Holy shit. That’s the best way to sum up the night. Not wanting to break their streak of conquering E3, Sony did what it does best and let the games take center stage. In that pursuit, they literally just let game after fucking game drop on our heads. We were bombarded by games. I have the bruises to prove it. It was magical. It was “Hideo Kojima dropping a new game” magical.
Sony, once again, made the other conferences seem boring by comparison – some were boring without comparison (hi, EA) – and they had no shame in flexing their exclusive muscles with a beefy lineup of PS4-only titles. There’s a lot to chow down on so we’ll just get into it. Hit the links to peep the trailers:
Accompanied by live orchestration (classy as all hell), Sony went for jugulars with a live demonstration of God of War (sans the 4, but we’ll get to why that might be).
Kratos is back and he’s an old, grizzled warrior. If the beard didn’t give it away, the presence of his adolescent son drove home the point. We follow Papa Kratos as he takes his son on a hunt; teaching him the ways of archery and patience. But gone are the days of Greek mythology. No, we’re steeped in Nordic myth, now, from the animals to the woodland setting to the troll beast that rudely interrupts father/son bonding time.
Our perspective has even changed. The camera sticks to Kratos’ back much the same as it does in games like Batman: Arkham and The Last of Us, putting us front and center in the combat. And, oh my, does the combat look fresh. Kratos slashes with his axe (which he can magically retract from a foe’s face) and bashes with his fists. Baby Kratos joins in on the fun too… even if his best shot plants an arrow into Kratos’ collar.
I could see why the dev team decided to drop the “4″ moniker. It certainly doesn’t feel like a sequel to Kill Zeus: Parts 1 - 3. The promise of a deeper narrative in the Kratos/Son dichotomy as well as a vastly different setting filled with Norse mythological figures to disembowel gives off a soft reboot vibe. The presentation left me more excited for God of War than I’ve ever been.
New IP took the sophomore slot and it, too, had an impressive showing. The notion behind Days Gone pits you as an ex-biker turned bounty hunter – in the midst of a full blown zombie apocalypse. The reveal started with a cinematic trailer featuring some beloved zombie tropes – forlorn narration, lost love, creepy rustic setting – but it wasn’t until Sony ended the night with a gameplay demonstration that our eyes began bulging.
Our bounty hunting protag tracks down his mark but, uh-oh, happens to run into a substantial horde of the undead. He leaves the hapless fellow to become zombie chow as he makes his own getaway. The ensuing chase plays host to the most zombies I have ever seen on-screen in a game ever. Dead Rising’s zombie count looks sparse compared to Days Gone’s veritable swarm of decayed. Think World War Z levels of zombie doom (I apologize for making you think of World War Z). No Last of Us 2 this year but Days Gone is looking to scratch that itch raw.
Isn’t dead! Team Ico’s next big head-turner was thought to be circling the drain of development hell – and it very well might have been – but the former PS3 exclusive is not only alive, kicking, and looking sublime, it also has a release date. Clear your schedule when it finally, finally drops October 25th, 2016.
Horizon’s push to next February hurts, and seeing new gameplay in action last night reminded us of the sting. One of the most promising new IP’s I can think of treated us to another display of combat, this time against a spider-y, horse robot… thing.
Aloy gets savvy and uses her surroundings to her favor, mounting a robotic bull/reindeer…thing to speed up her hunt. Unfortunately, the poor robo bastard meets a grisly end, but Aloy picks apart her enemy in an impressive showing of how many destructible points these robots actually have.
Quantic Dream’s first full-fledged PS4 title looks… remarkably like everything else they’ve ever done. The “AAA Telltale” of the industry returns with a sci-fi story like no other (unless you count Blade Runner and, uh, the endless amount of sci-fi stories that are exactly like this).
I don’t mean to be so sardonic (I’m lying, sure I do) but Beyond: Two Souls proved Q-Dream’s pony might only know the one trick. Detroit, which pits you in the shoes of an android detective hoping to prevent other android-on-human murder in the trailer, features the same narrative weaving player choice that’s become a hallmark for the studio.
Detroit’s bent on the formula seems to imply that the more evidence you accrue, the better your chances are to prevent one of a billion really shitty resolutions – like a little girl becoming an asphalt pancake. Hopefully Detroit: Become Human doesn’t suck as much as the real Detroit does.
