E3 is behind us, but we’ve really just begun to talk about the games that we played (and were shown) at the big show. PlayStation’s presence was especially big this year, not only in terms of its killer press conference, but also because it was showing off three separate platforms for the first time since PS3 launched.

PlayStation’s staggeringly large booth was perpetually busy, with PS3, PS4 and Vita vying for attention. Below are six categories that judge the PlayStation brand’s overall offerings. Keep in mind that a couple of these games were only seen behind closed doors.

Best PlayStation Game: Infamous: Second Son (PS4)

Sucker Punch is back with a vengeance. Infamous: Second Son represents the third core game in their superhero (or supervillain) series, but it’s so markedly different from Infamous and Infamous 2 that it’s hard not to truly appreciate how far the studio has come with its franchise, and how outrageously promising this game is. It’s in some ways a conventional Infamous game, but it has so many twists that it’s impossible to ignore the differences.
pposite end of the spectrum from Cole MacGrath. Rowe embraces his powers. He’s brash and belligerent. He’s seems to be the anti-Cole, and while I really loved MacGrath, Rowe is clearly going to give Infamous an all-new feel. His powers are outrageously cool, too. Using smoke to quickly travel is a ton of fun, but Second Son also retains the silky-smooth combat of its predecessors. And man, those graphics!

It’s okay to be disappointed that Second Son won’t launch until early 2014, but it’s still the most promising PS4-exclusive game that we yet know about.

Best Graphics: Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)

Anyone who’s listened to Podcast Beyond or read IGN for the last many years knows that I’m a critic of Killzone. That’s why I was so astonished with how much I enjoyed Killzone: Shadow Fall. The problem with the Killzone games was never the way they played – they excel mechanically – it was with how they were presented. Pretty graphics aside, Killzone 2 and 3 in particular never took advantage of telling a story in a universe that should be far more exciting and interesting than it actually is.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is attempting to change all of that, and it starts with how the game looks. Gone (or at least pushed to the periphery) are the war-torn, gray-and-brown, drab environments from the Killzone trilogy. In their stead, bright, colorful graphics and unique locales never seen before in Killzone have appeared. Shadow Fall is a gorgeous game, just as you’d expect from Sony-owned Guerrilla, but with the color palette and diversity in environments the series has always craved. It’s undeniably pretty.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is a truly exciting project, and is shaping up to be the launch exclusive for PS4.

Most Promising: The Order: 1886 (PS4)

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed when I found out I wasn’t going to be seeing The Order: 1886 being played (or get the chance to play it myself). But after the brand-new IP was shown-off at the PlayStation press conference, I was invited to an appointment a couple of days later to interview Ru Weerasuriya, the co-founder of developer Ready at Dawn and the creative force behind the game. Sure, I didn’t see the game apart from what you and I saw in that trailer, but I did learn a whole lot about it.
Everything Weerasuriya told me about the game has me excited. He’s a history buff, as am I, so it was clear we were speaking the same language right off the bat. His game is steeped in fascinating alternate history, with an IP that’s made to, essentially, go beyond this one game. Victorian London is a dark, dire and outright fascinating place to set this title in particular, and its narrative-driven, third-person action mechanics sound really fun. Ready at Dawn is known for its God of War games on PSP, but the studio clearly has chops far beyond what they showed everyone on Sony’s old handheld.

You’d be wise to keep this game on your radar.

 





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