Sony at E3 2017: Days Gone, God of War, and Spider-Man
For the last several years, Sony has “won” the press conference battle at E3, if you judge these things by general online sentiment. The launch of the PS4 was stellar, and year after year Sony has been committed to showing off awesome software instead of focusing on hardware gimmicks or extra services. However, this year they are facing some stiff competition.
Microsoft’s press conference wowed the audience with a plethora of console and Windows 10 exclusives. Sony certainly has a lot of blockbuster IPs to show including God of War and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. However, all of these titles are old news. Did Sony have anything new to show us and, if not, will they be overshadowed by Microsoft?
Let’s find out.You can watch a replay of the whole event below, or read on for the full highlights and individual trailers.
Notable Pre-Show Games
It’s a cinematic drama game from the makers of Until Dawn, played by connecting your cell phone to your PS4. Players vote for the decisions the main characters make, which can cause them to live or die and cause ripples throughout the story. It plays a lot like Telltale’s cooperative games, however it adds another level of intrigue by adding hidden objectives and hidden information to the mix.
So each player is attempting to push the story in their own direction while simultaneously trying to figure out everyone else’s….Hidden Agenda! Title drop!
Hidden Agenda will release for the PS4 in 2017.
That’s You is basically a digital version of a break-the-ice party game. You use your phone to take pictures of people, draw on them, answer personal questions, and more. It’s one of the first social party games to use your phone's full social functions. All Playstation Plus subscribers will get to try it for free starting on July 4.
Matterfall is a 2D platformer whose major mechanic is the ability to create and destroy platforms. It’s made by the same studio that did Resogun and will be releasing on August 15 for the PS4 this year.
I think Undertale is one of the best games of all time. Now it’s leaving the PC indie scene and coming to the PS4 in a fancy collector’s edition. Look just…just play it OK? It comes out later this year.
Uncharted: Lost Legacy
The conference proper started with a largely cinematic trailer for Uncharted: Lost Legacy. Despite a few audio problems on thw Twitch stream, we got to see Nathan Drake visiting several new locals around the world. Lots of action, lots of drama, but no gameplay yet and no release date… kind of a shallow trailer.
Horizon Zero Dawn The Frozen Wilds
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of Sony’s major headlining titles in the past year. It appears as if we are getting a semi-sequel in a brand new standalone chapter The Frozen Wilds. This brand new game seems to feature main characters other than Aloy and takes place after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn. It will release later in 2017.
Sony devoted a lot of time to the post-apocalyptic world of Days Gone this year. We follow our protagonist making his way through an enemy camp. Aside from stealing a motorcycle and getting the drop on people with stealth kills, we also see him setting bear traps, choking a man to death, setting improvised explosives, and using the raving hoard of zombies as a tool against his enemies. This was all in the service of rescuing someone from the camp, which seems relatively easy once the zombies have eaten all the humans from the camp.
Of course, even all these tricks are nothing compared to a ZOMBIE BEAR! It’s an interesting new concept, but it still feels somewhat derivative of games like The Last of Us. No release date has been given either, but we do know it will be a PS4 exclusive.
Monster Hunter World
We join a protagonist carrying a giant sword made of dinosaur bone and we know it can only be Monster Hunter. This new trailer showcases a new stealth system, the ability to use fruits and what appears to be fireflies to mark cave passages and kills, and even the ability to create improvised camouflage suits.
It also appears as if Monster Hunter has gotten quite an influx of Shadow of the Colossus, as you can now climb on top of your prey, lead it through narrow corridors to trap it, and even lure other monsters into fighting them. Monster Hunter World will release for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2018.
Shadow of the Colossus
If The Last Guardian was a little bit disappointing for you, then check this out. Shadow of the Colossus is getting a full HD remake. All the models, all the environment, everything is being redone and it is coming out in early 2018.
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite
It looks like the leaked character list wasn’t completely true. Dante, Dr. Strange. Gamorrah, Thanos, Zero, Nova, Black Panther, Arthur, and Spencer all featured prominently in the Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite story trailer. Black Panther and Zero weren’t part of the original leaked list. Unfortunately no gameplay was shown, but they did mention that a story demo is available for download now.
Call of Duty: WWII
We got a new COD trailer, but we didn’t see much new gameplay. Flamethrowers, grenades, sniping, bombing, it’s all here, but no hard data. It still looks pretty awesome though.
The PSVR Showcase
Ya like Skyrim? Want to play Skyrim in VR? What… you already did with PC mods? You weren't supposed to do that!
