So, this was kind of a mess.
Not the content of the show. No, Sony blew it out of the water with the games they showed. I’m talking about the structure of the thing. On one hand, it’s pretty cool to get into environments that put you into a physical space that matches the games you’re about to see. And live music? Always a nice touch.
But having the attendees shuffle about from stage to stage and filling the time in between with an incredible amount of PR marketing jabber (on the stream, anyway, as people there simply…waited) is a bad time. For, like, everyone. Some people compensated heartily with the free booze, but everyone—likely every single person—has a job to do there, and some of those jobs are just making it harder for everyone else. And then tucking away announcements in the post-show? Yikes.
At least the games were good. Let’s get to it.
The Last of Us Part II
This—no joke—is one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen at E3. It’s written well, teasing the things we’ve suspected (e.g., the inclusion of Joel), and showcasing more polish in an incomplete game with no release date than most finished games. The incidental interactions with the environment are damn near mind-blowing. And seeing composer Gustavo Santaolalla play a six-string banjo is always a treat.
I will say, though, the cheers that accompany exceptionally graphic footage like this is never not troubling. The Last of Us and the trailer here is violent, but they use it for a purpose. If you’re cheering for when someone gets a machete in the neck, then you should probably ask yourself why.
Look for it in, uh, the future on the PlayStation 4.
Ghost of Tsushima
Here is my motherflippin’ jam. It’s a game supposedly geared more towards non-Western audiences, and it shows. Look at that lack of HUD and the consequential combat system. It’s seriously kind of surprising that it’s coming from the same studio that put out Infamous and Sly Cooper.
But seeing the way they frame that final battle in a delectably Kurosawa-ish way is definitely Sucker Punch. They’ve always known how to make a game look good, and the endlessly stylish way they deliver that duel is just the tops. So is that first sword slash where you just cut that guy right the heck down. Oh boy. (And shoutout to the guy rocking the shakuhachi at the theatre.)
No release date, but it will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
One of the most hilarious things to happen yesterday was that when this trailer started playing, almost everyone made the comment that her gun was breathing. I love that was what came to everyone’s mind. But also, this game looks promising! It looks like a Quantum Break that might actually be fun to play.
That’s a bit harsh, but this is, after all, coming from the studio that made Max Payne, so the gameplay criticism is a fair one since we know what they are capable of. I’m interested in seeing more of the special powers and the psychedelic/supernatural nature of the story. This might fill the Psi-Ops-shaped hole that I’ve had in my heart for the past 14 years.
Look for it sometime in 2019 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Resident Evil 2
The rumors were true, a Resident Evil 2 remake is happening. I guess we already kind of knew that since Capcom said as much back in 2015, but I’m sure everyone else assumed the same as me and that they just…stopped. This thing looks like it’s chugging along pretty well.
Also cool that it’s not like that one Resident Evil remake where they just juiced up the backgrounds. This is a ground-up rebuild. Just look at that young-ass Leon Kennedy! Not even yet to go through some shit, let alone every imaginable shit possible. If this does well, it’s easy to see them try the same with Resident Evil 4.
It’s coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019.
Kingdom Hearts III
It’s kind of bonkers how little Kingdom Hearts is willing to put work into welcoming new players. Not that it should be required of long-running series, but we’ve seen two different trailers this weekend that were stuffed with both Disney cameos and major players in the ongoing storyline and anyone that hasn’t played all of the games isn’t any closer to understanding what happened.
That said, it’s so deeply cool that with each new world, we finally have the production power and processing power to make them all look distinct. The rendering of the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff looks so vastly different from the Hercules stuff and it’s awesome. Just a shame that it has to involve walking trash person Johnny Depp.
It releases in Japan on January 25, 2019, and everywhere else on January 29, 2019, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Trover Saves the Universe
Blegh. I think Rick and Morty is fine, but this comes across as a lazy version of that. Like, the absurdism of that show works because it is fully dedicated to making that nonsense feel material to the story and the goofs. This is, well, not that, which is starting to feel like what Justin Roiland just does without oversight.
No release date announced, but it will come out for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR.
Destiny 2: Forsaken
Yikes, things aren’t going well for Cayde. He may or may not have been shot point-blank, thus he may or may not be dead, and thus you may or may not have to bring him back in this new expansion. But regardless, this is a wholly fucked tableau they’ve painted here, all at the hands of regrading dipshit Prince Uldren.
A lot of people are speculating that he’s dead for good, which blows because Cayde fucking rules. But one Destiny 2 sleuth has found some solid evidence backing up that conclusion, as Kotaku’s Kirk Hamilton has pointed out. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
The expansion releases on September 4, 2018.
Rather unfortunate that the more I see of Death Stranding, the less I’m convinced it’s going to interest me. Maybe Hideo Kojima is one of those auteurs that needs restrictions to flourish? Or maybe they kind of cobbled this trailer together under the untoward push to showcase some gameplay (which they may or may not have with that walking stuff) instead of highlight the story stuff they would have preferred.
We might never know, but this particular trailer nudged me further from being invested in the outcome of this weird orgy of Kojima metaphors. But we do have a better grasp on what the game is actually about. It’s possibly about Norman Reedus as a body deliveryman in a poisonous world finding his clone and trying to use the intrinsic time fuckery of the realm to age it while Léa Seydoux eats a…thing? Also Lindsay Wagner and Mads Mikkelsen are there to be scary/attractive people and—actually, we may not be any closer to understanding this game.
Still no release date, but it will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Whoa, a Nioh sequel! That’s killer news. The first one was incredible but tragically underrated. Well, not underrated since everyone that played it loved it, but definitely not played nearly enough. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, especially since its existence is all we know at this point.
Every single thing that comes out about this game looks and sounds great—exactly what anyone would want from a project about Spider-Man. And this trailer is no exception. Peter Parker quipping while he’s fighting the entire litany of Spidey villains, swinging around, dishing out justice. It all looks like it’s shaping up to be super fun.
But for some reason, I’m still apprehensive about being excited about it. I don’t want to get my hopes up, sure, but I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that we’re still not getting the full pictures of what this game is going for, and that level of unknown is uncomfortable. But gosh is this a gorgeous game. And who shows up at the end?! Is it Miles?!?!
It comes out September 7, 2018, for the PlayStation 4.
Why would you hide this in the post-show? FromSoftware is one of the hottest names in video games right now, and the fact that they’re dipping their toe into virtual reality is huge. I suppose it is the most teasery of teasers, which doesn’t quite match with the substantive showings of the other games here, but it’s still a sizable deal. And look at that, not a single thing gets stabbed with a sword or is eaten whole. Big moves from FromSoftware.
No release date yet, but it is exclusive to the PlayStation VR.