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Twitter is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Early Thursday morning on the social media platform, an official announcement was made confirming that Cyberpunk 2077 would show up at E3 2019.
For those of you asking, yes, we will be at E3 this year.
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) February 28, 2019
This comes as the first game publicly confirmed to “be at E3” so far. While E3 technically takes place June 11-13, it has been a long-standing tradition for large gaming companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Bethesda, Square Enix, and PC Gamer to host their biggest conferences the weekend before the expo. Sony already announced back in November that PlayStation will not have a booth on the E3 show floor or a press conference for the first time since the expo began in 1995. This has been the only other confirmation of any kind in regards to the matter.
Now that CD PROJEKT RED has announced the presence of its newest IP at the event, questions still loom as to what extent it will present itself. Will we get a playable demo on the show floor? Are we in for another trailer? More gameplay in addition to the 48 minutes we received in August? Is there a release date coming our way? While CD PROJEKT RED is likely to stay hushed about these details to build anticipation, we do know that the developer has expressed their desire to let the game take whatever time it needs. They have no interest in rushing the game or even giving us a release date until they feel comfortable with their progress on development.
We still know very little about the game and what to expect, but the studio has offered up some details in the past. It’s set in Night City, a megacity in California, where the main character, V, serves as a hired gun. The city is riddled with homeless people and violence. This has spawned a world in which everybody can openly carry firearms and, subsequently, everyone is a potential threat. The game will feature branching dialogue options, plenty of city life to engage in, and, of course, tons of people to hunt down in exchange for cash. While the game is set up to be a huge departure from CD PROJEKT RED’s famed series The Witcher, we can assume that we will find similarities in the depths of the world, characters, and plot. It’s likely that whatever form Cyberpunk 2077 takes at E3 2019 it will bring further light to the story and gameplay to be expected upon release.
With today’s announcement, the gaming community should be on the lookout for additional games that will be at E3. However, let’s hope that plenty is still left up to mystery come June.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.
2018 has come and gone in the blink of an eye and as the dust settles, gamers are more worried than ever. Publishers are becoming more greedy and out-of-touch, games underwhelm more frequently, and some of our favorite studios and talent leave the scene without having their last hurrah. One of the few bright spots in the industry lies in the console business. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all had an incredible year for their platforms. Sony, in particular, may have had the best year out of the three major manufacturers. With their biggest games exceeding commercial and critical expectations, the PS4’s momentum refuses to slow down, surprising even Sony. There’s much to talk about regarding the market leader in gaming, so let’s not waste more time and jump into it.
Actually, before we do that, let’s dabble into how we score these companies. We’ll adjudicate the console manufacturers via four categories: First-Party Support, Market Presence, Consumer Relations, and the Future. First-Party Support is obvious. It’s the exclusives that released on the platform and how well they were received by fans and critics alike, as well as their financial status. Market Presence is different than last year’s Marketing category but still follows the same idea. This revised category includes the marketing campaigns, global awareness, business operations, and the overall influence the company has on the industry today. It sounds rather boring, but I’ll try to make it interesting! Consumer Relations involves how the platform holder tried to improve themselves in terms of policy and consumer-friendliness. Last but not least, we have the Future! This category deals with the upcoming games and how the current platform will look next year and beyond. In lieu of next-gen discussions, we’ll shift the focus more on whether or not the holder will convince consumers to jump on their next device with the current position they are in.
All right, let’s get this started!
First Party Support:
I’ll be the first to say that I’m a bit of a fanboy with PlayStation. Having said that, if I were a casual gamer, I wouldn’t deny that both God of War and Spider-Man are reason enough to buy a PlayStation. These games are both incredible. I’ve played both and I genuinely think God of War is one of the best games I’ve ever experienced. The moment I faced the Stranger, my jaw dropped the entire time. I thankfully remained clear of spoilers and it’s honestly how you should approach the boss. Without a doubt, that boss fight will be on tons of top ten lists. Spider-Man also blew my socks off. The beginning of the game gave me a never-ending Shocked Pikachu face. At the end of this console generation, these two games helped shape 2018 as one of my best years in gaming.
God of War and Spider-Man are excellent games worthy of praise, but is that all from Sony? Hell no. Shadow of the Colossus and Detroit Become Human delivered the goods. Tetris Effect released to glowing praise from critics and fans who often claim it’s one of the most transformative gaming experiences they had the privilege of having. The PSVR had a hell of an ending this year with Astro Bot Rescue Mission being regarded as the best VR platforming game and one of the best modern platformers that released this decade. Firewall Zero Hour delivered the most solid FPS multiplayer on VR. If the quantity appears to be low, that’s because it is! In comparison to previous years, this has been the least productive year from Sony in the PS4 generation since 2014. However, the quality certainly compensated for the slightly smaller load of games this year across all platforms.
Okay, the quality is exceptionally high, but how did they sell? Sony broke their own record twice this year alone, so pretty damn good. So good in fact that it inspired Sony to focus more on single-player, story-driven games and expand their first-party studios to produce them at a quickened pace. God of War and Spider-Man accelerated sales growth for the PS4 to a point where Sony’s estimates of performance retardation (don’t laugh) shrunk. Instead of selling 17 million in 2018, Sony increased the estimation by half a million. There is retardation, but it’s far more minimal than what anyone expected. Outside of the two massive record-breakers, their smaller games STILL broke records, with Detroit Become Human exceeding the sales of Heavy Rain in the same span of time.
There’s no rest for the weary, as the saying goes. However, that proverb is excellent news in capitalism, and the exclusives prove that people still want story-driven single-player experiences with no micro-transactions in sight. This facet of PlayStation gets an easy 10 out of 10 and most gamers would definitely agree.
First-Party Support Score: 10/10
Being the market-leader obviously gives you a massive amount of presence, so how does Sony make use of that privilege? Well, gamers underestimate how huge this company is in the gaming landscape. In the third fiscal quarter, Sony made over $6 billion in revenue, which the second highest in the industry, above Apple and Google yet below Tencent who made over $10 billion. PlayStation Now earned 52% of gaming subscription revenue. Yes, PLAYSTATION NOW is a huge money maker for Sony, earning over a quarter-billion dollars in this quarter alone. PS Plus membership is at an all-time high with over 35 million subscribers. PS4 surpassed the PS3/360 sales numbers, making it the fourth best-selling home console of all time. PSVR remains the market leader in the VR industry. PSN downloads take up nearly 3% of the global internet usage. Yeah, they’re pretty freakin’ huge.
Since they’re swimming in cash right now, Sony must be chilling out with all of that brand recognition, right? Not quite. They’ve spent more money than any other gaming company on advertising practically year-round, and it shows. They invested a ton of effort into a PlayStation STORE ad that I’ll link above. The Spider-Man launch trailer also oozed of hype, which I’ll link below. Not only in America is that PS logo all over the place, but it’s also even more in-your-face globally. The only country where they lost dominance is in Japan, which is entirely Switch territory. However, we’ll deal with Nintendo later. When they’re dominating nearly everywhere, they must be content with their leadership, right? Well, not exactly.
In March 1st, 2018, PlayStation got a new CEO and corporate restructuring with John Kodera at the helm of the entire brand. Shawn Layden, the head of SIEA, is in charge of the first-party output and Jim Ryan, the head of SIEE, is in charge of marketing. Both of those facets have flourished. I’ve covered the first-party output, but Jim Ryan deserves some credit for apparently overseeing extremely entertaining advertising. The Black Friday Sales ad is creative and humorous while being informative. The presence of the advertisements has increased, which relates back to Sony spending far more money on advertising, and it absolutely shows beyond television commercial spots.
When Spider-Man neared its launch, Sony painted a damn subway train. They painted walls across the globe and treated the game like it was a new Grand Theft Auto game. Even going online, you could not escape seeing PlayStation banners on social media and whatnot. Let’s not forget the huge third-party games such as FIFA 19 having PlayStation promotions through the Countdown to Launch campaign. The Countdown to Launch campaign basically champions most of the remaining big game releases on the Internet, while rewarding fans with special giveaways, ranging from themes and background images to entire console bundles and collector’s editions of games. This kind of campaign not only pushes these third-party games even more, but it hardens the image that PlayStation is the dominant gaming brand. With that, they achieved just that for this generation.
Due to the immense amount of effort put into marketing and the exciting trailers pumped out by Sony, it’s easy to give their Market Presence a high score….and I’ll do just that! I’m giving them a 9/10 in this category
Market Presence Score: 9/10
Now, this is an interesting discussion. Surprisingly, Sony’s doing a lot to improve their image to consumers. While there’s still plenty of room for amelioration, the changes they’ve made are at least somewhat commendable. Long-awaited features have arrived in a fairly rapid pace for the notoriously slow corporation. Some decisions have been questionable and mildly controversial to some gamers. However, in the long run, their choices happen to make a lot more sense analyzed further. Sony’s made some interesting moves, some brilliant moves, and some confusing moves. Let’s tackle all of them.
Image source: Wall Street Journal
First and foremost, PlayStation’s new boss, John Kodera, has a long history in handling PSN, so when he’s the boss of everything encapsulating PlayStation, it’s a pretty good sign that he knows which problems to diagnose and solve. Shawn Layden is well-versed in game development, so his new position of chairman in Worldwide Studios fits. Jim Ryan, presumably, has a ton of knowledge in global marketing, so his new tenure as the head of the marketing department is a natural step forward. Kenichiro Yoshida, the new CEO of Sony Corporation, knows PlayStation is the conglomerate’s bread and butter. Sony’s in a similar transition period as Microsoft, where they shift gears to become even more gaming-oriented.
So what have these men done to PlayStation that shows signs of improvement? Well, for one, much-desired requests from the core community have been met in some capacity. Name changes? Check. Cross-play? Starting with Fortnite. PSNow downloads? PS4 and PS2 games now downloadable. PS Store search bar? Actually functional. Repetitive press conference? Becoming a thing of the past beginning with the removal of PSX and E3 2019. Better PSN deals? Introduction of new sales events such as Pub Party (they choose three publishers and discount their games). Communication? Acknowledged needs improvement. These are all things Sony currently addressed and plans to fix. Of course, not everything is perfect. Service improvements? PS Vue has local channels, PS Now is smoother and has a better UI, and PS Video is getting more exclusive content.
Backward compatibility still isn’t a thing on PS4 and the PS2 digital library remains incredibly paltry to put it nicely. The fact they’re pushing the PS1 classic with such a mediocre library also suggests they see no point in preserving their massive library. While it’s nowhere near as bad as what Nintendo is doing by bankrupting random people for daring to distribute their legacy games for free, Sony has seriously buckled their knees in their backward compatibility support and I, unfortunately, see no signs of it changing. I also understand the reasoning behind the lack of proper PS3 BC because that system is too damn difficult to emulate and to continue producing the same parts to implement on the PS4 motherboard would be costly. However, digital PS1 and PS2 games can absolutely happen and their absence in the storefront is disappointing, to say the least.
On the bright side, however, John Kodera wants to revive SIE’s legacy IP while creating new ones. Sony has literally over a hundred dormant IP, so there’s a lot to work with. Recently, MediEvil’s return to PS4 in 2019 looks awesome and rumor has it that Jak and Daxter is next in the revival lineup. In this generation alone, fans saw Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Ape Escape, and MediEvil return to the limelight. If you would approach me saying all of these games will come back in gorgeous HD graphics, I would call you insane. Microsoft seems to understand the staying power of their classic IP with their resurrection of Battletoads happening next year, so we’re going to get a delicious nostalgia wave. I would personally love to see a new Sly Cooper game. With the television series scheduled to land on the airwaves next year, we could see a tie-in game in the same vein as 2016’s Ratchet and Clank reboot.
An awesome trend I found from Sony is their staunch denial of microtransactions in their first-party exclusives. Cory Barlog and Brian Intihar both aggressively said no to the questions and concerns about recurrent monetization schemes in their games. Of course, Sony dialed back on this with Gran Turismo Sport allowing cars to be purchased with real money, effectively making the game somewhat pay-to-win. However, GT Sport has strict multiplayer rules and guidelines, oftentimes assigning players a specific vehicle everyone drives during races with anti-cheating provisions in place. On the flip side, MLB The Show 18 still allows their Stub card packs to be pay-to-win loot boxes, so it’s not all fine and dandy. Thankfully, their core games are unblemished in the rise of sketchy, anti-consumer microtransactions that riddle most AAA games these days.
