E3 Conference: Playstation Owns The Show

Playstation is the company to watch this E3. While they always impress at these shows, this year they came with big guns, so to speak, especially with their early trailer drop of Horizon Zero Dawn pre-E3 to give us a taste of what to expect. It tastes good.

Go big or go home! And go big they did. Playstation’s press conference started with a full piece orchestra performing a rather stirring piece leading into their first trailer reveal, and before we talk about any of the highlights, we’ll just say that Playstation took a different route and spoiled us practically an hour of trailer after trailer goodness. Most were gameplay and big reveals that came as genuine surprises (see below). And that orchestra we mentioned? They played live the whole way through. Boom. Playstation wins. But we are here for the games and while we can’t talk about everything, the one’s we can are equally exciting. We’ll start with a name that’s been long on gamer’s lists.

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian (pause for shiver of joy) has another trailer and this time, we now know . . . wait for it . . . the release date: October 25, 2016. We’ll wait as you wipe that tear. Actually, we’ve nothing to say. We’ve waited so long for this, it seems unreal. Just watch this trailer and let it do it’s magic.

Moving on. Playstation wasn’t going to be left out in the VR talks and they showed up with VR compatibilities for the Resident Evil 7 and Final Fantasy XV, along with games such as Batman Arkham and Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing. PSVR is a thing now and they didn’t forget to remind us. Next up, and by far though, one of the most exciting news is that finally there is a remastering of Crash Bandicoot and he will be part of the Skylanders Imaginators. Okay, maybe not the most exciting, but come on. Crash! After that, anyone here like Star Wars? Of course you do. That why you’ll probably love Lego Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, which also got a reveal. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare is releasing along with an announcement of remastering Call of Duty Modern Warfare, but to be honest, that’s just feels routine now. Last but not least, Insomniac Games is helming a new Spiderman. They’ve been on fire lately so it looks promising. That’s already some great news! Now let’s get to the juicy bits:

God of War

Cue that orchestra. How cool is live music with a live demo? God of War cool. A pleasant surprise to say the least especially when it was a real gameplay (which showed a scruffy-bearded Kratos with the old curmudgeony personality we remember him by except this time, he is with his son). Some pretty cool stuff about a boy becoming a man and and fighting a troll. This live demo shows us the characters, an idea of the story (maybe?), the weapons and the enemies.

Impression: Mind-blown. Taking a moment to process it all, well, God of War like this was unexpected. Kratos had been missing in our lives and to see such lush, alluring graphics in the new environment and the over the top fight scene with the giant troll makes our fingers itch to jump back into the God of War universe. We no want to wait. Kratos angry.

Days Gone

Post-apocalyptic games seem to be popping up everywhere. Playstation’s latest showcases Days Gone, which reminisces on The Last of Us except this time, we are with a motorcycle-riding drifter and bounty hunter called Deacon who has lost a lot in this apocalypse and is fighting to survive day-by-day, searching for a reason to live. Days Gone dropped a trailer at the beginning of the conference and a gameplay demo at the finale. We see the nature of the main character of Days Gone but most importantly, the real treat of the visually spectacular world. Days Gone is an open-world action adventure that takes place two years after a devastating global pandemic.

Impression: Days Gone seems like it is a post-apocalyptic action game with quite a bit of sentiment. Our main character Deacon has lost a lot as revealed in their trailer. While we could assume that this is another zombie game, it definitely holds more. The creatures are fast and in hoards and it seems to be people that have lost more than their minds. Deacon seems to have a lot of weapons to work with and there is even more to discover. Will this be the next emotional roller coaster after what The Last of Us took us through?

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is the Playstation exclusive that has already generated tons of talk. There wasn’t a lot of info before but this E3, it not only showed off the beautiful world of Horizon Zero Dawn with its mechanical monstrosities and different weapons that seems to be a machine version of Jurassic Park, it proved the concept. Alloy is our heroine, voiced by Ashly Burch (Chloe in Life is Strange) and she has a mission that forces her to leave home. Horizon Zero Dawn is set for release on February 28, 2017.  

