While Sony’s E3 conference this year was arguably lackluster in comparison to the company’s almost unprecedented successes of their previous presentations at the gaming expo since the launch of the Playstation 4, there can be no doubt this year’s romp has nevertheless still imparted a sizeable chunk of interesting, albeit somewhat derivative, information onto the gaming sphere.
To my chagrin, Sony has stipulated a reliance on drab expansions and remasters/re-releases in favour of an abundance of original games this year, but thankfully some highlights such as the PS4 exclusive insomniac-developed Spider-Man game and the reveal of Monster Hunter: World as the first globally released entry in the series to not be exclusive to a Nintendo console in about a decade help to partially redeem this.
Expansions, DLC, Remasters/Remakes and VR
Uncharted: Lost Legacy – August 22nd 2017
This one’s pretty standard. Just more good ol’ Uncharted cinematic flair and fluid 80s action movie-esque gameplay. Not bad by any means, but not anything rivetingly exciting, especially given that we’ve known about this expansion for a while.
Horizon: Zero Dawn – The Frozen Wilds – Late 2017
Based on Horizon’s sales figures and popularity this was to be expected at some point. The ‘Wilds’ aspect of the title is quite intriguing when you take into account the game’s chief competition at the time of its launch, Nintendo’s critically lauded Legend of Zelda: Breath of the ‘Wild’. While Zero Dawn garnered exuberant critical praise many reviewers and fans alike somewhat ostracised the game for its lack of attempting to innovate and deconstruct the open world genre in the vein of Zelda, so I’m eager to see Guerrilla Games’ response to this enduring criticism of ‘playing it safe’.
Shadow of the Colossus HD Remake – 2018
I was rather taken aback by this initially due to the fact that there’s already been an HD remaster of the game bundled with its spiritual predecessor Ico on the Playstation 3. However this seems to actually be a reMAKE from the ground up like Insomniac’s ‘game based on a movie based on a game’ 2016 Ratchet and Clank reboot.
Playstation VR Games
This year’s conference was again drenched with a slew of VR titles ranging from subtly and intrepidly compelling to borderline prosaic.
Some of these include –
- Skyrim (VR re-release)
- Bravo Team (Military shooter)
- Star Child (Cosmic Action-Adventure)
- Final Fantasy XV – Fishing (Really Square? -_-)
God of War – Early 2018
The camera’s now over Kratos’ shoulder, which puts you right in there when he rips things apart. Combat looks pretty fun and interesting but overall more of the same classic God of War formula we know and love.
Detroit: Become Human – TBD
If you liked Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls you’ll be ecstatic about David Cage’s next game. Detroit is Quantum Dream’s take on the neo-noir thriller, filled to the brim with their now signature branched out story and series of QTEs as a means of changing course. Hoping it can reach the heights of 2015’s Until Dawn.
Days Gone – December 29th 2017 (Subject to be changed)
Wasn’t really too impressed with this one to be honest. It has the most generic premise – open world, zombie apocalypse, survival horror, third person shooter. Pretty much the blueprint for your standard run of the mill AAA game released between 2005 and now. I’m willing to be cautiously optimistic because of the game being developed by SIE Bend Studio, responsible for 2012’s Vita exclusive Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Marvel’s Spider-Man – 2018
Here’s the big one folks. Sony’s crown jewel of the event was no doubt their highly anticipated Arkham-influenced Spider-Man game. The last couple years for most Spidey fans have evoked a sense of lassitude and weariness with the critical and commercial bomb that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (both the movie and the video game), the heavily divisive and rambunctiously immature Ultimate Spider-Man animated television series on Disney XD, and the demise of Peter Parker in the comics and Doctor Octopus effectively snatching up the role for a while, only for Parker to eventually return to a world full of other Spider characters like Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen Stacy while facing creeping irrelevance in the shadow of the Avengers.
Last year’s stellar Captain America: Civil War in the form of an excellently executed performance by Tom Holland reignited public interest for the character, and this year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Insomniac’s subsequent game hope to solidify this lurid resurgence. Insomniac Games, responsible for developing another fan favourite Playstation exclusive IP Ratchet & Clank, many fans believe have the potential to achieve this sanctity when taken into account their spotless track record. Seldom have their various games received less than an 80 on aggregate sites like Metacritic, thus spurring excitement for what could be done by them with Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s everyman superhero.
Call of Duty: WWII – November 3rd 2017 (Also on Xbox One and PC)
Battlefield 1!…….. in World War II. Long story short, Activision saw EA’s success with their period piece shooter and decided to supposedly return Call of Duty to its roots by striding away from the dwindling sales of the newer futurism-induced titles in the series and returning to the tried and true war of resistance.
Monster Hunter: World – Q1/Q2 2018
This was quite significant as the Monster Hunter series outside of Japan for the last few years has been delegated singularly to Nintendo consoles after initially debuting on Playstation. From Monster Hunter Tri and its enhanced Monster Hunter 3 being released exclusively to the Wii and the 3DS and Wii U respectively, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Generations both being solely released on the 3DS, and the recent announcement of the enhanced version of generations being 3DS and Nintendo Switch exclusive, it was all but assumed that Capcom had either no plans or no incentive to bring the series to any other consoles in the west, perhaps as a result of the series’ niche position outside the Land of the Rising Sun.
Monster Hunter: World has proved skeptics wrong as Capcom have blithely allowed Sony to unveil their new gem. Could this be an attempt to streamline the complexities of the core MH gameplay to appeal to western audiences?
Some other non-exclusive Playstation games that were absent from Sony’s presentation include but are not limited to – Dragon Ball FighterZ, Marvel VS. Capcom: Infinite, Destiny 2, Undertale, etc.