E3 2018: The best of the PlayStation showcase

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Well that sure was…something.

Playstation decided to try something different with their E3 presentation this year, stepping away from the traditional stage show packed with teaser trailers and instead showing fewer games but in greater detail. And that’s an idea I’m totally on board with, as greater detail is something E3 reveals could always use more of.

And the show certainly delivered some more extensive showings of some of Playstation’s highly anticipated exclusives, so that was great. What was less great was those showings being broken up by painfully long banter between the most uncompelling panel hosts this side of Antiques Roadshow.

Seriously, those people were like Ubisoft fake team-chat personified. All permanent smiles, awkward scripted banter, and breezing past casual announcements so fast you’d totally miss them. Like God of War is getting a New Game + mode soon apparently, I don’t know, they didn’t give many details as to what that could involve. They were too busy bantering (banting?).

But enough about how crap the format of the show was, on to what they actually showed. Some of it was even RAD.

The Last of Us Part 2’s kissing animation is off chops

Obviously, I’m super psyched for this game, as I often regard The Last of Us as the best game of the past decade. There are those who disagree, and I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong, even though they are.

Following a lengthy live performance by the game’s composer, we finally got to see some gameplay, where an older Ellie carves her way through a group of bandits. It’s a stealth section mixed with action, and it all flowed incredibly smoothly. This demo was either heavily orchestrated or there is some amazing fluidity in the both Ellie’s controls and enemy AI in the sequel.

But most importantly, there’s a happier sequence involving Ellie sharing an intimate dance with a woman at a hootenanny. The two share a kiss, and holy balls that is the most realistic kiss I’ve seen in a game. Give that animator a raise.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has a pre-order bonus for Black Ops 3. Yay?

If you pre-order Black Ops 4, you get a free map for Black Ops 3. Cool, I guess.

“But what if I don’t have Black Ops 3, Terry (or whatever his name is),” says equally forgettable panellist in a painfully scripted tone.

Turns out Black Ops 3 will be available to PS Plus subscribers for free until July 11, which solves that problem. If you consider not having Black Ops 3 a problem, that is.

Time for a GAME MONTAGE

Everybody loves a good game montage, they’re just a rubbish way to announce new games. You have all of five to 10 seconds to register what a game looks like and its name before the next one comes along. And good luck getting an idea of what any of them are in the process.

Anyway, the things in this montage that caught my eye were called Twin Mirror, Ghost Giant and Beat Saber.

Destiny 2 is still a thing, and is getting an expansion

“Is he ‘Destiny’,” my partner asks as someone approaches a broken Cayde-6 lying on the ground.

I don’t know, maybe? I don’t really play Destiny, so I’ll just assume the slow-mo events of this trailer for the expansion make sense to people who do. The expansion is called Forsaken and it arrives in September.

Ghosts of Tsushima has slick sword play, and amazeballs grass

The second of the more detailed PS4 exclusive reveals was SuckerPunch’s samurai adventure Ghosts of Tsushima. It followed in the footsteps of The Last of Us Part 2 by having an awkwardly long musical performance before the trailer, only instead of serene guitar playing it was a very white man dressed in Feudal Japanese attire playing a flute. Goooooooood.

As for the game itself, it looks pretty gorgeous for starters. Those reeds floating in the wind, wow. The sword combat also looks really fluid and nice, as one would hope for a samurai game. Here’s hoping it plays that way as well.

Remedy revealed a new game called Control

The Alan Wake/Quantum Break developers had a quick clip for their new game Control, seems to be about someone who gains telekinesis. Cool.

The Resident Evil 2 Remake makes a sudden comeback, and is out soon

After much radio silence, that remake of Resident Evil 2 is still a thing and is coming out next January. January 25 to be specific.

From the trailer, looks like they’ve adopted the Resident Evil 4 style over-the-shoulder camera. And the iconic locations and characters are looking pretty schmick. As is the gore.

Trover Saves the Universe is no Roy

Justin Roiland debuted his new game, Trover Saves the Universe, with an awkward skit mixed with non-descript gameplay. Is he only funny in Rick & Morty? Because this was not. Game might be though, we’ll see.

Kingdom Hearts 3 got another glimpse

Kingdom Hearts 3 seems to be the game being shown in nearly every E3 conference, each showing a different Disney world the game will feature. In this trailer, it’s a return to Pirates of the Caribbean world from Kingdom Hearts 2. Now with ship combat!

Oh, and they announced a Kingdom Hearts themed PS4 Pro and a complete package of the series, including Kingdom Hearts 3, 1.5 & 2.5 HD Remix, and 2.8 Prologue.

Death Stranding is Kojima AF

So, we’ve finally seen some Death Stranding gameplay. Do we now know what the heck the game is about? Of course not. But we now at least have some more pieces of information and an idea of what the game is going to look like.

Seems to me like we’ll be trekking cargo and bodies across a desolate landscape where semi corporeal creatures roam. Oh, and incubate some babies. Neat.

As a huge Metal Gear Solid fan, I’m so onboard for whatever the heck Death Stranding turns out to be. Its world is intriguing the heck out of me, I don’t think we’ll have seen anything quite like it before.

Nioh 2 is a thing

Unsurprisingly, Nioh is getting a sequel. It’ll be interesting to see how it compares to Hidetaka Miyazaki’s own samurai action game announced this week, given the original Nioh was often described as a samurai take on Miyazaki’s own Dark Souls games.

Insomniac’s Spider-Man looks like Spiderman 2 and Rocksteady had a baby

Insomniac brought some more gameplay from their upcoming Spider-Man game, and it looks like a lot of fun. They had a more linear mission sequence to show, and also a free form demo afterwards, and the game seems to be looking like it combines Spiderman 2’s incredible open world web swinging with Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham-esque fluid combat, utilising a variety of melee moves, web tricks and gadgets.

I’m sold, I reckon this will be good.

And that’s really it. There were a few more reveals after the show with the boring panellists, like From Software’s PSVR game called Déraciné. The Media Molecule people also came on and described Dreams how they have been for years, as a game literally anyone can play and be creative in and will eventually come out, maybe.

All in all, Sony’s E3 showcase was a mixed bag. The in-depth looks at the big four games were great, but the actual presentation of the show was one of their worst E3 conferences in recent memory. A boring panel format, dropping game trailers with no explanation, it just wasn’t engaging material.

Keep the more-detail philosophy next year guys, just go back to the drawing board on the whole “not-a-stage-show” thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Editor/Co-owner

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