Sony showed off a ton of stuff at its big press conference Monday at E3 2016. Here are the biggest announcements.
Jun 16, 2016
When it was announced at Sony’s keynote earlier this week, I was more excited Batman: Arkham VR than probably any other PlayStation VR game. The Arkham series contains a perfect combination of third-person flying, fighting, and puzzle-solving, all of which seem eminently adaptable to virtual reality — especially since the game is being made by Rocksteady, who developed all but one of its installments. But while it's too early to judge Arkham VR, the demo experience at E3 is a radical departure from the games’ core formula, and one that might have more novelty than substance.Read Article >
There were two options at Sony's demo session, one of which I only got to watch. Both are first-person, and the first — a scene where you simply inhabit Batman and don his mask — seems designed to acclimate people to the fact that yes, picking up objects and putting them on a virtual body can be weird. The one I tried, though, includes a taste of the gameplay we can expect (barring a huge redesign) in Arkham VR. It’s an adaptation of your standard Arkham "detective" sequence: a crime occurs, and Batman must solve it by using his special scanning tools to reconstruct the scene. Instead of just turning on a screen overlay, you’ll use the PlayStation Move controller to unclip a virtual object from your belt, and control it by rotating your hand.
Jun 15, 2016
When Cory Barlog was still in early discussions with Sony to work on a new God of War game, he went through a major personal transformation: he became a father. Barlog was the director of the second game in the series, but had moved on after leaving God of War III eight months into its development, working on projects like Tomb Raider and a Mad Max game. He had a few ideas about what to do with a new God of War, but it was only after having his son that he was convinced that he had another story to tell in this universe.Read Article >
"That really started germinating all of the ideas in my head," he says. "I see the world through a different lens now."
Jun 15, 2016
Let me tell you about my new friend Trico. He’s kind of like a giant half-bird, half-cat, half-dog... thing. And after playing the first 45 minutes of The Last Guardian — an actual game that’s actually coming out this year on October 25th — I really think I’ve made a connection.Read Article >
Truth be told, I’ve known about Trico for years, but I never thought we’d actually ever meet. Yet here we are.
The promise of virtual reality is that you can see through the eyes of someone else. You want to see life from the cockpit of a spacefighter? Go for it. You want to be trapped in a haunted hellscape of a house? Death is only three button presses away from resurrection.Read Article >
Or you could be a bird.
When Sony first launched the Move in 2011, it also produced several accessories tailor-made for its motion-controlled games. For example, meet the Sharp Shooter. Launched with grimy first-person shooter Killzone 3, it embedded the goofy Move controllers into a bleached facsimile of an assault rifle.Read Article >
Sharp Shooter was one of many accessories made by Sony and third-party controller factories that would, essentially, make the Move look and feel more like the guns / swords / ping-pong paddles emulated on screen.
Jun 14, 2016
After a brief tease yesterday at E3, Sony has just unveiled its first trailer for Bound, a new PS4 puzzle game. Bound is a 3D platformer created by the experimental studio Plastic, responsible for games like Datura and Linger in Shadows. Bound is interesting in part because its main character is a ballerina — the studio motion-captured the choreography of real-life dancer Maria Udod to decide how the character would move.Read Article >
Equally compelling is the game's abstract, geometric design. "If you are interested in art movements such as Suprematism, Concretism, Neoplasticism, or what Bauhaus has delivered, then you are going to love the world that we have created," developer Michal Staniszewski wrote in a blog post.
After two days of press conferences — in which video game publishers and developers appear before their fans, heads bent with hands raised presenting their fragile wares — it is customary to choose a winner of E3. Anyone may participate, but a definitive victor will be selected in no time by the winnowing of public opinion.Read Article >
Since 2013, with the reveal of the current generation of console hardware, Sony has tended to lay claim to the crown at E3. Its leadership capitalized shrewdly on Microsoft’s decision, early in the Xbox One’s lifecycle, to focus on hardware, media partnerships, and celebrity cameos. From the very start, Sony emphasized games.
