After the stunning orchestral performance and reveal of God of War in E3 2016, Sony’s been keen with starting their E3 conference with a bang. This year took the concept up a notch by replicating a set from The Last of Us Part II along with a musical performance and gameplay reveal of the game. It was an impressive set though the disadvantage was immediately made apparent as Sony then needed to bus a ton of attendees to the next theater. There were interviews to pass the time but it’s clear that the transition took way too long and excitement kind of died down as a result. Fortunately, the rest of the conference picked up and the only flaw I saw was how abrupt it ended.
In some respect, this was slightly better than Microsoft’s press conference. Microsoft admittedly had a few more surprises and way more games under its belt but in terms of selling your own console to audiences, I think Sony did a better job. Like I said in my Microsoft post, I’m interested in a lot of the titles they showed but they’re all titles available on other platforms. Even the first party titles they presented will be on PC, a platform that one would arguably want to invest more in over a console. Sony meanwhile has a lot of exclusives for the PlayStation 4 and the ones they showed for E3 looked impressive (more on that down below). At the end of the day, I think Sony succeeds a bit more because their press conference effectively marketed its PlayStation brand.
Still, that the set-up, while creative, was pretty darn weird. If Sony does something like this again, I hope they can make it run more smoothly.
Will that said, here are the showcased games that interested me most.
The Last of Us Part II – I really love The Last of Us. Its environment designs, acting, and writing is easily among the best video games had seen during its seventh generation of consoles. Naturally, I’m eager to try The Last of Us Part II though I will admit that I am on the skeptical side of things. The original Last of Us ended on such a perfect note that I have to wonder how exactly you can continue it. Naughty Dog probably has a good answer to that question and I will say that the gameplay trailer assuaged some of my worries. The transitions between a more peaceful time in Ellie’s life to her next adventure was solid and the gameplay looks as intense as the first game, maybe more so since the trailer noticeably lacked Joel’s presence.
Ghost of Tsushima – Slightly torn on this one. The graphics are incredibly gorgeous, arguably the best looking PlayStation exclusive shown during the presentation. Sucker Punch really nailed the game’s Feudal Japan setting. Combat is where I’m a little skeptical. When the game has its main character killing foes in a flash, it looks visceral but it seems to be a context sensitive maneuver and much of the fighting involved just parrying and slashing. Maybe future gameplay videos will shed more light on how the game plays.
Resident Evil 2 – Arguably one of the few surprise trailers in this press conference. I really like the direction of the trailer, showing a struggle from the perspective of a rat until the camera pans out and reveals that it was Leon Kennedy fighting a zombie. The rest of the trailer looked frightening too. It’s nice to see Capcom more keen on keeping the Resident Evil franchise based in horror now. Most surprising is that the remake is coming out in January 25, 2019. That’s a lot sooner than I thought.
Kingdom Hearts III – So that’s three Kingdom Hearts III trailers. I’m not complaining; this game looks amazing and it’s easily my most anticipate games for 2019 now. I’m just impressed that Square Enix had the audacity to put the game in Microsoft’s and Sony’s press conferences. I’m so happy to see a Pirates of the Caribbean world again (those Pirates models sure have improved) and Sora having a pirate outfit makes me so gleeful. Also naval battles with Captain Jack Sparrow. Take that, Ubisoft.
Death Stranding – Amazing how far Hideo Kojima’s mind will go once he’s free of Konami’s grip. Even with gameplay, Death Stranding is still a bit cryptic to me though I’m intrigued with the idea of traversing an an open post-apocalyptic world as some sort of deliveryman. Weather seems to have an interesting effect here as the rain apparently ages or deteriorates anything it touches. It’s a metaphor on the effects of time that’s maybe a bit on the nose but its role in ow it changes the way you play the game could be really interesting.
Spider-Man – I’ve been sold on this game for a while now so a new trailer was just icing on the cake. The game does look like Batman: Arkham Asylum but with Spider-Man but such a formula still sounds great to me and it looks like Insomniac put a lot of thought in how Spidey’s powers would work in that kind of combat. Something exciting about this trailer too is seeing more Spider-Man villains like the Rhino, Vulture, and Electro. Looks like a Sinister Six is forming.
Thanks for reading!