You’ve already seen the headline of this OP of mine (and Robin), so let’s get started shall we?
Truth be told. Sony’s E3 2018 conference was probably the worst E3 event that I’ve ever been asked to cover. Shame I didn’t cover EA’s E3 2018 conference, because then I would at least be able to consider this the second-worst conference at the press show. Anyways, being a Sony fanboy, seeing them do so poorly is a pain in my mind. Here’s a friendly reminder though, this is just my opinion, and I will be as objective as possible over the course of this OP.
So, straight from the get-go, following a musical number including a professional banjo player (the banjo player in question is no one less than Gustavo Santaolalla. The composer of the original soundtrack for “The Last of Us”, and his also the composer for The Last of Us Part II’s soundtrack), Sony shows off “The Last of Us Part 2“. Following an awkward, overly extended sequence of Ellie being awkward with two different people, we get some gameplay. We see Ellie go into hunter territory and take out a few enemies.
The AI is slightly more intelligent and the combat system does look a little more brutal than I remember the previous game being. However, beyond that, so far it seems to be roughly the same thing as before with very little changed. I know that this is just the first gameplay trailer, but I feel as though there really should have been more variety in what they showed.
Realistically, Naughty Dog could have cut away a little bit of awkwardness in the story part of the trailer in order to show off more gameplay and more of what sets this game apart from the previous one. And before I get any accusations, I couldn’t care less about the lesbian kiss scene. That’s all well and good, but everything before it is just stilted and awkward, and some may say that’s the point, but without seeing more of the game prior to this, it just doesn’t come off well.
Following this, a break is taken in which everyone who sat to watch the trailer was taken to another building to continue the presentation, being a major inconvenience to the audience, both present and watching from home in an attempt to try to build a temporary atmosphere. There’s no doubt that “The Last of Us” is going to be a major game for them, but they didn’t have to create an entire stage just for that game just so that the rest of their presentation would have to change for it.
“God of War” for the PS4 was promised that a NG+ mode is on its way. So for those of you who want to give that a whirl when that comes out, then knock yourselves out 😉
Next up is “Call of Duty”, a franchise that I dread hearing about every year. So luckily enough for me there wasn’t too much said about the next game (in this case, “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4“). There are four returning maps from “Call of Duty: Black Ops: Summit”, Jungle, Slums, and the Firing Range. These maps will be available in “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” for PlayStation 4 if you pre-order “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” from the PlayStation Store. That’s right, everyone’s favorite—exclusive pre-order DLC, but now with a new twist: it’s pre-order DLC for a game that’s already out…?
Following a montage that really isn’t warranted, we get our look at the Destiny 2 expansion: “Forsaken”. A cinematic trailer was shown, which has sad music play as characters and creatures from the game are shown going over a destroyed field, and giving a sense of dread. The DLC is set to release September 4th of this year.
Frankly, the best part of the presentation was “Ghost of Tsushima“. A game that takes place in Japan during the Mongol invasion. Throughout the E3 gameplay footage, we are shown beautiful landscapes, dynamic sword fights, an interesting stealth segment where the player sneaks into an area full of enemies and quickly dispatches them. We also get a look at a boss battle against a secondary main character after a short dispute revolving around some unresolved issue while the field around them is set aflame.
We then get a look at a third-person action game called “Control“, which appears to take place in some sort of dreamscape, which a house that is constantly shifting, changing weapons, and spooky imagery. We also see some sort of telekinetic type power from the protagonist as she throws rubble at the enemies. So, yeah, it’s a pretty interesting and cool looking game. That’s also why I’m looking forward to give it a try sometime next where when “Control” launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Resident Evil fans will be able to get excited too as Resident Evil 2 is being remade. The E3 videos showed off some familiar faces (such as Leon S. Kennedy and Marvin Branagh) with some new twists. So if you like the sound of that, then I’m happy to inform you that the game is set to be released on the 25th of January of next year for PS4, Xbox One and PC (Robin – I’m sooo going to buy RE2 Remake, because I’ve been waiting forever for this game to happen).
Another game is set to come out, from the co-creator of Rick and Morty, known as “Trover Saves the Universe“. The game is full of colorful, surreal environments, action platforming segments, and some “Rick and Morty” style jokes that, frankly, fall flat.
Well, moving on! “Kingdom Hearts 3” got another trailer, depicting a “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” level, complete with a more realistic looking Jack Sparrow and crew than the actual Jack Sparrow and crew. We also got to see some awesome ship battles including the boarding of enemy heartless ships, swimming among the sea, and some new tricks to the familiar combat style of Sora from “Kingdom Hearts 2”.
