*This was pushed out incredibly quickly, please pardon minor grammatical errors, this post will be updated throughout the day.
Due to my college orientation at Mizzou i was unable to watch Sony’s press conference live. I did however monitor people’s live reactions to what went down at the presser. Sony came out strong with a surprise live demo of the new God of War. The demo was complemented with a live orchestra that was present all evening. The new God of War appears to take place in a Norse mythology setting, yet the series protagonist Kratos is still seemingly present. The crowd went absolutely nuts when Kratos walked out of the shadows. No release date was present so one cannot guess when this title from Santa Monica Studio’s will come out. This first reveal set the tone that the Sony press conference would not only be cinematic trailers but surprise gameplay demos and trailers as well. I will more than likely follow the development of this game closely since reboots of franchises and how they end up in the end always grab my attention, plus Kratos is kind of a bad-ass.
Bend Studios showed off a post apocalyptic game titled Days Gone, that looked great but lacked a lot of information besides that which was narrated by the protagonist that appears to have been a member of a bike club before some sort of worldwide disaster. This trailer was immediately followed by a new trailer for The Last Guardian. In this new trailer the boy encounters another Trico that appears to not be quite as friendly as the one that was shown off in the original trailer back in 2009. The trailer was essentially a scissor-reel of gameplay and pre rendered events in game all of which seemed incredibly polished since this game now has a release date of October 25, 2016. It is worth mentioning that a LUDICROUS amount of games are coming out on that day and the week before.
A live gameplay for Horizon Zero Dawn followed The Last Guardian, in the gameplayy demo new mechanics were shown off and the audience got a chance to see the crafting menu for the first time. RPG elements such as dialogue options also made this game feel like an absolute departure from Guerrilla Games typical genre of choice. This excited me since I at first believed this game was a linear action game, the RPG elements and relatively open world shown off through the in game map got me even more excited for this new IP. Aloy, the protagonist proved to be incredibly capable of holding her own in a fight during a boss fight with a corrupted machine. Her assortment of weapons and consumable/craft-able traps were a nice touch. This title will come out in February of 2016.
Quantic Dream’s game Detroit: Become Human was up next. The game which appears to share elements from other Quantic Dream titles such as Heavy Rain showed off the dozens of player choices and interaction available to the player. This was conveyed through the player making decisions for a hostage negotiating android as the android named Connor attempted to save a child from her android caretaker. The game or rather this trailer stressed heavily on the idea of player’s choice and the variety of consequences that will have.The android caretaker stressed that he felt like a slave and other reasons causes him to enter this predicament. It is worth mentioning that this title will delve deep into different trains of thought and philosophical ideas pertaining to what substantiates humanity in a being. That alone intrigues me and has caught my interest. Detroit: Become Human will also have multiple protagonists so one can expect a multiple stories that all relate to each other in the end.
A full PSVR Demo was shown off next. The demo began in a dark environment that turned out to be a house. The entire thing was creepy and incredibly eerie. I knew from the beginning that this game would not appeal to me since I am a pansy when it comes to horror games. None the less I knew this game was going to appeal to the audience. The first person gameplay seemed to stress the use of the PSVR in order to immerse the player in the player character’s shoes. After reaching what I believe was an incredibly old computer or terminal various screens displayed countless videos that either must have been an archive of past events. An incredibly eerie song accompanied the videos that flashed in and out of focus.
After several dramatic pans and zooming out of frames the game was revealed as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (stylized Resident EVII biohazard). Yet again the crowd went berserk. This game appears to be a departure from more recent Resident Evil games that have typically fallen into the third person survival horror game genre. What was shown off can be summed up simply as survival horror, although action sequences will more than likely be in this title. The major influence on this game has to be Silent Hill’s PT, I got a totally PT vibe from this demo. The game has a set release date of January 24, 2017. The game will be completely playable with or without PSVR although to get the better horror experience and more than likely some nightmares as well I would personally get it with the PSVR.
Playstation VR will have the specs above and will release on October 13, 2016 (5 days before my birthday hurray!). The device will run in tandem with the PS4 so no new upgrades are needed to the platform. The device will cost $399. More than 50 games will be available at launch to the end of the year ranging from indie games to AAA titles. A scissor-reel of various VR games were then shown off during the press conference. Of those it is worth mentioning that one is a VR mission behind the cockpit of an X-Wing in space in Star Wars Battlefront. Farpoint, a new IP saw explorers stuck on a seemingly hostile planet. A Final Fantasy XV trailer was shown off as well as a PSVR companion experience.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was up next. This was the reveal for space ship to ship combat. I could not tell if the flight controls were “on rails” or if the player had absolute control. Zero gravity combat complete with a grapple gun was displayed in this cinematic snip bit of the title. It didn’t appear to seem like a Call of Duty game at, rather it seemed like a Sci-Fy shooter that under a different name or alias would feel more natural. Using debris as cover in a 360 degree environment seemed like a ton of fun though. I think I even saw a grenade that made a zero gravity field of some sorts on enemies.