Let’s divert the discussion real quick and talk about Sony’s pretty damn generous email newsletter. PS Plus members assigned on their newsletter get pretty nice goodies sometimes. There was one email where they handed out free 3-month trials of Netflix and HBO Now. Those who platinumed Spider-Man receive a thank you letter with an exclusive avatar. Longtime members receive thank you letters for being supportive of PlayStation for long periods of time. Most notable of these giveaways are the discount codes and PSN credit codes. Some gamers got a 20% discount during a Flash Sale or a $10 gift card code. As far as I know, Sony is one of the few game companies that rewards newsletter subscribers so generously. The Sony Rewards Program will soon be updated to cater more towards PlayStation owners, with a higher volume of prizes related to gaming. There was a survey I received about which reward threshold I liked the most (I chose the Plus subscription reward, where they give you money for being a subscriber.)
There are some issues that emerged recently with Sony censoring Japanese fan-service games like Senran Kagura: Beach Splash Party and Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet. A few Japanese devs called out Sony for not communicating in Japanese when waiting for their games to be licensed by the publisher. Wait, isn’t Sony a Japanese company? Yes, they are, but Sony Interactive Entertainment isn’t. Their main headquarters are in San Mateo, California. Now, some gamers claim this policy change is due to SIE being in a progressive area in the country and SIE is bending over to SJWs. I disagree with that notion mainly due to SJWs not giving a damn about whatever niche fan-service anime game releases on a PlayStation console. I see no complaining from that crowd and they will make damn sure companies know when they’re upset, so it’s definitely something else.
Here’s why I think Sony’s changing their policy against fan-service Japanese games. For one, they have a Chinese presence now and rumors claim that they also plan to unify their PSN. Those rumors sound interesting because PSN will be going through a massive facelift if that’s the case, and makes the network more stable when playing international online matches. That also implies dedicated servers could become a reality when PS5 hits the store shelves. The only downside to this, and it’s a pretty big one, is that the Chinese government is super conservative and Sony’s going to filter through smaller games that wouldn’t be allowed in the country. If China (the government, not the people) is offended by some indie game and bans it, then PSN would filter that out. Bigger games like Rainbow Six can be easily controlled by the big third-party publishers, so they can change their games to accommodate that audience.
So why is Sony listening to the Chinese government (if my theory is true)? Well, they’re the market leader in the console business in that territory. They want to maintain a clean image with the government so game consoles can eventually thrive in the nation. Now, why are anime fan-service games getting shafted or covered up by China? Are they violating any rules in China? That, sadly, I don’t know. I’m unsure if pornographic material is allowed in the country. I see this move as just Sony testing the waters with their new filtration system, which is admittedly something the PS Store desperately needs. Do I agree with it? I’m vehemently against censorship in general, so seeing some cartoon bikinis get covered up by Sony feels rather insulting to the devs and the industry as a whole. You can have click baiting YouTubers murder suffragists in Red Dead II and Sony won’t bat an eye, but anime titties are a big no-no? The big Western devs can get away with a LOT more than smaller Japanese studios and that sucks for both the developers and the fans who want to enjoy those types of games.
Another issue to highlight is their dreadful customer service. So many people have had their accounts banned and paid content lost as a result because of some draconian zero-tolerance policy. For example, there is a user who went by the PSN username “Kike_0615”. The user is Mexican and Kike is short for Enrique (pronounced ‘key-keh’). Due to SIE’s American headquarters, PSN thought the name was a slur against Jewish people. His account was banned and it took FOREVER to get the account back online and the ability to change it. Sony reps even asked if he could wait a few months until PSN has implemented name changes. This stuff is inexcusable, Sony’s customer service is garbage and they need to clean that up as soon as possible.
Overall, Sony’s done some great things, interesting things, and pretty stupid things in terms of consumer relations. Great in actually listening and responding to fan feedback to the PS4 platform and the brand, interesting in canceling major events to get some exciting things for the fans, and stupid in covering up cartoon boobs while ignoring the massacres of feminists in games. (I should also add I don’t care what you do in Red Dead II. I’m just using that as an example of the double standards at play here.) They also have a horrifically dated customer service that hurts a lot of unfortunate gamers who lost access to what they paid for.
Consumer Relations: 7/10
Side note: I love this new galaxy theme Sony’s been embracing. I love space.
As the market leader, the majority of the gaming community will undoubtedly discuss Sony’s future the most, especially after they opted out of E3 2019. Of course, I have to address the elephant in the room and that is the PlayStation 5. Sony knew people were talking about it once they said there would be no ‘hardware announcements’ on their showcase. Later in the year, Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida admitted that SIE is developing the next-generation console, nearly dropping the name in the interview. One could only guess the name of the next PlayStation. I’m betting on the Vita 2. Joking aside, Sony departing E3 for the first time implies multiple things. The most obvious of which being Sony will announce the PS5 in 2019.
When, you may ask? I talked about this in my Sony-leaving-E3 article, but I’ll summarize it briefly. I think I’ll listen to the Reddit leaker and say Sony will do a full reveal at PSX 2019. There’s no doubt in my mind that Sony will unveil the platform in 2019, the timing just seems right. A spring or holiday 2020 release is also in the rather large ballpark. Sony will release a cool marketing campaign as they did with the PS4 reveal. (You have to watch that video since it just brings a smile to your nerdy little heart.) Maybe Sony will hold a September briefing that would discuss the grand finale of the PS4 and the beginning of the next generation. They could call it a “Future of PlayStation” event or something.
What will Sony do besides E3? That, I cannot clearly answer. We should wait until Sony themselves announces it. Now, where does this leave the PS4? We know the vast majority of big games yet to be released on the platform. Days Gone, Dreams, MediEvil, and Concrete Genie (in addition to the annual MLB games) are all slated for 2019. As TGA 2018 nears, PS Brazil may have leaked that Dreams, Ghost of Tsushima, and Death Stranding will get release dates at the event, with GoT and DS having 2019 dates. ResetERA insiders have corroborated with this supposed leak and claimed that The Game Awards will act as some sort of PSX incognito. If that’s Sony’s 2019 lineup with The Last of Us Part II finishing the console gen in 2020, that’s a pretty solid last hurrah for the platform. Well, would you look at that, Sony showed nothing at the Game Awards 2018 and Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding, and The Last of Us 2 are more likely 2020 games!
When will we hear from Sony again? Let’s hear from the man himself, Shawn Layden! He replied to a fan who expressed disappointment for the lack of Sony announcements, simply stating “See you in the new year!”. He specifically said NEW year, implying Sony could give us info as early as January. I could be totally wrong and Layden was just being friendly on Twitter, but who knows? I would suspect an update sooner rather than later, though. Sony wants to build up anticipation for whatever they’re doing so they would have to give fans a heads-up early on. It just seems to be common sense to me. I’ll touch upon their silence later.
Are there still unannounced exclusives on the PS4? I’d be surprised if there weren’t. Jason Schreier says there are a ‘couple more things’ Sony has yet to announce before closing the PS4’s reign during his debate with YouTuber YongYea. Industry insiders such as Benji_Sales claims there’s one more ‘big’ title we don’t know about coming to PS4. I believe any unknown games have a 2020 release window. What are these games? If I were a betting man, I would say both Sony Bend and Guerrilla have one more game left. Sony Bend’s career page states they’re working on a new IP for PS4 (they already mentioned Days Gone). Guerilla Games hasn’t released a game since 2017, giving them at most three years before the PS5 launches. They also moved to a larger studio and are currently working on two projects, hiring former Rainbow Six Siege talent with the intentions of online multiplayer in mind.
Dreams Beta will be announced in December, March is MLB The Show, April is Days Gone and Concrete Genie, and May is Dreams. This spring onslaught is common with Sony’s releases. Summer is the downtime in the industry, so I expect very little from them other than some indie exclusives. October is MediEvil, and Sony closes the year with Death Stranding in November. Sony announces the PS5 and some final notes on the PS4. Ghost of Tsushima launches in March 2020 and The Last of Us releases sometime in the summer in 2020 and maybe a Japan Studio game in early fall right before the PS5 because Sony loves killing their Japanese games. I’m still salty over Puppeteer.
Expect an article on this potentially great game from me in the future.
What about critical reception? Days Gone will be met with surprisingly high reviews. The story will be lauded as well as its intense gameplay. Upper 80s to lower 90s on Metacritic. Dreams is the critical darling of SIE’s lineup, gets an explosion of 10s and is considered one of the industry’s most important titles. MediEvil gets nice reception and is considered a solid remake Ghost is met with glowing praise from fans and critics, becomes Sucker Punch’s best-reviewed game. Death Stranding finally makes sense and is brilliant in Kojima’s signature style. DS receives plenty of accolades and gets GOTY nods as well as Dreams and maybe Ghosts/Days Gone. The Last of Us Part II is yet another stellar Naughty Dog game, receives a wave of 10s and steps into GOTY nominations galore. I know nothing else about the rest of the games.
Before we leave first-party discussions, let’s touch upon the PS5 launch lineup within the first year. A new IP from Cory Barlog comes to the console a year after launch. Guerrilla’s new IP releases debuts on PS5. Gran Turismo 7 debuts on the platform as well. Japan Studio will surely have something in the launch lineup that gets buried, as usual. Miyazaki has a surprise for 2021, might be Bloodborne 2. Sony San Diego’s new game is also a launch title for next-gen. Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, and Sucker Punch will have their debut games in the middle part of the ninth gen. Ultimately, I can’t see a boring launch lineup with the PS5. Sony clearly wants their developers to give it their all and embraces a hands-free mindset, which is always healthy.
Onward to the sales estimates! PS4 breaks 100 million by December 2019, becomes second-most popular PlayStation console worldwide and continues to rake in billions for Sony. That was easy. Oh right, the games. Uhh, Days Gone performs better than most expect, lifetime sales exceed 8 million. Dreams doesn’t do as great, but impress investors nonetheless, exceeding 5 million. Ghost sells well, better than all Sucker Punch games. Death Stranding has a better launch than most Metal Gears. PS4 sales continue to not slow down due to high consumer interest with the platform thanks in large part to its stellar first-party support, however, the Switch will dethrone the geriatric system. Due to people’s heightened interest in Sony games, they all get the recognition they deserve. Perhaps they’ll break more records this year with Days Gone and the like? Depends on how they market them.
PSN won’t have too much drama this year. Sony’s anti-anime tiddy policy sadly won’t disappear and will continue to harm some developers. However, they won’t lose any partners due to their brand name’s power alone. It could change if they fumble the PS5 launch, which I honestly doubt will happen. The PS5 will wow audiences globally due to its lineup and superior graphical capabilities. The PSVR successor will appeal to wider audiences as well due to a lack of additional power supply and intrusive wires. The cost will be higher than 400 dollars, but that won’t be an issue if the economy doesn’t take a shit and Microsoft won’t undercut the price. However, the PS5 will release a year ahead of the next Xbox due to the silence surrounding Microsoft’s next machine. That early launch will be detrimental to Microsoft’s console, especially if the PS5 receives great exclusives and reactions from audiences.
The PS4 could get a permanent price drop to $250 unless it continues to sell great at its current price of $300, which it currently appears to be the case. Studio acquisitions for next-gen will probably be at a minimum. Third-party partnerships would grant Sony the power to commission developers to work on exclusives. Marvel/ Disney likely loved what they saw from Spider-Man and will invest more time with Sony. It’s increasingly possible Disney will grant Sony the Star Wars game rights by 2023, but Disney might hold off on Star Wars games in general. However, I could see a Marvel Gaming Universe with Sony at the steering wheel for the PS5’s life. Insomniac could rest under the Worldwide Studios umbrella as the PS5 enters the scene. A new studio built by SIE will absolutely happen in the California region, given the pattern of events.
Image source: Gameranx
Studio expansions will occur across the board. No studio is in the red, as far as I know, so we can ignore the worries of studio closures. Santa Monica, Bend, San Diego, Naughty Dog, Polyphony, Japan, London, Manchester, Sucker Punch, Media Molecule, Guerrilla, and PixelOpus will all receive substantial expansions and most will transform into two-team studios. Those not adding a second team will just produce games at a faster rate. PS Now and Vue will continue to receive enhancements, additions, and improvements. No backward compatibility on the PS4, but the door is still open on the PS5.
Whew! Am I done yet? There’s a TON to discuss on Sony’s future and most of it is positive. Cross-play, name changes, and other adjustments will continue to be supported when the PS5 launches. Some issues will remain unresolved, unfortunately, but I trust SIE’s CEO to clean up as much as possible. We will see a more communicative, more aggressive, and more creative Sony when the PS5 arrives. The only question is: can that be enough to maintain market leadership? If my predictions are at least half true, I don’t see why not.
