About half way through this conference we were already hyperventilating. Come revel.
All the news from PlayStation E3 2016
PlayStation E3 2016
The stream opened with a dramatic musical interlude from a live orchestra, which is and extremely classy way of saying “oh boy, you won’t believe how much money is riding on this next project”.
So when the curtains parted on a gameplay demo of for God of War 4, we were not especially surprised. Turns out Kratos has settled down a bit since we last caught up with him, and has some sort of young kiddy. The pair of them went hunting. Dads and AI companions and kids seems to be a pretty lasting trend.
Just when I thought I was going to vom the action stated, with a bunch of glowing-eyed baddies ambushing our old mate. After a bit of melee with an axe, Kratos confronted one in close quarters combat in what looked like a lengthy kill animation.
Shortly thereafter the pair ran into some sort of troll or ogre – I suspect troll because it mentioned Valhalla. Looks like those norse mythology rumours were right. Certainly explains the snowy setting.
Kratos used a Spartan rage attack in the ensuing battle, kicking off a brutal kill animation which ended in a cutscene. There were no QTE prompts on screen during any of this, which was interesting.
Our two pals then continued their merry jaunt through the forest as if attacks by all sorts of horrid beasties were just everyday occurrences, which is very true in video game land. There were several touching teaching moments and those of us whose hearts are not filled with ash probably had thoughts about the precious nature of human existence especially as regards those parts of it not old enough to drive yet.
Then there was a dragon, and the title reveal. It’s not God of War 4, it’s God of War, and a “new beginning”.
Shawn Layden came on stage thereafter, and paused to address the recent tragedy in Orlando before moving on to the next cab off the rank: a new project from Sony’s Bend Studios called Days Gone.
A post-apocalyptic adventure, it has players in the role of a drifter with a motorcycle who misses his (dead?) lady friend very much. We didn’t learn anything else about it.
Much later in the conference, Sony returned to this one and showed a lengthy gameplay demo. It seemed to involve a lot of zombies, which may explain all those The Last of Us 2 rumours.
The Last Guardian
We moved straight into a new trailer for The Last Guardian, at which stage some members of Team VG247 began to openly weep with joy.
The trailer looked rad but more to the bloody point we finally got a release date for this vaporous Team Ico project – October 25.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
It is frustrating that we got only a tiny trailer for The Last Guardian, a game coming out this year, but a lengthy demo for Horizon: Zero Dawn, which we know is due in 2017 – but I guess that’s a hangover from when E3 presentations were all about shelf space negotiations with retailers rather than communicating with consumers.
We saw our hero take down some robot dinosaurs and speak with a very fightened NPC, and got a look at the game’s menus including crafting and the map. On the map, you’re able to seek out specific game – if you’re looking for a mount, say. We saw a bison-like creature called a Broadhead tracked and captured in this way.
After a scenic gallop past a river, our hero arrived at a village which came under attack by a mysterious enemy. Bringing up an overlay revealed the creature’s vulnerability to fire. The weapon wheel was in frequent use to switch between various abilities. The battle took place on the skirts of the village, with soem strcutures being destoryed, before our hero (whose name I totally remember but not quite at this moment) even climbed back onto her Broadhead to shoot from its back.
Switching to a crossbow-like weapon, our hero was able to tether the boss to the ground and finish it off. Very good.
Detroit: Become Human
A new trailer for Detroit: Become Human was shown which seems to be all about a dude. What happened to Kara? Anyway it showed off some sort of police procedural affair leading up to a hostage negotiation situation, which the implication that things can go differently depending on what you do and the choices you make.
The android protagonist is called Connor and he dwells so deep in the uncanny valley spelunkers are required to deliver his mail.
Resident Evil 7
The next segment opened with the words “PS VR experience” and then “before Kitchen” – a reference to Capcom’s notoriously terrifying virtual reality demo.
We realised it was Resident Evil 7 when awful voice acting kicked in. Awful voice acting is a very important part of Resident Evil, innit. It launches on January 24, and will be playable start to end in PlayStation VR. A good kick off to the next topic of discussion:
Sony then put a release date on PlayStation VR: October 13. it said there will be 50 games available before the end of the year, including new and established franchises.
PlayStation VR games were shown next – something called Farpoint, the PlayStation VR Star Wars Battlefront mission. Next up was Batman Arkham VR, which is coming this October and presumably as part of the
Final Fantasy 15 is also fronting a PlayStation VR experience of some kind. It’s first-person and you play as Prompto. Ot had a September release date but since the headset doesn’t launch till October 13 we assume that refers to Final Fantasy 15 as a whole.
Call of Duty
Confusingly, Sony segued straight into its Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare gameplay trailer from the VR section, which made it seem like Infinite Warfare would support PlayStation VR, Apparently that’s not the case, through: it’s just that gameplay demo is super sci-fi.
There was also a lovely trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the campaign mode of which will be playable 30 days early on PlayStation – assuming you pre-order the appropriate edition.
Sony has done a piece of wizard licensing somehow and rescued Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot from Activision. Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2 and Crash Bandicoot Warped will be remastered for PS4.
Crash will also appear in the upcoming Skylanders Imaginations. Must have been a good time for both companies’ lawyers.
Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding
Everyone in the auditorium needed a change of underwear after Hideo Kojima walked out on stage to one of the most fervently worshipful intros Sony has ever coordinated.
“I’m back,” Kojima said, before introducing a cinematic which he said was running in real time. It featured Norman Reedus, he of The Walking Dead and PT fame, looked pretty good so the tiny new Kojima Productions must have been pretty busy.
The new project is called Death Stranding. It’s in development for PS4, Sony confirmed after the stream, so it’s not just a tech demo movie or whatever.
Looks like those Sucker Punch rumours were true; a cinematic trailer for a new Spider-man game was shown. We didn’t get any details, but it’ll be fantastic to see Sucker Punch’s really excellent open-world traversal tech divorced from the painfully unloved InFamous IP. Oh never mind apparently it’s an Insomniac game. Interest plummeting.
Activision and Sony’s love-in has really borne fruit, hasn’t it? They’ve got Destiny and Call of Duty sweetheart deals, and they’ve managed to untangle the painful mess that is the Spider-man and Crash Bandicoot rights.
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