With Microsoft officially unveiling both a new model Xbox One and its successor, codenamed Scorpio, earlier today, Sony had a bit of work to do in its conference to avoid the 'dreaded' fate of 'losing' E3. Naturally, the publisher kicked things off with an orchestra conducted by a dude who looked like Brian Crecente. Cool.
The preamble wasn't just for show - well it was, but you get my point - it was also to build anticipation for a new God of War title, which this time takes Norse mythology as its basis. This means that Kratos now has a massive beard and that he's really into black metal, I think. Something like that. Either way, it went over very well with the crowd.
After the demo closed Sony's Shawn Layden took the stage to offer a few words about the Orlando shooting, before departing to watch the introduction of the first round of games. First up was Sony Bend's Days Gone: what appears to be a Last of Us-inspired title/knock-off about biker gangs and being sad about the past.
Following that we quickly moved on to The Last Guardian, checking in for its monthly sighting so we know it's still coming. Well, it is. October 25th, to be precise. One game that won't make this year is Horizon: Zero Dawn, which followed The Last Guardian with a lengthy gameplay demo where the main character wouldn't shut up and, it must be said, looked (visually) very nice indeed. But then Guerrilla's games always look nice. They just don't happen to play that well. We'll see.
Speaking of developers that often don't deliver on big promises, Quantic Dream's Detroit: Become Human was up next, in a trailer which was heavy on the Blade Runner themes and player choice. But forget all that, because as soon as Detroit finished blaring we got a look at Capcom's new PSVR horror title, which is actually motherfucking Resident Evil VII (confusingly subtitled: Biohazard). It was heavy on the Condemned/Silent Hill leanings, rather ironically, but either way it looked bloody good: creeping around desolate houses, getting The Fear, and not a terrible QTE in sight. The demo is out now on PlayStation Plus. PSVR itself was revealed to be heading to the US in October.
Far Point, a mars-alike-set survival game then got a little trailer, of which there isn't much more to say. Star Wars VR was a tad more interesting, as was an (admittedly CGI) teaser for Batman Arkham VR, coming this October exclusively to PSVR. Final Fantasy XV got an action-packed trailer which made a whole lot more sense than the showing at Microsoft's presser, and also boasted PSVR functionality. Take that, rival billion-dollar firm.
After all that excitement it was time for the yearly look at Call of Duty, with the upcoming Space WarFace. Only joking, it's actually called Infinite Warfare. But my name is better. As ever, the demo was of a single-player mission, a space dogfight which was high on both intensity and, more importantly, Being Like That Space Battle Bit In Moonraker. Which, as we all know, is the best Bond. You've even got a space grappling hook now. And if that didn't do it for you, there was a look at Call of Duty 4's remaster, which will invariably be miles better than Infinite Warfare.
Speaking of remasters: the original Crash trilogy is getting "remastered from the ground up" for PS4, according to Shawn Layden. Be careful what you wish for, eh? Oh, and Crash himself is also in Skylanders Imaginations. No word if he's also popping up in Lego The Force Awakens, which was trailed next, but probably not, eh? The demo is available now.
Finally, it was time for the man himself: Shinji Mikami. Only joking, it was Andrew House, bigging up Sony's lineup before introducing Hideo Kojima, who seemed to be arriving via the set of Tron. He pronounced that he was back, which drew rapturous applause for the designer who, after all, only just escaped from the gilded cage which held him. He introduced his new game, Death Stranding, which starred Norman Reedus as a man who appears to be handcuffed to a child, and then not. There were also floating people. Look, it's a Kojima game, it's par for the course.
It was a relief, then, to see the return of normality in the form of a game starring a teenager who got bitten by a radioactive spider. Yes, there was a new, Insomniac-developed Spider-Man title, which actually looked kind of cool, and I hate Spider-Man. Layden took to the stage after that to reintroduce Days Gone, where we saw a mission playthrough as the lead character scavenged for parts in a ruined encampment. Things naturally went bad, and soon the main character had broken a man's leg, watched him die, and then killed roughly twenty thousand zombies who moved as one swarm. Very World War Z.
One closing montage later, the show was done, with no mention of PS4 Neo. And while that may have annoyed some, this was the way to do a conference: lots of gameplay, little to no waffle, no fucking banter between the worst people on earth. Also, it had Resident Evil 7.