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Sony Stays the Course

Not much new at E3 2017, but maybe we didn't need it.

Let’s face it: while Microsoft has plenty of lost ground to make up for, Sony has been sitting pretty since the beginning of the 8th console generation. Even with the waves being made by the Nintendo Switch, there probably isn’t much that Sony needs to do to keep their position in the market secure. So their E3 presentation this year was a deliberate, measured, and comprehensive volley of games, even if there was little to surprise viewers.

Sony has been leading the charge with console exclusives, and much of their E3 press conference focused on Sony only software. However, this show was heavy on cinematic trailers and surprisingly light on gameplay demonstrations, even though fewer games were shown off than at Microsoft’s show yesterday.

UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY

This is the first game in the Uncharted to not star Nathan Drake, and instead focuses on previous supporting characters Chloe and Nadine. The cinematic trailer showed the usual visual flair and polish that Naughty Dog is known for at this point. There are rumors that The Lost Legacy may be less of a fully featured game and more of a standalone expansion along the lines of Far Cry: Blood Dragon or BioShock: Minerva’s Den.

DAYS GONE

The zombie apocalyptic biker game from Sony Bend showed off much more than just the protagonist shooting at a horde of the undead. This time, the fluid transitions from cutscene to gameplay were apparent, as were some stealth mechanics and useful distraction techniques for dealing with the human element. Because as we all know, humans are always the true enemy when the zombies come. While the game mechanics looked like an interesting blend of The Last of Us, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and even a bit of Hitman 2016, there remain many unanswered questions about this game.

MONSTER HUNTER WORLD

One of the few true surprises at the Sony conference, this appears to be a fully featured Monster Hunter on the PlayStation 4. While the Monster Hunter series became a portable juggernaut thanks to the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo 3DS, many gamers have been clamoring for a fancy home console version of the game, and Capcom looks to be answering those prayers. Time will tell if the multiplayer is as robust as the portable versions, but the game looks gorgeous, and the monsters have never looked better.

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS

Another surprise, and somewhat of an oddity that wasn’t explained in the slightest at the press conference. This appears to be a remaster of the PS2 classic from Team Ico, but that game was already given the HD overhaul on the PS3 years ago. From the little shown in the trailer, the graphics appear to have more than just an HD coat of paint on them, but it is unknown if the game is a complete remake, or if some of the fabled colossi that were cut from the game will make a triumphant return on PlayStation 4.

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN

This game from Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) was already a known quantity, but the new trailer shown this year delved further into a story of androids fighting for human rights and rising up against their human masters. Gameplay is still quite cinematic as Quantic Dream games are known to be, but there was little if any in the way of quick time-style button prompt commands displayed. It is possible that this game is more of an interactive adventure game in the vein of the Telltale games or last year’s Life is Strange from Dontnod.

SPIDER-MAN

The Sony conference ended with a lengthy gameplay section from Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man game. This is not tied to any movie or comic book continuity, and is instead Insomniac’s take on the webslinger, much like what Rocksteady did with Batman. Spidey can employ stealth and web himself out of sight of enemies before pouncing on them as only the Spider can. Once combat begins you may notice some similarities with the aforementioned Batman titles, as Spider-Man bounces from enemy to enemy in a rhythmic fashion. Animations are fluid and impressive, but some players may be turned off by the large amount of quick time button prompts on display in the demo.

Sony’s message was clear this year: we are in the lead, and we aim to keep it with exclusive software. While it was somewhat surprising that they did not lower the price of the PS4 Pro to further undercut Microsoft’s new Xbox One X or announce many new games, one could argue that they don’t need to. Sony needs only to stay the course, and that should see them find great success, at least for the next year. 


 

Comments

Super Step Contributing Writer

06/13/2017 at 01:28 PM

SotC was my favorite genuine surprise, but all of these looked good to me.

I still need to finish the Uncharted series and my copy of horizon, but I'm excited to do so and get these new games/DLC.

Days Gone looked interesting, although that's the one I'm least sure suits my taste.

Monster Hunter World retminded me of horizon last year, what with the dinos, but still felt fresh. I never played monster Hunter, so actually found out that's what that was after the show.

I hadn't heard of Detroit or seen a trailer, so that was actually a genuine surprise for me as well. 

As for Spider-Man, the combat/action looked ok, but seeing the swing mechanics pushed me over the edge. I think there were probably more QTAs because they needed a more cinematic scene. I don't love those, but I don't hate them so much to be immediately turned off by a trailer with them either.

So staying out of the loop made Sony's conference pretty damn exciting to me! I also love the format of their press conference. Y'all are here for trailers, so here are some trailers with occassional stage theatrics.

Machocruz

06/17/2017 at 07:02 AM

I don't like seeing the Arkham style combat in other games, but it makes more sense for Spiderman to bounce around than it does for Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor, where these human characters just look like they're sliding/floating from enemy to enemy and it looks off.

But it's Monster Hunter that is game of the show for me. I put a lot of time into Freedom Unite and Tri. Looks stunning and just plain fun. Runner up is a game called The Last Night, which has quite a bit of controversy behind it....

Super Step Contributing Writer

06/17/2017 at 10:41 AM

I didn't know that The Last Night had existed in some form since 2014, nor that its creator somehow couldn't resist Twitter's vortex, until I Googled "The Last Night controversy" based on your comment.

I'm still intrigued by the game, but their denial the game looks like Blade Runner is odd ...

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