E3 2016 Day 2 - Sony

By the time I'm writing this, you may have already been on some sort of social media and heard the phrase "sony wins E3". Now, E3 isn't particularly a competition, but if it was I'd say yes....not only did Sony show us a lot of great stuff, they put on a really good show! During the entire conference Sony had a live orchestra led by Bear McCreary accompanying the entire presentation, bringing attention to an aspect of gaming that frequently gets ignored. You may have noticed, the title of this blog (unlike my recap of Microsoft's) does not specify software or hardware, and that's because for the most part, Sony showed us games, games and more games. Starting with a god like surprise...

Sony opened their show with a full gameplay demo of a new God of War title. Not only was this a huge surprise because Santa Monica Studios hasn't really gave us any reason to believe a new God of War was in the works right now, but it opened the entire show! The demo portrayed an aged Kratos taking his son on a hunting quest, teaching him the ropes with a surprising calm and wisdom. It's unsure if this is a reboot or a sequel to the original series, but either way the action is exactly what you'd expect. When the elderly Kratos and his son are attacked by a troll, Kratos does what Kratos does best and beats the living shit out of the monstrosity. With no release date and almost less information outside of the fact this God of War will be Norse mythology based, we probably won't see God of War for a while. That's okay! I'm ecstatic to see more of Kratos especially in this new world.

I'm so incredibly happy to say that Team Ico's next title "The Last Guardian" finally got a reveal trailer and a release date. Dropping on October 25th, The Last Guardian is getting a sweet Collector's Edition and I can't be more excited. The game's director, Fumito Ueda's previous titles Ico and Shadow of the Collusses were critically acclaimed for their art styles and cryptic story telling, and The Last Guardian looks to follow in those footsteps. The Last Guardian's story is about a boy who has been kidnapped under "mysterious circumstances", as he tries to escape from an ancient castle with the help of a griffon like creature named Trico he has befriended. The player controls the boy and must take advantage of Trico's abilities and "animal instincts" to solve puzzles and progress through the castle of your captivity. The Last Guardian was originally shown at 2009's E3, and got delayed year after year, so to finally have a release date and a reveal trailer is so huge. Check it out below!

Next up in the presentation was a Gameplay demo/trailer for Guerilla Game's newest title, Horizon Zero Dawn. HZD is an incredibly unique title about a futuristic earth where the world is overrun by robotic dinosaur creatures. You know...robotic dinosaurs! Gameplay looks smooth and stylish and certainly unique, allowing the use of traps and a tribal (yet modern..?) arsenal at your disposal to deal with these threats. The theme of HZD seems to be the strength of modernization but the importance of tradition, in my opinion. One of my favorite games of all times was Ninja Theory's 2010 action adventure game "Enslaved: Odyssey to the West" and HZD gives me very similar vibes. Horizon Zero Dawn will release in February 2017.

Quantic Dream's newest title got a new trailer too! "Detroit: Become Human" has been looking solid since it's original reveal. As expected from Quantic Dream, "Detroit" will be a very heavy narrative focused game with an incredibly unique setting. Set in a futuristic version of the city of Detroit, gameplay will be focused on multiple characters in an overarching story line, being described by Quantic Dream as "neo noir".  The game looks incredibly tense, focusing heavily on the player's decisions to change the storyline. Check it out.

After showcasing and revealing a bunch of awesome software on the way, Sony shifted their presentation to some hardware. The highly anticipated "Playstation VR" or PSVR as many people have been calling it, finally got a release date and a retail price. Launching October 13th this year, PSVR will cost $400 retail price, which, in my opinion, really isn't that unreasonable. Originally titled "Project Morpheus" Sony has been focusing a lot of efforts towards the shift into futuristic gaming with virtual reality, working on this technology all the way back in 2011. Not only did we get a release date and a price, we got a look at  a plethora of titles coming to PSVR, including a lot of exclusives. I'm so excited to see VR technology so prominent at E3 this year. I've spent a good amount of time in the HTC Vive at LAN Mob, and it really is a completely different level of gaming, mainly due to immersion. Getting big AAA titles not only in VR, but right in your living room is incredibly powerful and should not be overlooked. I think VR is the absolute future in gaming.

