E3: Sony Showcase Impressions

pse3What a long, long day it has been, but what a wonderful day for video games. With Sony’s presser now over,

the-last-guardianThe Last Guardian

To quote Ian Malcom “He did it! The son of a bitch did it!” How many years has it been?

There seems to be a weird dichotomy between the design of the boy (which is very muted and un-textured, and the design of the environments/ giant bird-dog, which are very textured.

The relationship between the boy and the animal is so beautiful. I really can’t wait to play this game.

The game is set for sometime in 2016 (no timeframe).

horizonzerodawn Horizon Zero Dawn

A new IP from Guerilla Games, Horizon Zero Dawn is stunning to look at. The game plays out in the ruins of a darkened world (Think Revolution only hopefully much better than Revolution). Humanity has resorted to tribalism and now hunts roaming herds of machines for random green jelly. As could be expected from any Guerilla Games, there are lots and lots of lens flares. J.J. Abrams eat your heart out.


Perhaps appropriately timed with a new film, this marks the first Hitman game for the new generation. Simply titled Hitman, it drops the adjective and brings us a younger Agent 47. The beta will be a console exclusive with additional exclusive contracts on the Playstation 4.

SF5Street Fighter 5

Fresh off the announcement that the entire numbered series of Street Fighter 5 games will be exclusive to Playstation and the PC (ie. No Xbox), Sony is marketing this like a first party title (though Capcom is still the publisher).

A beta will be coming July 23rd.

nomanskyNo Man’s Sky

Finally we received a live gameplay demo of Hello Games’ Magnum Opus. Space combat looks pretty basic, but when the game opens it up to the map, the absolute presence of the immensity of the game is awe inspiring. All of that being said, it is random generation, so by that fact, the actual amount of space that can be created is basically infinite. I am curious as to whether or not repetition will begin to kick in at some point. I guess that is dependent on the sheer number of variables Hello Games has put into No Man Sky’s algorithm. Nevertheless, the scope just blows me away.


Media Molecule’s next game(?), Dreams looks to be an extension on the project they announced during the PS4 reveal. Is this an artier version of Project Spark? Is the core idea the same? Are you designing your own game experiences? Is there a game or is this more of a novelty experience? I think there are a lot of questions that still need answering here.


This is an indie that I am really looking forward to. I like the idea of exploring the a wilderness environment where nothing is trying to kill me. Instead, it is just myself and nature, and a disembodied voice through a radio!

destinytakenkingDestiny The Taken King

This is a new expansion from Bungie. Apparently we are fighting the father of one of those princes that we killed with a sword? I find it funny that we are trying to incorporate story around something so remarkably narrativeless. Nevertheless, the numbers don’t lie and Destiny is a true success. I am sure there are many excited to play this new expansion.

assassins-creed-syndicateAssassin’s Creed Syndicate

We received the gameplay demo that Ubisoft didn’t want to give us. For a gameplay trailer, we didn’t actually see a lot of true gameplay. It was in engine, and we got to see some cool new weapons, but still I am underwhelmed by the content being revealed at E3 for this game. That being said, it is nice to see a female playable character in the mainline Assassin’s Creed franchise.

World of Final Fantasy

This game is not for me but for those of you who wanted a chibi Final Fantasy game, World of Final Fantasy is the game for you. 

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

More importantly, Final Fantasy 7 is finally getting a true remake. They didn’t show much, but what they did show brought the crowd to its feet. The tagline was “play it first on PS4”, meaning you can expect it on other platforms after a certain time period – details of which I am sure will come in the coming months.

shenmue-3Shenmue 3 Kickstarter

I have never played the Shenmue series, but I know it holds a special place in a lot of Dreamcast gamers hearts. I hope the game lives up to the dreams you have for the franchise. As of announcing the Kickstarter, it is already past the $750,000 mark. I am curious if whether the added exposure will mean stretch goals for other consoles. Shenmue 2, afterall, was an Original Xbox exclusive.

batman-arkham-knight-screenshot-1Arkham Knight

Okay, this was a really morbid trailer.  Joker has been cremated and in his wake is a powder keg of volatility. I love the Scarecrow as a villain and seeing him unleashing his fear toxin into the city, and the city subsequently tearing itself apart. There will be exclusive scarecrow challenges on the PS4 (a running theme for the evening).


Sony did not go into a lot of detail on Morpheus. Considering Oculus’ recent launch date announcement, I was kind of hoping for something from Sony here. What we did get was a short tease of Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, a 3v3 Mech combat game with an eye toward e-sports.

Call of Duty BLOPS3Call of Duty Black Ops 3

It is a strange reversal that Unity and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare were both at the Xbox conference last year and now this year they are both at the Sony conference.

It was widely suspected that Microsoft’s timed exclusive maps deal with Activision had ran its course, seemingly confirmed when for the first time since MW2, COD did not even appear at an MS conference. Activision likes to back the system with the best numbers and like 360 before it, PS4 seems to be the new home of COD.

Like Advanced Warfare last year, there seems to be much more attention paid to mobility in this COD iteration. The action feels extremely chaotic. I got a massive Vanquish vibe from it (Which is not necessarily a bad thing).

I don’t know why but for some reason this year’s COD looks somewhat less polished. Like textures seem muddier. Perhaps it is just the resolution of my stream but compared to the other games I have seen tonight on this same stream, it just doesn’t have the same flare that I was expecting to see.

star wars battlefront e3Star Wars

Playstation has been touting their Star Wars bonafides for some time now. This is continued with a Disney Infinity 3.0 starter edition exclusive to the console. I’m guessing that means that all Infinity figures in the starter set will need to be purchased separately for non PS4 players.

More importantly, Battlefront has been heavily marketed along with Sony’s system. Though multiplatform, Sony has a strong relationship with the team at DICE, so it was no surprise to see them on Sony’s stage. Survival coop mode is a horde mode gametype where you have to survive multiple waves of storm troopers. I’m still blown away by how much this looks like Star Wars. There are obvious issues in the character animations, but damn, that setting. I just want to play this right now!!!

Uncharted 4Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Next Generation Sully looks fantastic! For some reason Drake just looks a little strange in the face. I think it is the static forehead lines. He has more forehead wrinkles than Sully. Am I the only one who finds that weird?

More importantly, contextual sorrys are confirmed. As is a really nice damage model. It looks like that jumping melee motion is a common contextual occurrence when dropping from above an enemy. Naughty Dog just knocks it out of the park with animations like these.

The driving session was breathtaking. Has there ever been driving in an Uncharted game before? I remember the boats in the first Uncharted, but have no memory of driving. I can’t help but wonder how much actual freedom you have in driving. I imagine it is an almost certain death from that truck with a turret if you choose the wrong path, so it may be more guided that it appears, nevertheless the detail and those animations… my hat is tipped to those mad geniuses at Naughty Dog.

And with that, the first day of conferences is over. What an amazing day with tons of great releases. This was the E3 I feel we have been hoping for for years.

I can’t wait to see what more great news is announced tomorrow.

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar


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