So it’s the evening of the second day of the E3 conferences in Los Angeles, where developers, directors and PR gurus take to the stage and do all they can to convince you why you should by their upcoming games. Ubisoft took to the stage earlier in the day with a presentation that grades highly in effort, but sadly too much waffle and not enough product hindered the conference greatly. Sony take to the main stage now, a company who are not one to miss opportunities to wow the crowds. They’ve nailed it for the past number of years, gaining an upper hand on opposition, but with Microsoft unveiling a more powerful console next year, what can Sony do to make headlines? Well having a live orchestra playing throughout certainly does help.
Live music, the curtain rises and we are welcomed by a young boy, playing in the ravaged woods being beckoned by a deep, gruff voice, a voice that sounds remarkably familiar. Then out of the shadows we see the owner of said voice, the God of War, Kratos. The crowd lose their minds. The Greek God of War is back, however this time gone are coliseums, titans and the blades of chaos, and instead we are in a completely new world possibly of an entirely new era of both time and for the franchise. It’s been long rumored this new entry would revolve around Norse Mythology and certainly the cries of “Valhalla” made by a demonic troll in the demo suggests this could be true, but until we see more we cannot be certain. What we can be certain off however is that this reboot is exactly what the franchise needed and this could very well become one of Sony’s biggest ever titles. I impatiently await more details.
Next on the playlist is a cinematic trailer for new IP, Days Gone, which show a very Liam Hemsworthy lead character riding a motorbike, drifting from state to state being angsty and referring to the events that have occurred up to this point. No questions are answered and no inkling into what it’s about is even suggested, I guess you have our interest Sony.
Moving swiftly on we re-visit ‘The Last Guardian’, you know, that game that’s spent the last 8 or 9 years in video game limbo and it’s reveal at last years E3 gave players hope that it may still be happening. Well it is and a lot sooner than you’d believe, we’ll see if the wait is worth it on October 26th.
Horizon: Zero Dawn, an ambitious new 3rd person title from Killzone devs Guerilla. Last year it was revealed with a tantalizing cinematic, however 1 year on we get a lengthy look into the world, it’s combat and some of it’s many inhabitants. For those unfamiliar with the title, Horizon focuses on a world 1000 years in the future of our very own, a world abandoned by humanity due to the overrun of machines, which have thus become the new wildlife and we their prey. With not a lot more to go on we join the game’s protagonist Aloy, as she heads to a nearby village overrun by a corrupted machine. Armed with a few technically advanced primitive weaponry (if that’s a thing), Aloy takes her many bows and slings on board a robotic bull/horse and heads to the nearby village to find out what awaits her. Apparently an even older form of corrupted robotic beast, could this be our first in game twist?! We’ll see what happens as we approach the release window as Guerilla don’t have the best track record for deep narrative, gorgeous gameplay yes but with such a intriguing premise they mustn’t drop the ball with this exciting project. From the off visually it looks gorgeous and the gameplay itself is slick, fast paced and largely familiar to what we’ve seen from the likes of Assassins Creed or Shadows of Mordor. After a strong display of promising gameplay it was very disappointing to not close with a release date, reports say it’s still slated for a Q1 2017, but hopefully we’ll have more of an answer by The Tokyo Game Show later in the year.
Quantic Dream’s new psychological thriller is next, Detroit: Become Human, which revolves around the distrust between man and android, a story we’ve become quite accustomed to within the past decade. In the trailer we are introduced to Connor, an android, who works, or at least seemingly works as a police negotiator, in this instance he’s tasked with talking down a psychotic android who has taken his master’s child hostage. Following on from Quantic Dream’s past releases, this narrative driven, point and clickish thriller will task players with making difficult decisions that will completely alter how the story is told, however this time there seems to be more than 3 paths to go down as the trailer boasted many multiple outcomes for even the smallest detail; check out the trailer for more of an idea. Detroit: Become Human is possibly the studio’s most ambiguous and undoubtedly misleading title to date, so other than the 2 trailers released thus far (the first one featuring Jennifer Lawrence in the apparent lead role), your guess is as good as mine as to what exactly David Cage has in the works for us.