Sony opting out of E3 is a clear reminder of their new business strategy. Shawn Layden hinted at this in his PSX 2017 interview with Greg Miller concerning E3. He lamented about the fact that the event acts as a trade show instead of a consumer-oriented celebration of gaming. With the ESA recently opening the doors to fans, the event lost its identity. Is it an investor-oriented trade show or a gaming Comic Con? Hosting a conference and renting as much space as Sony does is also not cheap. It’s basically like paying the budget of a triple-A game without the profits. Of course, I’m not against E3 now as I still heavily look forward to the event each year, but I can understand Sony’s perspective this year. At that point, why not just have independent events pre-recorded in a studio and livestream it whenever you have something noteworthy to announce?
The silence of Sony begs quite a few questions. Their absence from The Game Awards 2018 alone sends a message that they want 2019 to be a special year for PlayStation. So special in fact they skipped gaming’s biggest event just to focus on their own plans. This creates suspicion among fans and some gamers will devalue Sony’s achievements when their competition actively improves their platform and brand whereas Sony asks us to play the waiting game. I, on the other hand, think it’s brilliant. They have “nothing to show” so next-gen must belong to Microsoft’s hands in the console race, right? The PS5 will likely be a flop and the wheel of negativity will spin and spin. Sony’s dead in the water when Microsoft buys studios left and right. Why doesn’t Sony do that? Are they getting arrogant again? Arrogant Sony is back guys. Time to move to Microsoft. Microsoft won next-gen!
Then, sometime later, WHAM! They have a bad-ass presentation with a lot of cool new games, a powerful console, an upgraded network infrastructure, and new studio acquisitions and partnerships. Sony wasn’t dead all along, they just wanted to act like the sleeping giant for once. Their return would be seen as historic is everything goes in their favor. Sony hates being second-wheel, so they won’t let Microsoft dethrone them without a tough fight. Their mentality has always been the industry is better when they’re on top. While that’s a very arrogant tone, it’s a rather healthy one for a capitalist market. Microsoft has that philosophy as well. This is a race to the finish line. They’ve “won the race” three generations out of four, so they don’t wanna give up that track record.
In summary, this future looks a little bit shaky in comparison to last year, but I feel like Sony’s making a smart move by holding their best deck of cards after E3 so everyone’s eyes are on them. Of course, we don’t know if they’re doing exactly what I along with a ton of pundits are saying, but that’s part of the thrill of the ride. With a promising remainder of the PS4’s life and some pretty damn intelligent leadership, I can’t see Sony drop the ball PS3-style in the future. Worst case scenario, they mildly underwhelm.
Future Score: 9/10
Final Score: 8.75/10
Grade Level: B+
I realize it’s a bit of a downgrade from last year, but that’s not to say they’re dwindling. PlayStation’s in a very comfortable position and there’s not much room for improvement. I failed to mention the disappointing PlayStation Classic in this review, but I’ll just say it solidifies my 7/10 review for Consumer Relations. I’m excited to see what they do in 2019, it’s clearly going to be a big year for the gaming titan. I hope I’m reminded of their incredible E3 2016 conference when they have their grand return in the spotlight.
How do you think Sony has done this year? Are you excited to see what they do in the future? Do you think they could improve in areas I didn’t address? Did you cringe at some moments of my article? Please let me know in the comments below. I want to hear what you have to say!
Also, be sure to check out Max Broggi-Sumner’s review of Nintendo and Sam Taylor’s review of Microsoft’s 2018 when they’re posted in the coming weeks. I can imagine both of those will be entertaining reads as there’s much to discuss for both of those companies. Finally, don’t forget to be on the lookout for new articles from Sick Critic celebrating this year in gaming. It’s an exciting time to be a Sick Critic fan.
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.
Without a PSX 2018 at the end of the year, fans have been speculating what Sony will do for E3 2019. Sony’s answer is: nothing! Yep, for the first time in the company’s history, who has overwhelmed the annual event every year with their presence, will be withdrawing from the industry’s biggest gathering, citing a lack of ‘new’ games to show. That’s of course not to say they’re cancelling any of their upcoming games for 2019 and beyond and that also does not mean we won’t see anything from the rest of their first-party lineup. This does however confirm that what we know everything coming from SIE’s studios for the PS4. Death Stranding, Days Gone, Dreams, MediEvil, The Last of Us Part II, Concrete Genie, and Ghost of Tsushima is the rest of the exclusive barrage on Sony’s platform.
I can’t say I’m disappointed reading from that list and many gamers would agree with that. Any unannounced game from WWS will most definitely release on PS5, and to reveal it at E3 would also prematurely reveal the next console. As a result of repeating the same ensemble of games revealed in 2016, Sony found it unnecessary to rent a massive space at the Los Angeles Convention Center that costed millions of dollars and have the community bash Sony for showing nothing fresh. In addition to fan backlash, Sony’s first-party studios would need to invest most of their time preparing super-polished demos for an E3 presentation, which would worsen their problem of lacking original content when their games take longer to finish. While their decision is understandable, that doesn’t mean fans can’t still be disappointed. I constantly look forward to see what Sony has to offer at E3, regardless of how muddled their format is, I love what I see from their games.
Image source from bgr.com
Without the extravagant floor space swallowed up by Sony, where does that leave E3? Microsoft moved to their own theater next door, so their real estate is minimal. EA has their own event prior to E3 and could potentially pull out of E3 altogether. (Though it’s not like gamers are looking forward to EA’s conferences.) I suppose either Nintendo or Microsoft could fill the empty void Sony left. Maybe it could just be that, an empty floor space. We could talk about who will replace Sony as the big presenter for ages, but where does that leave Sony for 2019? Their 2019 lineup looks pretty populated already. With Days Gone, Dreams, Concrete Genie, MediEvil, and their annual MLB game, 2019 might not have the bombastic feel of 2018, but there’s still stuff to play. We also have to consider Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima still have potential of landing in 2019.
How will Sony present these games in 2019? Looking at their official statement, Sony does plan on having an event of some capacity to highlight their remaining lineup and perhaps new surprises. It may not be as large as E3, but Sony promises to communicate to fans through other means. A Direct-style livestream would be the most attractive option for them, considering they have a history of individual livestreams to promote a game on the verge of launching. PlayStation Blog could of course announce release dates for their smaller scale games such as Dreams and Concrete Genie. Their social media could give fans a heads-up on a special announcement concerning their larger games.
For instance, Sony could post a tweet saying “We’re going to have a special update on The Last of Us on Thursday!” or whatever. Additionally, Sony loves releasing campaigns during sporting events and whatnot, so the Super Bowl could have a new trailer for Days Gone or something. Honestly, I wholeheartedly trust Sony to market to living hell out of their games without the need of E3. They’ve already done so with God of War and Spider-Man and both have sold exceptionally well, so I can definitely declare that their future AAA games will receive the same treatment.
Say the Last of Us Part II comes out in September, Sony releases a badass trailer in August and pumps out crazy promotions everywhere. They paint sidewalks red and put fake decaying corpses in the streets. Plaster posters all over bustling city streets in London and New York. Users of Reddit and ResetERA when they’re not banning each other are delighted and casual strangers will seem interested in the attractive marketing campaign. This formula of having a month of intense hype works quite well for their games, with Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War breaking records at launch. So we covered that Sony’s doing well in marketing, so how can they make their grand return in a big event? Well, PSX 2019 is all but confirmed at this point for one simple reason: the PS5. Rumors and insider info points directly at a late 2019 tease of next-gen and it makes too much sense not to happen.
Look back to what Sony’s new CEO said about PlayStation’s future. By 2020, the brand will crouch down and leap to somewhere it hasn’t been before. While the last part sounds like marketing bullshit, 2019 would appear to be their off-year in terms of public events. They blew their load a couple years back and they underestimated the development time. E3 2019 would have been 2018 again which was 2017 again which was 2016 again. If Sony wasn’t a huge ass company, they couldn’t afford missing E3 because they haven’t reached the entire core gaming market. Thankfully for them, they have everyone’s attention and won’t need E3 to prove their worth. Most of the market has their console and are pleased with what they have and are getting in the future. If their ‘big return’ underwhelms audiences, then their future would darken very quickly. However, that scenario isn’t too likely.
So much has been bubbling behind the scenes. The PS5’s controller has very interesting patents and appears to be an enhanced PS4 controller if the patents are truthful. Their first-party studios are undergoing massive expansion, with San Diego, Santa Monica, Sony Bend, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, and even Media Molecule entering hiring sprees. Not only that, but third-party partnerships and studio establishments are reportedly happening in preparation for next-gen. Square Enix could be working on a PS5 exclusive considering their LinkedIn profile only mentioned that platform and not the next Xbox. Of course, we can discuss the strange absence of Microsoft’s next gen machine at a later date. Some people claimed the new studio establishment rumors could be a spin-off of Naughty Dog and the studio could work in conjunction with Sony San Diego, which is also reportedly working on an Uncharted game. The rumor mill becomes more disorienting with stories and hints that Amy Hennig is directing the rumored Uncharted game after leaving EA, or that Miyazaki is working on Bloodborne 2 for PS5.
Whatever’s happening at Sony, their decision to skip out on E3 to do their own thing would give any gaming nerd goosebumps. It means Sony’s confident enough that their next big conference is too much to share when dozens of other companies share the show floor, or their next E3 is gonna be monumentally huge after a year of silence. I think it’s a little bit of the former and latter. Then again, Jason Schreier mentioned that Sony dislikes investing in E3, which stokes a discussion regarding the legitimacy of the event itself. For 2019, I’m going to trust the Reddit leaker that revealed Sony leaving E3 2019 who said they’re only going to do PSX, but it will be focused on the PS5. They’ll of course reveal a teaser like they did with the PS4. Since they’ll (probably) announce the PS5 late 2019, it’s safe to say the console isn’t too far into 2020, right?
If we follow that scenario, there’s a possibility PSX would focus more on the hardware than the software, with E3 2020 focusing solely on the launch lineup from Sony’s excellent first-party studios. What would those games be? I’ll leave that for another article. However, we obviously don’t know about Sony’s 2019 plans, but we do know the more mysterious Sony acts, the bigger their plans are. Another final thing to note is Sony’s response to the reveal of their departure from E3 next year. It was only a spokesperson’s statement to a select few journalists and not a public press release on PlayStation Blog. I bring this up because it seems that they are going to do a good-news-bad-news post. I expect Shawn Layden to come on the podcast and awkwardly say they have a ‘big update’ to share concerning PlayStation’s future or some other marketing jargon they come up with. I dunno, I just found their initial reaction to be pretty telling.
Ultimately, Sony pulling out of E3 is a historic decision. They’ve been a mainstay since the very beginning and have entertained gamers of the time, even when their conferences sucked. They’ve undoubtedly left a massive impact on the industry with their E3 presentations alone, so we’ll have to wonder how Sony could fare without E3. Honestly, given how successful the PlayStation brand has been this generation, I don’t think missing an E3 is really going to hurt their image if they make themselves visible to the public. It’s pretty remarkable to say that, but we underestimate how massive this company is. They can release a 30-second commercial for the year and still make buckets of money from brand name alone. Obviously, that’s hyperbolic, but they can definitely survive a crazy move like this as long as the landing is worth it.
What do you think about Sony leaving E3 2019? Were you shocked in disbelief and are outraged of Sony doing such a thing? Or did you understand and respect their decision and look forward to what they have up their sleeves next? Please let us know in the comments below and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.
In an unexpected turn of events, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden confirmed that the company will not be hosting the fan-oriented celebration PlayStation Experience this December, citing a lack of new content to warrant an event. While some fans are shocked at the lack of PSX due to Microsoft bringing back their X0 conference, others are content about their decision. Sony’s latest conferences have been becoming less exciting to watch with E3 2017 AND 2018 featuring no new games (with the exception of Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II debuting at the event). The last conference that had that Sony 2016 feeling was PGW 2017 with quite a few first-party reveals with Ghost of Tsushima, Concrete Genie, Erica, and another TLOU II trailer. All in all, a fair amount of gamers see this move as a gesture of change, something Sony’s been doing a lot lately.
This past week, Sony changed their policy on cross-play for Fortnite and promised to continue that change for future third-party titles. A much needed improvement on their online policy. PlayStation Now recently updated to allow PS4 and PS2 downloads, rivaling that of Xbox Game Pass. (Let’s stop expecting Sony to put PS3 games on the PS4. It’s impossible. Even high-end PCs struggle with emulation, so how is a far weaker console supposed to handle it? Enough already.) Older PS3 exclusives are going offline, which is a potential indicator that PSN’s going to experience a serious restructuring process in preparation for the next console. Last but not least, Shuhei Yoshida claimed PSVR will face a huge content push with legitimate games launching on the platform. A lot of stuff is happening, so what is the outcome of this sudden shift?
