Be sure to check out our E3 hub for 2017 all week long to get the latest gaming news, previews and announcements right from the convention floor!
Sony consistently puts on a good press conference, but this year it had to go up against Microsoft and “the most powerful console ever”. Making your show “all about the games” is a sound strategy, but (oooh!) new consoles are shiny! For that reason, I can’t say that Sony won this year’s E3, but I also can’t blame them for adhering to such a reliable strategy. After all, presenter Shawn Lawson told one bad joke, then wisely spent the rest of his stage time backstage. It’s too bad he couldn’t have invited any passionate game developers on stage to demonstrate their games. Oh well.
Anyway, let’s review Sony’s lineup. Admittedly, there weren’t too many surprises, but it’s still a solid lineup overall.
Sony kicked it off with a couple of trailers that we all knew were coming, but were nonetheless excited to see them. First off was Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, both of which are both coming out in 2017. Unfortunately, the trailers were largely cinematic, so details are scarce at the moment.
Bend Studios’ Days Gone is the first of Sony’s lineup to show off its gameplay. It’s an open-world, post-apocalyptic game starring a tough dude with a motorcycle. He must fight against both zombies and his fellow man, but he isn’t without his advantages. Combat looks like what you’d expect from The Last of Us and Uncharted; however, I enjoyed how he was able to pit the zombies against his human enemies.
Monster Hunter World Sony’s next game with a “rabid cult following” is Monster Hunter World. The trailer followed a man with a weapon that rivals the buster sword. The first part of the trailer showed the man foraging in a lush jungle, but once he reached the end, he found his target: a large, raptor-like creature. From there, the player pounced on the creature, and then retreated back to the jungle, where he could use the confined spaces to trap his prey. The encounter ended with a flying creature picking a fight with the raptor, and the player fires a flare gun into the open. Capcom will publish it in 2018, bringing it simultaneously to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One worldwide.
Shadow of the Colossus
Wait, really? But why? Don’t get me wrong, I love Shadow of the Colossus, and the upcoming remaster looks beautiful. The trailer didn’t hint at anything like an extra colossus, much to my disappointment. I’m glad it’s coming, but I’m still a bit confused by its inclusion.
There are too many games to list for PSVR’s segment, but there were a few that might catch the eyes of late adopters. Skyrim VR will be compatible with Sony’s headset. Apart from the uncanny view of a bow and arrow controlling itself, it looks similar to the real thing and I’m interested to see if exploring the world will feel more or less immersive. There’s also a psychological horror game, The Inpatient, which we’ll see if it can take on Resident Evil 7 as scariest VR game. And there are some adorable titles like the 2.5D platformer Star Child -- an odd selection for a VR demo -- and Moss, an adventure game starring a mouse.
God of War
Kratos is back, and this time he’s exploring previously unexplored lands while teaching his son to put away his feelings so he can go for the kill. This time, combat, while still in third-person, is presented from an over-the-shoulder view, and while it looked clunky at times, it also looked a bit more intimate. The highlight of the creature was the awakening of the Midgard sea creature of Norse Mythology, confirming that the ones who don’t take too kindly to Kratos and his son are the Norse Gods. Coming in early 2018.
Detroit: Become Human
I actually had no idea that this was the same game David Cage announced a while ago until the end of the trailer. Slavery is the main theme of this trailer, with Android leader Marcus inspiring his companions to listen not to the small, circular device attached to their temples. The humans watch over them via drones, but that’s not enough to deter Marcus and the others from stealing androids from the Cyberlife stores and committing violent acts across the futuristic city. It is definitely different from the hostage/negotiation demo previously demonstrated, and I’m intrigued to see how the final build shapes up.
It's Spider-Man! The trailer opens with radio chatter. With Insomniac as its developer, Spider-Man looks like he's borrowed some moves from the Infamous's Cole McGrath. I enjoyed how seamless the web combat looked, although we’ve yet to see if navigating the city is as good or better than Treyarch’s Spider-Man 2. This is a scripted section, and I’m looking forward to a trailer that shows off more open-world exploration. Oh, and major props for including Miles Morales in the game. It is coming in 2018.