If you go to the farthest reaches of the least explored lands on the planet, you might find an ancient tribe of soothsayers. You might think to ask them for advice. I’ll save you the trip and tell you their secret: the fate of the world, both good and bad, can be predicted based on each year’s E3. Just look at the hype surrounding No Man’s Sky and the disasters resulted from that game’s launch. Speaking of Sony games, let’s take a look at their PlayStation filled conference for this year and see if we can make any predictions of our own.
Where Microsoft’s show was all about their new hardware, the Xbox One X, and the wonderful things it could do (including eating up all your money with its $499 price point), Sony’s show was…well, it was games. Games, games, games! Not that scads of games is a bad thing, mind you, though many of them were games we were already familiar with. I think that this year Microsoft ate Sony’s lunch for the first time in a while.
Still, what did we actually see? Well, we’ve got (sorta) new Uncharted with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, we’ve got new Norse-themed God of War, we’ve got Destiny 2, we’ve got a new WW2-themed Call of Duty. We were aware of all of these on some level or another. Relatively new showings included Days Gone, which appears to be a generic zombie game being released years after the zombie game craze ended, and even the first DLC for new favorite Horizon: Zero Dawn called The Frozen Wilds, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given that game’s sterling performance against The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild earlier this year.
That’s not to say there weren’t any surprises at all, of course. We’ve got a new Monster Hunter coming to PlayStation (for the first time in a while given recent entries have typically appeared on Nintendo systems) and PC (for the first time ever in the West) called Monster Hunter World, which appears to combine the series’ signature action with a more advanced graphical style. Also announced was the HD remake of PS2 cult-classic Shadow of the Colossus, which you may know as one of those games that people on the Internet absolutely adore.
Kidding aside, the original giant-climbing-and-stabbing simulator wasn’t bad but the experience was definitely stymied by the technical limitations of the PlayStation 2. Hopefully this new version won’t be quite so hamstrung when it’s released next year.
For those fellow virtual reality owners there were some PSVR announcements, including Skyrim, FFXV fishing (yes, really) and a horror game called The Inpatient, as well as a new trailer for the latest David Cage joint Detroit: Become Human. Perhaps the strongest showing from Sony’s conference this year was, surprisingly, a new Spider-Man game from Insomniac that looks to play a bit like the Batman Arkham titles. That’s a formula that’s worked time and time again, and the crazy swinging and combat we saw in this trailer makes it look like said formula is going to suit Spidey perfectly.
Generally speaking, however, Sony lacked the kind of punch they’ve packed over the last few years. There weren’t any announcements on the level of the Final Fantasy VII remake in 2015, for instance, which all but won Sony that year’s E3 (and has still yet to materialize). Even reliable franchises like Destiny and Uncharted lack the punch of new blood like Anthem, though something must be said for the new direction that God of War is taking with its boomeranging hatchets and unfolding Norse shields. As for Days Gone, well…I guess some people out there are still into zombies?
Also, where was The Last of Us 2 if we’re talking about zombie games? Anyway, unless Nintendo drops the ball something fierce, I think Sony’s presentation will prove to be the least impressive of E3 2017. Stay tuned.