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E3 2018: Sony’s Press Conference

In a week that’s been home to some surprise announcements, Sony gave PlayStation gamers a reason to be excited showcasing the gameplay of their Big 4 plus more. Sony was expected to highlight its upcoming AAA games Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, Spiderman, and Death Stranding for their Press Conference in E3 2018, and they did not disappoint.

The Last of Us Part II
The event kicked off with The Last of Us Part II which showed a grown-up Ellie in a much more brutal environment. The gameplay showed not only how much of a killer Ellie has become but also how the gameplay will accommodate this change in her character.

The stealth mechanic returns from the first game with a lot of refinements. It also showed Ellie in combat with quick dodges and powerful counter-attacks. We’ve seen Joel fight as intense in the first game, but Ellie’s attacks seem to have more anger and malice in them. We can also see indicators that weapon durability is a much bigger factor, likely a more expanded version of the previous’ games. There is also a detection bar that appears when Ellie is spotted and when she fires her weapon. Oh, and she can also use her enemies as a human shield too.

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Ellie also seems to have the ability to craft ammuniton in real time. Environments also look incredibly destructible. The enemy AI appears to be much more sophisticated, reacting to Ellie’s actions and communicating with each other proactively (something I wish military shooters have).

Marvel’s Spider Man
We’ve already seen a lot of Spider Man’s gameplay, but this time it takes Spidey through a chase in “The Raft”, the prison facility that is full of criminals he himself caught. The demo ends with Spidey having to take on Rhino, Electro, and Vulture and teases someone (Ally? Villain?). The gameplay video shows how fluid Spidey’s movements can be which makes chases exciting. The combat seems close to what you see in the Arkham series, and the web-slinging feels like it is very intuitive.

New Game+ for God of War
The critically acclaimed God of War will be getting a New Game+ mode that will be available via a patch at a later date.

New Game+ is starting to become widespread among action/adventure games (sometimes even RPG). It’s a good way to extend its shelf time and encouraging players to explore stuff and do things they weren’t able to do the first time.

Control: Remedy Entertainment’s Next Game
The game originally referred to as Project 7 now has a name. Control features a female protagonist called Jesse Faden who fights supernatural enemies with intense telekinetic abilities.

Jesse is the director of the Bureau of Control who fights these supernatural foes. The gameplay video shows that the environments seem to be dynamically changing. Jesse is seen floating on the video and telekinetically maniplating objects against her foes. Even her service weapon seems to shift like the environment. Think “Doctor Strange” and you get the picture.

This will be Remedy’s first non-Microsoft game and will be published by 505 Games. It’s release is slated for 2019 for PS7, Xbox One, and PC.

Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is one of the games I’m really looking forward to play and we are treated with some brand new gameplay footage, revealing new features and animations as well as a taste of the game’s combat system.

Akira Kurosawa fans are in for a treat as the gameplay showed familiar combat and a new companion, Masako, who the lead protagonist, Jin Sakai, has to go on a 1 on 1 duel later on.

According to Sucker Punch, Jin’s combat style abandons several samurai techniques, swapping them for the “violent grace of a silent assassin” (whatever that means), and implies that he’ll be learning new techniques as the game progresses (yay for more RPG elements!).

Resident Evil 2 Remake
Coming to this year’s E3, I was waiting for a certain “Remake”. Unfortunately, that game didn’t even show itself, but was instantly treated to another remake of a different classic.

Resident Evil 2 gave me nightmares when I played it on the PS1 and I would love to go through that horror again. Originally announced in 2015, details were few and far between (like that other remake I was talking about). However, Capcom has managed to score one against Square Enix by not only making its presence felt in this year’s E3, but also a release date of January 25, 2019.

Take that, Square Enix. Hopefully this serves as your alarm clock.

Death Stranding
Hideo Kojima’s first post-Metal Gear game seems to be coming together. After several years in development, big name stars being included, a Figma of Kojima Productions’ mascot Ludens, and other teasers, we now have an extended gameplay trailer.