Let’s start with cross-play. Fans are wondering why Sony is taking a much more conservative process with cross-play. Isn’t cross-play as simple as a flick of the switch? Hell, Epic Games ACCIDENTALLY turned on cross-platform play. So how come Sony’s starting with a ‘beta’ process for one game? Well, with the rumors of a PSN reconstruction buzzing about with older online PS3 exclusives shutting down operations, that likely has an impact on this process. When could we see this restructuring happen? October 25th, the date several of those PS3 games are getting their cords cut. They’re operating on last-generation server technology, so it’s best to purge that to avoid overwhelming PSN. October 25th would see the end of the Fortnite cross-play beta and the introduction of more third-party games like Rocket League or Minecraft. They had to get Fortnite done with first because. . . well. . . it’s Fortnite.
Where does PSNow fit in this equation? It doesn’t really fit in the PSN restructuring since it’s in a separate technology framework. However, where will PSNow be when PS5 comes out? If it makes enough money, Sony will put the service on PS5. If not, which is probably the case since they’re dead silent on it, then PSNow won’t be a thing in the past and backwards compatibility replaces it. That’s pretty much all I have to say on it, but PSVR’s a different story. It’s not flying off shelves, but Sony isn’t letting go of it. In fact, they’re doubling down on PSVR support with bigger games on the fledgling platform. They have the most successful PSVR device, so why not do something with that title?
Is PSVR going to be on the PS5? Absolutely. This isn’t a Vita situation here. There’s rumors of the PS5 having baked-in VR technology. Sony definitely sees a future in VR. All in all, nearly everything we’re hearing about Sony’s strategy is expansion and doubling down. They’re doubling down on first-party support, expanding their VR support, opening up their platform with cross-play, and overall improving their network infrastructure. With no PSX, this is in no way an indication of SIE dialing it down. They’re cranking nearly all of their departments up a notch or two. Of course, they could (and should) be less conservative about certain issues. Even with the supposed PSN upgrade, why act so hesitant to add more games? They still seem very squeamish around cross-play, which is odd considering the immense amount of positive feedback the corporation received with the move.
A common ingredient of the speculation mill lately is a PlayStation Meeting, similar to what Sony pulled for the PS4 and while I concede that the PS4 would have a complete life by 2019, the theory of cross-generational Sony games seems ludicrous to me. Every game we know about from Sony is coming to PS4. Why would they move a project knee-deep in the PS4 to a completely new platform, even if it using the same architecture? That would halt production or at least decelerate the process that progressed smoothly for years. A remaster after the games were released? Sure, but none of these games will be cross-generational. If they were, I would be quite surprised. Right now, Sony’s wrapping up the PS4 with the most satisfactory conclusion they can give it.
They’re kicking off the year with an ambitious open-world game Days Gone, and the ambitious content-creation game Dreams, both of which are expected to launch in the first half of 2019. There’s Concrete Genie, Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, among more unannounced games. Just because they’re not following the footsteps of Microsoft does not mean they’re resting on their laurels. We know first-party support will get a much-needed boost in content. . . I find that statement hard to believe because it’s never been better, in my eyes. Sony wants 2019 to be the PS4’s final act, so they’re going to make the most use of it. Having a PSX would just be a repeat of E3 again, despite attending fans enjoying those events.
The end of 2018 emits a shadow of Sony’s next console. While that sounds nerve-wracking for recent PS4 owners, fear not. 2019 will probably be the system’s most exciting year yet with a multitude of high-end first-party games. The PS4 doesn’t need more announcements, it has the most anticipated games under its belt. PSX this year would waste fan’s time and Sony doesn’t want to do that anymore. So what does this tell us about their future conferences? If they don’t want to give more announcements, what does that say about E3 2019 and next year’s PSX? I don’t deny a PlayStation Meeting on February like in 2013, but I feel like Sony would announce their next console at E3 2019, similar in how they revealed the PS3 (except better of course). Any release date announcements for their upcoming projects would be revealed independently either by Game Informer or by Sony on their own terms.
I won’t go too deep in E3 predictions as it’s not even 2019 yet, but I expect next year’s PSX to have a heavier emphasis on PS5 games. I don’t know when the PS5 will come out, but we’ll likely know of it by next year. When there’s no more announcements to make, the new announcements are something we shouldn’t know about just yet. It’s best to remain patient and maintain excitement for what lies ahead for the PS4. Receiving word of Sony planning on doubling down or expanding upon nearly all departments this late into the generation clearly indicates they are gearing up for the next console. PSX cancellation confirms that is all for the PS4 and its child is about to be born. Okay, I’m bringing up childbirth when talking about computer machines, I need to wrap this up before it gets weird.
Image credit: Push Square
As disappointing this cancellation appears, this is only good news for Sony’s future. Conferences will have to be bigger from here on out. The PS5’s shadow looms ahead and 2019 is the perfect time to announce the machine and its library. The PS4 is ending its life with a bang, so what better to treat it by letting the games speak for themselves? A console’s final years is often its greatest. With Sony listening to gamers and adding cross-play support on their platform and downloadable PS4/PS2 games on PS Now, it’s clear they want to start next-gen on the right foot like 2013. I’ll have a more detailed analysis before Christmas, but I will say this: PS5 is gonna have one hell of a launch lineup.
What do you think no PSX 2018 means for PlayStation? Is Microsoft’s X018 meeting something Sony should worry about? Or does all of this console war rhetoric seem melodramatic and neither company cares about who’s winning as long as money is being made? Please leave your thoughts down in the comments below and stay tuned for more awesome Sick Critic content. You won’t want to miss it!
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.
Sony’s E3 press conference was a very controversial one. Some people absolutely loved it and claimed they had the best conference of E3 2018 whereas others loathed their performance. Let’s boil down what Sony actually did and discuss why this year’s conference is so polarizing.
Inside a Church
Before the presentation started, Sony had an amusing animation of robots and other cartoony characters. Right before that harmless animation, Sony placed a “graphic content” warning when the stream started. Perhaps that was in response to the public outcry of the violent content of The Last of Us Part II, bubefore that animation was very out of place. Anyway, Sony had all of the attendants cram inside this haunted church set piece and SIEA President Shawn Layden walked up stage to explain what they will be doing. He explained how Sony wanted to highlight their four big games in separate settings and talked about how they wanted to let their games “sing” on their own. It dragged on longer than his usual speech. When he finished his speech, Layden introduced the composer of The Last of Us Part II, Gustavo Santaolalla. He performed a banjo rendition of the theme song for the highly anticipated sequel and then the game trailer started.
The trailer opened up with a grown-up Ellie attending a social gathering with a friend taking place in the same church setting the attendants were in. The friend is an adult Asian male, perhaps the same male character in the Paris Games Week trailer. A new character is introduced, which is Ellie’s lover Dina, voiced by Westworld actress Shannon Woodward. Sensible intimacy is a rarity in modern video games and when Dina and Ellie slow dance and romantically kiss, it feels astonishing real and tangible. If a romantic kiss could be done well, Naughty Dog would be the studio to nail it. The camera pans behind Ellie’s back head which transitions into the gameplay segment. Ellie is revealed to be the main playable character in the sequel and the entire segment appeared to be without any script. Everything played as if it were a normal game and the combat and stealth appear to be far more in-depth than the first game. The blood and gore is also heavily increased with guts spilling out frequently. Once the segment ended, the camera again pans behind Ellie’s head to transition back to the social setting.
After the two finish kissing, Dina says “They should be terrified by you.” Ellie thinks back upon her previous actions with a semblance of guilt and then smiles. The trailer ends with no release date given, but you should expect that to be a trend. Sony’s developing a habit of not announcing a release date until the game is 100% ready to launch in that date, which I personally like that as we don’t have to worry about delays and have another Crackdown 3. As for now, we can expect it to launch in 2019 as the game looks quite polished. Then again, it must be a specific moment given a lot of polish as most developers do before E3. Shawn Layden thanks the audience and asks them to enter the next venue, beginning the main issue many people have with this conference.
After These Messages…We’ll Be Right Back
The conference transitions to social media employees Sid Shuman, Meredith Molinari, and Ramone Russell who is a Sony San Diego member. They begin to gush over The Last of Us Part II and PlayStation in general as they’re paid to do so. They proceed to show a trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops IIII and dialed the hype from 10 to 0 very quickly. Some neat things have been announced like how Black Ops 3 is free for Plus members and God of War is receiving a new game plus mode in the future, a heavily requested feature. Shawn Layden appears with the group to reiterate what he said in the tent and then strangely said there will be “no surprises” at this conference. Is this a buzzkill festival for them? No new games? Thankfully, Layden was lying, but why even say that if that’s clearly not true? Do you not want people to be excited for PlayStation? That was a very weird statement to make. We went from 2016 Sony to “don’t get hyped” Sony.
In a Theater Near You
Ghost of Tsushima was the next game to make a gameplay debut and surprised many people with the stunning visuals and visceral gameplay. Unfortunately, Sony decided to stall the presentation even further by having another musical performance, presumably by the composer of the game. After at least 15 minutes of unwarranted stalling, the conference proceeded without any interruptions. The gameplay demo started with the main character, Jin, a samurai learning the ways of the sword, witnessing a Japanese checkpoint of sorts destroyed by Mongol soldiers. He hops back on his horse and rides across the wheat fields. The visuals are absolutely breathtaking. It’s hard to believe this is captured from relatively underpowered hardware that’s almost five years old. The wheat reacts to the movement of the horse in realistic fashion and the musical score kicks in, which is also very well-made.
Jin enters the forest and sees frightened civilians escape the oppressive Mongols. Jin asks “Where are they?!” referring to the Mongols. He finally encounters them as they kill an innocent. A battle ensues as Jin slashes one foe in a split second, killing him immediately. The sword combat appears quick and versatile, as well as enjoyable to play. Jin almost defeats all of the enemies until a middle-aged female warrior kills the last man standing, she appears to be a childhood mentor of Jin. The woman then shows him the way where other Mongolians are torturing a monk. Jin stealthily kills a Mongol before heading into the temple. The footage then highlights rope traversal and a minimalist HUD along with more combat. After freeing the monk, the mentor shoots an arrow at the monk, claiming that he killed her family. Jin, infuriated with his mentor’s reckless actions, challenges her to a duel. She concedes and the battle begins.
The intense gameplay and stunning background maintained my attention and made me desperately want to play the game. With the bright yellow sunset and the stark red leaves of the overhead trees, the visuals are less realistic as The Last of Us Part II, but one could argue the art direction is better than Naughty Dog’s. Sucker Punch have really outdone themselves with this game and we don’t even know the scope of this game. No release date has been given, possibly to avoid delays. However, given the fact this has been in the works for four years already, we can realistically expect a late 2019 release. We should see far more in another conference this year, perhaps at PSX. Regardless, Sucker Punch surprised us all and appears to have strengthened the first-party output even more.
Some Surprises in the Mix
Contradicting Shawn Layden’s comments, Sony showcased some new third-party games, or what’s left of them as Microsoft held 90% of third-party game announcements on the E3 scene this year. The first surprise is Remedy’s new project, Control, which looks eerily similar to their previous 2015 game that was exclusive to Microsoft’s platform, Quantum Break. You play as a woman named Jesse Faden who has telepathic abilities. She also holds a special gun that transforms to her liking. Control is slated for a 2019 release and is revealed to be a Metroidvania game with third-person shooting elements. With those details alone, we’re already envisioning a quite interesting gaming experience.
The next surprise was the highly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake announced a few years back. The game will feature the same graphics engine as Resident Evil 7 and shares a similar gameplay style with Resident Evil 4. The best of two worlds it seems. Most importantly, RE2make is launching very early next year, January 25th.
After arguably the biggest surprise of the show, Koei Tecmo had a special announcement for players as well. The critically acclaimed Nioh is receiving a sequel, titled Nioh 2. The first game only came early last year and it had DLC, so a 2019 release window is fairly surprising. Team Ninja gave additional information on the game, confirming character customization and will closely follow the first game. Thankfully, the first Nioh was a moderate commercial success for Koei Tecmo, and it appears that the sequel could have some sort of PlayStation exclusivity like the last one. More details about the game will undoubtedly come in the near future, so stay tuned for that.
The last notable surprise was a new project from Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland. It will be a PSVR and PS4 exclusive titled Trover Saves the Universe and will feature platforming gameplay and the wacky sense of humor Roiland is best known for. The relationship between Roiland and PlayStation has been a surprising one, but it’s nice to see a creator known for his television projects embrace gaming as well.