Other than that, we also get to see some familiar faces and settings from the Toy Story and Hercules levels, and a few scenes from previously established worlds. All-in-all, a beautiful trailer, even if it is a bit weird to see any Pirates of the Caribbean level in a “Kingdom Hearts” game, even in KH2. Of course. Nevertheless, “Kingdom Hearts 3” is set to come out January 29th of next year. So only time will tell how good or bad KH3 will be on release (let’s hope for the best!).
Then we got the Death Stranding E3 presentation (which just happens to be the part of the presentation that I was looking forward to the most) ended up being a bit of a flop. You see, most of the game that we see is basically a walking simulator as we watch Norman Reedus go about his daily deliveries. So it could have been forgivable if the landscapes had been artsy in the likes of “Journey, but that’s not what we got. Though in the end we do end up finding out what use the baby has, as it’s plugged into a machine that detects the monsters we’ve become familiar with in the previous trailers of the game.
But other than that, we learn less about “Death Stranding” from this trailer than we have any other trailer. At this point, I don’t know whether or not I should be hyped for the game at this point. I can keep hoping, but I’ve seen so much and learned so little about the game. We learned from an interview outside of E3 that the game does not recommend violence to defend yourself, though it can be done.
But other than that, I’m disappointed to say I’ve learned nothing significant about the game, beyond the purpose of the baby and extraordinarily little about the actual creatures. What we do know about the creatures is that they age what they touch, you have to hold your breath to avoid them, and they pull you into inky blackness when you get caught by them. On the plus side, we got a pretty funny video parody out of it. Check it out here.
We’ve also gotten to see “Nioh 2“, where we see our hero become a monster like those that he fought in the previous game, and the phrase associated with the first game—Defy Death—has become “Death Defies You”, which gives a few ideas as to the nature of the game given what we know from the previous game. This follows a scene where he seems to be fleeing from the same monsters and becoming a monster akin to the first boss of the first game.
Lastly, we get to see some footage of Spider-Man by Insomniac games, another highlight of the presentation. We get our look at a number of bosses, including Electro, Rhino, Vulture, Scorpion, and others. Combat is incredibly smooth and reminds me of “Spider-Man 2” on the PS2, which was a fantastic game. Except this time, movement is so much more fluid. The bosses are very visually interesting. The combos are fast-paced and beyond phenomenal, and the action outside of combat is so incredible.
We don’t get a look at who the big bad is for the game, but I guess we can learn about that closer to the game’s release. Following the conference, we get to see how free roaming in taking on missions works in the big city, which is very nice, and still reminds me of “Spider-Man 2”, but much more improved. Of course, the game has a couple of quick time events thrown in there as we’ve seen from previous trailers, but that’s minor in comparison to what everything else does right.
And that just about raps up the E3 2018 event for Sony. Frankly, there was very little that was impressive about it. Their attempt to only focus on a few big games that everyone is waiting for flops entirely when two of their biggest titles give us next to nothing, those being “The Last of Us Part 2” and “Death Stranding“. A couple of their announcements were pretty good, but weren’t given the time to develop.
The only two that were pretty good for what they were had to be “Ghost of Tsushima” and “Spider-Man“, which were visually interesting and were capable of keeping attention on themselves given that they were longer and more exciting. Just for context, Spider-Man is given 14 minutes of the conference, “Death Stranding” had ten minutes, but a lot of that is wasted on watching Norman Reedus walk around and do nothing.
I mean, “Ghost of Tsushima” had ten minutes and not a moment of it was wasted. Fourteen minutes went to the Last of Us Part 2, which included the banjo playing and a lot of time that showed not much being new compared to the previous game outside of playing as Ellie. So much wasted time, especially for a conference that was an hour and fifteen minutes.
Entertainment Value: 2/5
Verdict 2/5 (E-)
Frankly, if it weren’t for the fact that “Ghost of Tsushima” and “Spider-Man” weren’t holding the conference together, as well as a couple minor surprises, this score would be essentially a 1/5 verdict. I really wanted to give it a lower score, but those two games just barely pulled up the score for me. I was so disappointed in Sony this year to have so much nothing to show us at this point.
They should have stocked up on more world premieres like Microsoft did, but not as many as Microsoft, obviously, as Microsoft had too much content and not enough time given to any of it. PlayStation had a decent amount of content to show, but all the focus was put on the wrong parts of some of their major games, and other games/content just didn’t really feel like E3 material.
I hate to say it, but out of the conferences, I had to look at this year to write on, Sony comes in dead last, with Bethesda taking first, and Microsoft second. So, hopefully, Sony will give us more to look forward to in the upcoming year than their current lineup gives off.
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer.
I’m a big fan of Sony. I also really like The Last of Us and prior to this conference, I was excited for Death Stranding and Spider-Man while being neutral on the other announcements that I previously expected.
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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