Yes, Sony nailed E3 once again this year. Before going at length on the various reasons as to why I think this is the case, I wanted to highlight a few things. Sony remains to be the one, out of the big three hardware makers, that possesses what may be some of the most exciting upcoming and best-looking exclusives we had seen in a long time. What I mean is that, while most people were demanding new games from both Microsoft and Nintendo, the same wasn't the case with Sony. Everybody instead, for once, wanted Sony to show more of the previously announced games: God of War, Spider-Man, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human, etc… So in other words, it's like as if Sony had E3 already in the bag just as long as they showed more footage and info on these highly-anticipated titles. Alas, I perceived that there was a general disappointment following Sony's presser. However, the reason for that seems to have had nothing to do with what was shown or missing as far as I'm concerned, but rather due to the lack of release dates and the unfortunate push of these stunning looking games into 2018. I will admit, I had expected God of War or Days Gone to be hitting 2017. So all these fine looking games are heading over to 2018 and slip away from our grasp once again. As disappointing as that may be, it still does not cost Sony their otherwise new triumph at E3 2017. So without further ado, let us explore why Sony won big time this E3.
I'm sure that many reading this article will be shocked to learn the amount of news and details that Sony had released just prior to their E3 2017 press conference. For starters, they showed off a new IP called Hidden Agenda which is being made by Until Dawn creators Supermassive Games. It's part of a new Playlink initiative from Sony where players can play as a team and make game choices to follow via their smartphones. The new game is very much like Until Dawn as you control a number of characters from a brand new serial killer thriller. Also like Until Dawn, the characters you control in the game may all live or all die based on your choices. As the cherry on top, the game was announced to be releasing later this year.
Also in the pre-show was the first ever gameplay reveal of Housemarque's upcoming old school shooter Matterfall. The game showed some sweet rapid-fire old school gameplay in 2D very reminiscent of Resogun. The game is set to release digitally only, at a price of just $19.99 in the U.S., on August 25th, 2017. Newer trailers of Gran Turismo Sport and Everybody's Golf were also shown along with a release window and actual release date respectively for each of these. Other exciting news, included a new Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy trailer were it was revealed that Crash's sister Coco will be a playable character on all three games of the collection. Also revealed was some significant news surrounding Knack 2. The game was given a release date of September 5th and will cost just $39.99. The final piece of news I will also lump it here as well even though it was neither part of the pre-show nor the actual press conference. Sony just announced in fact a new PS4 remaster for PSP Classic Loco Roco 2.
So between the pre-show and the post show announcements we got a new IP coming 2017 (Hidden Agenda), a new PS4 Remaster (Loco Roco 2), a first-ever gameplay reveal trailer (Matterfall), two exact 2017 release dates and pricing (Matterfall and Knack 2), and two new game trailers for two additional upcoming games (Gran Turismo Sport and Everybody's Golf). Clearly not a small amount of news for quite a number of upcoming PS4 games. I'm sure many may be shocked to learn about this vast amount of news and details that was kept from the actual press conference. If you think that Sony missed an opportunity here to strengthen their presser, I would have to agree. I'm not sure what they were thinking. Why they thought that it wasn't worth it to share details on a new IP or the release dates of other upcoming games previously announced at E3 or Gamescom, is really beyond me. Yet these announcements were made during the days of the E3 gaming convention and so should really count as part of Sony's E3 reveals. As a result, the first party exclusive game line-up was strengthened for the rest of the year. Now releasing in the remainder of 2017 will be:
1. Matterfall (Aug 15th)
2. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Aug 22nd)
3. Knack 2 (Sep 5th)
4. Hidden Agenda (2017 window)
5. Gran Turismo Sport (2017 window)
Truth be told, Sony held little surprises at the actual press conference. Yet, I think that once again the general consensus prior to it was that people would be generally happy if they were shown more of the previously announced big titles as well as release dates for them. So, anything new would have been welcomed but would not have been as demanded this time around. The big surprises were (if we ignore VR which I will do) mainly the Shadow of the Colossus Remaster and Monster Hunter World.
The Shadow of the Colossus remaster came as a huge surprise to many. I think that few could have predicted it. I myself, predicted mostly a Spyro trilogy which I still think will come eventually and even more so now that this other game was announced. This is because the Spyro franchise on the PS1 days was a much bigger deal commercially and sales wise than Shadow of the Colossus ever was for its PS2 generation. Therefore, if Sony is willing to remaster what many call a niche title, then I think Spyro, Medievil and past God of Wars will definitely be remastered eventually. I don't mean to say that Shadow of the Colossus is bad, it's actually one of many favorite games of all time. It did, however, have poor controls and if they fix that and I'm sure that talented developer BluePoint Games will probably do just that, it could become the definitive version to have.
Monster Hunter World being announced for PS4 is another big deal to consider. The Capcom monster-slaying franchise is nothing short of huge. In Japan it's a huge sales magnet of considerable proportions with more than a decent western following. Sony seems to have decided to wrestle franchise control from Nintendo and have earned their first victory. In fact, as far as we are concerned it's going to be the first entry of this big franchise to skip a Nintendo platform in a long time if I'm not mistaken. It would be good not to underestimate the impact that Monster Hunter can have for the PS4's continuous future successes.
STUNNING NEW TRAILERS THAT WE WANTED TO SEE
Let's be honest, the trailers for these four games were mind-blowing. I think that words can hardly describe what they brought to the table. With Detroit: Become Human, we learned of two additional androids that are on a quest to end the slumber of those androids being used for a live of servitude toward humans. Once again, the wide variety of choices and consequences were put on display. God of War showed more of the inner and outward struggle inside Kratos as he tries to learn what fatherhood is all about. This further shows that story is shaping to be deeper than previous entries. The close-up brutal weapon melee combat was breathtaking and showed a legion of monsters and foes that will cross Kratos' path.
Then, Days Gone showed that human factions are as much of a danger as the freakers (zombies' new fancy name) and even the infected wild life. It was too bad that the blood-thirsty bear encounter couldn't be shown further. The post apocalyptic game showed how strategically one can use the various dangers of the world in your advantage. Finally, Spider-man's trailer might have arguably stolen the show. The multi-use of Spidey's web to control and use the environment during combat was a joy to behold. The variety of things to use gave this new Super hero open world quite an expanded arsenal of ways to approach enemies and defeat them. The chopper fight and chase scene also showed that this upcoming Spider-Man adventure might just end up having Uncharted-like spectacular action set pieces. I encourage you all to re-watch these impressive trailers and tell me below in the comments, if you dare, that these are not the best-looking exclusives coming to any console.
Share your thoughts below. I'm eager to see what you think of this argument presented.