All aboard!! E3 2016 is here, and the hype train is in full effect. For the first year ever, I was able to catch the Sony showcase live as it happened. In previous years I’ve watched it after the fact, which is still cool, but the spoilers hit your dang news feed faster than a Cheetah with the runs, and ruin all the awesome surprises. Nothing beats seeing it happen right before your eyes. Thank you Mr. Interwebs.
Right off the bat, I have to give it to Sony. They put on one hell of a show – probably the best I’ve seen them ever do – and they spared no expense, using a full live orchestra to provide the backing music for the entire showcase. Classy indeed. Yeah, there was the usual dick in a suit yammering on about how awesome it is to be a gamer (probably never picked up a controller in his life), but the big difference this year was that there was no bullshit with long boring talks and developer wanking; it was just action on action. And the action was good!
There’s some big stuff to talk about, so here’s my lowdown on what is coming up over the next while for the PS Massive. I should note before I begin: Sony got a bit of flack for not displaying the new Neo platform at the show after Microsoft showed off their upgraded models. To be honest, Sony wouldn’t have been able to fit it into the time-slot they had available; it was just games games games from front to back. And this is a very good thing!
God of War 4
As the rumours suggested, the first new-gen story of Kratos (or someone who looks very much like him) is set in a version of Norse mythology. Interestingly, the gameplay trailer shows that we’ve progressed from the usual hack and slash angle we’re used to for GoW, and we’re now taking up a more familiar modern 3rd person camera position, a-la Tomb Raider or Last of Us. Also present is a young boy, who Kratos seems to be teaching to hunt. This could very much suggest a relationship something like Joel and Ellie from Last of Us – could we be seeing a little more depth of character in the new GoW? It also suggests a bit more of an “open world” feel, but I guess we won’t know till we get closer to release. I’m sure these changes to the delivery will put some hardcore fans offside, but it’s the 21st century people, times have changed.
The Last Guardian
My great giddy aunt! I had to pinch myself to make sure I was actually awake and not dreaming. They finally announced a release date!! October 25th this year – it’s actually happening! I have been waiting for this game for almost a century now (okay, since 2007, but you know what I mean), and I can’t get hold of it quick enough. If you ever played Ico or Shadow of the Colossus on PS2 or 3, then you know this is gonna be a ride and a half. Of note in this new trailer: A second cat-bird-dog! Whaaaaaaat?
Horizon: Zero Dawn
This game looks impressive! Not only the graphics, but the world and creatures they’ve woven into it. The blending of primitive motifs and futuristic dinobotics (yeah, I just made that up) is pure genius. On paper it seems like it couldn’t possibly work, but the robobeasts and tech contrasted against the prehistoric feel is actually quite breathtaking. In the gameplay trailer we take on the persona of a wildling type female warrior, taking down prey with tech and a bow so we can steal their resources and use them for who knows what and when. I’m really looking forward to this one!
Detroit: Become Human
Another one I’ve been keen on the moment I laid eyes on it. This will be a story heavy detective action shooter exploring the depths of human existence from the perspective of an android. Bold territory, that’s for sure. The trailer shows a little gameplay, but the biggest point to take away from this is the ‘choose your own adventure’ style of story telling. It seems you’ll be able to make on-the-spot choices that actually make a difference to the way the story unfolds. Traditionally, these types of games haven’t worked too well, but I’m hoping this one will be the exception.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Oh hell yeah! Returning to it’s horror roots, RE7 looks set to scare the living shit out of you! And I can’t wait. I’ve been a huge fan of the series – playing all of them from the outset – and having the first new-gen version come back to pure horror seems almost poetic. This was a series that booted the horror genre into your face on the first playstation in 1996, and having a new version in full hd horror glory will be, well… Glorious! Of huge note: This will also be one of the first games to be VR ready on the PS4. I say have spare undies on hand ready to go if you’re planning on that route. You’re gonna need ’em!
And Speaking of VR
Next up, Sony gave us a bit of a taste of what we can expect for the upcoming PSVR unit. We were assured that upon release on October 13th, there will be 50 odd games available to play in virtual awesomeness, so we shouldn’t be bored of it after week one! Here’s the games they did show off:
Farpoint – This just seems to have come out of nowhere, I’ve not seen it mentioned anywhere before. Not sure about this one. Space adventure shooter? Is it just me, or does it look a little clunky? This one’s a maybe for me – it didn’t really excite me.
Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR – They didn’t show much of it, but it seems EA has teamed up with the PSVR crew to create a playstation exclusive (for the moment) X-Wing battle mission for the current version of Battlefront. It seems a bit of a waste to just have one mission, but maybe they’ll make more as time goes by. Maybe they won’t. It does look pretty cool though, and I’d be keen to get my X-Wing fight on!
Batman: Arkham VR – No actual gameplay here, so it’s hard to tell what it could be. Being as it’s Rocksteady, we’re guaranteed to be in the Arkham world they’ve created, but will it be a port of one of the existing Arkham games, or something standalone? Whatever it’s gonna be, it will definitely be worth checking out.
Final Fantasy XV VR – Skip to 2:04 on the vid below to see the VR experience. Again, I’m not too sure on this one… The biggest and craziest of all fantasy rpg’s gets the VR treatment, which sounds pretty awesome on paper, but from seeing this, I’m not too sure. How will it play? Will it lose it’s flavour by switching your perspective to first person? We’ll have to wait and see I guess.
And that was it on the VR front. It wasn’t much, and to be honest, if that’s the best they’ve got to show for the new PSVR tech at the moment, then I’m a little underwhelmed. I’m looking forward to seeing where VR will go, but they need to step it up a bit I think if they really want to capture people’s hearts and minds. Am I expecting too much from it?
Call of Duty: Infinite Yawnfare and Modern Warfare Remastered
Time to roll out the CoD cash wagon, back ‘er up boys! First up, the trailer for Infinite Yawnfare just looks droll. I’m going to put it very simply and not go into too much detail – TOO. MUCH. SPACE. Just stop… please. Gadgets, techno weapons, zero gravity… Blurgh. Bring on Battlefield 1! In stark contrast though, Modern Warfare Remastered looks freakin incredible! Again, I’m not gonna go on about it – we’ve all thought the exact same thing – but it’s a shame we will never be able to get hold of this gem without having to buy the boat anchor that comes with it…
Crash Bandicoot Remastered
I totally pee’d myself when I saw this one pop up! All 3 original games will be ported to the PS4. So many memories chasing down every single last ooga booga. They didn’t show anything of the gameplay here, and who knows how it will even play in a modern context, but we all had a laugh when Crash showed up as a playable easter egg in the new Uncharted, so having these remastered for HD will be a great trip down Nostalgia Lane. It was also announced Crash will be showing up in the newest version of Skylanders.
Returning like a rock star from a hiatus in some far off tropical rehab centre, Kojima hit the stage with a bang! “KO-JI-MA KO-JI-MA!” was being hurled at the metal gear creator from an audience that clearly wanted to hear what this demi-god had to say. Almost ironically, he didn’t say much. Out of all the reveals at the Sony E3 showcase, this one intrigued me the most. It’s just odd! And very Kojima. Cryptic, a little creepy and packed full of, ‘what the?’. We’ve got naked Darryl in handcuffs, holding a naked baby still attached to him via an umbilical cord, whilst staring at a steaming pile of dead fish, dolphins and whales. Did I mention the dudes floating up in the air above the sea? Sign me up Kojima! I don’t know what it is you’re actually selling me, but I’ll take half a dozen.
This one came out of nowhere too, and what an awesome surprise! For years, ever since the Arkham games came out, the community has been saying, “They really need to make a Spider-Man game like this.” It seems it may finally be happening and it looks pretty damn good. Insomniac Games, of Ratchet & Clank fame, will be bringing the man spider to life to hopefully deliver the big, open world Spidey experience we’ve all been craving. This will be a PS4 exclusive and it looks mighty good in this trailer, I just hope it doesn’t suffer from the dreaded E3-itus upon release.
And finally, another one Sony had tucked up their sleeve. Days Gone looks to be your Walking Dead fantasy turned into a game. In the reveal and gameplay trailers, you can see zombies, survivalist tactics and chunky sounding motorcycles. All things you’ll find in Zombie survival game 101. One thing that isn’t obvious though is if it will have the same depth of characters as the TV show it most definitely seems to be borrowing off, to keep us invested in the story. It certainly looks like it’s trying, and it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
So as you can see, there is some big stuff about to blow up if you’re a PS4 owner. Sony have really stepped up to the plate this year and delivered a no bullshit showcase packed with action and hype! As I was watching all of these reveals I could literally visualise many of my dollars exiting my wallet as the next couple of years roll by. One thing is for certain; we will not be short of awesome experiences to sink our teeth into and it’s an incredible time to own a Playstation!