Skyrim VR is coming to PSVR, continuing Bethesda's heavy push into VR with their biggest franchises.
Now here’s an interesting one. It’s a PSVR game that is also a 2D platformer. Not entirely certain how the two genres mix together but it will be interesting to see more from Star Child.
Of course, no VR showcase would be complete without a VR horror game, and The Inpatient takes the horror slot this year. You take the role of a patient in an asylum whose perception of reality is breaking down.
Final Fantasy XV Monster of the Deep
Final Fantasy XV is coming to VR! Well…fishing. Final Fantasy XV fishing is coming to VR.
This expanded mini-game DLC will be available September 2017.
Bravo Team looks a bit like a generic FPS in VR, but hey, it isn't like we've had a ton of good VR FPS games yet. I’d take a simple shooter with solid mechanics in VR any day.
This game is so incredibly cute. The game stars a mouse in a spiritual forest of some sort, as he wanders around ancient ruins equipped with a magical gauntlet and weapon. It reminds me of Mouse Guard, and its in VR! I’d check it out.
God of War
It was about time we got to see Kratos, his son, and his magic axe again. We get to hear a little bit more about the story, specifically about Kratos’ son and his curse. We also get to see Kratos weild his magic ice axe, a shield, and more. We see him fight the undead, frost giants, trolls, ogres, and more. Oh, and we get to see a special guest appearance from Loki and a dwarf.
What’s really interesting is that it looks like the game puts you in control of the son more often than you would think, and he used a completely different move-set, mostly focused on archery. At the end of the trailer, Kratos meets Jörmungandr the World Serpent and…oddly doesn’t kill him!
God of War will release for the PS4 in early 2018.
Detroit: Become Human
We finally get to see some involved gameplay of this interesting sci-fi title. What originally looked to be a largely dialogue-focused game has some new action elements. You can now touch androids to “awaken” them, granting them sentience. You can also use a sort of “android sense” to map out tense situations and possible consequences for your choices.
As for the story, we see a small ground of renegade android start to attack stores selling other androids. It appears as if we are playing the robot uprising, except the protagonists are the robots. It looks very intense, and more action-focused than Quantic Dream’s previous games, Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls.
Destiny 2 comes out on September 6 this year with a ton of exclusive content for PS4, including exclusive gear, an exclusive ship, exclusive weapons, an exclusive PVP map, and even an exclusive strike.
The press conference closed with a brand new trailer for the Sony exclusive Spider-Man title. The gameplay trailer we were shown shows quite a bit of stealth elements in addition to the expected swinging and fighting. Spider-Man is not only able to sneak around rafters by web zipping, he can also grapple onto enemies, launch web grenades and web traps, use webbing projectiles, and even shoot webs onto enemy weapons to disable them.
The combat seems very interactive. At any point, Spider-Man looks to be able to interrupt his attack strings to web an opponent, both to disable them and set up combos. Spider-Sense also plays a major part in combat, slowing down time whenever someone is about to attack you, letting you dodge at the last minute.
The U.I. was also kind of interesting. There is a combo bar that builds in the upper right hand corner that seems to fuel special abilities. There is also a web bar in the upper left hand corner that drops as you shoot webs and seems to restore over time.
And of course, no major action title would be complete without quick time events. In this case, Spider-Man manages to web up a falling crane to prevent major city destruction. Unfortunately he couldn’t necessarily prevent the destruction caused by a helicopter with a webbed shipping container strapped to it. He was able to web sling across the city to catch up to it though.
The video also reveals another major player in the game, the Kingpin, though it doesn’t appear as if he is necessarily just an antagonist. Both he and Spider-Man are warring against a third group, the demons.
The cinematic parts of this trailer were some of the best looking in any action game we have seen so far. Spider-Man will release in 2018.
Instant reaction: A down year for Sony?
To me, Sony’s press conference was disappointing. We saw barely any new IPs, no developers came out to talk, and there was no notable gameplay aside from Spider-Man. Everything was just a buzz trailer, and most of these buzz trailers were for games we have already seen. We didn’t see The Last of Us 2, and we barely saw any major third party titles. Heck, even Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, a fighting game, was shown off as a trailer with absolutely no gameplay whatsoever.
History will be the judge of who "won" this year's E3 press junket, and it's possible that Sony's show only underwhelmed because we expect so much from them. But my instant reaction is that Microsoft blew them out of the water this year, which is disappointing considering Sony had such a powerful show for each of the last four years.