Unfortunately, while I am quite used to Hideo Kojima’s eccentricities as a game director, I’ve never really figured out what Death Stranding is all about, and this new trailer doesn’t make thing any easier so I’ve taken the liberty of using directly the words of IGN’s Marty Sliva as he described the trailer.

“The trailer began with a tease from the throat baby then transitioned into a conversation between Norman Reedus’ character, Sam, and an unnamed woman. Sam was asked to work for her, but said he just made deliveries. He was then shown walking through various environments with a cart trailing behind him.

Sam was eventually shown with Lea Seydoux after the mysterious enemies appeared for the first time in the trailer. They made it out safely, but the second time he encountered the entities, Sam wasn’t so lucky. Sam was shown sneaking past the enemies as the device on his shoulder went off and ended with him getting caught.”

That should have ended well, but according to a Playstation blog post the first and the last sequence in particular are most representative of the actual gameplay.”

Wait….whut?

Hideo Kojima is an expert in subverting fans’ expectations, and Death Stranding’s purposedfully murky reveals only serves to pique the gamer’s interest into figuring out what this game is all about. The gameplay trailer seems to weave both cut-scenes and gameplay into one thread like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Despite the fact that this game is far from done, the footage we’ve been shown bears all the Kojima Productions trade-marks: the exquisite attention to detail, the excellent lighting, the optimized controls seem to be all there.

Nioh 2 Confirmed
The sequel to Team Ninja’s game, was introduced via a short clip. No story details were revealed and there were no gameplay videos either. It remains to be seen how the story of this sequel ties into the first game or if it’s connected at all.

New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Show Pirates of the Caribbean World
After a long development cycle (Square Enix loves to prolong their development cycles, do they?), Kingdom Hearts 3 let its presence felt in E3 2018. After the ‘Frozen’ trailer, we have another one, this time featuring the Pirates of the Caribbean world.

The movie first appeared in the franchise in Kingdom Hearts 2.

Square Enix has finally confirmed the game’s release ahead of E3 2018. The company also revealed a collector’s edition that will feature Bring Arts figures of Sora, Goofy and Donald for a whooping $230.00.

Square Enix seems to be trying to make up for lost time by going all-out with their Kingdom Hearts 3 videos and other information. The game is planned for a release date January 29, 2019.

Trover Saves the Universe
“Wonderful. Your dogs have been dognapped by a beaked lunatic who stuffed them into his eye holes and is using their life essence to destroy the Universe. Does that make sense?”

The game’s official website has that description. It’s weird. Wonderfully weird. It is also exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR.

Déraciné
After the press conference had ended, there was still one game revealed. Déraciné from From Software is a VR game. More than that, it seems to be an ‘artistic’ VR game.

Per Sony’s description, “As a spirit summoned by a young girl in a secluded boarding school, the player must prove its existence and build a unique bond with the students through clever interactions. As the mystery of the story unfolds, the spirit must use its ability to manipulate the forces of life and time to change the fate of the pupils.”

There’s not much details about the game yet, but it looks a worthy addition to the PS VR library.

There were other games coming from the PlayStation that weren’t included in the press conference. There’s Electronic Arts’ Anthem, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Division 2, and Skull and Bones, Square Enix’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Just Cause 4.

Sony was banking on its Big 4 to make a splash and in terms of the sheer quality of those four titles, it is safe to say that it delivered. There were same awkward moments during the press conference (especially with the musical intros of The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima), but it’s safe to say that people at least forgot them when the games were presented one after another.

Several games were also noticeably absent like Final Fantasy VII Remake, whose fans were hoping to have some news of. It doesn’t take away from the press conference, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have given some news about it. Still, the press conference was a success, and Sony was able to keep the PlayStation fanbase excited for the months to come.


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Stan Galupo

Pop-culture Section Editor - Console games (specifically Sony PlayStation games) - movies - Gunpla - Toys

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