E3 2017: Sony's Highs, Lows, And Biggest Games
Save for some technical streaming issues at the start of its press conference, Sony had a solid E3 2017. While its reliance on known quantities made its press briefing less memorable than its last two E3 showings, it proved that there's a lot to be excited about from a new Uncharted to more God of War. Even though there wasn't anything worthwhile on the hardware side, PlayStation is well-positioned for a packed 2017 holiday and an equally promising early 2018.
However, there's always room for improvement. In this feature we lay out some of our favorite moments from the show, a few of the things we wish Sony had done differently, and a handful of Sony's biggest games. This is the spot for a high-level analysis of all things Sony had at E3.
To get more information about all of Sony E3 announcements, check our our roundup of all of the news and from the Sony press conference, all of the new Sony trailers, and a list of all the Sony games shown at the show!
And for our analysis of the other press conferences, check out the roundup of right here of all the highs, lows, and biggest games for the other big publishers and developers, including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.
Highlights: Days Gone shows gameplay depth.
The Days Gone demo was the most effective gameplay showcase of the night, as its emphasis on stealth was a marked contrast to the open combat of the E3 2016 reveal. One aspect of the demo that was not conveyed that we later discovered was how the presence and activities of hostiles would change with the dynamically evolving weather. Given that this zombie-killing adventure still doesn't have a release date, we can expect more tricks up the sleeves from developer, Bend Studio.
Highlights: Monster Hunter: World breaks the franchise mold.
Easily the most promising aspect of the Monster Hunter World reveal is how it appears to signal a departure from the style and gameplay from the last decade's worth of Monster Hunter games. That includes new ways to take down beasts and the removal of segmented maps. And its synchronized worldwide release early 2018 only shows that Capcom could not be more serious about the franchise's global success.
Highlights: Shadow of the Colossus is new again.
If the image of the iconic bridge didn't catch your attention, the "JAPANStudio" did. It's easy to say that a full on remake of Shadow of the Colossus was the most unexpected reveal at this press conference. What's most intriguing is that this is being helmed by Bluepoint games, a studio known for their remasters of Sony first party remasters, not remakes.
Needs improvement: Technical issue kick off the presser.
For those streaming the press conference, the spectacle of the first five or so minutes was dampened by the lack of audio. This occurred during the latest trailer of Uncharted: Lost Legacy and during the initial seconds of the Days Gone demo. When one of the goals of press conferences is to make a statement, Sony's press conference got off on the wrong foot.
Needs improvement: PSVR was mostly lacking.
Bethesda's aggressiveness in bringing its properties to virtual reality will be one of the contributing factors to VR's eventual mainstream acceptance, provided that games like Skyrim remain largely unaltered. By contrast, the rest of Sony's VR showings felt like an afterthought, a wave of titles that resembled the mostly mediocre offerings of the games at PSVR's launch. Supermassive Games' Bravo Team, for example, looked promising though it's easy to question its replay value.
Needs improvement: The absence of The Last of Us: Part II.
Given the largely positive response to the reveal of The Last of Us: Part II at the last PlayStation Experience, the absence of new footage--even more pre-rendered cinematics--at this press conference was disappointing. Shortly after the press conference, Naughty Dog's Neil Drunkmann tweeted "Believe me, we're super excited to show you more of Ellie and Joel's 2nd journey, but right now it's Chloe and Nadine's time to shine." It's a good point, but that doesn't diminish our anticipation for new details on how Ellie and Joel continue to survive their desolate world.
Needs improvement: Chun-Li in Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite
What....happened to Chun-Li's face in Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite's trailer at Sony's press briefing? It's not as if this classic Street Fighter character hasn't been rendered in 3D before. We learned that a kewpie doll expression and excessive eyeliner isn't her best look.
Biggest games: More God of War, more mystery.
You can argue that this demo of God of War showed less than the E3 2016 reveal, but that didn't diminish the hype level of Kratos' return. This demo drove home the point that this new, often snowy setting would present a new host of environmental hazards not seen in prior God of Wars. And it finished on an anticipation-building high note, leaving you wondering what creatures are friend or foe.
Biggest games: Spider-Man appears to be in Insomniac's good hands.
While Sony has had stronger E3 press conference endings in the past, wrapping up this year's briefing was nonetheless effective. The best parts about this lengthy gameplay showcase of this PlayStation-exclusive is that it looks nothing like what we've seen from the Activision-published Spider-Man games, nor does it resemble anything that developer Insomniac has put out in the past. We can't wait to see what the studio behind Spyro and Ratchet & Clank will do with this Marvel property.
Biggest games: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy flexes its muscles
As much as Uncharted 4 ended Drake's story on a high note, it would've been a shame if that was the only Uncharted adventure built specifically for the PlayStation 4, especially now that Naughty Dog is all the more familiar with the system's tools. This pairing of Chloe and Nadine is just the latest in the studio's tradition of single player experiences with dependable AI companions. We can attest that this duo will have a unique dynamic that you haven't seen in prior Uncharted games.