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E3 2018 recap and reflection: Playstation

Sony had set the tone for their conference early in the week by announcing they would be revealing five new games coming to PlayStation in the five days leading up to E3. With some smaller announcements out of the way, Sony left time in their conference for some big reveals, so let’s take a look at what they showed off.

The summary

  • Last of Us Part II
    • What we saw
      • Set in the south, most like New Orleans
      • A good amount of gameplay that flowed in and out of cutscenes pretty seamlessly
      • Classic, gory combat
      • Injuries that could stay on the character model. Ellie was shot in the shoulder, and she had an arrow in her shoulder until she pulled it out
    • What we didn’t see
      • Any teasers as to what the story might be
      • The release date
  • Spider Man
    • What we saw
      • Set 8 years into Spiderman’s crime fighting career
      • Plot is that criminals have escaped the Raft, a giant floating prison, and someone Spidey has faced before is behind it
      • Classic Spidey banter and one liners
      • Fluid combat
    • What we didn’t see
      • Exact release date. “Three months” is all we were given
  • Kingdom Hearts 3
    • What we saw
      • A whole lot if Disney properties: Pirates of the Caribbean, Frozen, Tangled, Toy Story, Monsters Inc.
      • Fast paced and flashy gameplay
      • Releases Jan 29, 2019
      • Special edition custom PS4 will release with the game.
      • PS4 version with the whole Kingdom Hearts collection
  • Ghost of Tsushima
    • What we saw
      • Early gameplay
      • Fluid combat
      • Insane visuals and color palette
      • Who we’re fighting (it’s the Mongols)
    • What we didn’t see
      • Release date
  • Death Stranding
    • What we saw
      • New characters
      • Some “gameplay” (mostly just walking/sneaking)
      • A gun, implying combat
    • What we didn’t see
      • Release date
      • An inkling of an idea of what goes on inside Kojima’s head
  • Resident Evil 2 remake
    • Looks to be on the Resident Evil 7 engine, with Resident Evil 4’s camera style
  • Control
    • Trippy, flowy setting reminiscent of Quantum Break
    • Coming 2019
  • Trover Saves the Universe
    • From Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland
    • PSVR and PS4 game
  • Nioh 2
    • Teaser Trailer
  • Déraciné
    • PSVR title
    • Definite departure from previous works
  • Dreams
    • Platformer
    • Able to make your own levels, from environment to music to voice overs
    • Multiple people can create inside same build
  • God of War
    • New Game + in the works
  • Black Ops 4 and Black Ops 3
    • Four maps from the original Black Ops coming to Black Ops 3
    • Only when you preorder Black Ops 4 though
    • Black Ops 3 free for Playstation Plus members

The good

The Playstation conference was hit after hit, showing big games and going in-depth with each major title. The trailer and gameplay shown of The Last of Us Part II was fantastic, both in how it showed off the game and the gameplay mechanics. With a few exceptions, Sony kept the ball rolling with showing off new games and new gameplay that no one had seen before.

Once the conference was started in earnest, after the intermission and the musical interlude before Ghost of Tsushima, the momentum never let up. The games came in quick succession, and the hype kept building as the conference went on.

The bad

While the Playstation conference had a lot of great games on display, some of the games really were not shown for long at all. Since the major releases had so much time devoted to them, the other games felt crowded out. Virtually nothing was shown of Trover Saves the Universe save for the fact that it was made by Justin Roiland. Other games like Dreams, Déraciné, and Control still remain a mystery for the most part.

Also, during the intermission between the gameplay trailer for The Last of Us Part II, the audience was warned not to expect any new reveals or anything flashy. That was a letdown, since Playstation had just spent the three days prior making announcements that could have bolstered their E3 conference.  

The confusing

After Sony introduced The Last of Us Part II in one venue, the crowd in the Los Angeles convention center was then funneled into another room to watch the rest of the presentation. For everyone watching at home, this meant that the stream switched to a roundtable of Playstation employees, including the CEO of Worldwide Studios, a Sony-exclusive developer. The segue to that roundtable was very awkward and felt like a last-minute addition to the conference. The dialogue was unnatural, and it was not entertaining.

Also, Sony went with a musical motif for its presentation for some reason. There were songs played by a single performer before two different games. No trailer footage like Ubisoft’s conference had. Just watching a single person on the stage playing a banjo then watching a white guy dressed in Asian clothes playing an Asian flute. It was an anti-climactic way to fill time for a company that had just made a few reveals days earlier. Between trailers, Sony also had a few short animations, from 5-15 seconds long, that were all musically themed. All of these were products of Dreams, Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Project Spark. There was no in-depth look at the game; they were just random, short animations that broke the flow of the presentation.  

When trying to sum up the Sony conference, really the only word that’s able to is “new.” Whether it be completely new games, like Ghost of Tsushima or the Resident Evil 2 remake, or never before seen gameplay like in Last of Us Part II and Spider-Man, Sony’s time on stage was full of new reveals and crowd-pleasing announcements. However, the conference felt rushed at times, and it sacrificed a lot of variety, choosing instead to show more depth in the games it showed. While the depth was nice, it felt like Sony should have spent more time showing more games, or at least less time changing venue an on live music.

Source: YouTube

Image: YouTube

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