Kojima Does Kojima Again
The elusive yet fascinating open-world adventure game Death Stranding appears on E3 for the second time since its debut, this time giving the audience a taste of gameplay. The entirety of that gameplay highlights Sam Porter Bridges, the main protagonist portrayed by Norman Reedus, walking around the environment. The world looks bleak and lifeless, yet atmospheric and peaceful. The lack of gorey violence is a vast departure from previous Sony exclusives and it’s a very welcome one. Bridges is mainly seen carrying packages for his company. What are in the packages? We don’t know. Does he have a boss? Apparently so as a man in the intercoms tells him to bring some packages to a certain location. What is the purpose of his job? You think Kojima would tell us that this early?
On the bright side, the trailer does answer some questions. The weird baby thing exposes the main threat of the environment. We have a basic idea of what the main character is doing in this strange world. He’s basically an Amazon delivery guy. We also are given an idea of what “Death Stranding” is, as the official page describes it as an event that shapes the world. Time travel, or at least manipulation of sorts, is also confirmed in the game. Two new actors have been revealed in the game. Lea Seydoux, who was in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and Lindsay Wagner, who was in the Bionic Woman. Lindsay Wagner is 68 years old, but the game trailer shows her as a young 30-something woman, further hinting at time travel elements. No release date has been revealed like the last two first-party games. It made little sense, but Kojima intentionally left out combat just to showcase the setting and characters in this ambiguous game. Whatever it is, we’re excited and can’t wait to play.
A Not-So-Friendly Neighborhood
Sony ended E3 again with Marvel’s Spider-Man, which does have a release date of September 7th. This trailer showcased an action sequence of Spider-Man neutralizing a violent prison outbreak in the RAFT facility (think of it as a Ryker’s Island for super-villains). The trailer highlighted more combat gameplay, which is looking more and more like the Batman Arkham series. As a fan of the Arkham series, I have no complaints for that. As Spidey progressed further into the mayhem, the first villain makes an appearance, Electro, and prompts our hero to chase after him. After defeating a round of released inmates, Rhino joins the fray and hurls a massive rock at Spider-Man. Peter Parker continues fending off the barrage of enemies until Electro returns which transitions into a wall-running segment of the demo. The battle is taken to the exterior of the RAFT, highlighting web-slinging traversal during an action sequence. The movement looks fluid and responsive, giving the demonstration an intoxicating fun factor.
The trailer finishes with an intense scene of several of the biggest villains ganging up on Spidey: Electro, Vulture, Rhino, and Mr. Negative, a newcomer to the franchise. Spider-Man is nearly killed until a light from a flying vehicle shines on Spider-Man’s face. Shocked that this vehicle showed up, Parker utters, “You?!” and the trailer ends. Who could it be?!?!?!?!? You’ll have to find out next time on Dragon Ball-oh, wait wrong franchise.
That’s all of what Sony prepared for us this E3 and it’s safe to say it was a very strong conference when it comes to the games, but it’s a very mixed bag when it comes to the show itself. Then again, is E3 about judging how executives present games to the populous or what games a company showed? I think it’s the latter. It’s pretty clear that Sony’s beginning to emphasize less on E3 and more on non-US gaming events like Gamescom, Paris Games Week, Tokyo Game Show, and Sony’s own event PlayStation Experience. There’s still more surprises left this generation, but the gaming landscape is definitely wrapping everything up to transition to the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
What did you think of Sony’s press conference? Were you confused, excited, or a little bit of both? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more E3-related content!
Unfortunately, our site went down right after the first day of the E3 2018 conference, so we didn’t get an opportunity to cover it. To make up for that, I took it upon myself to not just rank each conference, but also rank each and every game that was announced from worst to best. Get comfortable, we’re gonna be here a while.
Square Enix: My first red flag for this was when I got off work after the conference ended and asked what I missed, and no one could really tell me anything. Then when it comes time to write this article, I went back to the VOD and it wasn’t even half an hour long. That’s fine, I said to myself. Devolver Digital’s wasn’t even twenty minutes and theirs was fantastic. Unfortunately, Square Enix is no Devolver Digital. After letting Microsoft announce most of their titles, there wasn’t much left to show.
The Quiet Man: Guy wordlessly beats up some other guys. More to come in August. Thanks, Square Enix, that was worth my time.
NieR Automata: Become as Gods Edition: This would probably be at least halfway up the list if the exact same trailer wasn’t shown off at Microsoft’s conference.
Babylon’s Fall: Coming to Steam and PS4 in 2019. Trailer looks badass, but shows no gameplay and gives hints to the plot. I’m so happy that this is the only one of its type and definitely NOT something that happened in almost every other conference.
Final Fantasy XIV/Monster Hunter World: I’m not an MMO guy, so as much as I like Final Fantasy, XIV was never my cup of tea. Through the Under the Moonlight patch that came out in May, Square Enix will be adding Monster Hunter content to Final Fantasy XIV. Apparently. Why? Because they’re Square goddamn Enix, so if they want to see the warriors of light to take down monsters from another universe, then goddamn, they’re going to make it happen.
Dragon Quest XI: The newest entry in the Dragon Quest series launched about a year ago in Japan, and is finally coming to the US. The trailer has some interesting moments, and comes to an end with what looks like the protagonists assembling the infinity stones. The NA localization will be available on September 4th of this year, and two special editions are available for preorder today: one is a day one edition that costs the same price as the game, and the other costs well over twice as much. Also, Brave Exvius will be crossing over with Dragon Quest in celebration, because Final Fantasy is trying to reach Nicolas Cage levels of being in everything.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: We get to see a bit more of our young protagonist Chris, who will don the role of the imaginary and titular Captain Spirit, and also get insights from some of Dontnod’s creative team. We learned at the Xbox conference that this game will take place in the Life is Strange universe, and now we’ve received confirmation that this isn’t Life is Strange 2, but will take place in Arcadia Bay and will introduce us to the LiS universe outside of Blackwell and the Price family.
Kingdom Hearts III: Naturally, they close off with KH3. It’s the same trailer shown off during the Microsoft Conference, with a couple more scenes added. I was expecting some developer insights after the trailer, but, uh… nope. It’s over, and as their finale reel starts to roll, questions fill my mind. Why, why did MICROSOFT announce as many of your games than you did? Why even have a conference that’s not even half an hour? You have Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, Just Cause 4, Dragon Quest; why not show them off more? You know what, Square Enix? You’re officially worse than EA and Bethesda, get to the bottom of the list and go think about what you did. Don’t come back until you can give us a conference worth watching.
Just Cause 4: Man, they sure do like this tornado. Anyway, they built on the trailer they showed at Microsoft’s conference, explaining that they have an all-new open world that’s bigger than ever with new vehicles, new villains, better-than-ever combat, and all-new methods of causing mayhem and destruction. There’s also a car tethered to a few balloons just floating along. If I can ride in that car, I’m sold.
Octopath Traveler: I’m excited for this, I liked the “choose your class at the start” style of FFI, and Octopath Traveler seems to be bringing that style of RPG with an adorable aesthetic to my favorite console in less than a month. I do wish a bit more was shown, but the same could be said about just about every game in every conference. Except Command and Conquer, we saw a bit too much of that one.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: They started out strong, at least, with the newest Tomb Raider game. Which they also showed at Microsoft’s conference. We get a new cutscene this time, and then they even show off some gameplay. Lara’s forced to survive in the jungle and utilize her environment to face overwhelming odds. It looks varied and interesting, with numerous ways to kill people, seems based around stealthily hiding from your enemies to kill them quietly without being noticed. Also promised were new mechanics, overhauled swimming, a large hub, and bigger, more dangerous tombs. The least disappointing part of the conference, this should’ve been their closer.
Bethesda: Yeah, you’re reading this right. Bethesda was worse this year than EA. I’ve already had an argument with another site member about this, and I can’t wait to see what you all have to say about it. You can email your death threats to email@example.com, I’m readily anticipating them.
Elder Scrolls Legends: Oh boy, Elder Scrolls? This is what we’ve been waiting for— oh. It’s the card game. Getting relaunched with overhauled graphics and ported to Xbox One, PS4, and Switch later this year. Yep. Totally the Elder Scrolls announcement we’ve been waiting for. If you like the game, then I guess this is good news for you, especially because your PC/mobile data will carry over to console, but this is small news for most of us. Then Besthesda became the second presenter to spend a full slot showcasing a mobile game. Still better than Command and Conquer, still worse than almost anything else.
Elder Scrolls Online: Still no ESVI? Back to bed, wake me when it’s over…
For real, if you’re a big fan of the game, this is big news, as you’re getting new story DLC and a new area. It’s also been six and a half years since Skyrim was released and they’re still milking it for all they’ve got. We’ve wanted the sixth main series game since the last conference.
Yeah, I’m overly bitter. It’s been twenty seven minutes and we’re only on the third presentation. Also, I swear the melody of the song in the trailer sounded like The Ballad of Sweeny Todd.
Fallout Shelter: It’s getting ported the PS4 and Switch. They’re out now.
Elder Scrolls Blades: OH SHIT, IT’S THE ELDER SCROLLS SI— nope, it’s a mobile game. Why?? It’s also coming to literally every system… so why my phone? Even the best smartphones are weaker than middling PCs, other handheld consoles, and of course the Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. Why introduce it to mobile, which will only add limitations that wouldn’t be present anywhere else?
You’ll get to explore procedurally generated dungeons, which is cool, you’ll create and customize your character, that’s nice (and totally not something you’d get to do in ES6), build your own town, (again, pretty cool), and if you get the game on several systems, your progress will be saved on one and you can pick up where you left off on any other. If it wasn’t introduced as a mobile game, this would probably be a bit higher on the list, but I’m just not sure why it exists at all. If they wanted to make an Elder Scrolls game with procedurally generated dungeons, character customization, town building, and crossover saving… why not just put that stuff in Elder Scrolls 6?
This is the third Elder Scrolls game that wasn’t the most anticipated game of the conference, and yeah, I’m being overly negative, but I’ve been sitting through mobile games and drawn out trailers for well over an hour at this point and this is the third time the words Elder Scrolls have appeared on the screen and it hasn’t been ES6! This is why you’re at the bottom of the goddamn list, Bethesda!
Doom Eternal: Yeah!! Now we’re getting somewhere! Badass music plays over a ruined hellscape as Doom Guy crushes a skull with his foot, then the words Doom Eternal rise from the ground, and… oh. We’re moving on?
While it would be nice to see some gameplay, the game’s probably in the early stages of development. They announce that it’s a sequel to Doom 2016 with more powerful weapons, new demons, “hell on Earth” and that there will be new information at QuakeCon. This would probably be closer to the top (easily above Rage) if we got some more now.
Rage 2: So how about that music presentation? We’re here for a rock concert, right? Anyway, once we finally get to see the trailer, it’s standard summer action movie fare: post-apocalyptic wasteland, male protagonist, orphan, lost everything and is now a glowing white-hot ball of anger. We also get to see some gameplay. There’s some driving shooty bits, gunplay looks like it could be alright, world’s super gritty interspersed with shocks of bright color. Then we zoom in on a TV… there’s a… deformed talking head? It’s singing? What the fuck is happening?? WHY IS THIS HERE??
Then the rest of the trailer is set to this EDM party music and it’s edited kind of weird, but the aesthetic looks alright and it looks like the gameplay could be fun and varied. Still, we’re nineteen minutes in to an hour and a half conference, and we’ve seen one game which included a fake infomercial for a deformed talking head, a mediocre music performance as buildup, and a trailer for a post-apocalypse action game set to “IT’S TIME TO PARTY!!”, so everything leading up to this put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
Quake Champions: Quake Champions. Free trial until the 17th. It’s in early access now, but if you get it during the trial, you keep it and can keep playing after launch. Go. Now!
Starfield: New, singleplayer adventure. It’s in space. We know nothing else.
VR: Prey’s new prop hunt mode (more info on the upcoming Typhon Hunter and Mooncrash DLC below) will be playable in VR, and there will also be a singleplayer puzzle game. Wolfenstein is also getting a VR title, Cyberpilot, where you’ll take control of a resistance hacker able to take control of Nazi mechs and use them in the fight against their creators. If I get my hands on a VR system, I’ll definitely pick up Cyberpilot, and if you like Prey them you’ll probably want to consider their game.
Prey: Mooncrash and Typhon Hunter: DLC for Prey that turns it into a roguelike where you try to escape Horizon Lunar Colony. Each time you die, the map and monsters completely regenerate. The price is a bit steep, but it honestly looks pretty fun. Shame Prey didn’t appeal to me, because this is a lot more my style. The price is a bit steep at $20, but if you have Prey I’d say go for it.
They also announced a prop hunt mode coming later this summer, if that’s what you’re into.
Elder Scrolls 6: YES! YES! HERE WE GO! After eighty minutes, and eleven games, three of them being Elder Scrolls games that weren’t this one, we finally get an announcement. There’s no substance to it, all we hear is “it exists”, but after the rest of the conference, it’s all most of us really wanted. Realistically, this should be just above Starfield, as we got about the same amount of information, but this is a year overdue and we’re all excited for it. Hell, I’m beyond reason after the last 83 minutes, I need a goddamn break before I tackle the next one. Good closer, Bethesda, too bad you couldn’t make the rest of the conference this exciting.
