With the downer part out of the way, let’s move on to the actual hype.
Sony has been on a spree of incredibly exciting E3 Press Conferences for the last 4 years. Part of me thinks they are due for a miss this year, but I want them to keep going, so here goes.
First let’s talk about the thing that excites me the least about Sony’s first party outing right now; Days Gone, Bend’s open-world survival zombie games. And that’s exactly my problem with it. Open-World Zombie games, or just zombie games in general, really, have been done to death. So unless Bend can bring something new to the table aside from that massive crowd movement tech (which does look impressive), I’m just not interested.
How many times have we seen this type of games in the last decade?
Among the games Sony has confirmed we’ll see more of at the conference is, of course, the new God of War. I must admit, I only played the 3rd game, which was fantastic. But there’s something about this new one that makes me care about it a lot more than I normally would; the humanization (is that a word?) of the main man Kratos. Santa Monica Studio seems to be trying to give Kratos a more human side after we spent 3 games seeing him only as a angry man going on a killing spree on the Greek Gods. Most of that human side is coming from his son (though I’m not convinced Kratos is the kid’s biological father but rather he adopts the boy after the mom is killed because reasons).
The game had a magnificent reveal last year, supported by a live orchestra that did the music for the entire presentation (led by the man composing the soundtrack for this new God of War, I believe). Norse is also a nice change of mythology after the Greek. Can’t wait to see more of this one and learn more about how it plays. Who knows, it might pull a The Last of Us and will make you play as the kid for a while.
By far my most anticipated PS4 game right now.
Next game confirmed to appear at the conference is Insomniac’s Spider-Man exclusive for PlayStation 4. Seems a bit weird to have a licensed game exclusive to one platform and Insomniac is not owned by Sony (they have done Sunset Overdrive for Microsoft, for instance), but such is business, I guess. We don’t know much about this one even though it is set to release in 2017, last we heard (that information comes from an interview with a Marvel Vice President and Executive Editor of Marvel Digital Media). All we know is that it will be an action-adventure open-world game with environmental combat and parkour. The game’s story also has no ties to any comic book or movie. It’s been years if not over a decade since we got a truly good Spider-Man game but I have confidence in Insomniac Games.
People have been pretty divided on the costume. Personally, I love it.
Uncharted: The Last Legacy will also be shown, though I’ve seen enough of that one to be sold on it. I haven’t played Uncharted 4 yet (something I plan on fixing) and I’ve always been a fan of the series, so no problem there. Gran Turismo will also show up, but I’ve never been much of a fan of racing simulation.
I was gonna say something about Death Stranding, but just as I was writing this, Kojima himself confirmed that the game will not appear at this year’s E3. I was hoping for Idris Elba to be confirmed for the game.
Now for the stuff we don’t actually know about. There’s been a rumor going around that Capcom will pull this gen’s great betrayal by putting out a Monster Hunter 5 for Xbox One and PS4, but not for Nintendo’s system, the Switch. The rumor says the Switch will instead get a new game in the Monster Hunter Portable series, which will be closer to the original format than the more Western friendly MH5. The game would apparently be open-world and has streamlined combat.
Honestly, with the recent decisions made by Capcom, I believe it. It’s crazy enough to actually happen. The biggest game Capcom has announced for the Switch so far is a port of the 3DS’ Monster Hunter XX which, don’t get me wrong is gonna be popular and make a ton of money for Nintendo and Capcom, but when a third-party Japanese dev won’t even give the Switch the recently announced Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 (a compilation of 8-bit and 16-bit games), something smell fishy in their relationship. The rumor comes from 4chan though and even if they have been right about a ton of stuff before, grain of salt is required here.
If true, I’m not sure how the Japanese audience would respond to a more Western friendly Monster Hunter, on a system that is not a portable.
Sony says this E3 Press Conference will be pretty much like the last one; mostly games and little talk. Which is great. I wish they were all games and no talk (looking at you, Microsoft.) They also said there would be big Japanese announcements, which MH5 might be it, but who knows. I can always use JRPGS that will actually see the light of day (looking at you now, Square-Enix.) Everything else is a mystery, I’m bad at making predictions unless it’s Nintendo (speaking of…) I do expect some third-party marketing deals, Sony has been loving those recently.
I wish I could go to see the conference in theaters, but Sony’s way of distributing tickets has been so unbelievably godawful this year I’m not gonna bother. I’ll watch from the comfort of home.