Sony are sat in their comfy, recliner chairs with the leg rests fully extended and a beer in each hand. They can approach this conference as nonchalantly as they want to. With an already extensive catalogue of games due for release in the next 12 months or so, they have a plethora of incredible titles to show, without the pressure to add surprises.
They’ve even said not to expect anything new, it’s merely a big stage to see more of these previously announced games. The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding, Spider-Man, The Ghost of Tshushima and more.
Quite frankly with a collection of games like that, you’d be hard-pressed to argue with the logic.
Let’s see if Sony can deliver another memorable showing.
Due to the mind-bogglingly, negative backlash following the Sony Conference, I had to have my say.
Firstly, read this.
For weeks, Sony have basically said that they were going to show their 4 main, exclusive games. They did just that.
They said to expect no hardware, they did just that.
They even told us not to get our hopes up at the thought of brand new games; they lied. Instead, they had the nerve to show off two brand new exclusives to bolster their firepower.
Was the structure of the show poor? Without a shadow of a doubt. No disputing that at all. Moving from the tent to the hall really was a poor decision in hindsight, although we did get to see some games during the intermission. Plus, the cuts between games were a bit weird; but not exactly conference killing problems were they?
Sony wanted to concentrate on its own games. With the exception of KHIII and the Resident Evil II Remake, everything else was an exclusive. Why wouldn’t you want to show-off your games with lots of footage to encourage people to buy your games?
Isn’t that the point of having these press conferences?
Microsoft boasted 50 games, but not many were their own. You don’t buy a console for third-party titles, you buy it for its exclusives and then third-party games are essentially a bonus. It’s great watching lots of third-party titles during the Xbox presentation, but in essence, that’s just showing off to PS4 gamers the other games they’ll be able to play, in addition to all of Sony’s exclusives.
Also, people are criticising the lack of stage presence. Honestly, I’m scratching my head at this point. So, you’d rather see 20-30 minutes of someone talking, over 20-30 minutes of the game they’re actually talking about?
Watch the footage and let the moving pictures and imagery do the talking for you. I’d rather watch Spider-Man fling himself across 10 buildings and take out a gang of thugs, than sit there and have a presenter continually talk over him doing it, diverting my focus away from the game to them.
Plus, who cares if it’s shorter? It’s streamlined and concise. 1hr 10 minutes is a lot more ideal than 1hr 30-50mins. I like my free time to be honest.
Am I saying that the conference was the best at E3? Nope. Bethesda got the perfect blend of everything during theirs. But if you think this was bad, then the human race is beyond help.
Right, lets get back to the conference shall we?
The Last of Us 2
The main driving force behind The Last of Us’ beautiful soundtrack kicks things off with a moving performance. Gustavo Santaolalla ushers in this anticipated night with some poignant chords that spark memories of our run-in with the Cordyceps virus a few years ago.
We’re thrown straight into a cinematic featuring Ellie and some new characters. Ellie and her ‘friend’ definitely seem to have a connection.
But we’ve meandered with loving emotion too much for Naughty Dog’s liking, it’s now straight to the nitty, gritty themes that they aren’t afraid to explore. Disembowelment, sickening execution kills and foul language encapsulate the tension and fight or flight response that this game should draw from you.
Make no mistake about it, Ellie is now the baddest woman walking the face of the Earth. Everything you do in this game seems to mean something. The enemies have names for each other, so you can feel the palpable anxiety as a comrade screams the name of his friend that you’ve just slain and seeks vengeance. It’s emotive stuff.
The attention to deal is second-to-none. Lifelike water has always been a staple of Naughty Dog game; the lighting effects, the sound and design as Ellie launches an IED. But Ellie responds to every movement naturalistically. She’ll duck, dodge, dip, dive and dodge every attempt on her life. Every encounter MEANS something and doesn’t feel like a throwaway gimmick.
The Last of Us II has just made a statement. This is how single-player games should be. If companies think people don’t want this *cough* Call of Duty *cough* then they need to have a look in the mirror and remember their gaming roots.
One final pointer from this demonstration…No Joel. Interesting.
