E3 2016: Sony PlayStation lets the games do the talking

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Unlike Microsoft’s press conference, which was an exercise in the making, Sony’s conference was a nearly wordless affair. Chairman, Shawn Layden chose to let the games themselves do all the talking, and the games themselves were all it was focused on. Even the nod to its PlayStation VR hardware felt brief – it’s $399 USD, it’s coming October 13 – but more importantly, here are the games that you’ll have a chance to play on it.

Sony did not hesitate to kick off their conference in a five-punch combo of exclusives. Opening against the background of a live orchestra (theatrical, right?) starting off with a gameplay demo of the next God of War game installment that without question had the audience at their feet when Kratos relieved himself from the shadows, and also delivered a rather touching, The Last of Us fell between Kratos and his son. Coming up from behind, Days Gone from Bend studios – an original game – demonstrated yet another new type of zombie apocalypse survival game, which has been confirmed by Bend studios that they are NOT zombies, but that they are in fact, “freakers”, not that it makes any sort of difference. No release date has yet to be announced yet for either game.

“Are your wings broken?” the boy asked Trico in a new The Last Guardian trailer, delivering the necessary realness of this previous elusive game before a release date appeared on the screen. Fans will be expecting to play The Last Guardian on October 25 later this year.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn made its debut at Sony’s press conference last E3 showing off its glorious display of open-world mobility, stealth, and oddly exciting and fascinating combat of human vs machine, or to be more specific, a robotic tyrannosaurus rex. This year, Horizon: Zero Dawn had what was perhaps the most robust demo of the night. Like all E3 vertical slices its hard to get a sound of grasp on exactly how it will play and how much freedom we’ll have. From the looks of the detailed environmental interactions to overriding a broadheads (robo-bull) it’s quite exciting to refreshing to see. Zero Dawn be playable February 28, 2017 exclusively on PlayStation 4.

After a series of demos of stuff we’ve already seen before, the slickness delivery of the aforementioned series of VR demos followed. although VR doesn’t demo that well to a headset-free audience, these were incredibly strong announcements, and tapped into gaming and geek culture perfectly. Rocksteady teased use with its new Arkham game and showed essentially nothing, but they didn’t really have to; it thrilled by hinting us entirely with Mark Hamill’s wonderful vocal performance of the joker that definitely will send chills down your spine. Though no release date was announced, anxiousness to put on the cowl is without a doubt one to check off your bucket list. Resident evil 7 was a true sucker-punch at its announcement. If anyone remembers how disappointing the last Resident Evil turned out, this one looked promising as appears that this new addition to the series might be returning to its grim/ominous roots. One of PlayStation VR’s most impressive – and terrifying – demos.

There was also Final Fantasy XV VR and an overlong demo of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare that made for an ever so slight drop in the space, which didn’t exactly “wow” the audience, but it was quickly picked up by the bouncy tones of the Crash Bandicoot soundtrack and the revelation that Crash will be returning completely remastered for all three games. Despite the rather surprising announcement, the remastered Crash games wont be hitting shelves anytime soon as it seems Sony and Activision are testing the waters for a proper return at a later date. Plus, he’ll be making an appearance in this year’s Skylanders game, which comes out this October, so there’s that.

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The big reveal of the night, however, was Hideo Kojima, though the best wasn’t necessarily saved for last it was certainly the knock-out-blow of the entire show. Kojima’s showed off his newest game Death Standing, staring at a bare-butted Norman Reedus, and although the was as elusive as the sand in its landscape, the presence of Kojima on-stage and the mere existence of a collaboration that we thought was dead was enough to make it the high point of Sony’s conference. For one so theatrical, who better to top it off than the video game industry’s most extravagant auteur.

The final runner-up that also came to a huge surprise was a Spider-man game from Insomniac. It feels as though the excellent sunset Overdrive has set the studio up to deliver a superb gaming reboot of the web-slinger, and he was in fine form here: hurtling  through a gleaming cityscape in a typically acrobatic fashion.

Having sat through all the excitement and goodness that Sony had brought to the table – one gets the feeling  it would have sat quite nicely and even more mind-blowing if they had slipt in a Neo announcement in the mix. In its absence a gameplay demo demonstrated from Days Gone stepped in its place to wrap up the conference. Since it came after powerful trajectory of nearly endless surprises, it felt like a complete and it couldn’t have ended with anything less than a cannon firing out copies of The Last Guardian into our sweaty grasping hands to satisfy, so you can’t be too upset. As always though, Sony manages to outdo themselves. Well done, Sony. Well done.

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