with players able to wander around and jump into bowling or pool matches with others. It's got tons of potential, anyway.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction | TBA | Summary | Preview | Screens
From what we've seen, this PS3 sequel seems to play a lot like the original Ratchet & Clank games with a coat of next-gen gloss - and that's far from being a bad thing. Ratchet & Clank Future is visually stunning, and it's filled with cool moments like a boss battle that ping-pongs between upside-down and rightside-up perspectives, thanks to the magic of gravity boots. Plus, you'll have all kinds of badass new weapons at your disposal, including the Groovitron a disco-ball horror that forces everything on screen to dance to the catchy opening strains of Stayin' Alive. If that's not enough, you'll be able to use the Combustor to light the ground on fire, and the motion-controlled Dizzicopter to remotely rain death on the baddies. We know we can't wait to get our hands on this one.
High Velocity Bowling | TBA | Summary | Trailer
Sony's deceptively fun answer to Wii Sports, High Velocity Bowling is a $10 download that enables players to hurl balls down hardwood lanes as one of 10 distinct bowlers, all using the Sixaxis motion controls. Swinging the Sixaxis pad to toss a ball feels surprisingly natural, so we're actually looking forward to this one's release.
SingStar | Fall | Summary | Screens
The ability to sing karaoke with downloadable songs on your PS3 is nothing compared to being able to record video of your friends singing pop hits using the PlayStation Eye, saving the footage to your hard drive and using it to blackmail them in 20 years when they run for president.
Devil May Cry 4 | Fall | Summary | Preview
Because evil rarely sleeps, Dante is back to fight the good fight alongside an all new playable adversary, Nero. The intensified combat you've come to expect returns at full throttle on the PS3, and it's never looked prettier. Our own Senior Editor Christian Nutt recently returned from Japan with more exclusive Devil May Cry 4 info than you can shake a sword or pistol at.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma | 06/26/07 | Summary | Preview
Developer Team Ninja seems intent to become the George Lucas of the game world by offering up a third version of its popular storm of swords, this time titled Ninja Gaiden Sigma. And by the looks of things, you won’t hear us complaining. If the graphical overhaul wasn’t enough to get you interested, it’s also got new weapons, missions and the buxotically playable Rachel.
Warhawk| Fall | Summary | Preview
Information on this upcoming, hoverplane-centric free-for-all continues to trickle out week after week. But if you haven’t been paying attention, Warhawk offers plenty of flight-based combat and on-foot multiplayer, as well throwing some action towards the underused Sixaxis motion-sensory. Recently we got to take a gander at some new levels including a gorgeous little rendering of a desert resembling the scenic Monument Valley. And we're happy to announce that the game will be released it in all of its rumored forms: as a downloadable game from the PlayStation Store and as a retail Blu-ray disc, which will come packed with a Bluetooth headset.
Stranglehold | August | Summary | Preview
It’s inevitable that Chow-Yun Fat will grow older and John Woo will probably never make another good movie. So let’s thank our lucky stars that Stranglehold is coming to fill the void as a prequel and spiritual successor to the 1992's ballet of bullets, Hard Boiled. Plus we’ve just been told that in addition to the banister-jumping, cinematic gunplay, Midway will release a collector’s edition that includes the film on the Blu-ray disc. Publishers, please take note: a special edition that’s actually special.
NBA 08 | September 4
Hoping to make up for last year's poor showing, NBA 08 returns with an all new progression system featuring goals and tasks beyond putting it to the hole. The online hub has also been revitalized to provide greater accessibility to aspiring globetrotters, and you’ll also see full audio commentary, Replay modes, and Sixaxis- specific dribbles and defensive moves. Game on.
Timeshift |Fall | Summary | Preview
Built, then rebuilt from the ground up, Timeshift is here to play god with the fourth dimension. Sure we’ve seen bullet-time and rewindable do-overs before but Timeshift takes the manipulation of time to the next level. Peep the trailer to watch this Billy Pillgrim Tron -Mantis relieve soldiers of their weapons, and even bamboozle a tank. All in a days work for a Timeshifter.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam | Fall | Summary
Taking a cue from such classics as Marvel vs. Capcom and The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Dynasty Warriors Gundam takes two franchises in the throes of stagnation and throws them together for all-star free-for-all. Feudal China has been told to stick it, and DWG instead will take place in the rich multi-verse of Gundam. The prospect of cutting through swaths of giant robots with a laser katana while mounted on a rocket-powered mecha-horse has us as giggling with glee - even if it probably won’t work out like that.
