Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Spider-Man, God Of War, and all the best bits of PlayStation’s underwhelming E3 showcase

Screenshot: Marvel
Screenshot: Marvel

Last night it was Sony’s turn to lead the parade of glitzy pre-E3 press briefings, and the showcase delivered a solid, if largely unexciting look at what’s coming to PlayStation 4. The heaviest hitters are still a long way out, as most of the conference’s tentpole games and surprise announcements won’t be launching until 2018.

The show closed with a lengthy demo of the upcoming Spider-Man game Insomniac (Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdrive) is developing exclusively for the PlayStation 4. It looks great with its clean, primary-color heavy aesthetic. Unsurprisingly, it appears to be taking some nods from the Batman: Arkham games, with hand-to-hand combat that’s based around dodging attacks and carefully striking back. Things get a little crazier in the demo’s back half, as Spider-Man chases a helicopter through the streets of New York. The scene is heavily scripted and cinematic, with frequent breaks from player control for action scenes and quick-time events. Officially titled Marvel’s Spider-Man, it’s scheduled for release sometime in 2018.

We also got a better look at another of PlayStation’s big announcements from last year’s E3, the upcoming reboot of God Of War. The lengthy trailer, which appears to be made up of gorgeous in-game footage, gives us new details about the fantastical Norse adventure Kratos and his son will be going on. The game is now scheduled to release in “early 2018.”

Also showing up at its second E3 was Days Gone, a new open-world zombie apocalypse game from Sony’s Bend Studio. It continues to look, well, like another open-world zombie apocalypse game—except for the part at the end with the barbed-wire-covered zombie bear. That was great. No new release information was announced. Sony also aired a new trailer for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a spinoff of its cinematic adventure series starring two of its great female cast members. And in case you were worried it had quietly been shuffled away, we got a new trailer for Detroit: Become Human, the upcoming “Can robots be people too?” game from the creator of Heavy Rain. It introduced another of the story’s playable characters, but did not introduce a release date.

So what was new at the PlayStation show? As we previously reported, Sony showed a short trailer for a PlayStation 4 remake of Team Ico’s moody classic Shadow Of The Colossus. That might have been the biggest surprise, but it wasn’t the only one. There’s an expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn called The Frozen Wilds coming this fall, and it’ll introduce Aloy to a new region of the game’s world. Sony also premiered Monster Hunter: World, a new take on Capcom’s huge-in-Japan, cult-in-America series that promises to rebuild it for its debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Capcom claims your hunting grounds will now be seamless ecosystems, rather than a bunch of discrete screens that have to be loaded as you move between them. It’s also built for four-player co-op and will allow players of all regions to slay beasts together. It’s scheduled for release in early 2018, with a PC version set to follow later in the year.

A sizable chunk of the show was dedicated to Sony’s virtual-reality headset. PSVR is poised to get some interesting games in future, including The Inpatient, a psychological horror game developed by Until Dawn’s Supermassive Games. It’s set 60 years before Until Dawn and sees players trapped inside the sanatorium they visited in that 2015 hit. Bethesda, which previously announced a VR version of Fallout 4 and Doom, will be bringing its fantasy mega-hit The Elder Srolls V: Skyrim to PlayStation VR in November, and Square Enix announced—what else—a VR fishing game based on Final Fantasy XV. But the star of the VR block was definitely Moss, a game where you get sucked into a story book and assist an adorable warrior mouse named Quill on a heroic adventure. It’s scheduled to be released this holiday season.

Some of Sony’s most interesting announcements actually came before the showcase began. We got the news that beloved indie hit Undertale will be making its way to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita this summer, and that Ni No Kuni II, the sequel to the Studio Ghibli JRPG, will be launching on November 10. Sony also announced a new PlayStation 4 feature called PlayLink, which will let you use smart phones to interact with PlayStation games. It’s reminiscent of the technology that powers the Jackbox Party Pack games, letting people play games without having to deal with intimidating, over-complicated controllers. Inspired by the way people loved to play Until Dawn with friends, Supermassive is making a serial-killer investigation game that’ll use PlayLink to let multiple people vote on the decisions you make throughout the story. Before that, though, an Imaginiff-style party game called That’s You! will be giving us the first look at what PlayLink can do when it launches on July 4. And it’ll be free for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

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