Somehow I ended up at E3 2015! I’m not really sure what happened. One day I was falling asleep in bed, the next I woke up in a tub full of ice water and a sign taped to my chest that said “write about this year’s press conferences.” So that’s what I’m doing. I hope I find out what happened soon. For now, let’s talk about Sony’s conference.
Sony’s conference was characterized by a blistering one-two punch that left the other members of the big three reeling. First off, the show opened with The Last Guardian, the legendary vaporware title from the creators of ICO that was originally meant to be released on PS3. What an opening! Someone’s getting a raise for that one. The game itself…well, it looks like a deep, moving story about the true meaning of friendship and the unbreakable bond between a boy and his griffin guardian. It’ll probably try and make you feel things. Meh, that’s not doing it for me. I’m in the minority there, though – plenty of people are going nuts for The Last Guardian, as we’ve seen from the response to this trailer. There really was no better icebreaker than this title.
As for the other fist in that one-two punch, well, there’s a freaking remake of Final Fantasy VII coming out at some undetermined point in the future. Holy Jesus. Someone hand Sony a box full of mics so they can drop them all. OK, we knew the game was coming to Sony’s platform (again) in some form or another, but most thought it would be yet another cash-grab quickie port. Not the case at all. No sir.
At this point, E3 was basically over and everyone could have went home. We’re just kind of going through the motions now. We don’t really know much about this remake beyond its existence, but still – this is something that Square Enix have gone on record as saying they won’t do…and now they are. Wow.
Aside from the FFVII reveal, my favorite trailer (perhaps from any of the conferences, in fact) was Horizon: Zero Dawn. This is an action-adventure title set in the far future after some sort of apocalypse wipes out most of modern civilization. The vestiges include ruined cities, now drowned in vegetation after years of neglect, and robotic monstrosities that roam the land and threaten the tribal remnants of humanity. If this reminds you of 2010’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, you’re not the only one…and I was all over that game, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one. Even at this early stage, Horizon’s got some great production values and a fantastic concept to work with.
Other highlights included the announcement of a Kickstarter for Shenmue 3, which everyone is excited about despite the tacit admission that Sony doesn’t want to pay for the game themselves. Naturally, two million dollars, quite a lot of money if you think about it, was raised over the course of a day simply by asking nicely. Welcome to 2015 once again. We hope you enjoy your stay. Please remember to donate to our GoFundMe. Who am I kidding; I want a new Shenmue just as badly as anyone else. If we’ve all got to sacrifice something to get what we want, I’ll sacrifice my indignation at yet another crowdfunding campaign from a AAA company.
Oh, and no Sony press conference would be complete without an embarrassing gaffe. This time we had a fantastic moment during the concluding presentation of Uncharted 4. Someone’s controls wet the bed and apparently ol’ Nate decided he was done adventuring and would rather just stand there. A restart of the demo solved the problem, but, unfortunately, it’s probably still going to become a meme. Sony’s pretty epic with conference memes. #Reruncharted4 maybe. #Unmoving4. Something like that. Still better than #GiantEnemyCrab. God save us all.
I hate to say that Sony “won” the big three’s press conferences this year, both because that’s a stupid thing to say no matter what happened and because I’m largely basing it on two announcements. These were two pretty significant announcements, including the much-touted – and console exclusive – Street Fighter V, and it bodes well for a future that won’t actually exist: a future where you can walk into a store and buy both The Last Guardian and a remake of Final Fantasy VII. It’s just a dream. The real world won’t be so generous. Still, it’s a really, really nice dream.