The BIGS | Fall | Summary
America’s pastime gets the Jam/Street/Blitz treatment, brimming with plenty of over-the-top arcade antics. Brought to you by the same people who gave us the realistic MLB 2K series, so expect an assortment of hyper-stylized ballparks, power-ups and players so exaggeratedly enormous we can’t help but inquire about juicing.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End | May 22 | Summary | Preview
Prepare to be up to your eyepatches in all things scurvy, as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is set to board your PS3. Jump into the swahbuckling world of Jack Sparrow, made using the actual digital assets that ILM used for the upcoming film. Caper to the planet’s precipice so you can tell your grandkids exactly where you were when the Kraken was unleashed.
Rainbow Six Vegas | June 12 | Summary | Preview
What happens on the Xbox 360 doesn’t necessarily stay there, and PS3 will finally get their chance to shower Sin City with bullets in the newest entry from Ubisoft’s renowned tactical shooter series. Stealthy enter casinos in a manner that would make Danny Ocean feel ashamed and experience the first and only time in history a slot machine will ever provide security to anyone. Sorry, Grandma.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 | Fall | Summary | Preview
Home to some of the finest squad-based shooting, multiplayer mayhem and the best damned acronym in all gamedom, GRAW 2 is almost ready to take your PS3 south of the border. We’ve spent ample time playing online with the 360 version, and we’d put the online fun factor right up there with the likes of Gears of War and Halo 3 beta. Plus, it’s likely we can expect some downloadable content in the future - right, Sony?
Lair | July 31 | Summary | Preview
Every console needs a decent dragon-rider, and Lair looks to be the one to beat. (You hear that, Eragon?) Death comes from above in the beautiful little title, which also looks to be the first game to show off the full potential of what the Sixaxis controller can do. Take caution not to confuse purchase with Dragon's Lair.
Super Stardust HD | June 5
All the fun of rocketing through the cosmos and annihilating alien scourges without leaving the atmosphere. If you’re an old-school gamer yearning for the simple pleasure of blasting asteroids, than this downloadable title should be right up your alley.
Conan | 2008 | Summary | Preview | Screens
Looks like everybody’s favorite barbarian is having a bit of a renaissance. Conan is hacking and slashing his way onto the PS3, and good lord is it bloody. Take a look at the screenshots and you’ll see that our boy leaves no appendage unsevered, making the terrain of everywhere he ventures resemble a slaughter house floor. Gorehounds and fantasy buff alike should be grinning ear to ear.
The Darkness | June 25 | Summary | Preview
Not to be confused with the glammy cock-rock trio, The Darkness follows the story of a tortured individual endowed with the power to make underworld inhabitants pay. This shooter is packed with eerie environments, gorgeous visuals and a much welcomed sense of humor that’s darker than dark.
Hellboy| September | Summary | Preview
Hellboy is back and he's going to kick the indifference out of you in this all new story, spun straight from the comics. It’s a moody little brawler with plenty of destructible and interactive environments. Don’t like that window shutter? Rip it down with all the authority that demon sporting a forearm made of rock can muster.
Ratatouille | June 26 | Summary | Preview
Know what it feels like to be hobbit-comic Patton Oswalt, and assume the role of the lovable rodent foodie Remy from the upcoming film. Given your stature, Ratatouille turns once innocuous areas like kitchens and farms into vast and imposing environments of peril. In the build we handled, gameplay resembled the platfroming action previously seen in the Sly Cooper series, so Ratatioulle could very well burrow its way into our hearts just as Pixar’s movies are prone to do.
The Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer | June 15 | Summary | Preview
The first Fantastic 4 movie left a bad taste in fans' mouths, and the games haven’t fared much better either. But with the enhanced graphics and emphasis on puzzles, Rise of the Silver Surfer could breathe new life into harnessing the power of flames, invisibility, brute strength and, um, stretching.
Sega Rally Revo | Fall | Summary | Preview
For rally car fans, every Sega Rally game has been its own little revolution. But Revo takes the dirty drifts and airborne wheelmanship to unparalleled levels. The most notable feature is the persistent and alterable terrain that will dynamically change the way your hatchback handles. With all the different weather environments that affect the control and look of your car, this could give MotorStorm some mud-soaked competition.