Impression: Horizon Zero Dawn is quite possibly the system seller Playstation needs. It’s breathtakingly good to look at, is high-concept but accessible and appears to be straight-up fun to play. The intricate world it has built and the story it has to tell is a profound and beautiful one. Alloy has many abilities and appears to be a competent warrior. And it’s about time. The female-centered story (“may the Goddess show mercy”) is welcome and looks to be not just empowering, but full-bore entertaining. Plus the machines are crazy inventive and has us panting with anticipation to get a chance to fight. But it’s more than fighting. Alloy can reprogram the machines to be her own and use them at her disposal. Nice. These are all unique perks of the game. And did we mention graphics? We want to mention the graphics. The graphics are good.

Detroit: Become Human

Speaking of graphics. Say hello to Detroit. When it comes to secrets, nothing beats Detroit: Become Human. There was not a peep beforehand and it just popped up early on in the press conference and boy did it surprise. Detroit: Become Human is a neo-noir thriller. It’s from Quantic Dream, the team behind Heavy Rain so yes, this is a choice-based game and looks phenomenal. Just from the trailer, your choices will determine the outcome of a situation in a world filled with androids.

Impression: Heavy Rain is one of our favorites. From this one quick trailer Detroit: Become Human captured our hearts but better yet, has our brains twitching. Choice-based games carry consequences and in turn actually make it more personal and real. If Detroit: Become Human can make a full game with the engagement of their trailer’s sequence, this could be a thrilling experience and one that players could return to over and over again to try and get all the endings (just like what we did with Heavy Rain). We choose to play. 

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

A wee bit of sadness swept over us when Playstation VR popped up and then this peculiar trailer began that no one could guess was Resident Evil. Billed as Resident Evil VII, it does bring back the survival horror scares, however it’s not the Resident Evil we know and love. For one, it’s in first person. Wait. What? Second, its location is set within a dilapidated house (at least in the trailer and the demo). Third, its about solving puzzles but in a distorted Silent P.T. vibe. Resident Evil will be released on January 24, 2017.

Impression: Flashlight games are not our thing. Resident Evil fans like us wanted to go back to the roots of survival horror it helped to create and while this doesn’t really ring true with the franchise and goes in the direction we may have wanted, it does deliver some effective, if very familiar scares. And not that it matters, but that song just doesn’t work. On a side note, a Resident Evil demo is now available and we’ve caught a few gameplay videos of it that demonstrate that it also has various endings by the choices and discoveries. It looks creepy and fittingly fear-inducing. Maybe this will better than we think. So far, we’re hesitant.

Death Stranding

Right when we thought Playstation couldn’t have anymore to show, they bring out their biggest gun, with a surprise appearance by legendary developer Hideo Kojima himself who revealed the Kojima Productions latest game featuring Norman Reedus called Death Stranding. It’s obscure and short and sees a naked Reedus connected by a cable to a baby that vanishes and there are a lot of footprints and handprints and it zooms out into a futuristic world and we want to play it even though we have no idea what it is. For those crushed (like us) when the Silent Hill P.T. demo went cold, this looks to make things all right in the universe again.

Impression: There are no words to describe the amazement of seeing Hideo Kojima being there and wondering just what he could reveal. Metal Gear something? Nope. Something very much not. Whatever Death Stranding is, it’s going to be awesome and creepy. The reveal trailer showed nothing overtly significant but probably everything is. It sure delivers a lot of promise. It may be short but we’re watching it over and over culling for details. We’ll keep you posted.

Other games at Playstation E3 Conference:

  • Batman Arkham (VR)
  • Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing (VR)
  • Farpoint (VR)
  • Final Fantasy XV (September 30, 2016)
  • Lego Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
  • Spiderman