A new trailer for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was shown off. In it we got our first glances at the ghillie suit missions and more gameplay from the missions as United States Marines attempting to capture Al-Asad. I could not be any more excited for this remaster of a classic game and truly the Call of Duty game that formed the foundation for all of the games to follow. If you pre-purchase Infinite Warfare you can play Modern Warfare Remastered a whole 30 days early on the PS4. Since we are talking about Activision it is also a good time to announce that several Crash Bandicoot games will be remastered on the PS4.
Andy House came up and began to talk about Playstations dedication to developers ranging from first party to third party in order to craft the best experience possible for the gamers. This ultimately cultivated in Mr. House introducing “one of the most creative talents in the history of gaming.” His entrance was complemented by a phenomenal orchestral score and the new logo that his new developing company crafted, it goes without saying that Hide Kojima’s entrance into the press conference was fitting of his magnitude in the gaming medium. His entrance was also marked by a cacophony of applause and cheers for the developer that had such a rough split from Konami during the creation of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. After taking the stage Hideo proclaimed, “Hello everyone, I am back! Today I bring something new, we made for you and this is all running in real time. Please enjoy.”
The trailer opened with a quote: “To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour..” – William Blake. The audience and viewers online were welcomed by a black beach littered with dead crabs and sea life. Phantom hand prints with black centers began to make tracks along the beach while the camera pans along with them. The camera settles on a man naked on the black beach, a handcuff attached to one of his wrists (it is worth mentioning no frontal nudity is present in the trailer).
A umbellical chord is attached from the man to a newborn that he then begins to cradle revealing that the man is modeled after Norman Reedus ( famous from The Walking Dead). The audience went nuts when Norman’s face was completely present. The baby disappears and Norman character looks down at his hands and sees a black substance caking his hands.
The substance parallels that of the hand prints seen earlier in the trailer. From that in pans upwards away from the hands back to the beach towards piles of dead fish. The character stands up and begins to walk towards where the camera pans. This reveals a cross stitched scar on the character’s lower abdomen. A wide shot from behind the character reveals that he is standing either were the sea level has dropped dramatically, the beach littered with everything from huge whales to fish and five figures levitating up in the sky overlooking the character and the beach.
They disappear and in their place A Hideo Kojima Game appears followed Norman Reedus in which is then followed by the title Dead Stranding. It goes without saying that knowing Kojima this trailer was filled to the brim with symbols and hints at the true nature to the game. He is a master of conveying beliefs through the medium of video games through their narrative and surrounding environment. That is why he is such a big name in video games. He has a way of expressing things in ways that a traditional game developer wouldn’t; for him at least this has proved incredibly successful. This game is in incredibly early development. I am predicting with a conservative estimate that this will be a 2019-2020 game, 2018 would be an incredibly liberal estimate. Hideo Kojima had to completely re-haul and remake a team of developers and more than likely he has programmers making an entirely new engine for this game. Unlike a lot of the other AAA studios he is building this game from the ground up, he has no assets he can use in development. None the less I cannot wait for this game. I have never been so hyped for a game I know so very little about.
The next trailer answered the questions about a rumored game under development by Insomniac (minds behind the inFamous IP). A Spiderman game that actually looks great is coming to the PS4. The trailer begins with some shots of Manhattan that are narrated by a teenagers voice that we later learn is Peter Parker’s voice. Incredibly intricate and complicated means of traversal by Spiderman are revealed while the web-slinging super hero moves around Manhattan. The trailer does not reveal anything related to the story but it is full to the brim of movie esque shots of Spiderman moving throughout the city and his quick take-downs of criminals. This looks like the open world Spiderman game that gamers have been wanting for so long. Knowing Insomniacs pedigree they will without a doubt do this franchise the justice it deserves. I mean come on, the past Spiderman games in recent memory have been awful.
The conference ended with a demo of the previously mentioned Days Gone. Turns out the disaster led to or was also the outbreak of zombies. What sets this game apart from a game such as The Last of Us which took it’s own spin on zombies through its fungal spore enemies is the scale of this games combat. The player character is hosing zombies with an assault rifle at an enormous scale. Hundreds of zombies were all moving independently on screen in large action shots during the gameplay. The movement reminded me of the Uncharted series as did the animation for holstering the rifle and movements with the rifle out. A later press release talked more about the game, pointing out it is an open world survival game taking place in the Pacific Northwest. The game takes place two years after the pandemic and the zombie like creatures are called Freakers in game. These things from the trailer appeared to be incredibly fast and intimidating in a horde or pack. The developers themselves are based out of Bend, Oregon (hence Bend Studios), so I have no doubt that the environment in game will be as close to the real Pacific Northwest as it can be.
The Press Conference ended with a final scissor-reel of all of the games shown off and other titles that have already been revealed. Of these games first to third party games were shown in this reel. I have to say that the Sony Press Conference never felt slow or falling behind in pace. Sony absolutely was attempting to capitalize on an emphasis of games and because of this they delivered a stellar conference.