Wolfenstein Youngblood:Welcome to 1980s Paris, where you get to play as Blazkowicz’s twin daughters in their campaign to fight the Nazis out of France. With a friend, no less, B.J. has two kids, not one. The trailer doesn’t show off too much, but hell, I don’t even care. Wolfenstein is awesome, and all I’ve really wanted out of life is to be a badass Nazi-killing chick.
Fallout 76: a prequel to the Fallout franchise, Vault 76 is the first vault to open on the 300th anniversary of America’s independece. The residents of the Vault are in charge of rebuilding society in a map that’s 4 times larger than Fallout 4 and has fantastic graphics (I’ve been saying that a lot today) and all-new fascinating monsters. I’m so excited, I’ve already got my playlist all set up (it’s Country Roads for over 4 hours), and I’m trying to figure out who my squad’s going to be. That’s right, this is another of those multiplayer open-world games that seems to turn up at least once per conference.
Just one caveat… Fallout 76 is online only. Instead of having an optional singleplayer mode and getting to go online when you so choose, in Fallout 76 you’re always online in an open world filled with other players. While this does open up several possibilities, enumerated in cartoony PSA-style trailers featuring vault boy which includes nuking rival factions, forcing online play won’t do Bethesda any favors. I’ll have a miserable time trying to play on my shitty dorm wifi, and if I want to come back to it a couple years down the line, I won’t be able to because the servers will be shut down. I am excited for this, I really am, it seems like it could be so incredible… but this is going to hold it back. If it weren’t for this, it would be at the top of the list…
Excuse me? We’re at the end? The best game of their conference comes with a giant asterisk? I know everyone’s excited for Fallout 76, don’t get me wrong, I am too, and I’m looking forward to a handful of others. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s entire conference just let a bad taste in my mouth, and this was the worst of them all. Maybe they’ll change their mind, introduce an offline mode, and maybe next year they’ll have an all-star lineup of new games, and we’ll certainly see more Elder Scrolls 6, but due to an overall poor presentation even outside the games they chose to show, Bethesda becomes the second to win the dreaded “worse than EA” award. Not to worry, though, they’re up next.
EA: EA was the first conference this year, and they were kind enough to set the bar low for everyone who followed. Who then managed to completely fail to measure up. While there were some highlights, not much really shone, and the pacing of the latter half drove us here at the site mad.
Command and Conquer: Hey guys, here’s a mobile game. Yeah, we’re one of the biggest publishers out there, and we’re selling you a MOBILE GAME. First we’re gonna tell you how it’s played, then we’re gonna show you two people playing it. LIVE. WITH COMMENTARY. Are we cool yet?? I will say, though, it was hilarious seeing two people just sitting on stage on their phones. I guess it’s not actually all that funny, but in times like these, you find humor whenever you can. After that, they showed us an overly cinematic trailer that I’ll certainly be force to sit through in the middle of other phone games I actually want to play.
Fun fact, I had the conference on in the background AT DOUBLE SPEED while writing this paragraph. I started writing at the same time as the C&C segment, and they finished the live playthrough at the same time as I finished this segment. This was the most mind-numbingly boring segment of the entire conference.
Origin Access Premier: Hey, come give us your money. I’m not going too in-depth on this because it’s not a game, and you probably already have an opinion on it. Really, this is only here to put in perspective how horrible the Command and Conquer segment was.
NBA Live 19: We saw a trailer set to music and moved on. Game might be fantastic, but there wasn’t much reason to sell it hard. If you bought the last ones, you’ll buy the next ones.
Jedi: Fallen Order: This would probably top the list if we got more information on it. However, since it’s not coming out for about a year and a half, they didn’t have that much to show. Maybe I should put it higher because I’m just that ready for EA to crush my hopes again, maybe it shouldn’t even be here because we didn’t see anything on it, but either way, I’m looking forward to playing as a Jedi while the order is being hunted down. More information will be revealed at next E3.
Madden NFL 19: Started off with a heartwarming story of a kid who couldn’t play baseball after an injury but found success in Madden NFL. You can choose whether or not to put sarcastic quotes around “heartwarming”, I guess I’m happy for that kid but honestly at this point in the conference I just couldn’t care less. We’re here for VIDEO GAMES, not a digital-age sports film. The trailer leaned into it, showing overly cinematic footage rendered in-engine with deep (in pitch, not value) platitudes like “legends are born” and “it’s not about the gold, it’s the moments that got you there”. Again, it’s a sports game. If you bought the last couple, you’ll buy this one and like it. No need for the hard sell. FIFA did it right, at least.
Unravel Two: Looked fine for a beta build, and I was looking forward to playing it when they optimised it a bit so the frame drops would stop. Then they announced that it was available now.
FIFA 19: I’m not much of a sports guy, and sports games aren’t really my thing, so fans of FIFA and Madden might disagree with my placement of these games in the middle of the list. EA’s FIFA 19 had a decent-looking trailer that was rendered in-engine, and they revealed that you’d be allowed to compete in the Champions League, Europa League, and the Serie A. Naturally, “The Journey” story mode will return, and gameplay received an overhaul. They closed off by announcing that FIFA 18 is available for free for a limited time. A decent showing, but not exactly interesting if you’re not a sports fan.
Sea of Solitude: A fantastic art style around a promising story coming within a year. I wish we got to see a bit more gameplay, but as there’s a high focus on story, that’s what they were trying to sell the hardest.
Star Wars Battlefront II: Never thought I’d see this game topping a list that didn’t include the word “failure” or “worst” or “controversial” or “fuck you” EA’s really growing up, starting out by apologizing for fucking it up the first time. I’m looking forward for their massive relapse in a year or two when they figure out how to charge you for even looking at their game. After reviewing some more recent announcements, such as their Solo content and upcoming game modes, they revealed some new content: The Clone Wars. A number of heroes and villains are being added to the game, as well as plenty of new levels and locations. I refused to buy the game at launch for obvious reasons, but they seem to be trying to make it better. If this update does well, I might finally cave.
Battlefield V: This was one of the better reveals. The game looks fantastic aesthetically, which crushes any hopes of my computer ever being able to run it, but I’m happy for all of you with decent rigs out there who will get to enjoy it. They showed us the standard multiplayer, now with improved customization and new mechanics; the new war stories mode; and Battle Royale. Best of all, there will be no loot boxes or pay to win mechanics. Overall, this was a strong opener for EA, it’s just a shame that the next hour didn’t live up.
Anthem: Anthem is either going to be fantastic or suck miserably. I’m banking on the former. BioWare made Mass Effect, SWTOR, Dragon Age, and I think they’ll be able to pull off something as large as Anthem. Yes, Andromeda bombed, but that’s just more incentive for them to make sure Anthem really shined. This is the first of the “shared open-world” games we’ll be seeing throughout E3. You’ll get to play either by yourself or with up to four other players, and BioWare seeks to let you make your own story within that world, both your personal quest and the story of the multiplayer world. There will be purchasable cosmetics, but no loot boxes or pay-to-win mechanics. An excellent closer for EA’s conference, unfortunately the rest of it didn’t live up, but personally, I’m really looking forward to it.
PC Gaming Show: Missed the live showing of this one, let’s dig up the VOD… two hours?? Alright, I guess it’s time for a lightning round.
—Note: This conference proved almost impossible to rank due to sheer volume (among a few other factors), so this is definitely the weakest segment of the article, and is more like a rough outline of “worse” to better” than a concrete ranking.
Hunt Showdown: Something about the colors in the trailer looked slightly off (but maybe that’s just me). The trailer was seconds long and told us nothing.
Proving Grounds: PUBG/Fortnite*10. This matchmaking timer’s going to need to invent some new numbers to count high enough.
Morning Star: Is this VR? I think it’s VR, I can’t tell. I can’t really tell anything, it looks like some farming sim, and there’s something else going on, but we don’t get to see what that something else is.
The Sinking City: If you’ve ever wanted to play through an episode of Supernatural, it might be work a look.
Warframe: Here’s a tease and in invite to watch more at another conference.
Night Call: Cool trailer, I guess. Looks like Neo Cab (immediately below) but noir instead of pseudo-cyberpunk. I know nothing else.
Neo Cab: Don’t really know what the gameplay’s gonna be like, there’s dialogue options that presumably lead to a branching story, but I don’t know if there are any driving mechanics. Futuristic aesthetic looks alright.
The Walking Dead: It was at this point that I realized how few gameplay segments we’ve actually seen at the PC Gaming show. Sure, some trailers will toss disjointed seconds at you, but this conference just has too much shit to throw at us to stop for a minute and actually show us any.
Rapture Rejects: Cyanide and Happiness the Battle Royale. The rapture happens and everyone who isn’t brought up to heaven is left to kill each other on the ground. Sure wish we could see some gameplay.
I should clarify, it’s not that the PC Gaming Show is the only conference that showed lackluster trailers with no gameplay and no one coming onstage to talk about it. It’s just that they showed so many of them.
Telltale- TWD: *Insert Khaled joke*
Bravery Network Online: Hand-drawn sprites beat each other up. Online!
Star Citizen: Spaaaaace! This game’s been out for a while, and it was only really here to announce that a big update is coming soon.
Killing Floor 2: Steampunk!!
Archangel Hellfire: I like mechs. The number of maps and mechs and abilities looked a bit low, but maybe I’m just spoiled. There’s also every opportunity we’ll get more later.
Overwhelm: Black, white, and red shoot-em-up (I think?) with a retro aesthetic. Available now!
Realm Royale: Does the phrase “Battle Royale game with a twist” sound familiar? Yeah, but this one at least seems unique. The art style seems kind of generic, it was probably unique at some point but it started to appear everywhere. That’s not too big a deal though, because the class and magic systems actually do set this one apart from the endless wave we’re trudging through.
Don’t Starve Hamlet: It’s Don’t Starve. We all love Don’t Starve, but in keeping with the theme of the conference, the trailer doesn’t leave us with much.
The Forgotten City: Skyrim mod that turned into a full game. Won an award for writing, so it better not be a letdown.
SEGA: Shenmue, Shining Resonance, Yakuza Kiwami, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Yakuza 0. I know some of those things.
Maneater: You know, before Sony’s conference I made a joke about Jaws Unleashed 2. Didn’t think it would actually happen. I like sharks.
Jurassic World Evolution: Dinosaurs! Out tomorrow, which was actually a couple days ago. At this point, the problem with the PC gaming show is overly apparent: while Bethesda stretched out too little over too much time, this show has been going on for about 50 minutes and they’ve shown off 16 games. That’s two and a half minutes per game, and a lot of them only actually got a minute or so. I’m having a hard time organizing this because not only do I have too little to go on, but I’m just so overwhelmed with what’s been announced that I have a hard time keeping them straight in my head.
Anno: 19th century sandbox RTS. Industrial revolution seems like a pretty fun era to be in charge of.
Sable: Looks kinda like Journey but with a very unique, kinda Japanese aesthetic.
Just Cause 4: This is now the third time we’ve seen it at the conference.
Noita: This one looks pretty good, magic roguelikes have solid potential and this seems like it has a pretty in-depth physics engine for its style.
Ooblets: Looks adorable. Introduced as Pokemon meets Harvest Moon meets Animal Crossing.
Star Control Origins: I like space. I liked No Man’s Sky before it came out too, but I’m already on thin ice for judging books by their covers, I’m not going to judge by what may or may not be inside. Hopefully they can chew what they’ve bitten off.
Hitman 2: Now that we’re in Miami, I can finally live out my lifelong dream of becoming Floridaman on November 13th.
Two Point Hospital: This one seems pretty solid, it’s a goofy in-depth hospital tycoon game. I never knew I wanted it.
Genesis Alpha One: More space. You get to run your own space station with this one, so if it ends well I’ll finally be able to move on from galacticraft. It’s out soon, too, the fourth of September.
Stormland: Alright, this is a trailer! A VR game where you play as a robot on a foreign world, trying to rebuild yourself and get home. You can find and restore other robots as well, and I actually got enough out of the trailer to comfortably place it up here near the top. Actually having a developer onstage to talk about the game certainly didn’t hurt.
Satisfactory: Graphics look pretty great. Also I’m a ho for capitalism and the trailer excited me in ways I can’t explain. And there’s multiplayer.
Devolver Digital: I missed Devolver’s conference the first time around, so I had no idea what I was getting into when I went back to write this article. I wish I’d stuck around, it would’ve been a well-needed breath of fresh air after Bethesda’s utterly disappointing showing.