– Intermission –
Not sure I’m a fan of this intermission stuff. It’s probably a cool experience if you’re there but….woooaahhhh…just as I was typing, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 just became free to PS Plus subscribers. I’ll take that. Thank you Sony.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is advertised.
Crowd is ready. Let’s get part two underway.
Ghost of Tshushima
An establishing shot of a Mongolian hillside/back drop. Graphics are really starting to push the boundaries for what should be possible, it’s just getting silly. I love it.
Our unnamed character gallops across the flowing fields, on horse back, before reaching a secluded area. He engages in combat with multiple men; striking quicker than a hiccup and chopping down all his foes in just a few fleeting moments.
The combat seems fast and responsive. This guy is chopping down men like trees and the gore is delicious.
It ends with a scenic, one-on-one duel between two comrades, in a field of flowers with a distant sunset. Almost too poetic, but it’s glorious to watch.
A woman with telekinetic abilities is flinging forklift trucks at enemies, manipulating time and gravity in rooms with surreal mood lighting. The rooms are being torn to shreds by bullets and are cascading into streams of rubble and instant decay. It’s like a Wachowski’s action sequence throwback to The Matrix.
I hope we learn more soon.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
A first-person view of a rat really had me confused for a little while, and then Leon turned up. This had been in limbo for a long time. But the remake is now confirmed for January 2019. It’s safe to say that delighted the crowd.
Trover Saves The Universe
A colourful platforming game with the characters being voiced by Justin Roiland. It doesn’t appear to be a Rick and Morty game, although the characters talked exactly like R&M. It’s going to be hard to distinguish this game as having its own identity, but we can give it a chance. That is if your IQ is high-enough.
Kingdom Hearts III
Another new look at KHIII with the primary focus here being the Pirates of the Caribbean world. It showed more glimpses into the story, the characters and worlds involved.
ACTUAL GAMEPLAY. I never thought I’d see the day.
Norman Fetus is actually doing stuff in Death Stranding. I’ve not been this baffled yet simultaneously on the edge of my seat, for a game trailer, in a long time. It’s hard to run through everything, so I’ll summarise.
-Reedus’ character had a see-through, liquid-filled container attached to the chest of his suit with a baby inside
-He was scaling mountains with huge boxes on his back, one of which had a body bag on it; the bag was occupied
-The facial capture of Norman Reedus and Lea Seydoux is incredible
-It has invisible, floating enemies that look like Mewtwo
The long-awaited reveal has probably raised more questions than it’s answered; we still don’t know what type of game this is, or what the hell is actually happening.
But one thing’s for sure, the ball is in motion.
Oh. my. God. This is will probably go under the radar sadly, but Nioh is one of the finest PS4 games to be released. A perfect ‘Souls’ games that added so much more to the genre. It’s set in an exciting time period and as long as they build on the already-successful first game; then Nioh 2 is sure to be another winner.
Spidey is in all sorts of bother with Electro and other Spider-Man villains. A lovely prison fight against lots of inmates ensues, ok it feels a little too Arkham-y; but that’s testament to the fine groundwork that Rocksteady laid for all future games.
Quipping and kicking-ass. Spidey is trying to cope with the threats of Scorpio, Rhino and other villains. Straight back to fighting inmates now and the kicking of said ass continues. There’s lots of variety in your attacks, using the environment and the enemies shields as tornados and javelins. It really feels like you’re Spider-Man.
The movement and transitioning from obstacle-to-obstacle is so fluid and smooth. The animations flow so effortlessly that it’s like Spidey is gliding on ice.
After an epic sequence of Spider-Man swinging from tanker to tanker, Spidey becomes helpless in a 5-on-1 situation. Then it ends on a cliffhanger.” You?!”
A great showing of console exclusivity.
On the down side, the presentation format was a bit off as I’ve mentioned. The stage moving was inconvenient for everyone involved, plus why was a potato shredding on a guitar?
I was also disappointed that the Exclusive Medievil Remaster was absent from the presentation.
Apart from that, this was a conference that summed Sony up to a tee. Putting its games first, dispensing with media, making people aware of PS VR and solidifying its stance as the standard-bearer for games. This is the result of solid investment into its game development.
The Last of Us 2, Days Gone, The Ghost of Tshushima, Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Nioh 2, amongst others.
Are you not entertained?