Opinion: Sony E3 Conference 2016

After Microsoft’s impressive E3 showcase, I felt like Sony had to step up to the plate in regards to the standard of content they showed during their conference. I was hoping for the announcement of a few more exclusive titles, as well as details about their new hardware, including the 4k Playstation 4. There were a few titles I wanted to see showcased here as well, such as Horizon Zero Dawn and No Man’s Sky, as well more details regarding Destiny DLC and maybe something new from Naughty Dog? Of course, that’s my own personal preference. So, here’s my overview of their 2016 E3 conference.

It was a pretty dramatic opening, with the live orchestra and men’s choir, which lead into the very well received reveal for God of War. Boasting stunning visuals, the gameplay showed us an aged Kratos and a small boy (maybe his son?) hunting in a forest, lecturing him on the ways of stalking and killing their prey. It was quite a moving cinematic and I’m curious to know where the game’s story will take us. The footage showcased a small boss fight against a large, troll type creature, showing off some cool slow motion features and the usual, yet wonderfully, grisly combat. Also, Dragons? Exciting times indeed.

So, they then threw a new IP at us, by the name of Days Gone. Looked to be a post apocalyptic style game about a lone Bounty Hunter; no gameplay footage but the trailer is intriguing. However, my curiosity was soon forgotten the instant I saw the floating city and beautiful visuals from the long awaited Last Guardian. The preview of the soundtrack played by the live orchestra sounded absolutely stunning, but I think the most important announcement here was the fact that there was now a release date. That’s right, those years of waiting are finally over, as they stated we should be able to get our hands on this amazing looking title on October 25th.

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Horizon Zero Dawn followed afterwards, showing us a new trailer for the intriguing world that mixes cavemen-esq style with robotic, sci-fi creatures. I honestly think the design work here looks fantastic – the giraffe like creatures look incredibly striking against the skyline, so kudos to the art team with this one. Gameplay footage revealed the sparse HUD (which I think looks really cool), and an impressive sized world map. There was a scan feature, showing the components of the robots which can be used to craft new items. As well as the regular ‘animals’, there seems to be a crazier version of the robots referred to as ‘corrupted’. There was also a sneaky preview of the weapons menu, and the footage showed us a few of the weapons available to the player, including the bow, slingshot and various types of grenade. Much to my delight, it showed dialogue wheels –hopefully meaning there are options as to how you can approach and deal with different situations. I’m thinking Far Cry meets Dragon Age and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

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Next up was an interesting title Detroit; Become Human. Seemingly showcasing tension between androids and humans, questioning their place as servants. It seems to be in a similar vein to the investigation sections of Heavy Rain, with a big focus on branching paths, the decisions you make and the consequences of those choices.

A surprising announcement came next, with Resident Evil VII. It looked to be in the vein of a found footage horror film – I was even uneasy watching it. Hopefully it’ll bring the game back to it’s creepy, more unsettling roots and leave behind the action packed calamity that was Resident Evil 6. They also revealed that the game is fully compatible with the new Playstation VR. I’m going to pass on that experience, but I think horror fans will really be excited about this one. Sony also announced that the Playstation VR will be available in the US from October 13th, with 50 games available at launch (including Far Point, Star Wars X-Wing VR Mission and Batman Arkham VR) and will retail for around $399.

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There was some gameplay footage for the new Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, although I didn’t actually realise I was watching a Call of Duty trailer…which was surprising. I honestly thought I was watching some form of new space exploration game, so I suppose I can understand why people are a bit miffed about the whole thing. They seem to have drifted far away from what seems to be the core ideal of the game, being about actual warfare. Still, I as a non-Call of Duty fan, I actually thought the gameplay looked really good fun, though I’ll just stick with Destiny. They also showed a bit of the remaster Modern Warfare 1 as well, which is being bundled in with Infinite Warfare…seems like a raw deal to me.

Crash Bandicoot followed after Call of Duty – a game I am actually looking forwards to. Although, they were just talking about remastering Crash 1, 2 and 3…as well as being featured in the new Skylanders game. So that was a little disappointing.

However, I was very excited to see Kojima walk up onto the stage to announce his new game by Kojima Productions titled Death Stranding. It was a very interesting cinematic, showing some very dark imagery involving a black oil like substance and a lot of dead fish – but it was great to see Norman Reedus finally in a Kojima game. It didn’t give too much away but it was definitely enough to get both me, and the audience excited. Hopefully this collaboration will go a lot more smoothly.

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Insomniac were up next, with a brand new Spiderman game. Could be an interesting combination – hopefully the web slinger will finally get a video game that does him justice. But Sony ended the conference by showing us some gameplay footage of Days Gone. It looks eerily similar to the Last of Us, with the abandoned landscape and the scavenging for crafting materials. Yet the addition weird human-esq alien looking soon reminded me that I wasn’t looking upon the Last of Us sequel. Still, it’s an impressive looking world and there was a truly ‘dear god’ moment as the main character looked down at the vast amounts of enemies waiting for him down below. Looks to be a really tense, but interesting looking game. I’m excited to see more.

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So, that was the end of Sony’s conference, and even though I am a self confessed Sony fan, I think they more than held their own against the green giant. Having announcements with Kojima and Resident Evil definitely sparked up interest, as well as showcasing their exclusive titles like Horizon and Days Gone. Again, there was nothing completely show stopping for me, but I had fun watching.

Sarah
As the newest member of the team, Sarah makes her contribution by writing articles related to gaming. She also co-hosts on the podcast gaming segments. Apart from FC, she appears on Youtube videocast GameOn TV.

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