In the past few years, most would argue that Sony have consistently put on the standout press conference of E3; after tempering expectations for 2018, were the PlayStation company still able to deliver?
The Last of Us: Part II looks to be an emotional, brutal journey
With neither sight nor sound of Joel, Ellie is seemingly our de facto protagonist this time around. Struggling with human interaction, a glimpse into her damaging past illustrates why, as the classic stealth gameplay gives way to a cinematic and violent action sequence that could easily be mistaken for a series of scripted events. There’s no official launch date yet, but we’ll be there on day one.
Ghost of Tsushima is beautiful, but we need to see more
Brought to life by Sucker Punch Productions (inFAMOUS), Ghost of Tsushima has an undeniably gorgeous and engaging feudal Japan setting - seriously, the lighting and environmental detail during the climactic duel are astounding - but its gameplay didn’t exactly set our world on fire. Stealth and open combat engagements feel very familiar, but, regardless, the rich world has us chomping at the bit to explore it. We’ll be keeping a keen eye out in anticipation of more juicy details, along with a release date.
Death Stranding is slightly less bewildering now
We finally got a substantial glimpse at the debut game from Kojima Productions - headed by the creative force behind Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima - as the auteur opened up on his latest madcap project. Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) leads a star-studded cast as the protagonist, whom we see transporting a range of heavy goods on his poor, blistered feet through a variety of lovely environments.
Not only that, but we saw Reedus plug a grown foetus (that’ll be a baby) into himself in order to power some sort of contraption that reveals otherwise invisible floating inkblot creatures. Throw in a few story hints and, while characteristically bizarre, the showing tentatively began to lift the veil of mystery that’s been shrouding Death Stranding for a while now. No launch window was specified, so expect to get the game when it’s good and ready.
Spider-Man has an ensemble cast, looks extremely promising, and is just around the corner
Batman seems set to face stiff competition when we potentially (probably) get the Spidey game we’ve all been waiting years for on 7 September. Insomniac’s take on the webhead boasts fluid combat and traversal that look as though they handle like a dream, while the context of the gameplay demo was very Arkham indeed, focusing on a prison break that accommodates several famous fiendish faces. Just as things begin to look irreparably bleak for Spider-Man, we’re teased with the arrival of someone, or something, that we’d wager will be his saviour; there isn’t long to wait until that cliffhanger is resolved.
There were plentiful third-party surprises
Foremost amongst these announcements was a first glimpse at the eagerly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake in action, which switches things up via a new over-the-shoulder camera perspective and massively updated visuals. It’s coming 25 January, which basically means Christmas is coming a month late for fans of the classic.
Control is the latest from Remedy, which looks very much like their last game, Quantum Break, seeing you embody a gun-toting lass that also utilises telekinetic and time manipulation powers. Nioh 2 continues the feudal Japanese trend with a continuation of the surprise hit that blends Souls-style structure and challenge with signature Team Ninja flair. In its third press conference appearance, Kingdom Hearts 3 showed off something new with a peek at the Pirates of the Caribbean world and ship combat borrowed straight from Ubisoft.
PS VR got just a little bit of love
PlayStation VR is a favourite in these parts, so it was pretty disappointing to see it get somewhat skimmed over. Trover Saves the Universe is a VR compatible action adventure in the improvised comedic stylings of creator Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty), whilst the mysterious Déraciné was relegated to the post-show, though the fact it’s being developed by From Software is at least an early indication it’ll be darn good.
What did you think of Sony’s reconsidered format this E3? Let us know on the forums or in the comments below.
If you want to feast your eyes on the whole shebang, skip to 1:16:16 on the embedded video.