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Sony E3 2018 Conference: All Announcments

With the PS4 framing itself as the console for the hardcore gamer ever since its original release, Sony put itself in a tough spot for debut conferences like this one. Arguably a tougher spot than Microsoft has ever been in (and they did quite well this year), as Sony’s newest PlayStation has, since launch, attracted the most hardcore, and also most mature and critical of gamers. Their show had to go above and beyond, showing gameplay after gameplay and knocking viewer socks off at every available instance.

But once it really got rolling, it did pretty much that. Aside from a few awkward technical hiccups and the really oddly-chosen half-joke musical intros that didn’t even try to fit in with the theme of the game (save for one), most of the show was brand-new footage after brand-new footage. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything that dropped during the show:

Spider-Man got a whopping seven minutes (!!!) of full mission gameplay, showing off what looks to be one of the game’s opening levels. The mission takes place in a prison, where Electro flies around in some kind of tech-suit and unleashes many of Spider-Man’s infamous villains upon him. The sequence shows off more of the game’s combat, which looks similar to the Arkham titles but with greatly improved acrobatic mobility to match the Spider-Man feel. The prison scene shows the release of five villans: Mister Negative, Rhino, Electro, Vulture, and Scorpion. Fans speculate that these are not the only five appearing in the game, however. After all, add just one more and things might begin to get pretty sinister…

The Nioh 2 reveal trailer didn’t show off much, other than that the game is happening, which many will argue is more than enough to get them excited.

Death Stranding, however, got some actual, honest-to-goodness gameplay footage! While some dialogue from the trailer made the game sound and look like a souped-up fetch quest, with much of it being Reedus carrying a variety of different packages around on his back, we did get to see him dodging what we’re guessing will be one of the game’s main antagonistic forces: A series of ghostly, nigh-invisible specter beings that seemed to have shadowy cords connecting them to the sky (sort of like umbilical cords, furthering the game’s baby theme). The footage also made sure to catch viewers off guard, as gamers are used to seeing the player succeed in gameplay footage, but here Reedus actually gets caught and is dragged into the ground by an army of black, murky hands. Creepy. But it’s a cool creepy, and a creepy we wouldn’t mind seeing more of.

TROVER SAVES THE UNIVERSE is something you have to witness for yourself. It’s a game by the creators of Rick & Morty that seems VERY Rick & Morty. Lots of improv / awkward humor and fun dialogue to be sure, but not much known about the game other than sci-fi, third person with…platforming? Just check the footage.

Resident Evil 2 got a damn good trailer. After first fooling you that this was a first-person Horror / Survival title set in the Ratatouille universe, the trailer kicks off with plenty of scares, a creepy atmosphere, and some good looking cinematics. Be on the lookout for some gameplay later in the convention.

CONTROL looks nuts in all the right ways.  With a crazy dream-like aesthetic and some reality-bending art design, you play as some girl with a host of dynamic and overwhelming mental abilities in a third-person action game set inside of…someone’s mind? Your guess is as good as ours, but watching this trailer will give you a better look at the game than anyone watching the livestream ever got, as this trailer had a very unfortunate technical snafu that left audiences with nothing but a blank screen for about ten seconds.

Ghosts of Tsushima looks like Arkham Knight meets The Witcher meets Soul Calibur meets some fantastic plant physics. It’s an interesting mix to be sure, with some incredible looking rolling hills that are sure to give many framerates a run for their money. It’s got the F.E.A.R. Takedowns from Arkham, the serious tone and production value of The Witcher, and what appears to be a very complex and tactical 3D weapon combat system to rival Soul Calibur. An interesting mix, and a good amount of inspiration taken with a good amount of creativity given in return.

The Last of Us Part II opens with Ellie meeting a girl in a bar, with a smooth transition to her making her way across a survival wasteland. This trailer was almost all gameplay, but the gameplay seemed strikingly cinematic. Animations were the highlight of the show, and one dodge animation appearing twice told us that there is a definite “dodge” button in the game, but a few other actions, like Ellie pulling a crossbow bolt out of her shoulder while in cover, seem suspiciously cinematic-only. In addition, the animations were certainly the highlight of this trailer for how smoothly one action transitioned into the next, but this seemed oddly fantastic as well. Much of the animation in the footage used a technique called “Blending”, where a new animation and old animation find a crossing point of sorts by which to swap over, giving the appearance of a smooth range of motion. The problem here though is that in order for the animation to blend properly, the game needs to register a player’s input early enough before the interaction so it can sync up the action’s transition to happen at the correct point of an animation’s loop. This means that either TLoU2 developed an entirely new system of animation blending or the player was inputting their motions a second or two ahead of every action, which is a fairly QTE-esque method of playing a game. But that’s all just speculation. We hope the game gets a little more coverage later in the convention.

And that’s all the goodies from the show. Stay tuned for more, as we will continue to cover the other major press conferences as they occur.

Image Via Flickr / Carlos Cleonares

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