Sony kicked off the show with gameplay footage for a new entry in the God of War franchise. The trailer opens in a Scandinavian village, where Kratos (now sporting a thick beard) is living with his apparent son. Kratos and the boy go out hunting, revealing that the new game is quite different from previous entries. Whereas the previous games were hack-and-slash games, God of War maintains an over-the-shoulder view, similar to Resident Evil 4. The combat seems to be more slowly paced than previous games, with one fight against a large, slow moving troll evoking Dark Souls. From the footage shown, this is a bold approach to reviving one of Sony’s biggest properties.
Although Days Gone is technically a new title, one can’t help but note the similarities to Last of Us. Set in a post-apocalyptic world (specifically the Pacific Northwest, given the locales shown in the trailer), Days Gone puts players in control of a former biker with a dark past, who now survives as a bounty hunter. Gameplay footage showed the player gunning down waves of zombies, but so far nothing about this project has stood out as fresh.
The Last Guardian has long been one of the most anticipated Playstation titles, and given the game’s projected 2016 release, Sony could hardly be faulted for trying to squeeze in one last moment of E3 hype. The new trailer showed off some more of the gorgeous environments, but not much else. The most important detail? At last, we get a release date (October 25, 2016)!
Horizon was one of the biggest surprises from Sony’s last E3 conference, an open-world action game where players use bows, melee weapons, and various traps to hunt robotic life forms and harvest their parts. The new footage shown didn’t offer much in the way of new information. There are apparently “corrupted” robots that behave aggressively, and the player can purify them and even tame them, as shown when the player’s character, Aloy, used a robot yak as a mount. Although much of the footage shown covered familiar ground, the game still looks great, with gorgeous visuals and combat that seems like a tighter, faster version of Monster Hunter.
Studio Quantic Dream has built a solid body of work by making games that focus on narrative and player choice, rather than action. Detroit is the iteration of their formula, putting players in control of Connor, an android tasked with hunting down rogue androids in the game’s futuristic setting. From the footage shown, players will investigate crime scenes and navigate dialogues, with every choice impacting how events play out.
Early in the development of Playstation VR, Capcom debuted a tech demo titled Kitchen, in which players were tied to a chair and made to watch a grisly scene unfold. It turns out that Kitchen was a prelude to Resident Evil VII, which seems to be a VR-focused horror game. The trailer did not reveal too much about either story or gameplay, instead serving as a mood piece. The dark atmosphere and disturbing visuals seem like the framework for a great horror game, and a return to form for the series.
Sony finally announced release date — October 13, 2016 — as well as the promise of 50 games at launch. Many of the games revealed so far seem more like tech demos than full products, but Resident Evil VII and Farpoint are early highlights. Playstation VR will launch at $400, notably cheaper than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
A title designed for Playstation VR, Farpoint puts players in control of an astronaut exploring an alien planet. Gameplay seems to involve shooting aliens, and the visuals, particularly a giant alien spider, certainly seem like they would be awe inspiring for users in VR.
Batman Arkham VR
Rocksteady, makers of the popular Arkham games, teased a new project. No gameplay was shown. Viewers were instead treated to voiceover from the Joker and images of Batman’s suit. Presumably, the project will focus on the crime scene investigation aspects of the Arkham games.
The latest entry in Square-Enix’s popular JRPG series is still on the horizon, and the latest footage didn’t show much, except for one interesting feature: Players will be able to use the Playstation VR headset to play as Prompto, one of the game’s characters, approaching battles as a first-person shooter rather than an RPG. This seems fitting given the overall pace of Final Fantasy XV, which seems to be much faster and more action-oriented than previous entries.
The latest entry in the Call of Duty franchise takes place in the distant future, when humanity has taken its bellicose tendencies to the stars. New gameplay footage showed a mixture of vehicular combat and zero-gravity shootouts, with the player blasting their way into an enemy ship and sabotaging the operations within.
Those who buy Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will get a special gift: a remastered version of Modern Warfare, the game that turned the series into a phenomenon. Playstation owners in particular should be happy, as they get the game 30 days before anyone else.
One of the Playstation’s most popular characters will soon return, as Sony announced remasters of the first three Crash Bandicoot games, much to the disappointment of those hoping for a reboot. Crash will also appear as a character in Skylanders Imaginators, the latest installment in the popular toys-to-life franchise.
The Lego Star Wars games are surprisingly popular, perhaps owing to their lighthearted tone and easy play. It was only a matter of time before the franchise would adapt the latest film, The Force Awakens. The trailer showed off lots of gags, so those who like the humor of the Lego games will surely be pleased.
The biggest reveal of the night should have been no surprise at all. Ever since Hideo Kojima left Konami and announced a new studio, partnering with Sony, fans have been waiting for the first details about whatever his new project is. Kojima defused expectations, claiming that the team had not even settled on an engine yet, which made the reveal of his new game at E3 2016 a shock. In typical Kojima fashion, the first trailer for Death Stranding revealed very little about gameplay or story. The teaser features a number of bizarre visuals, including the protagonist (played by Norman Reedus) clutching an infant that disappears, as he lays on a beach surrounded by dead animals. There’s no telling what kind of game Death Stranding will be, but given Kojima’s track record, it will likely be momentous.
Although Sony may have turned the reins of the Spider-Man film franchise over to Marvel, it seems to have gotten a new game out of the bargain. Developed by Insomniac, the game seems to be a continuation of previous Spider-Man games, with players web-slinging from buildings and fighting crime. Presumably, the game will tie into the next Spider-Man film.
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