“A lot of walking in these games.” I said to Andy Burns, as we sat, taking in Sony’s 2018 Playstation E3 Experience at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, “but you know what there isn’t enough of?”
“Flutes.” He said, and we both chuckled.
That sounds strange, but that was kind of the theme of Sony’s conference this year – slow and steady. With steady sales and incredible exclusives coming soon, Playstation seems to be hitting a slower – yet confident – pace. The goal of this conference was to take us viewers on a journey. There were musical introductions to arguably the two best games of the show – an eerie banjo tune for The Last of Us Part 2 and the aforementioned flute solo to start Ghosts of Tsushima. I understand they wanted to set up the game footage with some music, but did we need so much of it? There was an actual intermission after the first reveal as the crowd had to be moved to a different location to see the rest…a little much if you ask me.
It was a little slow, there was a lot of walking around in-game footage – all interspersed with funny little musical interludes ‘created by Dreams’, Media Molecule’s upcoming title. These were actually pretty funny.
Overall though, the show was a good one. We got gameplay footage from almost all of the big upcoming titles.
The Last of Us Part 2
We got to see more of Ellie, who appears at the beginning of the trailer dancing with her crush. This quickly turns to gameplay of her fighting her way through an outdoor scene – brutally killing everything in her path. We also see a side of her that we’ve not seen before, an emotional side which hopefully speaks to the development we’ll get to see with her character as the game progresses.
Lots of Spider-Man at this conference. We got a gameplay demo of what appeared to be the biggest fight in history as Spidey met and fought some of his biggest enemies including Mr. Negative, Vulture, Electro, Rhyno and more. This game looks incredible and the great-looking combat system was on full display with a longer, more in-depth preview after the conference had ended. Pumped for this one for sure.
Finally, we got to see actual gameplay footage and learned about some new characters. We now know Norman Reedus’ character is called Sam Bridges – and that he’s part of a group of people that ‘deliver’ things. But that’s about all. Seriously, the more I see of this game, the less I understand.
Ghost of Tsushima
“Is this Assassins Creed: Samurai?” I asked – only half-kidding – when this one came on. No, but the gameplay we saw of this game had horseback riding, AC style combat complete with parries and dodges, parkour building climbing mechanics and drop-down attacks from above, so you could forgive me for asking. This game looks beautiful though, the colour palette is gorgeous and the grass and trees sway like nothing I’ve seen in a game yet. The combat looks solid as do the facial animations. This is definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye on.
On top of these big releases, we got a bunch of other stuff.
We got a reveal for Nioh:2 from Team Ninja which was brief but cool-looking.
Remedy’s new game, Control, looked like an Inception-style action game complete with twisting and turning landscapes – which isn’t surprising coming from the studio that created Quantum Break and Alan Wake.
Finally, we got gameplay footage from Kingdom Hearts 3 – which looked great. Everything from Frozen to Monsters Inc. to Pirates of the Caribbean were shown as levels, with the latter even being lifelike – straying from the cartoony look of other levels. All characters were represented as well including Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly and others – and Johnny Depp even sounded like Johnny Depp – which could mean all of the characters are voiced by their actual actors? Who knows, but the budget for that would be something of legend.
All in all, it was a solid conference, if not a little slow and often long-winded (sorry flute guy, that was a bad pun). We got gameplay footage from almost all of the games coming out soon, which was informative. Some notable omissions were Days Gone and the FFVII Remake (which at this point may be starting over completely if some of the things I’ve heard are true).
Big thanks to Jake Kislinsky at Media Profile for arranging our screening!