I was lucky enough to be able to check out the Sony E3 press conference at a local theater. Even though I was in the ideal viewing conditions, I feel like I was a little bit disappointed in the conference overall. Last year we had the announcements of games like Death Stranding, Spider-Man, God of War and Days Gone. This year we just were shown deeper looks at those game in action (aside from Death Stranding). While the games all really do look stunning, I feel like there were very few surprises throughout, making it a little bit of a letdown.
UNCHARTED: LOST LEGACY
I was a little surprised Sony used some time for this game since it's out in just under two months, but the game looks good. It's hard to argue against more Uncharted, especially when this one is a bit more bite sized. I always like the idea of making shorter, AAA games for a discount price. One of the big criticisms of Uncharted 4 was that it ran on a bit too long, so hopefully this smaller version will be just the right size.
GOD OF WAR
While we did get a lot more footage from this game, I don't know if it did anything to change my opinion or get me more hyped. Given what we learned last year, this was exactly what I expected to see from this game. I'm interested in seeing how the father/son relationship plays out, but I'm not necessarily super into the big 'epic' battles that Kratos is known for. Early 2018 is a good release window for the game, so hopefully it turn out to be something good.
This is the slickest looking game I've ever seen that I just can't get into. I'm fatigued from saying I have zombie fatigue, so the setting really doesn't do a ton for me. The graphics were completely jaw dropping, and the amount of characters they were able to render on the screen was beyond impressive, but I still don't know what the hook is. Biker gang meets zombie survival isn't exactly the the most unique idea in the world, and I don't think the game did anything special gameplay wise. The same could have been said for The Last of Us before launch, I suppose, but at least that had the pedigree of Naughty Dog behind it. I'd love to be wrong, but right now Days Gone is just a very pretty game without a great reason to play.
HORIZON: ZERO DAWN - THE FROZEN WILDS
I loved the world of Horizon, so any excuse to return to it is a good one. I don't really have a ton to say about this I guess, but it's cool that they are really dedicated to this new franchise and want to further fill in the gorgeous world they created with the main game.
DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
Another year, another look at this, with yet another perspective highlighted. I think the more I see of this, the further I am from understanding exactly what it's about. There's a lot going on between all of the trailers, and the jury's still out on whether director David Cage is capable of juggling all these plotlines without letting any of them take a back seat. The gameplay (maybe) shown here was pretty cool, providing you lots of options to take on a certain scenario, so hopefully the game lives up to its huge ambition.
It was smart of them to end the conference with this one, because the segment they showed was certainly a crowd pleaser. There were some really amazing, action-packed set pieces on display here, and the graphics looked stunning. I do have two concerns with the game so far. One is that it looks to borrow a lot from the Arkham games. I was just starting to fall out of love with those games by the time the last one rolled around, so hopefully a new character can freshen that gameplay up a bit. The second thing is that some of the big moments really relied heavily on quick time events, which are generally not my favorite thing. The most interesting thing to me about it is the story, which features Mr. Negative as the villain. A 'post credit' sequence for the trailer gave an interesting twist to the classic Spider-Man, and I'll be interested to see how that plays out.
Housemarque is one of the most interesting smaller studios out there. Resogun is one of my favorite twin stick shooters I've ever played, and it looks like they are combining that with one of their other great games, Outland, for their latest game Matterfall. As far as I recall, this was the first time we saw gameplay, and it has a good amount of the visual flair that Resogun had. They really know how to make a 2D sidescrolling game look visually interesting. The most exciting part of this trailer was that the release date for this one is right around the corner: August 15!
This was one of the two game announced that make me pay attention. Hidden Agenda is a new game from the creators of Until Dawn that follows the investigation into a serial killer. The neat thing about the game is that it plays like Until Dawn or Telltale games, where you make choices about your actions or dialog, but the choices are voted on by up to five players who are watching. In addition to that, each player, who votes on their smartphone, has a hidden agenda that they are roleplaying, trying to steer the player character in a certain direction. It's a brilliant way to add some of the wonderful interaction you get from playing board games into a digital space. I think they said this would be out around the end of the year, and I'm really excited to have some people over and give it a try.
MONSTER HUNTER WORLDS
This other new title sent me on a weird rollercoaster. Initially, based on the weird creatures and huge sword, I legitimately thought this was a weird sequel to Bloodborne and I was so hyped. After I realized that wasn't the case, I lost a little momentum, but then immediately gained it back based on the cool looking gameplay. I love the boss battles in Bloodborne and the hunting in Horizon: Zero Dawn, and this looks like a combination of the two. I've never played a Monster Hunter game, but they seem like something I would really dig and can't wait to take the plunge!