Sony has really hit it out of the park for the past couple years at E3. Will 2016 see the company stick to the winning formula of games, games, games? Let's hope so as E3 2016's big Sony press conference kicks off.
It looks like Sony's going big this year, as it has a live orchestra in front of the stage. We're treated to some Medieval-style chanting (anybody speak Latin?) and dramatic music.
God of War
We find out what all the music is about when the curtain rises on a God of War trailer, which is a surprise to anybody who hasn't been following industry leaks. Is Kratos taking on the Norse pantheon this time? Sure looks like it. He doesn't seem great at child care, though. Too much barely-contained rage. The orchestra keeps playing as Kratos and his kid take out a troll and a deer, the kid gets an important lesson in macho-manliness, and the camera pulls back to show us a gorgeous Northern landscape – and a dragon.
Sony's Shawn Layden comes out to the stage, and will be the emcee for most of the show. He sends his thoughts out to Orlando and stresses that Sony stands in solidarity with the LGBT community. That's appreciated.
An obviously post-apocalyptic game appears on the screen and the audience cheers, likely thinking it's a sequel to The Last of Us. It is not. It's a new IP called Days Gone, and it stars a motorcycle-riding drifter / bounty hunter. At the end of the conference we get a gameplay demonstration, and I am sad to discover that it is, indeed, Yet Another Zombie Game. Sigh. You zombie fans should be happy, though.
The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian gets a cinematic trailer and... holy crap! A release date! It's coming out on october 2016, and looks like it's probably going to break our hearts with its creature-child bond. One interesting new tidbit is that there appear to be other giant creatures out there, and they aren't friendly. Uh, oh.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Since the E3 trailer was already released, we get a new gameplay demonstration for Horizon instead. Aloy takes on some new types of enemies and demonstrates the user interface and how she assists the player with useful comments throughout the game. We see a trap-creation interface and a dialogue wheel. We watch Aloy tame a machine creature to use as a mount. We also learn that the machine creatures, which normally act like animals, can get "corrupted" and turn murderous. Horizon still looks gorgeous, and I can't wait to play it on February 28, 2017.
Detroit: Become Human
Quantic Dream has fleshed out its Androids Gone Wild concept. In the section of the game shown here, you play an android named Connor who is still loyal to the humans who created him. He's called in to negotiate a hostage situation in which one of his fellow droids has kidnapped a little human girl. The trailer shows many possible outcomes for the situation depending on Connor's actions. I didn't see any horrible quick time events, but that doesn't mean they're not there. If they're really gone, though, I might actually play this Quantic Dream joint!
We knew the PlayStation VR would get some good time during the conference, and Sony focuses largely on the kinds of games that will be available. It does announce that the PS VR will be available on October 13, 2016 for $400, and that there will be 50 games for the system by the end of this year.
Now we get to see a number of PS VR-enabled games.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard looks horrifying. The idea of running into infected Resident Evil creatures in virtual reality makes me clutch my head and say, "no no no no no," but the game is playable in VR if you have a stronger stomach than I do. It can also be played in normal reality. Thank you, Capcom. It comes out on Jan 24, 2017, and word is it will also appear on PC.
Farpoint is a planetary exploration / FPS title whose trailer features a giant space spider. I kind of want Kaz Hirai to come out and yell, "Giant enamy spider!" But he doesn't.
Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission is exactly what it sounds like. Piloting an X-Wing in VR looks super-sweet.
We have no idea what's going to happen in Batman Arkham VR since the trailer was just the Joker taunting us from off-screen, but the idea of seeing the world through the Batcowl is appealing.
Finally, Final Fantasy XV has a "VR experience." Apparently you get to play as Prompto, who is wearing a very out-of-place looking VR mask. It's a bit sad that this game trailer / VR demo reel (It's a bit confusing which footage is from which experience) looks much cooler than the actual gameplay demonstration we saw earlier today.
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
So much for VR, but that's a good thing, because when I first saw the footage of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare I was concerned that it would make me fall flat on my face. Fortunately, this is a game for people without a dorky headset strapped to their faces, and it involves some pretty wicked grapple maneuvers in zero gravity, as well as some enemy vanquishing that is the traditional meaning of "wicked." Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare releases on November 4, 2016. We also catch a glimpse of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, which fans will receive 30 days early on PS4.
Crash Bandicoot and Lego Star Wars
We knew Crash was coming, but what would he be doing? Having his games remastered for PlayStation 4, it turns out. He's also going to be in Skylanders Imaginators. So there ya go.
We also see a trailer for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It looks like a Lego game, but it sounds a little weird with the earnest voice acting coming out of the cute Lego people. I think I liked these games better before they had voice acting.
Special Kojima Surprise
A wild Kojima appears! He exclaims, "I'm back!" and he looks so happy that it makes me happy, too.
His new game, a PlayStation 4 exclusive, is called Death Stranding, and it's just as weird and unsettling as you'd expect. There's a naked man with a baby that turns invisible and leaves oily palm prints on a beach as it crawls away. Then we see that the man has a huge cross-shaped scar on his belly. Did the oil-baby come out of the man? Oh, Kojima, you scamp.
And just in case you thought Sony was done dropping the bombs, we learn that Insomniac is making a Spiderman game! We don't know real title yet (unless it really is #SpidermanPS4), but it looks fantastic. Check out Spidey's moves!
And with that, a bit of gameplay from Days Gone, and a hasty sizzle reel of a ton of games Sony didn't have time to show off, we're done. What a ride! In an E3 with very few surprises so far, Sony wins top prize for having exciting reveals. The only problem is that we won't be playing most of these games anytime soon. Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the few big titles that even has a release date, and that's next year!