While Sony’s press conference didn’t feature a new console like its competition, the spectacle did include plenty of game announcements. Resident Evil 7, Spider-Man, and Days Gone joined already shown titles like Horizon Zero Dawn and Detroit: Become Human in a flurry of trailers and gameplay demonstrations.Read Article >
While the presentation was crammed, we managed to condense everything to a clip that runs just a smidgen over five minutes. That should leave you with plenty of time to begin learning Latin or finally read that dusty copy of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock that you’ve been putting off since high school. Let’s hear it for the true winner of E3 2016: self-improvement.
Jun 14, 2016
Kratos is the star of Sony's God of War series, the most ripped man in Sparta, and the kind of guy who'll climb up the face of a minor deity and use knives to gouge its eyeballs from of its face. But now he's got to face his greatest challenge — fatherhood. *Cue Rob Schneider movie music.*Read Article >
The new God of War pairs an older, bearded version of the Greek god-killer with a small and bashful child. In the game's first trailer — shown at Sony's E3 press conference — the duo's life together is comparably humble compared to adventures of the past. They chat; they trudge through snow; they hunt. There's a strange combination of motifs on show in the trailer, mixing the kind of inhuman monster slaying the God of War series is known for with touching family drama.
Jun 14, 2016
While Microsoft's E3 event this morning focused largely on new hardware, at Sony it was all about games. In a lean, mean presentation accompanied by a symphony orchestra, the company highlighted a range of hotly awaited games and threw in a few nice surprises.Read Article >
Here are our favorite game trailers from the nighttime event, including Resident Evil 7, The Last Guardian, and a new game from creative genius Hideo Kojima.
My most anticipated game of the year didn’t make the cut for Sony’s E3 press event — that’s how crammed it was. A trailer for Gravity Rush 2 was posted unceremoniously on YouTube, and while I’m disappointed by this sleight, I’m delighted to see another look at the acrobatic adventure.Read Article >
The original Gravity Rush was remastered for PS4 earlier this year. We loved it, to say the least. The trailer doesn’t mention a release date, though the game is scheduled for some point in 2016.
Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance at Sony's E3 press conference tonight to unveil a spooky new game called Death Stranding, his first since leaving Konami and turning Kojima Productions into an independent developer. (It's also his first game since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.)Read Article >
Kojima played a trailer for the game with footage that was entirely running in real time, and it was about as creepy and mysterious as you can imagine. A naked man (played by The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus) held a baby to his chest on a deserted beach before the baby became invisible and turned into oil, and the man looked up at five figures hanging in the sky before the trailer ended.
Spider-Man games have been the domain of third-party developer Activision for years, but Sony now appears to have a web-slinging game made just for its PS4 game console. Near the end of the company’s E3 2016 press event, the publisher showed a short trailer for the comic game, followed by the hashtag #spidermanps4.Read Article >
According to a tweet from Sony’s John Drake, the game is being developed by Insomniac Games in collaboration with Marvel. Insomniac is best known for the Resistance series, Ratchet & Clank, and Sunset Overdrive.
Jun 14, 2016
Sony just showcased a new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer, and it's all in space! You just have to watch the trailer to see it, since it looks almost nothing like earlier Call of Duty games in the series (except, of course, for the moments you spend obliterating enemies with conventional guns.) The trailer begins with some really stunning starfighter-tube-launching and dogfighting action, and transitions into first-person spacewalking and shooting. We couldn't even pinpoint which game was being shown off at first — was it Hawken, or an Avatar game, or something Battlestar Galactica adjacent? — until we noticed the telltale Call of Duty font.Read Article >
We already knew Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare would be different, but the new trailer suggests there could be a lot more space action in the full game. Infinity Ward has promised a plot fitting Call of Duty's ever-escalating, fantastical stakes, as players will defend one of "Earth's last remaining warships" against some kind of fascist space insurgency. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be out November 4th this year.
Crash Bandicoot returns! At the Sony E3 2016 press conference, the publisher announced it had partnered with Activision to bring the mascot back to PlayStation. Remasters of the original Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped will come at an unspecified later date.Read Article >
Crash Bandicoot will also appear in Activision’s Skylanders: Imaginators this fall.
