E3 2017 recap: Sony

Sony has reigned supreme for the majority of this generation of consoles. They’ve delivered a high amount of exclusive content that has helped push the sales of the PlayStation 4 to over 60 million units worldwide. Last year’s E3 conference showed more exclusive games that Sony is prepping for release: God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II and Days Gone. Gamers were practically drooling after watching Sony’s 2016 showcase, chomping at the bits to play these titles. Coincidentally, this has created a problem for Sony: when are we actually going to play these games? Unfortunately, this year’s E3 did not clear up that cloud of uncertainty.

Spider-Man – 2018

The next big exclusive project from Insomniac, creators of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive, is an original story about everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Sony presented an extended gameplay trailer on stage that showed our hero taking down a gang known as the “Demons”. The trailer showed Peter Parker, presumably the one under the mask, communicating with an imprisoned Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, regarding the nature of the Demons and their mysterious leader. We got to see Spidey in action for the first time, and the combat looked absolutely flawless and fluid. His moves were precise and being able to incorporate his webbing during fights seemed natural. The trailer concluded with Parker entangled in a helicopter fight with the revealed leader of the Demons, Martin Li, otherwise known as Mister Negative. A special cameo at the end also revealed Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man for you non-Spidey fans. *Special reminder: this game is in NO way tied to the upcoming Marvel movie that is scheduled to release on July 7.

God of War – 2018

Kratos is back and he’s still a badass. Sony presented an extended trailer that mixed gameplay with cinematic scenes for the next installment of the God of War franchise. Last seen in 2010 with the gods of Olympus dead at his feet, Kratos returns but he’s not alone. Kratos is instructing his son on the dangers of the world, and the trailer shows that the boy is not only there to listen. One scene showed Kratos climbing the side of a mountain and when a demon-type enemy emerged from a crevice, the young’un drove a knife through its skull. Another part of the preview revealed that the boy can jump on enemies, temporarily distracting them for Kratos to deliver the final blow. These combat dynamics remind me of how Joel and Ellie interacted with each other in Sony’s other big exclusive title The Last of Us. No additional plot details were revealed, but it appears that Kratos has new enemies to deal with, which shouldn’t be a real surprise to anyone.

Days Gone – TBA

Days Gone is Sony’s version of Microsoft’s State of Decay 2; an open-world infested with zombie-like enemies known as “Freakers”. Not to be confused with “Clickers” from The Last of Us, these baddies resemble more of their zombie brethren. The extended gameplay trailer showed our protagonist, Deacon St. John, riding his motorcycle through woods in the Pacific Northwest and encountering these Freakers. While hiding in some grass, Deacon takes note of how the Freakers are what appears to be tearing apart a corpse. It’s been reported that the weather and time of day will affect the game’s difficulty. The release window for Days Gone has not been announced.

Detroit: Become Human – TBA

Coming from Quantic Dream, the creators of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human has the potential to be a game-changer. Played from the third-person, this exclusive title revolves around multiple playable characters and the choices you make influence the story. Each character has the possibility of dying before the game concludes, but that only adds to the overall story; the death of a character will not ensue a “game over” status. Sony and Quantic Dreams look to push the envelope on in-game choices and how they affect a player’s experience. Detroit: Become Human has been in development since 2013, and there is no release window currently for the project.

Shadow of the Colossus – 2018

Other than conquering the exclusive landscape of games, Sony has done fairly well when it comes to releasing remastered versions of past titles. The next game on the docket, even if it’s the second HD remaster, will be Shadow of the Colossus. Originally a PlayStation 2 classic from 2005, this title was developed by the same team that delivered the previous Sony hit Ico. When I say this will be the second HD remaster, that’s because Shadow of the Colossus was released in 2011 on the PlayStation 3. It seems that Sony thinks quite highly of Shadow of the Colossus for it to receive three separate releases over the course of 13 years.

Monster Hunter World — 2018

Developed by Capcom, Monster Hunter World continues the action-RPG series that began on the PlayStation 2. The line of games eventually made their way over to the PSP, Nintendo Wii and 3DS. Now, the series returns to a main Sony home console for the first time since 2011. Monster Hunter World‘s core concept is quite simple: hunt monsters. Sony’s presentation showed the player hiding, stealthily making his way to a rather scary-looking dinosaur. Once in position, the battle ensued between man and beast. How this new iteration of the series performs on the PlayStation 4 might signify if it’s something Sony will continue to support, or let Nintendo firmly take the reins on this franchise. More information regarding Monster Hunter World should trickle out, as the game is scheduled to release in early 2018.

Destiny 2 — September 6, 2017

Developed by Bungie, Destiny 2 continues the convoluted story about flying dead things that guide you, a giant orb that grants power and quite frankly thinking that you know what’s going on but in reality it’s a great big mess. Luckily, it appears early on that the sequel’s story will actually make sense this time around. A really angry Cabal is jealous that the Traveller, the power granting giant orb, should’ve chosen their race and not the humans to bestow its power. This prompts him to lay siege on the Tower, steals the Traveller, and at the same time effectively destroying all of your gear, weapons and accessories from the previous adventure. Already this story feels like it has some meat n’ potatoes to it that Destiny didn’t seem to have, until maybe The Taken King expansion. And yes, Destiny 2 is not a Sony exclusive, but just like the first game, PlayStation 4 users will receive exclusive content. It was announced that Sony players will receive access to a strike called “Lake of Shadows”, a ship called “City Apex”, an exotic weapon known as “Weapon Borealis” and a PvP map called “Retribution”. Don’t fret Xbox and PC fans; unlike the first game, this content will be time-sensitive until Fall 2018.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy — August 22, 2017

The adventures of Nathan Drake are over (presumably), so Naughty Dog is shifting their focus on, not one, but two new heroes: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Naughty Dog lists Uncharted: The Lost Legacy as single-player DLC for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but the events take place after the fourth game and act as a standalone expansion. The entirety of the game runs for about ten hours.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds — Fall/Winter 2017

One of the early crown jewels for Sony this year, Guerilla Games’ epic Horizon Zero Dawn is set to receive its first dosage of DLC. Surprisingly, The Frozen Wilds will take place in a very, very cold part of the futuristic-primitive world which Aloy resides. It hasn’t been revealed whether the events of this downloadable content will take place during or after the events of the main story. No other information was released at the time of the announcement, but Sony states that the content will drop later this year.

PSVR

It’s almost the first birthday for the virtual reality component of Sony’s console. To celebrate, the company announced new PSVR titles: Star Child, Bravo Team, Moss, The Inpatient, Final Fantasy XV: Monsters of the Deep, and Skyrim.

Wrap-up

Overall, Sony played it very safe this year. They showed much of the same titles from 2016’s E3 conference, but with expanded trailers. The old saying “don’t fix what ain’t broke” definitely applies here, but at the same time it is a bit disheartening that Sony didn’t at least try to surprise us with anything new. Not only that, but none of their top games, Spider-Man, God of War, Days Gone and Detroit: Become Human, are not coming out this holiday season. Sony, nor gamers, want to have broken games released and have to deal with constant patches, but what exactly is Sony backing on for holiday revenue? Third-party support from Destiny 2, The Evil Within and Call of Duty: WWII? Again, it’s a very safe route to take, but not having any first-party exclusives releasing in the most crucial time of year is a risk, no matter what company you are. On the flip side, once Sony does start rolling out these exclusives…everyone better watch out.

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