Now this one knocked me off my ass. It isn’t so much surprising that Capcom is continuing their blockbuster franchise as it is how they’re continuing it. Most of us didn’t even know it was an RE sequel until the title card flashed onto the screen – that’s how radically different it is. A little bit P.T., a little bit Outlast, RE7 shifts to a first-person view and drops players in a realistically decrepit environment where we have to survive on wits and very little else.
The goal is to dive back into the hard horror absent from the series since, shit, the PS1 days. More than that, Capcom wants to fully immerse you in the pants-ruining terror by allowing full PlayStation VR integration. Intrigued? Then download the demo right now on PS4.
PLAYSTATION VR + VR EVERYTHING
Using RE7 as a launching point to discuss VR, Sony announced both a release and price for their headset: a cringe-inducing but competitive $399 set to arrive October 13th. Before anyone had a chance to mull over the price, they assaulted us with a trifecta of VR announcements:
1. Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission - If you were going to adapt any property, Star Wars is the best “Fuck you” to developers that didn’t already think of it. ‘Course, I’d like to see some lightsaber duels myself but I can’t turn my nose up to good ol’ space combat.
2. Batman Arkham VR - One of those “We have nothing to show you but an announcement trailer” deals. The mind can’t help but race at the notion of actually being the Batman. Hopefully that doesn’t include his insane fitness regiment. Holy shit, is this an exercise sim?
3. Final Fantasy XV VR - Because you demanded it, fans will have the chance to play as Prompto! In VR! F-fun?
In their VR zeitgeist, I thought they were promoting a new space-faring VR experience. After some initial fighter ship foreplay, once the guns started blazing, the audience collectively understood they were tricked into watching Call of Duty campaign gameplay.
But before the multi-billion dollar shoe dropped, they fucking had us. The gameplay looked cool. Goddamn admit it. Zero-G gunfights accompanied by a grappling hook that snatches up enemies for a closer kill? Sign me up.
Who are we kidding? You’re all going to play Modern Warfare Remastered way more. Brings me back to being 17. Ahh. Actually, eww. Fun treat for Sony fans, you get access to MW Remastered a full month before Infinite Warfare releases. Save your gasps, though. The multiplayer won’t unlock until IW’s launch date.
It’s official. The original three Crash Bandicoot games are being remastered (although, I think “remade” hems closer to what Sony intends to do since they said the games would be made from the ground up again).
Seemed like a twilight hour reveal since they had nothing to show except Crash crashing Skylanders. Because everyone alive when the original Crash games came out give such a big fuck about Skylanders.
These games deserve more credit than they get. After Lego Jurassic World, any universe is safe in this studio’s hands.
It was a phenomenal show already. But Sony elevated to New World Religion status when they ushered Hideo Kojima onto the stage. With a smile and that signature humbleness that a mastermind like himself need not feign, he simply said, “I’m back,” and the theater roared.
Kojima Productions’ first jam is every bit as enigmatic and ominous as should be expected from the man that decided to reveal MGSV as another studio’s game altogether. The trailer begins on a desolate beach that looks to have once been an ocean. Now there’s hundreds of dead fish, whales, and other assorted ocean life strewn about.
We pan to the figure of a naked man on the ground and, because your brain needed to be fucked, he has an umbilical cord attached to him leading to a screaming infant. Oh, and that man is Norman Reedus. Oh, now the baby is oil. Oh, and five floating silhouettes hover in the sky above him, watching like detached gods. I don’t know what the hell Death Stranding is but I know I’ll be there day one.
I’ve personally been screaming about a new Spider-Man game since watching his amazing (sorry) cameo in Civil War. Literally screaming. I’ve lost a lot of friends over the noise. That screaming only intensified when they dropped this trailer on my fragile heart.
Insomniac, fresh off the stylish open-world grind of Sunset Overdrive, are going back to their Sony masters to create a brand new Spider-Man game that features a seasoned web-slinger in his unending quest to stick bad guys to telephone poles. As such, he has distinctive duds, and kicks ass without having to have Tony Stark coach him behind the ropes.
The action looks fast, the effects are beautiful. And, man, do I love that suit. Please be the Arkham of Spider-Man games. Please, Spidey.