The unveiling of Quantic Dream's new game Detroit: Become Human was one of the highlights of Sony's Paris Games Week conference last year, and Sony showed it off again this year at E3 2016 with a brand-new trailer. The game is supposed to revolve around Kara, an android who achieves consciousness and figures out the meaning of "freedom" in a world where her fellow androids are used as tools and servants. (The character first appeared in a 2012 Quantic Dream tech demo.) But the trailer didn't focus on Kara at all. Instead, it followed an android named Connor who investigates a crime scene, confronts an (evil?) android named Daniel, and either succeeds or fails to rescue a little girl depending on the player's decisions. It looks like there are a ton of different possible outcomes, all of which are totally intense.Read Article >
Detroit: Become Human is the first game Quantic Dream (and its head honcho, David Cage) have released since 2013's Beyond: Two Souls, and it exists in the same narrative-centric tradition as that game and 2010's groundbreaking Heavy Rain. The studio's games are always plenty gorgeous, but they've been criticized for valuing style over compelling writing and gameplay.
Jun 14, 2016
Sony just showed off a creepy trailer for the latest Resident Evil game on stage, and it's something a little different: a "full VR experience." And there's not all that long to wait — the game is coming January 24th, 2017 and a demo will be available tonight for PlayStation Plus members. That suggests that VR isn't a required component for the game.Read Article >
The Resident Evil 7 trailer made reference to Kitchen, a PlayStation VR demo by Capcom that gained notoriety for its intense horror. It appears that the new Resident Evil will further build upon some of the ideas set out in Kitchen.
After blasting through three big reveals — a new God of War, a post-apocalyptic romance called Days Gone, and a release date for The Last Guardian — the Sony E3 2016 press event slowed down with a lengthy preview of Horizon Zero Dawn. Announced last E3, the game stars a hunter named Aloy who fights robotic creatures. The world is world both primitive and futuristic. In the scene, Aloy mounts what looks like a Darpa dog then fires arrows into a mechanical squid-giraffe-monster-thing.Read Article >
Horizon Zero Dawn was recently delayed to February 28th, 2017. We expect to learn more about this game at further E3 demonstrations.
Sony's E3 press conference has already kicked into high gear, and the first game revealed after the show's God of War cold open is Days Gone, a post-apocalyptic slow burner set in the Pacific Northwest. We don't know much about the game other than the fact it's being developed by Bend Studio, an Oregon developer responsible for the Syphon Filter series of games on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2.Read Article >
Sony didn't show any substantive gameplay before moving to other games, but a 10 minute gameplay clip was posted to YouTube before being removed. Having watched it, I can tell you the game looks gorgeous, and Adi Robertson's liveblog description of it as "Cormac McCarthy's Sons of Anarchy" seems accurate: there's salvaging, mammoth swarms of zombies, a variety of combat scenes, and one badass jacket. Let's hope we learn a little more about Days Gone before Sony wraps up the show.
Jun 14, 2016
After what could be called the one of the most agonizing waits in video game history, The Last Guardian for the PlayStation 4 finally has a release date: October 25th, 2016. Announced at Sony's press event at E3, it's the latest checkpoint in a seven-year history of anticipation. Sony didn't show a whole lot of new gameplay, however, but we did see some poignant scenes, as you can see in the video above and the screencap below:Read Article >
Jun 14, 2016
Sony started its annual E3 press conference this evening with a gameplay demo of a new God of War game. The footage shows the franchise's main antihero, Kratos, training a young boy to hunt in the wilderness. The boy, who calls Kratos his father, helps him take down a series of vicious monsters, showing off the series' signature mix of hack-and-slash action and quick-time event cutscenes. There does appear to be a more fluid, Dark Souls-style combat going on though. Kratos also has a wicked beard, so there's that, too.Read Article >
The title does not appear to be an official God of War 4, but rather a reboot of the franchise, a direct sequel, or possibly a prequel to the main series, in which Kratos is still a mortal man and a father before becoming beholden to Ares. It also isn't clear that this new God of War is set in a time before or after Ancient Greece, or if it's going to tackle an entirely new mythology like the much rumored Norse setting. Kratos still has his ash-white skin, after all. But he's also wielding an axe and not his signature Blades of Chaos. So many questions, so little information! One thing we know for sure: Kratos is back.