Shawn Layden, a high up at Sony, came out on stage to reveal a huge block of PSVR titles such as Resident Evil 7, Star Wars Battlefront, Final Fantasy XV, Batman Arkham in VR and a new IP titled Farpoint. To be clear, each of these titles are separate and different experiences then the full retail release, excluding RE7. For example, Star Wars Battlefront in VR, is not the massive multiplayer shooter that released last year, but is an entirely separate experience. Either way, Sony bringing virtual reality in our living rooms that is compatible with a console system is an incredible feat and I'm ecstatic to give it a shot. I mean...Batman in VR...time to start saving up!

The last bit of Sony's presentation didn't slow down at all. With a goofy presentation, I'm glad to see my Crash Bandicoot prediction was correct..sort of.  There will not be a new entry in the series (yet), but PS4 owners will be getting a remaster of Naughty Dog's PS1 platformers. It seems Sony has struck a deal with Activsion to bring "Crash Bandicoot", "Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back" and "Crash Bandicoot: Warped" to the modern age, along with a special announcement that Crash Bandicoot will make a special appearance in the latest "Skylanders" title. As I've said in a previous blog, I think revisiting old and beloved characters is tricky, and requires a certain finesse, but I trust Sony to do their beloved orange bandicoot justice in his remaster. There was no news on a release date, but I can't imagine it will be too far off.

After this lighthearted and goofy announcement, Sony took it in another direction by introducing the legendary game designer Hideo Kojima to the stage. I don't want to get into any of the drama between Kojima and Konami but basically Hideo Kojima is now working on his own unique title at Kojima Productions, and Kojima himself presented the reveal trailer. Titled "Death Stranding", Kojima's new title looks...well it looks like a Kojima title, that's for sure. Check it out for yourself and try to make heads or tails of it. Kojima is well known for bizzare story telling and just being all around cryptic and we love him for that. In an interview with IGN later in the night, Kojima stated Death Stranding is still a while off from release, and they don't even know what game engine it will run in. However, he promises the title will be heavy with action and great storytelling. It also stars Norman Reedus! I kind of originally thought we were going to see something related to Silent Hills, but Death Stranding is a brand new IP and I'm stoked..mainly to figure out what the hell is going on.

The next reveal during the conference began with Insomniac Game's logo followed by a young voice over in a cityscape so I originally thought that somehow Sony had gotten right to Sunset Overdrive and we were seeing a reveal trailer for a sequel! I wasn't disappointed to see Marvels logo flash the screen as we got a reveal to an original Spiderman game developed by Insomniac. We didn't get much information outside of a pretty cool reveal trailer, but I forsee Insomniac htting the nail on the head. Sunset Overdrive had a huge focus on traversal through an urban environment and that is what Spiderman is all about! Check out the trailer! I hope we get to see more of this soon!


Sony closed their conference with a gameplay demo of Sony Bend's new IP, Days Gone. I personally thought Days Gone was the weakest part of Sony's 2016 E3. Another post apocalyptic story about a guy...in a post apocalyptic story... Joking aside, the new title from Sony Bend doesn't look bad, just not a story I'm personally interested in exploring. Gameplay was smooth, showing off an incredible amount of this worlds zombie like creatures, "Freakers" on screen at once. Sony Bend describes Days Gone as a story about tragedy, madness, hope, desperation, brotherhood and a few other dramatic phrases. We didn't get a release date for Days Gone but I'll keep my eye on it. Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us" was one of those games I'll remember for the rest of my life, so it's very hard to strike that specific chord twice, as the game has blaring similarities.

Overall Sony's 2016 E3 conference was a presentation I think I'll remember for a long time. A live orchestra accompanying the entire presentation was a great way to supplement their content, which in itself was incredible. For me, software is always something I pay closer attention to than hardware. If anything I'm happy that I don't have to deal with a PS4.5 or PSNeo or all these rumors. The new hardware they did show, the PSVR, was presented in a way that makes it seem so accessible, and showing us a ton of worlds to explore that we're already semi-familiar with, with a price tag that is pretty realistic considering the technology. I think my favorite part of the entire Expo so far is the legendary Hideo Kojima walking out on stage and say, "I'm back!" Sony hit all the high notes, I do think their closing was a little anti climatic and weak, but I suppose you can't run at 100% all the time, right? The core of gaming is obviously that itself...games. Without great games and software to explore and immerse yourself with there isn't much of a point to a hardware based presentation, so Sony's approach of bombarding us with games is something I'd gladly welcome any year at E3. Stay tuned for more news!
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment