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E3 2016: Sony Press Conference Recap

"Sony continues to announce lots of games that you probably won't play for many years"

Sony took to the stage to finish off the day of conferences and they really didn’t mess around. They opened with a rather dramatic live orchestra which stayed throughout and played during a majority of trailers shown. I really liked this addition overall but their introduction did drag on slightly. However when that was over we were treated to our first game and it was a brand new reveal for God of War. Possibly the worst kept secret for Sony, we knew this was happening but it definitely looked like a more grown up and interesting take on the series than we’ve seen before. No release date given for this one and that will become a trend of the conference unfortunately.

Straight after that was another new reveal; this time for Sony Bend Studios’ long awaited new game entitled Days Gone. Lots of The Last of Us vibes from this one but with more emphasis on zombie mayhem. It may not be the most original game we’ll see but it certainly looked impressive nonetheless. No date for this one though after what we saw at the end of the conference this could be ready for fall 2017.

What followed was a short trailer for The Last Guardian and they actually gave a release date! Not just a release year like last E3 which is still funny to me. So October 25, 2016 is the magic date. We shall see if this game finally comes out after over 10 years of development. Part of me still thinks it doesn’t actually exist.

Next up was a new demo for Horizon Zero Dawn that was announced last E3 and recently got delayed until February 28, 2017. I don’t need to see anymore of this game. It looks spectacular and is definitely in the running for game of the show; I just want to play it already.

We then got a new trailer for Detroit: Become Human; the latest game from Quantic Dream. Announced late last year, this was our first extended look at the game and we also got introduced to another playable protagonist. I think the game looks just like their previous ones so if you’re a fan of their work like I am I’m sure it’s one to keep an eye on. Again; no date given for this one. I expect early 2018.

Next up is the sort of VR section of the conference and rather than still try and persuade people on how it works they just dove straight into showing what you can play on it. Maybe they assume there’s enough VR coverage already out there, but I was quite surprised by how non chalantly they talked about VR like it was an established way to play games for decades.

This was THE moment of E3 for me personally. We are shown a new horror trailer that stems from the Kitchen VR experience that Capcom have been showing people since last year.¬† What is revealed at the end is this is indeed Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, fully playable in PlayStation VR from start to finish, and is coming January 24, 2017. It’s also coming to Xbox One and PC and can be played without VR. And there’s demo on PSN you can download right now. I’ll probably write more thoughts on this elsewhere to not bog down this recap but this made me an extremely happy man.

We then got an exact date for PlayStation VR, which is October 13, 2016. It’s priced $399/¬£349 and other news we already knew outside of the exact date. It’s a thing people and it’s happening very soon.

Farpoint was revealed next; a PlayStation VR exclusive shooter that looks pretty cool. Again, no release date was given.

A X-Wing VR mission is coming exclusively to PlayStation VR for Star Wars Battlefront. No other details or release date was given. Assuming you need to own Battlefront to play and maybe it’s free but yeah, this one was fairly confusing.

Batman Arkham VR was announced with a short trailer featuring the voice of Mark Hamill’s The Joker. It is being made by Rocksteady Studios and is exclusive to PS VR. Seems similar to the Star Wars thing in that it’s a small experience that you play once and Sony can say we have these big franchises exclusive to their VR headset but aren’t anything like the main games. We shall see.

Final Fantasy XV also has some sort of VR thing coming as well. Don’t ask me what it is because I have no idea.

Rather bizarrely we then went straight into a lengthy demo for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s single player campaign. It was bizarre because there was no gap between the VR stuff and there was no mention of what game we were seeing beforehand so it was a slightly strange time to see it. Looks cool though and PS4 players get access to Modern Warfare Remastered campaign 30 days early.

The next moment will either greatly please people or greatly anger them. Crash Bandicoot is back. Kinda. Crash Bandicoot 1, 2 & Warped will be “fully remastered from the ground up for PS4.” No date was given however. Oh and Crash has joined Skylanders which we saw in a trailer. I liked this reveal a lot. The music and on screen visuals were fun and went with Crash as a series. Some may be disappointed all we get is remasters, but really this is way better news than a new Crash game that’ll probably be terrible. Those old games with better graphics and hopefully better controls? Sure why not. At least Activision seems to care enough to use the guy again. We don’t know who is working on these remasters yet however.

We got a short trailer for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This was weird just because the game is out in two weeks so why show it in your conference. There’s also a demo out now on PSN.

Andy House then introduced one of the only people to be live on the stage this conference and that was the man himself; Hideo Kojima. He introduced his game and we got a fairly lengthy trailer and a title; Death Stranding¬†starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus. Considering he’s barely been working on this for six months I really didn’t think we’d see this much and it certainly looked like a Kojima game which made me very happy. Just don’t expect to play it anytime soon.

The long rumored Spider-Man game was next and it’s real. Developed by Insomniac Games, it’s coming exclusively to PlayStation 4. This is huge news I think as the return of Spider-Man to the Marvel cinematic universe means Spider-Man is more relevant than ever and a lot of people will be very interested in playing a good Spider-Man game. Once again, no date.

To close the show we were shown a lengthy demo of Days Gone that was revealed earlier. The game looks great and hopefully they’ll be able to create it’s own niche in a very overcrowded market.

A short sizzle reveal followed and that was it! No indies were shown and lots of familiar faces weren’t present, but they really let the games do the talking. The only downside I feel was that so many titles either don’t have dates at all or won’t come out for many years. For me it all depends on what you want from an E3 conference. I would personally prefer it to just be an event that creates hype and is the place you announce your new games. There are plenty of other venues you can talk about games you will actually play this year so let this just be the event were things go crazy. I’d be happy if many of the games shown we didn’t see again until within six months of their release dates. I also realize they really catered to my personal tastes with Resident Evil 7 and Kojima’s new game so I was always gonna love this. Either way Sony certainly have a ton of exciting exclusive games coming to their platforms; even if the rest of 2016 is rather lacking.

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