Sony’s press conference was much like last year’s, and that’s both a good and bad thing.
The conference hit many of the same beats as last year, with Sony even opening things with live music this time with a classy ensemble with a sitar. The conference also let the trailers speak for themselves without the need for buzzword-filled drivel in between. Though this comes at the cost of giving us less concrete facts about the games to get excited over. In addition, many of the games shown off this year are just games that were shown last year. I appreciate the new trailers which gives us hints at new features, but I would have loved to see more new stuff.
Also, their sound guys need a stern talking to. The stream, at least on Twitch, was almost completely silent.
Days Gone looks great. Zombie games are a dime a million but there are some interesting twists. The zombie hordes look absolutely terrifying, taking a generic bad guy at this point and turning it into a force of nature. The game definitely wears its The Last of Us influence on its sleeve with all its stealth and whatnot, but I think it stands strongly on its own.
Monster Hunter World just looks like a bigger and grander Monster Hunter, which is fine by me. Though I do worry if having monsters fight each other is going to be too much of an exploit. Also, is it just me, or did Monster Hunter World look choppy as hell during the trailer? Like, there were so many jump cuts in what should have been one continuous movement.
Detroit: Become Human looks way more promising now. The ability to affect your world directly with your actions is exactly what we need for this kind of game. Characters also look more grounded and relatable despite being androids. It looks like the kind of game Developer Quantic Dream needs since the lukewarm response of Beyond: Two Souls. I also find it funny that they’re taking advantage of the uncanny valley effect of their characters and applying it appropriately to androids. Though there’s still a chance it could have the developer’s brand of odd-ball pretentiousness, it’s still something we should keep our eye on.
Skyrim on Playstation VR is interesting, but now I’m kind of torn. Do I get the portable experience on the Switch, or the 3D interactivity of VR? It’s not like I can just buy both versions. What’s a person to do?
Probably just play it for the billionth time on my laptop, probably.
The other VR games look promising as well. The Inpatient is the obvious highlight as Supermassive Games did a wonderful job with Until Dawn. I love the psychological horror in that game, and I’m glad its being applied in some form to another project in VR. I’m just glad PSVR is getting games at all, considering how Sony has treated its peripherals in the past (hello, Vita).
God of War looks like it’s trying a bit too hard to be like The Last of Us (even more so than Days Gone), what with its third-person perspective and interactions with a young character. However, the combat is the missing link, offering brutal hack-and-slash combos to take down enemies.
Spider-Man is my game of the conference. While it takes many cues from the Batman Arkham games with a similar combat system and movement similar to using the grapple hook, but it looks even more fluid and fun. The Spider-Man spirit is in full web swing and there’s tons of energy throughout the game. Plus, swinging through the city looks absolutely breathtaking. It really demonstrates how good licensed products can be if you put enough time and effort into them.
Just like how the conference just showed off more of the same games, the conference itself was more of the same thing. It hit similar beats without really innovating on the presentation, and the fact that all of the games were the same ones from last year didn’t help. The only saving grace is that the games all looked impressive and I can’t wait to play them. I just hope Sony doesn’t rest on its laurels too much.
Rating: Three and a Half Stars Out of Five