The 5 Biggest Talking Points From The PlayStation E3 2018 Conference

Sony E3 Conference

PlayStation delivered what can only be described as a throwback E3 press conference. There were games, eventually. They had to run through all the faff first.

Location, Location, Location

Sony E3 Conference

The PlayStation conference started in a church designed to look like the backdrop to the opening of the excellent Last of Us Part II trailer. It was laden with sound issues for the media members in attendance who could also not sit down or they would miss the trailer. The show threw to a talking head to fill for time as the media were moved through a Japanese garden to the actual conference.

As this was all going on the talking heads stalled for time and completely ruined the start of the show. People at home are already restless while media members are being shuttled around unable to report on the show. I’m not sure what the plan was here but PlayStation have fallen into the trap of the top dog being too big for its boots at E3.

It is truly amazing that this was allowed to happen. They need to hire planners who see these patterns or have worked with games companies for more that three weeks. Format holder gets too big for its boots, plans needlessly elaborate show, creates negativity.

It’s no “PS3 is 600 Dollars”. It’s not exactly “Xbox E3 2013” nor is it an extended Wii Music segment that I am pretty sure is still going on all these years later but it was showing comparable levels of arrogance!

 

Ellie Kissed A Girl, And She Liked It.

The Last of Us Part 2 Lesbian Kiss

Do the ends justify the means here? The entire series of events detailed above happened because PlayStation simply HAD to show a trailer for The Last Of Us Part II in a setting similar to the opening scene of the trailer. I don’t quite get it.

Regardless, what a trailer this is! Ellie is at a dance of some sort and is feeling a little self conscious. She dances with her girlfriend, they share a kiss so that everybody can see and as that happens we see our gameplay trailer. When the violence ends we cut back to the end of the kiss to see a more confident and happy Ellie.

As we have come to expect from Naughty Dog TLOU2 is polished to an industry standard bearing level. Nobody does polish better for this type of game. AI move around in very natural ways, the environments can go from beautiful to grim and the combat is up close, personal and brutal. As with the original I see this being the swansong for the current hardware when it launches. Expect a PS5 “remaster” soon into it’s run.

I doubt a better looking game will be shown  this week nor will one be presented as well…mainly because it derailed the start of the show.

 

Death Stranding Is Bonkers

Death Stranding E3 2018

If you give Hideo Kojima a blank cheque to develop a game it will cost a lot of money, take 5 or 6 years and most likely land a 90%+ rating on Metacritic. Sony took Kojima on board after he was disgracefully let go by Konami after he “finished” Metal Gear Solid 5. They have bankrolled his first steps back into the world which has led to Norman Reedus hiking in Iceland with a sassy Foetus in his glass belly…for reasons!

Norman is trapped in some sort of building surrounded by an incoming threat. He uses his super Foetus powers and a robot arm with a blinking light appears. Norman Reedus then walks along a mountain trail using his blinking robot arm to reveal black spectres hovering above him. These figures look like a cross between Psycho Mantis and the Beauty and The Beast Unit from Metal Gear Solid 4. Hopefully Norman can use his all-powerful Foetus abilities to get out of this jam.

I don’t know what this game *is* but seeing the gameplay portions at least suggest that there has been progress. Norman Reedus seems to handle like Snake in MGS 5 so that’s at least some frame of reference.

Glass belly Foetus. Reasons.

 

Arkham Spidey

Spider-Man E3 2018

PlayStation showed off a video game that is definitely going to be released this year, for a change. Spiderman looks like a cross between those great PS2 era Spidey adventures and the more contemporary Batman Arkham games.

The combat is ripped right out of Arkham complete with combo bonuses, environmental attacks and finishing moves. It looks excellent. My only concern is the prevalence of quicktime events again. The last gameplay footage was full of them too, I was hoping that they were just on show for the early pre-alpha set pieces but here they are being used incessantly again this close to launch. I suppose I will have to live with it.

These QTEs are a real crutch for PlayStation exclusives. Find me a Sony first party release that isn’t riddled with them and I’ll find you footage of a twelve foot Unicorn dry humping a Leprechaun. The quality and level of polish is so high that it’s easy to forgive but I am nearing the end of my rope with these things. It takes you out of the game, I don’t care what anybody says. “Press X to not die” – Okay, can’t I just fight the guy though?

 

PS5 Games Were Shown

Ghost-of-Tsushima

Death Stranding is a PS5 game. The Last Of Us Part II is a PS5 game (which will get a PS4 release) and this new open world Samurai game Ghost of Tsushima is the most PS5 looking game that ever PS5’d.

Ghost of Tsushima E3

The PlayStation conference had that feeling of the the entire 2012 E3 where the new consoles were bubbling under the surface but nobody would talk about them. We had nice little announcements like a Resident Evil 2 remake and a sequel to Nioh. There are plenty of games to come but the big ones shown this year are for the next gen box.

As I said yesterday about the Xbox E3 conference: I still don’t know if I want this gen to end. What’s the rush?

Steven Murphy
2Bit Sports Co-Founder. Junior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Creative, Live Events but also Third floor Janitor. Gaming Editor, Manchester United loudmouth. Whatever I am actually employed to do I probably did it earlier. It's on your desk, I'd say. Its safe to say that I call 'em as I see 'em. Be warned, I hate a lot of things. It's easier to count the things that I do like. I probably hate you.

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