Scum: Starting out the conference is Scum, an open-world survival game. It looks to be designed after a reality show, but I’m not quite sure what the gameplay’s going to be like. The trailer implied prisoners killing each other in a hunger-games like show where the gamemakers interfere at will, but little concrete information was given. I wish I could confidently rank this higher, but I just don’t know enough. Ranking this conference is probably futile, anyway, they probably made this trailer intentionally vague.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD: Well, we don’t really know anything about this one, either. It came after a solid 2-minute spiel about how stupid gamers are for buying full-priced remakes of old games, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s a remake.
My Friend Pedro: You know how in both Deadpool movies there’s scenes of him just running around shooting a lot of people, occasionally killing them in odd/unorthodox fashions? Yeah, that was the trailer for My Friend Pedro, releasing for Switch and PC in 2019. Is there a plot? Levels? Any kind of character progression? Fuck if I know, but you run around shooting a lot of people, occasionally killing them in odd/unorthodox fashions, so that’s ok in my book.
And that’s it, we’re done. I suppose I can’t actually put this above any of the big three, even though this was arguably the best conference. At the very least, it’s better than EA, so I guess I’ll put it above that for now and figure out where every other conference belongs once we get there. No one’s reading this, anyway, y’all gave up as soon as I said Bethesda was worse than EA.
Ubisoft: I don’t have too much to say in this little intro here, the conference wasn’t mind-blowingly amazing but it was still pretty good.
Just Dance 2019:Wow, I somehow managed to forget that this was their opener. It was just so surreal I think I did my best to bury it away. Anyway, this was somehow a better musical intro to a conference than Bethesda’s, and also I think it was kind of hilarious how they didn’t need to show us any gameplay from the game because we already knew what it was.
Rainbow Six Siege: 35 million players… that’s a big number! Are you impressed by the big number? Here’s some other numbers. Impressive, right? eSports, too! You like eSports? Honestly, if it weren’t for the big tournament announcement, this would be below Just Dance. They’re also trying to make a sports documentary out of it or something? Come on, guys, you just announced Beyond Good and Evil 2, build on that momentum!
Transference:Ubisoft’s VR showing for the night. Seems to be a playable supernatural horror movie.
For Honor: In a desperate bid to get new players, the game will be free on UPlay until the 19th. They also teased a new 4v4 castle breach mode that’s being released with a big update this October. It’s a shame, For Honor had potential but its player count is firmly in the four-digit range. Best of luck in reviving it, Ubisoft.
Trials Rising: Motorbike platforming! Looks cool, but considering it’s a stunt platformer, its value pretty much entirely lies in how it plays. If you want to check that out, you can register for a closed beta at trialsgame.com, which will start “later this year”. They’ll be launching in February for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
Donkey Kong Expansion: A trailer Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle’s first DLC got shown off to a pretty fantastic life symphonic rock performance of the game’s soundtrack. We got a solid look at Rabbid Kong and some new enemies, but there admittedly wasn’t much to show because the DLC is coming out later this month.
The Crew 2: For all you motor sports enthusiasts out there, there’s an open beta on the 21st, and if I’ve got the time I think I’ll see you out there. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any gameplay, instead getting a cinematic trailer rendered in the game’s engine.
The Division 2: Ubisoft took a page from Square Enix and let Microsoft show off this one first. We got two interesting cinematic trailers showing off the ruined world, but Microsoft had gameplay, so…
On the plus side, Ubisoft did announce free DLC and raids, so they’re not turning up empty-handed.
Skull and Bones: After Sea of Thieves was an utterly pathetic display, I think we’ve all been looking for something to fill the Jolly Roger-shaped holes in our hearts. Skull and Bones was teased during last year’s conference and it looks pretty fantastic. After governments in the Caribbean crush piracy, the tyrants of the sea move to the Indian ocean. The cinematic trailer was exciting, Ubisoft Singapore promises “a reactive and evolving world”, and we even got to see some gameplay that looks pretty fuckin’ sweet.. Really, though, as long as it’s better than Sea of Thieves, I think we’ll give them all the money they could ever ask for.
Beyond Good and Evil 2: I had just turned four when the original Beyond Good and Evil came out (and now I’m a legal adult, feel old?), so I never played it or even heard much about it. The world and characters look fascinating, though, and the announcement was met with much applause, so I might go and try it out before the sequel comes out. We also got some pretty awesome looking gameplay, as well as a handful of ways for artists to create stuff in-game.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas: FUCK yeah, man, I love space! Starlink promises flying around in an open-world star system with a completely customizable spaceship and the quest to forge alliances and destroy your enemies. Oh yeah, and Fox McCloud is in it. Welcome to the (almost) top of the list, buddy, I’ll see you this October.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Here we go, off the rails, don’tcha know— fuck, wrong Odyssey. Anyway, Ubisoft closed off with the next highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed game, which takes place in Ancient Greece. You can play as either a male or female assassin, the story’s the same either way, on their quest across numerous worlds to collect power moons— nope, did it again, shit.
In all seriousness, ACO… that’s gonna get confusing… takes place during the peloponnesian war, where you journey across land and water to determine the fate of the land. Ubisoft promised a number of new assassination methods, as well as all-new storytelling methods, and left us with a gameplay segment which teased a branching story, beautiful world, and thrilling combat in a massive battle. An absolutely fantastic closer for one of the better conferences.
Nintendo: My favorite of the big three, Nintendo closed off this year with fan favorites, both old and new. For the sake of brevity (because we’re nearing EIGHT THOUSAND WORDS), I’ll only be covering the Direct, not the Treehouse, so I won’t be complaining about lack of gameplay here.
Octopath Traveler: Yeah, it’s down at the bottom. I’m highly anticipating playing this in a few weeks, but all they announced at the conference is a new demo on the eShop.
Killer Queen Black: Multiplayer arcade action, rebuilt for the Switch. Not bad, but certainly not all that exciting.
Hollow Knight: Hollow Knight is awesome, man. I’ve already got it on PC, but I might just buy it on Switch again because it’s that good, and I want to play it in the car.
Pokemon Let’s Go: Not too much new information here. Play with a friend, you can use the pokeball plus, releasing November 16. They said every pokeball plus would come with a mew in it, but what they really meant was that if you want mew, you need to buy the pokeball plus. I’m still unbelievably excited for the game, don’t get me wrong, but if you weren’t already, this trailer wasn’t gonna sell you.
Overcooked 2: Overcooked was pretty good, and the sequel promises to improve on everything. Since it’s on the Switch you can play on the go, as well as with a friend sitting next to you or across the country.
Daemon X Machina: Mechs! Big robot enemies! Explosions! Metal! Bright colors! Coming 2019! I know I’m sold.
Miscellaneous Other Announcements: I’m not listing them all here, but a bunch of other games are getting Switch ports before the year is out. I’m not sure why Fortnite of all things got its own announcement instead of Wolfenstein 2 or The World Ends With You, but life just isn’t fair sometimes.
Torna ~ The Golden Country: Prequel DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The music alone for this one was enough to sweep me off my feet. If you liked XC2, this is gonna be worth a look.
Super Mario Party: Yes! This is one of the games we were waiting for. Super Mario Party looks like it finally ditched those stupid, stupid cars they stuck us in for the last two games, and includes minigame modes that use the Switch in ways we’ve never seen.
Fire Emblem Three Houses: I’ll be honest, just about any Fire Emblem game (except Heroes) could’ve made this slot. It’s Fire Emblem, and even more, it’s bigger and better-looking than ever.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Everyone is here. EVERYONE (*not Waluigi). This is what most of us were waiting for, and we got tons of news on the new game. Sakurai showcased every character, their changes, as well as some assist trophies, stages, and new techniques.
Unfortunately, that was it. Nintendo had some heavy hitters, but not enough to “win” the conference. If they’d had Animal Crossing or another major franchise, they might’ve beaten out Microsoft, but unfortunately, Microsoft’s sheer volume assured they had more hits than Nintendo. Not a bad conference by any stretch of the imagination, but not nearly strong enough.
Microsoft: One of the big three developers and publishers, Microsoft was one of the better conferences. There’s a LOT to cover here, so I’m only gonna be able to provide small blurbs for most of them. It’s also worth mentioning that Microsoft acquired a handful of studios. I’m not trying to figure out how ranking them would work, so I’ll just list them out here: The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games.
Sea of Thieves DLC: Just let it die already. Move on. Rare isn’t good anymore.
We Happy Few: Self-perception theory is really interesting. If you smile while observing a neutral stimulus, you’ll associate that stimulus with positivity. Frown, and the stimulus will be negative. We Happy Few takes that theory, disregards the fact that it only really works with neutral stimuli, and decides that some dystopian government can make you happy all the time by making you smile at everything. Throw in an extremely generic “we have to make the population realize what’s happening”, “no, it’s better this way” dystopian plot, as well as a vaguely unappealing art style, and I don’t have high hopes for this one. Maybe it’ll be good, but I doubt it.
PUBG: No judgment on PUBG, but Battle Royale is just tiresome at this point. It doesn’t help that the trailer was incredibly generic, you could’ve replaced the PUBG logo at the end with any other gun-based action game and I would’ve been convinced. They teased a new map, I guess. Yeah, that makes it better than Ori and Battlefield
Ori and the Will of the Wisps: It’s Ori, no longer available on Steam! I don’t have much to say here, Ori and the Blind Forest was awesome, but honestly I don’t think being an exclusive will do it or Microsoft any help. New IPs make good exclusives, not sequels to beloved games being torn from other systems. Looks cool, probably won’t get to play it.
Battlefield V: Continues to look beautiful, continues to… have a story mode, I guess. EA promised more, but this barely qualifies.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: In the Life is Strange universe, so we’ll probably get a few references to Max, Chloe, and Rachel; and I’d guess it takes place in Arcadia Bay. It promises to either be incredibly nostalgic or alarmingly cringey. Although considering this is Dontnod we’re talking about, I’d wager both.
Battletoads: The Dark Souls of 2D platformers! Funny, right? I’ve got another one of those later. We didn’t really get to see anything, but we’re getting couch co-op in an era where that’s rapidly dying, so it’s fine by me.
Black Desert: Black Desert is coming to consoles, with a beta this fall. And, uh, that’s it.
Metro Exodus: Epic speech, action music, “woah, nice graphics!”, guns. Coming February 22nd.
Tunic: We’ve seen a bit about Tunic before, and this is the best trailer yet. I love the aesthetic, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much.
Fallout: Fallout 4 on game pass! Fallout 4 wasn’t really all that great. We also saw a Fallout 76 trailer and got to hear Country Roads trailer, but Bethesda saved the juicy details for their own conference.
Cuphead DLC: A new character, new levels, new bosses, coming in 2019. Just wish we got to see some of it.
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition: What the hell is this weeb shit? Oh, it’s Tales of Vesperia, getting remastered for its 10th anniversary and coming to Xbox One, PS4, and the Switch! I’ve never actually played a Tales game before, but I might pick this up if I’ve got the time.
Jump Force: I don’t know what “Jump Force” is, but oh my god, every hit that landed in the trailer felt satisfying as fuck just to watch.
NieR Automata: Become as Gods edition: NieR is good. “DLC included” is good. No other information needed.
Just Cause 4: This is the fourth game Square Enix has shown of at Microsoft’s conference, I think? No wonder their conference sucked. Anyway, there’s a lot of shooting, breaking glass, a tornado… and you’ll get to drive a car through glass and shoot your way to that tornado to drive straight into it this December.
Halo Infinite: Really cool-looking trailer! Master Chief’s back! Exceptional creativity in gaming! And, uh… Master Chief’s back! I’m sure we’ll see more of this soon, but not much was announced other than “hey, it exists!”
Sekiro: Shadows die Twice: Does the “it’s like Dark Souls” joke still work if it’s by From Software? Lazy journalism aside, this actually does seem pretty good, you play as a Shinobi who lost his arm after his master was kidnapped and has to go on a quest to retrieve him. Looks exciting, but Ghost of Tsushima is gonna be my fill of Samurai for the year.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Fantastic looking trailer. We got to see Lara fighting, trying to escape drowning, and camouflaging herself to hide from a jungle cat. Hopefully this is the most expansive Tomb Raider game yet, both gameplay and story-wise
Forza Horizon 4: Looks beautiful, and it’ll look even more beautiful when the seasons change. Drive around with friends in an open world, and watch the seasons change! Not enough Initial D music, unfortunately they decided to go with an actually good song instead of Night of Fire. The game has dynamic seasons, by the way. This is one of those multiplayer-optional open-world games we’ve been seeing, coming out this October. That’s in fall, but you should try playing in some other seasons!
