What to expect from Sony’s E3 2018 press conference

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The Last of Us: Part II

We’re only days away from Sony’s E3 2018 showcase, which will differ a bit from the norm, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shawn Layden, who announced the June 11 6 p.m. PT time slot during an episode of PlayStation Blogcast. From the sound of it, Sony will have a video-centric showing, similar to Nintendo’s recent E3 outings, that may or may not include a stage. Layden also revealed that Sony will focus its attention on four upcoming PS4 exclusives. Not only does that mean there won’t be a PlayStation 5 tease, it seems unlikely Sony will reveal any new games at all. And to be fair, that’s not entirely unsurprising: Most of Sony’s development studios and third-party partners already have upcoming PS4 games that we know about.

On the bright side, in lieu of surprises, we’re guaranteed to get extended looks at four of the PS4’s most exciting exclusives. Here’s what to expect from Sony’s E3 showcase — and stick with Digital Trends throughout the event for complete coverage of E3.

‘The Last of Us Part II’

The Last of Us Part II is the most anticipated PS4 game at the moment. The sequel to one of the PlayStation 3’s best games has been in development at Naughty Dog since 2014 and was revealed at PlayStation Experience in 2016.

The game takes place in Seattle five years after the events of the original. Neil Druckmann has stated that fans can expect a larger story this time around. Whereas the first game centered almost solely around the relationship between Joel and Ellie, Part II introduces a handful of new characters that serve an important role in Joel and Ellie’s adventure.

The trailers released thus far haven’t given us a clear picture of the plot, but Part II‘s theme is “hate,” whereas its predecessor was more hopeful. Sony’s E3 showcase should expound upon this theme and the plot in significant detail, seeing as The Last of Us Part II is one of the four exclusives Sony will show during its press event.

The Last of Us Part II doesn’t have a release window. We would be surprised if Sony provided one at E3, though we’re hopeful for gameplay footage.

‘Death Stranding’

Each of Death Stranding‘s increasingly bizarre trailers has led to more questions than answers. What exactly is Hideo Kojima’s upcoming action game about? It’s honestly hard to say and something tells us Death Stranding‘s E3 presence will be more of the same. In other words, it will probably be weird … really weird.

Look, the last trailer panned down Norman Reedus’ throat to show a baby sucking its thumb in his belly. So, who really knows what kind of extended trailer Kojima has up his sleeve for E3.

As for what Death Stranding is, it appears to be about life and death, and the connection to the in-between. When Reedus’ character Sam dies, he gets sent to an upside-down underwater world filled with debris. Sam can apparently explore this area between lives. The game’s open world is filled with Lovecraftian monsters, elements of science-fiction (mechanical arms), and time manipulation (the rain), each of which appears to have an integral role in both the gameplay and story.

In addition to Reedus, the game stars Mads Mikkelsen and Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro.

Death Stranding seems to still be a far way out from release, and we would be surprised if Kojima showed off anything more than another dazzlingly confusing cinematic trailer during Sony’s showcase.

‘Ghost of Tsushima’

Of the four, Ghost of Tsushima is the one we know the least about. Developed by Sucker Punch, a Sony internal studio responsible for the Infamous series, Ghost of Tsushima was revealed at Paris Games Week last year. It’s a period piece set in 1274 Japan. You play as one of the last living samurai on the island of Tsushima, staving off an invasion by the Mongol Empire.

We know Sucker Punch is taking liberties with the historical setting and storyline, as it will feature fictional characters and landmarks. It’s an open-world game, but Sucker Punch doesn’t want to hold the player’s hand. There will be no waypoints, as the game has an emphasis on exploration and discovery.

While we are guaranteed to see more footage of the game during Sony’s event, we’re hopeful that Sucker Punch will show off its open-world vision with a gameplay trailer. Since the game has been in development for close to four years, it’s possible we will learn its launch date during the show.

‘Spider-Man’

The only one of the four exclusives with a firm launch date, September 7, we’re likely to see a new extended gameplay trailer and cinematic for Insomniac’s Spider-Man. We already know a lot about the game. It stars an older Peter Parker, 23, about to graduate from college. He’s already worn the red suit for eight years at this point, and the game starts with Peter taking down Wilson Fisk (Kingpin). With the city safe for now, Peter grapples with his post-college future outside of the suit. Spider-Man will be the first game to let the player spend considerable time walking around as Peter. Naturally, Manhattan is soon threatened by multiple forces. A gang called the Inner Demons holes up in Kingpin’s area, led by Martin Li, a famous philanthropist who runs a shelter that Peter’s Aunt May works for. Added intrigue comes from the addition of Miles Morales, another Spider-Man whom Peter befriends.

Since the general plot and web-slinging action has been known for a while now, Spider-Man‘s presence at E3 seems to be more of a “one final look” before its September 7 launch on PS4.

What’s missing?

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Days Gone

Two notable Sony exclusives will apparently be absent from the showcase. Days Gone‘s omission makes sense since the zombie action game was delayed until 2019. But if Media Molecule’s Dreams, a hybrid game/toolset that lets users build their own game worlds, isn’t shown, that makes us wonder if its expected 2018 launch is in jeopardy. We’ll see.

Third-party titles

It sounds like the four exclusives will comprise the bulk of the show. They won’t take up the whole thing, though. Third-party titles and probably a sizzle reel of indies will be shown. In recent years, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Activision (Destiny-related content) have used Sony’s stage to showcase upcoming games. So perhaps we’ll see Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones or The Division 2 during Sony’s show.

PSVR games

This is merely a hunch, but we’d be surprised if Sony doesn’t at least put together a highlight reel of upcoming PSVR games.

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