After Sony started their conference by showing two commercials and then letting Shawn Layden do his dragging speech — they could only go up from there. And they did. Sony impressed during their conference. While Xbox went the route of showing basically every game you’ll be able to play over the next year or two, Sony took the traditional path and showed their top games.
It was an interesting choice to start off with two DLC reveals. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy puts us with Chloe Frazer (Uncharted 2) with Nadine Ross (Uncharted 4), in the series’ first story without Nathan Drake. While they didn’t show any gameplay (Uncharted 4 impressed last year with a near 15 minute playable chase scene) it showed off the storytelling fans of the Uncharted series love. The Lost Legacy looks like a strong standalone game, so those worrying about the departure of Nathan Drake from the series should have nothing to worry about. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy ships August 22, 2017.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds should appeal to those who played the main game this year. The trailer, only 90 seconds long, shows off a rigorous environment and many fearsome beasts, so players should expect survival elements and challenging boss battles on their way to “the mountain.” It was a wholly cinematic trailer, so don’t expect the gameplay to be much different than what we’ve already seen. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds will be available later this year.
Days Gone impressed me last year with gameplay. This year, it impressed again, with gameplay. Last year’s demo started like this one, the main character skulking around overgrown, abandoned landscapes. However, once he was discovered, stealth was out the window and the horde of zombies was on his tail. This year, however, doubled down on stealth and gameplay mechanics, which was a wise move.
After a fight with a couple of enemies, the player sneaks his way past groups of humans and zombies, using traps and distractions to make his way through the mission. The environment seems interactive, he can pick up and place bear traps, set explosives, and lure the horde towards enemies. It seems like you can approach these situations in multiple ways, rather than sneaking around he could have taken the camp of enemies head on, but then he would have had to deal with the horde that he discovered close by. Same thing with the end, blowing the gate and letting the horde through to clear a path to the end of the mission didn’t seem to be necessary, just strategy. It seems like a game that will reward inventive and creative players. Days Gone has no set release date yet.
We saw these same stealth elements in Monster Hunter: World, with the player sneaking around tall grass, tracking a dinosaur. When the player finally attacked the dinosaur, the game was shown in full force. Intense chase scenes, a cool grappling hook, and an interactive environment will make hunting monsters unique every time. The demo showed the player leading the dinosaur through a bunch of caves, swinging around on his hook, and dropping giant hanging boulders on it. The mechanics seem fun, and the game should prove to be enjoyable for fans of the series. Monster Hunter World comes out Early 2018.
The beginning of the Shadow of the Colossus trailer featured a lot of running. Soon enough, we got to see what everyone was running from. Japan Studios and Bluepoint have combined their efforts into making the stone beasts look absolutely magnificent. From tall, skinny giants, to beefier looking trolls, to dinosaur monsters, there will be no shortage of epic battles in this game. Fans of the original game will love seeing how this remaster looks on the PS4. Shadow of the Colossus arrives next year.
Capcom seems to have fumbled with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Sony decided the show the game off in their conference with a cinematic trailer, highlighting the addition of the Guardians of the Galaxy on the side of Marvel. You couldn’t really shake that the X-Men were nowhere to be seen. The decision to show a story trailer was a bad one, as this game needs to be shown off as a fighting game– gameplay is the single most important thing. Not only did they not do that, the trailer did not impress. The facial animations looked weak, the voice sync is off, even the graphics themselves don’t look current-gen. Fans don’t really have a reason to buy this when they can keep playing earlier MVC games. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite comes out this year.
The COD WWII trailer showed some in-game footage, and it looked like classic Call of Duty. From what was shown, it looks like a bigger World at War. Sledgehammer games knows what they want to do with this title, loyal fans of the game will have no problem picking it up. The bit of the player running through broken buildings with a shotgun looked very cool. Call of Duty: WWII comes out November 3, 2017.
Sony showed their commitment to their own VR with a couple of reassuring reveals. Of course, Skyrim VR is cool in concept. If it can meet expectations and offer a real Skyrim experience through a VR headset, that would be a next level game. Star Child, if the platforming gameplay links with VR nicely, could prove to be a great title. The game already looks great artistically, and hopefully it provides a new experience for PSVR owners. The Inpatient looks like a classic run of the mill horror story, so they’re going to have to rely on great VR gameplay to make up for it. Final Fantasy: Monster of the Deep looks like a VR fishing game… fun for people who are into that, I guess. Bravo Team looks like a basic shoot em’ up VR game, should be cool. Moss is what really impressed me. It looks like a mashup between an adventure puzzle game and The Tale of Despereaux. It was wise of them to end with a fantasy game. Owners of PSVR should be excited over the coming lineup.
God of War looks as cool as it did last year. The combat seems fluid, if a bit of a drastic change from earlier entries, and the story should be solid. I can’t wait to find out more about Kratos’ son, and why he can translate for the World Serpent. Kratos’ little speech about being a warrior and not feeling for your enemy should have fans expecting a heavy game, one with an interesting father-son dynamic. God of War drops early next year.
Detroit: Become Human looked a lot different last year. It looked like an Android police officer solving cases, where every choice has to be made quickly. This year did not disappoint, but it’s interesting for them not to reference the character we saw last year. Aside from this, the story looks cool. To have a big game like this where every choice you make matters should make for a really great and original story. It seems more than just choosing between violence and pacifism, it looked like there were key moments in the trailer where decisions that didn’t seem big had a big effect on the way it ended. We’ll have to wait to see how the two trailers connect. Detroit: Become Human has no release date.
Destiny 2 gives us a real villain. We know enough about the game already, but it’s nice to know that you’ll be fighting a rebellion against a real badass. The villain has a cool look, and a couple of memorable one-liners. Interesting to see the amount of exclusive content PS4 owners get, with their own PVP map and strike mission. Destiny 2 comes out September 6, 2017.
And here we are, the big finale: Spider-Man. I was skeptical about Sony ending with this, I was really looking for The Last of Us 2, but Spider-Man really impressed. Simply on a mechanical basis, the game looks exceptional. From dodging enemies by jumping around on pipes, swinging around the city, to stopping a crane from falling to the ground, this game looks like its going to have some of the most aesthetically pleasing gameplay of any game at E3 this year. It was cool to see Wilson Fisk (Daredevil and Marvel’s Netflix Universe) make an appearance. It’s up to insomniac to deliver a real campaign and not some generic superhero story.
Sony came to E3 with a great lineup this year, with games like Days Gone, God of War, Moss, and Spiderman impressing us. They covered all their bases, from Destiny 2 to their VR platform, and set the stage for the year or two ahead. What did you think of this year’s Sony Press Conference? Let us know!