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Sony’s E3 conference was good but lacked in wow factor

Sony had two masterful E3 presentations in a row over the course of 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, at some point you will run out of things to show and it seems that Sony felt that this year. The Sony E3 press conference took place last night and while it was good, a lot of it was retreading old ground, going back over Days Gone, Uncharted The Lost Legacy, Detroit: Become Human, God of War and Insomniac’s Spider-Man. 

Let’s start off with the good. Shadow of the Colossus, a PS2 classic, is being brought back to PS4. This isn’t just a remaster either, it is a full-blown remake, updated with modern graphics. This was perhaps the biggest surprise of the entire conference and best of all, it is slated for a 2018 release date.

Monster Hunter World was another brand new announcement. This new game will see the Monster Hunter franchise finally make its way to consoles and PC in the west in early 2018. I’ve been a big fan of Monster Hunter for a long time, so I do have high hopes for this one. The game launches on Xbox and PS4 in early 2018 but will head to PCs later on.

Unfortunately, that is where the surprises end and we start to retread old ground. Uncharted The Lost Legacy is a standalone expansion, which almost feels like a full game at this point. It looks great and it’s coming out on August 22nd. Unfortunately, this is just another trailer for a game we have seen a couple of times at this point.

Days Gone was one of Sony’s surprise announcements of 2016 and it had quite the reveal. We saw extensive gameplay footage at the time but this new video expands our view of the in-game world a bit. Rather than just taking on masses of zombie hordes, there will be camps of human raiders and even zombie animals out in the wild.  Unfortunately the clearing human camps aspect gave me on too many flashbacks to Far Cry 3 and 4. The game comes out in 2018.

God of War makes a return this year and with this new trailer, we get a better sense of what to expect from this latest entry into the franchise. While last year’s section of gameplay was very contained and intimate, this trailer has a grander sense of scale for the story and world. Personally, I preferred the original gameplay reveal to this one but I am still very much looking forward to playing this game when it launches in ‘early 2018’.

Detroit: Become Human is another David Cage game. Expect lots of movie-like cut scenes, dialogue options and multiple endings. While the last trailer for this game focussed on an Android cop trying to rescue a child taken hostage, this extended gameplay focussed more on the leader of an Android uprising. The game is set in a technologically advanced city where Androids are seen as commodities to serve humans. Some of the Androids learn to think for themselves, don’t like the idea and want to take over. Unfortunately, this reveal killed some of the mystery surrounding this game for me. Like most games on this list, this is also another 2018 game.

Finally we get to Insomniac’s Spiderman. This was Sony’s big closer for E3 this year and while things started strong, my excitement dropped pretty quickly. The gameplay reveal starts off with Spider-Man clearing out an area of enemies, using Batman-style stealth tactics and lots of web shooting. Unfortunately once the big bad guy shows up, things quickly devolve into quick time events and in my experience, QTEs aren’t particularly exciting or fun in games. The gameplay reveal did end on a shot of Miles Morales, hinting at a much larger over-arching story for the Spidey-verse but if big gameplay moments are going to be reduced to QTEs, then I am significantly less excited for this game. Spider-Man will launch in 2018.

Aside from those big reveals, there were a few smaller bits worth mentioning. Yes, we did see Call of Duty WWII on stage, we also saw more Marvel VS Capcom, a new Destiny 2 trailer and a VR sizzle-reel. Horizon: Zero Dawn is also getting an expansion.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get anything from ‘From Software’ this year but I am sure fans are willing to wait while the studio figures out its next idea. Red Dead Redemption 2 was heavily rumoured to be making an appearance but that was a no-show, which isn’t surprising given the lengthy delay that game just received. Personally, I was hoping that Rocksteady would make a surprise appearance but they don’t seem to have anything ready just yet. Perhaps next year?

KitGuru Says: While Shadow of the Colossus and Monster Hunter World were pretty major announcements, almost everything else Sony showed this year failed to truly get me excited. I am way less excited for Spider-Man now because let’s face it, QTEs aren’t a great way to show off your game. Detroit: Become Human is still intriguing but the trailer wasn’t particularly great. God of War still looks awesome but I didn’t need to see more of the game beyond the section they showed last year, for me, that intimate slice of gameplay was perfect. Did any of you follow Sony’s presser this year? What did you think of the new announcements?

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