Play to Win: Sony E3 Conference 2018
For many years E3 has been some sort of arena between the big three – Nintendo, Microsoft, and of course, Sony. Going by that long-running metaphor, it seems as if Sony has once again won in the biggest gaming expo for 2018. To prove that they’re once again king of the ring, here are the things the gaming giant showed at the Sony E3 Conference.
The Last is First
Sony started strong with The Last of US 2, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed bestseller of the same name. This time around, it’s going to be for and about Ellie. She’s got her big kiss, and she’s back to killing infected folk and non-infected ruffians in a post-fungal infection apocalypse America.
It’s a huge improvement over its predecessor, especially in terms of graphics, animation, and gameplay departments—most especially so in the last, as the action is now a lot more believable and fluid. Kudos Naughty Dog, you’ve outdone yourselves again.
Way Past Far East
From a bleak American future, we now go to bloody and brutal feudal Japan in Ghost of Tsushima. Developed by Sucker Punch studios, most famous for their previous work Infamous, the game is set in 1274 in the titular island. Besieged by the Mongols, it is up to you, one of the last few surviving samurais, to turn the tide of battle and show the invaders that you’re not legendary for nothing.
The work the trailer showcased is nothing short of impressive. It’s got attention to detail – the glistening blades, the falling autumn leaves, the way blood gushes and is splattered and stained – the ominous traditional Japanese music, copious amounts of historical research poured into the game (which), and last but definitely not least, exciting yet grounded combat.
Out of Disney Development Hell
Next would be the much-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. Sora, Goofy, and Donald are back, and they’re still traveling from one Disney world to another in their quest to stamp out The Heartless, fight the malevolent Organization XIII, and be reunited with Riku, Kairi, and Mickey. From the trailer, we see that they visit Arendelle, the Norway-inspired kingdom of Frozen; make a return to ancient Greece with Herc, as well as the high seas with Captain Jack Sparrow; become toys to help Woody and friends, and check out the world – and the very base of operations – of Monsters Inc.
All that waiting and believing that Kingdom Hearts III will definitely come out (with a release date) has finally paid off for the fans. With smooth graphics and art style that are at the level of previous Kingdom Hearts cutscenes, that shiny shimmering splendid combat with all sorts of neat tricks, a pretty confusing but heartfelt plot, and Utada Hikaru for the soundtrack once again, anxious fans are finally happy and stoked.
We’ve seen Kingdom Hearts III for the first time in E3 since its announcement, and with it came its release date. On the other hand, Death Stranding has been shown at the conference in the previous years, but we get nothing. No release date, or even plot info.
But to be fair, it shows more and more things every E3. This year, we finally see a bit of gameplay, which is mostly about baby-carrying Norman Reedus being a deliveryman in a strange wilderness comprised of wastes and lush mountains. According to Lea Seydoux, which is seen in the trailer as part of the cast, water – especially the rain – fast forwards what it touches. That gives us a bit of context, but overall it’s still a mystery. Nevertheless, we’re all invested.
Other than that, we see a young CGI Lindsay Wagner, the lead actress of the 1970’s series Bionic Woman. Apparently, she’s one of Hideo Kojima’s inspirations. Looks like the auteur is really giving it his all for his project.
The Amazing Sony Show: Spidey and Others
Capping Sony’s stage show is Spiderman, the friendly neighborhood superhero’s first foray into the current gen. Like Death Stranding, it’s not the game’s E3 debut. Nevertheless, we’re glad to see it again, as this time we see a whole lot more of the gameplay, which got Peter swinging and zipping all over the place as he apprehends fugitive criminals and takes on the Sinister Six. E3’s all about gaming companies making us want to play their games, and Sony definitely managed to do a good job with Spiderman. And just in time, because the game will be coming out September this year.
Other than the highlights listed here, Sony also showed us Control, a sci-fi shooter from the makers of Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break; the remaster of Resident Evil 2; Nioh 2; and Deracine, a PSVR game from Software which looks like a horror-mystery.
Through less theatrics and more about what matters: the games, Sony manages to hold on to its E3 championship despite not having much surprises (except for Kingdom Hearts 3 and Death Stranding), as well as stiff competition, especially from Microsoft. Thus, it’s important for Sony to not rest on its laurels and be content with its E3 win. After all, E3 only lasts for four days; what’s important is that they dominate the industry all year round.
For more, check this out: Highlights from Nintendo E3 2018 Press Conference