E3 2017 - Sony Press Conference Abridged
Really high highs and a really odd message defined this year's PlayStation media briefing. It was strange to watch, but mostly satisfying. They took an approach similar to Microsoft by just showing a ton of game trailers and demos with very little press conference preaching in between. But, whatever. They blew my damn mind with their niche stuff so I'll be selfish and happy.
I have wanted a real console Monster Hunter since 2008 and I still can't believe that's what they're trying to tell me. Capcom revealed Monster Hunter World and I don't know that I've ever been more excited or surprised by an announcement. It looks amazing, it has tons of new gameplay additions like a grappling hook, and it still has its trademark charm. I'll be sitting here re-watching this trailer until "early 2018", apparently.
Somehow my subconscious brain sent messages to those crazy people out west and made them follow Monster Hunter with a Shadow of the Colossus remake. I feel like I'm lying just typing this. Those are two of my top five or six favorite games of all time getting the fancy presentation I feel they've always deserved. SotC was shown alongside practically zero information, so I'll have to do some "jernalizum" this week and find out what's going on here. But holy crap. I was done with this whole E3 after these two. I legitimately would have never put either of these things on a list of stuff I wanted because they're so unlikely to happen, and so unlikely to be of any real financial benefit to Sony. I guess if Shawn Layden refers to a franchise as being "near and dear to my heart", you make more damn games in that franchise!
We got our first look at Skyrim VR (which I think is the actual name of that game) and it's what you'd expect: a trailer for Skyrim but where the weapons float around in space in front of the screen. It's a good idea but there's simply no way to show that well on a stage.
This block of VR games also included Star Child, The Inpatient, Bravo Team, Moss, and Monsters of the Deep. They showed trailers for these games with little to no fanfare, which really did those first three a huge disservice because they definitely needed some sort of speech to explain their existence. Moss is a very charming game, with a cute mascot type character, but it's hard to see why it's a VR game from just the trailer. I guess it's possible I just missed something in my MH euphoria. Monsters of the Deep is some sort of Final Fantasy XV fishing minigame in VR: basically exactly the type of thing VR doesn't need. It was good to see Sony talking about PSVR on stage, but it, and the struggling VR industry, deserve much better.
That Spider-Man game is very interesting. They've borrowed a lot of concepts from the Arkham series, which is a great idea. Alongside that, though, there's the right amount of Spider-Man quipping, swinging around the city, and doing fancy spinny-twisty things to stop it from feeling like a rip off of a successful formula. Swinging is really important to a Spider-Man game and they showed it's at least present here, so I think the game is in good hands. And I believe the trailer implies this is a Miles Morales Spidey? We'll see next year.
Detroit: Become Human made an appearance and had a strong showing. The basic premise of the game is a lot more clear and inspired than it was a few years ago, and the visuals have kept up their end, too. The trailer made a point of highlighting moments where the story could branch, which I think is important because the core conflict of this game is one that becomes a lot more interesting with an injection of player choice.
The Destiny 2 story trailer was good. That's a big deal. This game might have a story. Hype!
We saw more of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. It still looks great, but it's such a known quantity that they barely needed to show it. The trailer teased some conflict between the game's main characters that I think Uncharted fans will eat up, but that's just another way of saying "This game will have a great story," which is redundant, because that's what Uncharted means. Water is wet.
Sony showed more of Days Gone and I'm just not sold. It looks way too much like a spin-off of The Last of Us, which wasn't at this show, by the way. It won't be out for a while still, so hopefully the game isn't as "me too" as it looks now when it finally comes out.
The new God of War trailer was fantastic. However, as I've said several times about games at this year's E3, they don't seem to have much to say about the game they're showing that we don't already know. In this specific case, that might be part of an attempt to keep the nature of the game hidden, since that keeps fans wondering about this game's ties to the last GoW trilogy. Still, I felt a strong feeling of "Yup, it's still that game," by the end.
They gave a quick look at Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite and mentioned there was a story demo "available now". It isn't, and that story looks awful, like almost all fighting game story modes. The Street Fighter fan in me clings to some excitement for this game, but the part of me that likes dope shit has all but forgotten about this game after seeing Dragonball Fighter Z.
As presentation and E3 bombast go, this was Sony's worst E3 showing in about 10 years. I have a LOT of love for some of the announcements. I might even go as far as to say I've never cared more about the games mentioned at an E3 conference than I do this time. I applaud Sony's efforts to appease a niche crowd and deliver a surprise that isn't some crazy blockbuster sequel. And, to be fair, they already have like four of those lined up, anyway. However, they still need to compete with the Triple Xbox (maybe) and its fall lineup of... Okay, Crackdown 3 is maybe not the stiffest competition. Still, E3 is about the big news and if you, like most people, weren't into Monster Hunter or Shadow of the Colossus, this conference was probably really boring.
We've got Nintendo news tomorrow, and then we're into E3 proper. we'll spend some time highlighting individual titles more, now that we're just about done with conferences, and after that, I'll get back to streaming in time for a bit of FFXIV coverage. That expansion is just around the corner.