Next up, a blitz through a few titles coming to Sony’s Playstation VR, which is now confirmed to hitting shelves, in the US at least, on October 13th. The presentation begins with the title “Before Kitchen”, which if you remember was a working title for a future Capcom project. A full VR experience ay? Well it certainly looks more serious and unusual for every other VR game we’ve seen thus far, it’s serious, dark and terrifying … what on earth could this be. Holy crap it’s Resident Evil 7, which is not only fully playable with the PSVR but will be released on January 24th, this may just convince me to buy a headset. A few more VR titles are announced including a Sci Fi shooting called Farpoint, an X Wing mission for Star Wars Battlefront, Batman Arkham VR (which hopefully comes with a Batman Cowl to put over your face and Final Fantasy XV, which will be playable both on Playsation VR and console from October 28th.
If you’ve seen one Call of Duty trailer you’ve seen all of them and yes, even when set in space it still looks and plays the same. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare will be releasing in November alongside Modern Warfare Remastered, which will feature an up-scaled campaign and 10 multiplayer maps, which is a clever way to shift their otherwise crappy and expensive special editions considering that’s the only way you’ll get to play it. Infinite Warfare’s gameplay debut trailer did however contain a rather cool space mission, which saw the player shooting down space craft, hopefully this becomes an integral element to the main campaign rather than as a one of mission. No word yet on how the multiplayer will differ to every other one before it, but I’m sure it’ll be shoved down our throats in the coming months as we get closer to its imminent release.
We now literally crash to the opposite end of the spectrum with the announcement of our beloved Crash Bandicoot returning to Playstation! And the crowd went wild, well me and my brother did at least. Sony is working alongside Activision to recreate the first 3 Crash Bandicoot games from the ground up and will hit our consoles supposedly by next summer. With nothing other than an announcement it’s still early days so real need to get overly excited, however no doubt as soon as we see that iconic opening level on N.Sanity Beach we’ll all squeal like the prepubescent school boys we were. For a taster of what the ex Sony mascot can do, he’ll be a playable character in the upcoming Skylanders Imaginators.
For the umpteenth time the crowd went wild when a certain Hideo Kojima took to the stage to give us a sneak peak into his first project since being let go by Konami. The legendary Metal Gear Solid director didn’t really give anything away however he did gave away precisely all he needed to, a heavily confusing, peculiar and deeply symbolic trailer for Death Stranded, staring Norman Reedus. Could Kojima Productions’ first title be a completely new IP or could this be the canned Silent Hills with a brand new name? Kojima has teased the Playstation fanbase once again with yet another seductive, masterful cinematic trailer that left us screaming for more, what on earth will this no doubt disturbing story be about?
Spiderman returns to consoles with a brand new adventure, this time helmed by Insomniac, the guys behind Ratchet and Clank, which should almost guarantee the success of Peter Parker’s next video game venture. Other than a nice dollop of gorgeous gameplay from the webslinger, no other details were shared, an educated guess is that we could see this release tied in with Spiderman: Homecoming hitting cinemas next July.
To finish we return to Days Gone, the original title that was announced earlier with a live demo. We may be returning to a zombie or infected world that’s been, pardon the pun, done to death, but here we see claustrophobic environments build for destruction to give you a crucial few seconds gap between you and the hordes that are chasing you. We see the protagonist frantically trying to maneuver around this farm land looking for an escape window in a display that truly put my heart in my mouth. Opposed to solely relying on firepower, players must cut them off any way possible to separate the groups, gradually take those on your tail and do all you can to survive. That live demo was nerve wracking to watch and it certainly seems like this is Sony’s next big project and what they’ll begin pushing rather soon. As expected there wasn’t a release date attached to the demo, so hopefully we won’t have to wait until next year’s E3 before we see one.
Sony overall led a fantastic conference with little to no waffling and no long tiresome chats about titles they’re desperate to flog. It simply featured montages of excellent gameplay they crammed in as much information as possible in quick pace. Sony know how to do a conference and have most certainly come away having hosted the best one this year, there is no “official” word on this PS4 NEO though, is it a rouse? Have Xbox jumped the gun a little announcing their new one? Who cares about an upgraded or new console with a line up so strong as Playstation’s.