Read the highlights of our live web chat from the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Following the 2012 PlayStation E3 conference, we caught up with the people behind some of the biggest games and innovations on show to ask them some of the burning questions from the PlayStation Community.
First up, Ray Khalastchi, producer at XDev Studio Europe, filled us in on BEYOND: Two Souls. Made by the same team which brought the award-winning Heavy Rain to PlayStation 3, Ray explained that "if Heavy Rain is film noire, this is our Michael Bay movie - so think TRANSFORMERS in terms of spectacle."
And whilst the two games share some DNA – "The decisions that you make in the game have a real impact" – the team has made huge leaps forward in terms of the technology being used to bring this "interactive drama" to life: "BEYOND: Two Souls uses 64 motion capture cameras compared to 28 for Heavy Rain. We've used full performance capture as opposed to capturing the body in one shot and then the voice and face separately. The end result is much truer to the actor's performance."
Another game that captured the imagination was God of War: Ascension and Luis Suarez, senior game designer at Santa Monica Studios, was on hand to reveal why he thinks Kratos remains such an enduring PlayStation icon: "When people play God of War, they get really pumped - it's always high action and epic throughout."
Of course, God of War means titanic monster battles and this latest outing won't disappoint, whilst giving fans a glimpse into the anti-hero's troubled past – "we'll still leverage our Titan technology, and you'll still see epic enemies. But the new stuff we're bringing to the game is the story, and getting to know Kratos before he was a god."
Other innovations include more immersive boss battles – "For the final kill, we're reducing the number of button prompts" – and multiplayer modes inspired by some illustrious colleagues – "we are based just a couple of blocks from The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, and it's a huge help having their expertise so close."
Talking of which, Naughty Dog game designer Anthony Newman joined us to discuss The Last of Us following an impressive showing at the 2012 PlayStation E3 conference – "The crowd reaction blew me away. I was really excited to see Hideo Kojima tweet to say how impressed he was with what we showed."
Explaining some of the key gameplay elements of the game, Anthony said: "Stealth is important because you are dealing with human opponents who will stop at nothing to survive. There'll also be improvised melee combat and shooting."
In terms of inspiration for the game's look and feel, Anthony said the team had been influenced by "anything where minimalist presentation achieves a really high level of tension. We like stories where an older guy is trying to take care of a young charge in a harsh world gone sour - innocence versus experience is a big, big theme for us."
For the second half of our chat, Mick Hocking, vice president of SCE Worldwide Studios, dropped in to give us the low-down on the exciting and innovative Wonderbook peripheral. "We had a really strong press conference. We showed off some stunning titles and really pushed the boundaries in quite a few directions. And then with Wonderbook, we've got a fantastic proposition for the whole family which makes our line-up very balanced."
So how long has the team been working on Wonderbook? "Wonderbook came up about four or five years ago as a tech demo. Then, when I took over SCE London Studios a couple of years ago, we focused on delivering compelling story content using this unique control method. At the same time, we were given the amazing opportunity to work with J.K.Rowling and immediately we wanted to create a magical spell book experience which in turn became Wonderbook: Book of Spells."
And whilst PlayStation has been at the forefront of delivering augmented reality experiences since the days of EyeToy on PlayStation 2, Wonderbook opens the door even wider for immersive gaming: "Wonderbook is well suited to a whole range of experiences; just imagine a discovery book of the solar system where kids can bring planets off the page that will orbit around them in the living room, or a companion to a sports game where you can collect the stickers for your favourite players and see them come to life in 3D on the book.
"We're really excited about Wonderbook: Book of Spells and it's also just the start for this technology – we've got plenty of ideas of how it's going to develop in the coming years."
Exciting stuff indeed – you can read the full transcript of the chat now at community.eu.playstation.com (English only) and keep up to speed with all the latest news on these great games and more at eu.playstation.com and on PlayStation.Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com.
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