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: We actually got quite a lot of gameplay for this one. It looks fantastic graphically, and while I’m not that familiar with The Division, the gameplay itself looked solid. The story looks… well, I don’t really have that much of an opinion on the story. It’s a military game, story comes second. Also, The Division (the first one) is now available on game pass.
Cyberpunk 2077: Yeah, I’m a fan of the cyberpunk aesthetic, and Cyberpunk 2077 seems to nail it. A lot of cyberpunk art seems to contrast bright lights against a dark background, but every part of the trailer was bright, setting it apart from the usual affair. We didn’t get to see much gameplay, but the world the trailer promised was an awesome closer for Microsoft.
Dying Light 2: Choices are promised to have genuine consequences that influence the world around you. Combat and parkour both look fantastic. The aesthetic is amazing. I’m excited.
Kingdom Hearts: It’s Kingdom Hearts! Frozen! Without Let it Go or Do You Want to Build a Snowman, thank god. Wreck-it-Ralph! Tangled is my favorite Disney Princess! More information was shown in the other conferences, but this was the reveal, so it gets to hang out near the top.
Crackdown 3: Terry Crews simulator 2019. God I wish I had an xbox.
Gears V: We’ve all wanted a new Gears game for a long time, and it’s finally here. Combat looks incredible, the environments are unique and varied, the enemies look awesome, and hell, it’s Gears.
Devil May Cry V: Someone dig up the “oh my god okay it’s happening!” clip from The Office, because Dante’s back. We’ve got a big-ass sword, guns, giant tentacles, and monsters to kill. Fuck yeah. Directors came onstage and promised the best graphics they can offer and controls tighter than a poorly-fit suit. Don’t let us down, Capcom.
Sony: Here we are, the best of the best and the end of the list. Sony had an absolutely spectacular showing of a knockout lineup, so let’s finish this article once and for all by ranking them from “pretty good” to “take my fucking money”.
Black Ops IIII: Filler. You can get a few remastered maps from previous black ops game when you preorder Black Ops 4 from the PlayStation store, and Black Ops 3 will be available on PS Plus. This one really stands out from the others because while Sony’s been stressing a huge focus on deep, engaging single-player campaigns, Black Ops 4 completely lacks that. Because less content is the way of the future.
Destiny 2: Forsaken: Saw a trailer, this was more a segue after the intermission than anything.
Trover Saves the Universe: If we could get an actual trailer for this that would be great.
Resident Evil 2: Everyone’s favorite gory survival-horror is getting remastered January 25th.
Nioh 2: It exists. Get excited.
Control: I’d never actually heard of this one before the conference, but the superpowered gameplay they showed looked really interesting. I wish we could’ve seen more, but if you’re excited, you’ll probably be able to find more before the 2019 release.
Death Stranding: I was eating when this trailer started. That was a mistake. The world looks interesting, but the trailer left me more confused than anything. I know quite a few people are excited for this, and for good reason considering it’s by Kojima, but unfortunately there’s no release date.
Kingdom Hearts 3: So this is their third conference, I believe, and this time they’ve got pirates! There’s more new footage in this conference than there was in the Square Enix conference. Yeah, remember them? All the way at the bottom of the list? Me neither. Kingdom Hearts still rules though, and if you’re a huge fan of the series, there’s a limited edition Kingdom Hearts III PlayStation Pro… AND a bundle of Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 on PS4!
Ghost of Tsushima: This is what I came in here waiting for. I’ve been a huge fan of Sucker Punch since inFamous came out, and when this was announced last year I was unbelievably excited. Even more so now that we got to see absolutely gorgeous visuals and fantastic combat and climbing in E3’s gameplay teaser.
Spiderman: I’ll be back in just a second, this trailer made me lose control of my web shooter and now I need to change my pants. Spiderman lets you face off against Electro (REAL Electro, not the Dr. Manhattan wannabe from The Amazing Spiderman 2), Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture, and Mr. Negative; and the trailer features Electro luring him to the other four where they bare down on him as he tries to escape. You’ll get to swing around the city, use Spiderman’s powers to perform combos, and perform a finishing move to take down a full wave of enemies. It can be ours on the seventh of September.
The Last of Us 2: Sony started incredibly strong with one of the most anticipated games of the year. We play as Ellie this time, she’s nineteen now and perfectly honed to survive the apocalypse. We were lucky enough to get a gameplay segment where Ellie sneaks through a rainy jungle, utilizing a variety of new mechanics to survive. The graphics are utterly fantastic, and the UI has been overhauled. The Last of Us 2 promises to do everything that the first game did and better, with better combat, a deep and complex story, more weapons, more enemies and ways of dealing with them, even better graphics, and, of course, lesbianism. I couldn’t wait for the game before the conference, and now I’m looking forward to it even more.
So that’s it. Nine conferences and more games than I can care to count, and we finally have a completely subjective and 100% not flawed in the slightest ranking of every game announced during E3 2018. If I crushed your fragile ego by giving a poor ranking to a game you like (no judgement, I’ve been there) or you think I’m stupid for giving a good ranking to a game you don’t like, feel free to go yell at me down in the comment section. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tell my boss I finished the article so he’ll finally let me out of here.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.
It’s here – E3 2018 has officially started.
Contrary to the official E3 tweet, Day 1 of the biggest gaming event of the year is underway. If you weren’t there to watch the official livestream, you’re probably wondering what got shown and what got announced. Thankfully, we have the full list here to show you!
Since the announcement of Battlefield V a few weeks ago, a lot of details have been revealed, and a lot have been up in the air as to what the game will involve. With the small trailers that EA Dice showed, they confirmed that Battlefield V would be getting a Battle Royale mode later in the game’s lifetime. They also confirmed that the campaign would follow the same “War Stories” format prevalent in Battlefield 1.
The Battle Royale mode has yet to receive a date, and what the campaign will involve will be discovered when the game releases on the 21st October 2018.
In between the next two big announcements, EA Play’s host, Trending Gamer of the Year Andrea Rene, quickly went into the crowd to talk to Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, the team behind the critically acclaimed Titanfall franchise. In the brief chat they had, Mr. Zampella confirmed that their team was working on a new Star Wars game, titled Jedi Fallen Order. Zampella didn’t explain much aside from that, only mentioning brief details about it being set between Episodes III & IV, and that you would be playing as a Jedi.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is currently slated for a Holiday 2019 release.
With the rocky history that Star Wars Battlefront II has had, staining its potential promise for seemingly forever, it’s only fair that EA Dice would pull out all of the stops for content additions. Today they announced some long-requested content additions, in the form of playable heroes and maps from the Clone Wars era, including General Grievous, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They also have confirmed that they’ll be adding content and characters from the recent Solo film also, including Young Han Solo and Young Lando Calrissian.
These content updates for Star Wars Battlefront II will be added on June 12th.
Coldwood Interactive, developers of the first Unravel, had a certain trick up their sleeve in the EA conference. In a shock reveal, the company’s creative director Martin Sahlin came onto the stage to announce that not only were they here to reveal Unravel Two, but the game was also available to play right now!
In the sequel, you now have the option to play local co-op with a friend, adding another adorable Yarny in a dark blue hue, contrasting against the original Yarny’s bright red. The game still utilizes and retains the same elements as the previous title, along with co-op mechanics used to traverse the game’s harsh world. Players who prefer a single-player experience need not fret however, as the demonstration also showed fans that the game could in fact be completed solo, with the player taking control of both Yarnies.
Unravel Two is available to play right now, and Xbox One offers a 10% discount if you’re a part of their subscription service, EA Access.
Keeping the connection going with indie darlings, the creative director of Jo-Mei Games, Cornelia Geppert, came to the stage to show off their new game, Sea of Solitude, an exploration-based video game. Described as being “a mix between Inside & Studio Ghibli”, Geppert described the game as being their most personal and artistic project yet, following the story of Kay as she explores her demons.
Sea of Solitude is expected to release in Early 2019.
EA has started focusing more on mobile titles as of late, with Madden Mobile being an example of that. Following this trend, the gaming community’s favourite corporation revealed a new mobile title under the Command & Conquer name, Command & Conquer: Rivals. Looking to be a new take on the Clash Of Clans formula, it looks to mix Real-Time Strategy elements with Tower Defense mechanics.
There’s an early access version of Rivals available for Android users on the Google Play Store right now, with the release date TBA.
The biggest game in EA’s arsenal at the moment is Bioware’s new IP, Anthem, which premiered at EA’s E3 showcase last year .Bringing a few Bioware employees to the stage, the team showed a gameplay trailer along with some of the admittedly spectacular set pieces. They also stated that Anthem would be featuring drop-in/drop-out co-op, with the opportunity to play solo available also.
More will be revealed in the future, with the game set for a February 22nd 2019 release date.
As expected, EA devoted quite sometime to their ever-growing arsenal of sports titles. No surprises were to be seen as they gave a few sparse details on titles such as Madden 19, NBA Live 19 and FIFA 19. The only notable announcements were that the FIFA franchise had attained the rights to use the Champions League license for their 2019 entry, as well as the Madden series detailing a new story-mode, off the back of its premiere in Madden 18.
That’s it for now, and tune in tomorrow for the latest breaking news for Microsoft, Devolver and Bethesda’s E3 conferences!
Owner of the largest collection of indie games in the Western Hemisphere, and TimeSplitters’ biggest fanboy.
After a stunningly boring, drawn-out display of a mobile RTS of all things, EA rewarded our patience with the much-anticipated Anthem, BioWare’s new Action-RPG. They started with the trailer to get us hyped, which features absolutely striking visuals and exciting action. The presenter then went on to do a Q&A session with a few representatives from BioWare.
The developers were asked how they’d tell a deep story spread through an open world that’s shared by up to four people. They discussed their desire to create a “living, shared world”, and stressed the importance of sharing experiences. While you can team up with your friends on missions, what you do yourself does have its own impact, so you can have your own storyarc despite having other players in the world. While they did say they wanted players to experience the “fun of teaming up as a team of superheroes”, they confirmed that you can play the game by yourself if you so desire. They also mentioned that they “designed in a way that we can add more story for years to come”, which will hopefully come through as smaller updates with DLC reserved for larger stories.
As you probably know by now, each player chooses one of four “javelins” to roam the world in. They went in depth with the ranger and colossus suits, describing them as a duelist and a tank respectively. Information on the intercepter and storm suits was not given. Each suit obviously gives you a specific playstyle. The javelins are not your “class” and can be switched out at will, so you’re not restricted to one for the entire game.
BioWare also revealed that your javelins will be customizable, you can trade out your gear and weapons to alter the playstyle as well as change the color and structure of your suit, so no two look alike. Cosmetics will be available for purchase, but will not come in loot boxes. If there’s something in the store that you want, you buy it directly. No other microtransactions will be included, there won’t be any pay to win elements, a huge surprise considering it’s EA we’re talking about.
They finished off their presentation with gameplay footage, which will be uploaded to various YouTube channels shortly. The entire Q&A gave some interesting insights into the design process, and is definitely worth checking it out if game design interests you. Anthem is coming out February 22nd, 2019 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.
EA just announced Unravel 2, sequel to 2016’s Unravel today at their E3 conference. The game will introduce a Co-op mechanic where you can separate your main character and play as two Yarnys, one being blue and the other, red. If you’re playing singleplayer, you carry the other character on your back as you take on puzzles and challenges. Developer Coldwood Interactive wish to tell a story of what happens when you lose everything you have, lose your “spark”, and explore what happens when you have the chance to get it back. The release date was also announced: today. Unravel 2 is available for Xbox One, Ps4, and PC right now, so if you’re wondering if they succeeded in their goal, you can see for yourself today.
David loves to play the guitar, though not always to other peoples favorite genres. He loves to play video games and has played them for longer than he cares to admit. His Favorite games to date include The Witcher 3, Rocket League, Titanfall 2, Bioshock, Halo and a new favorite, God of War. He has always wanted to do something in the gaming industry. Since he’s no programmer (yet), writing about them and why he likes them will have to do. Feel free to follow him on Twitter for all things gaming and maybe a few things that aren’t. Currently teaching himself programming and learning UE4 to make games that he’s always wanted to play!
For the second day of Sony’s Countdown to E3, they promised a release date for a Worldwide Studios title. Days Gone was that game, and it is arriving February 22nd, 2019. They featured a trailer highlighting the dangers Deacon St. John can face in the world, including massive zombie hordes, infected wolves, crows, and insane religious groups. Game Informer featured over 2 hours of gameplay for the upcoming survival horror game as part of their June cover. If you wish to take a glimpse of it, you can do so on their YouTube page.
Are you surprised Sony announced the release date so early? Did you expect Dreams or Concrete Genie? Please let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for another announcement for a new PS4 game from Sony tomorrow!