One of the main critiques of some of the E3 conferences was that they lacked that “holy sh*t” moment. Luckily for video game fans, Sony’s press conference was filled with seminal moments that made me lament not having a PS4.
From the very moment the conference started, Sony brought out the big guns. Even though I have never owned a PlayStation, I always found a way to play the God of War games, so to see the new Kratos back on the screen was electrifying. One of people’s problems with the series was that Kratos wasn’t exactly a likable or identifiable hero. Kind of hard to come back from killing your family (but I digress). I absolutely love the direction Sony Santa Monica is taking the character and the story. Norse mythology is just as ripe with legends, creatures and characters as its Greek counterpart. A change of scenery and story is exactly what this series needs and the game’s graphics are absolutely staggering. This was by far the highlight of E3 for me thus far.
After that opening, Sony had already surpassed most conferences in my mind, but the hits kept coming.
Days Gone, Sony Bend’s new game, looked like a more action-packed version of The Last of Us. The first trailer for the game definitely got me interested, but it was the ending demo that really got me excited. The sheer amount of zombies cascading over each other while chasing the player was terrifyingly reminiscent of World War Z. I also really enjoyed the fact that they pegged the main character as someone who has lost just enough to have gone over the edge of sanity.
Another crowd pleaser (which was basically every game) was The Last Guardian. I have not been one to give into the hype of this game, but I thought it was smart of Sony to dedicate just a short trailer to the long-gestating game. What they showed was meaningful and highlighted the emotional connection between the main character and his bird-dog-thing, which actually softened my stance on the game.
Up next was Horizon Zero Dawn which continues to blow me away every time I see it. The demo continued to show off the beauty of this half-futuristic, half-prehistoric Sci-fi game. I love the world building Guerrilla Games has already been able to achieve in the short time the game has been shown. The demo also did a phenomenal job of showing off the intense combat of Horizon and how a small cave-girl could possibly take on these mechanized threats. If the story can match what fans have seen thus far, it’s safe to say 2017 is already looking like a premiere year in gaming.
The second I saw Detriot: Become Human, I instantly thought of Blade Runner, which is an awesome comparison for Sci-Fi fans. The intensity was through the roof in the footage that was shown, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has played a Quantic Dream IP. Connor seems to be an interesting protagonist to go along with a story where it seems as though every choice the player makes has an impact in the overall narrative. I personally enjoy a balance between story and gameplay, so this game may not be for me, but I will be watching it very closely in the months to come.
Speaking of things that aren’t quite for me, Sony did a great job of addressing what gamers are actually going to be able to play when PlayStation VR drops in October. I am nowhere near jumping on the Virtual Reality train yet, but I will say I was impressed with how Sony bolstered its launch with a solid number of games, including Resident Evil 7, which was a surprise I did not see coming. For the record, I am awful when it comes to genre and have been known to scream like a girl. I will never be playing RE7 in VR.
Even during the middle of the show, Sony continued to impress the audience with surprise announcements from Crash Bandicoot being rebooted to Hideo Kojima’s newest game. I’m still not quite sure what I saw in the Death Stranding trailer, but knowing Kojima, the game will probably be as insane as it is cinematic. And hey, Norman Reedus.
The final surprise came with the Insomniac announcement. I just about lost my mind when I saw Spiderman swinging across the screen in an Insomniac game. If you’re a fan of the web-slinger and have played games such as Ratchet and Clank and Sunset Overdrive, you understand my unbridled excitement for what could be the first great superhero game in a long time outside of the Arkham series.
Overall, Sony delivered a master class of a press conference and by far the show of E3. The executives said their part, but let the games do all the talking. The live orchestra was just the cherry on the top and made the night that much better.
As I said before, I have never owned a PlayStation system, but after seeing what Sony has in store for the next few years, it may be time that I changed that.
+God of War
+How they presented The Last Guardian
+Horizon Zero Dawn
+Detroit: Becoming Human
+Spiderman + Insomniac
+The live orchestra
-It had to end