Thoughts On Sony’s 2017 E3 Press Conference

Year of Dreams 2.5

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Sony has been dominating both the console market and E3 press events since the launch of the PS4 back in 2013. This year, with the bar set a decent, but beatable height, can Sony dominate yet again?

In what seemingly has become tradition at these press events, Sony let the games ‘sell themselves’ by having very little developer or publisher discussion on stage and just focusing on gameplay or trailers. Beginning with Naughty Dog’s Uncharted The Lost Legacy, a standalone adventure game which focuses on series characters Nadine and Chloe. A trailer showed more detail of the widely anticipated story at this point. The game will release on August 22nd on PS4 exclusively.

My Thoughts: I missed the original Uncharted Series, so this doesn’t really peak my interest, but fans of the beloved franchise will love it and based on the reputation of Naughty Dog, I expect it to be good.

While on the subject of DLC, Sony gave us a first look at smash hit, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s DLC, The Frozen Wilds. Aloy returns in search of more answers and it appears to focus on a mountain that appears to be crumbling. The DLC will launch later this year at some point.

My Thoughts: More Horizon is good.

We got another extended look at Days Gone, this time showing off the stealth elements within the game and a tiny peak into the narrative. No release date was confirmed but it is suspected to be out sometime this year.

My Thoughts: Zombie games generally don’t interest me, but this one has me intrigued. I don’t want to see anymore gameplay however, after two E3s with extended looks, Sony have shown enough. With Regards to the release date, my best guess would be late November or early December 2017.

We then got a couple of unexpected surprises in the form of Monster Hunter and a Shadow of the Colossus HD remake. Both games are set to launch in 2018 at some point. Also, Marvel vs. Capcom infinite got a brand new trailer and release date of September 19th, with a playable demo launching immediately.

My Thoughts: Monster Hunter looked cool and Shadow of the Colossus is perhaps a bigger deal than people are making out. And Marvel vs. Capcom looks interesting, if you are into fighting games.

Call Of Duty made its annual appearance this year (I’ll write about Call Of Duty as a series in another post) and revealed the multiplayer for this years iteration, which is going back in time to World War Two, a smart move if nothing else for Activision to make.

My Thoughts: Looks good, but it looks good every year so I’m not getting my hopes up (You won’t get me this time Activision). It’s a nice move for fans to go back after the future setting went down like raw chicken at a dinner party. No doubt it’ll have microtransactions though.

PS VR got a big mention at this years show, with several games announced, including Skyrim, a game that simply won’t die; Star Child, a sci-fi sidescroller; The Inpatient, a prequel to Until Dawn set in an asylum; Monster of the Deep, a Final Fantasy 15 fishing VR experience; Bravo Team, a co-op shooter by the developers of Until Dawn and Moss, a puzzle adventure game akin to Zelda.

My Thoughts: Seems VR is slowly becoming a valid gaming platform and not just a tech gimmick for people who wear trousers a little too tight for their own good. Skyrim, The Inpatient, Bravo Team and Moss all look great and really show VR’s strengths.

Announced earlier in the year by Bungie, some exclusive Destiny 2 content was show. This included a strike called Lake of Shadows, a PvP map called Retribution, exclusive armour and an exclusive exotic Sniper called the Borealis.

My Thoughts: It seems these are only timed exclusives, so this isn’t that big of a deal, so fans can rest easier knowing that they’ll get this content eventually.

We ended the show with three games that were previously announced, starting with God of War. Another trailer was shown, as we see Kratos, dad and worlds angriest Bowie tribute act take his son to a new location to fight more gods it would seem. God of War launches in early 2018 on the PS4. Then, a trailer was shown for Detroit: Become Human. Showing off more of the varied choices system within the game and more story information. Closing the show was Insomniac’s Spiderman game, which we saw extended gameplay of, and a look at one of the villains in-game. Spiderman will release sometime in 2018.

My Thoughts: All three games looked incredible, and I’d say because of pure intrigue, Detroit takes my game of the conference award (a prestigious one I know) but all three of these games are must buy in my honest opinion.

Overall, Sony definitely had the strongest conference of E3 so far, but definitely not as strong as previous years.

Thoughts on Bethesda’s E3 Showcase

Bethesdaland is like Wicksteed Park

At two previous E3s, Bethesda stepped up its presence at E3 by having its own annual showcase. 2017 was no different and here is what we learnt.

Note: Expect this one to be shorter than the others as they didn’t reveal much.

Bethesda kicked off the show by announcing that two of their biggest titles, Fallout 4 and Doom will be playable in VR. Titled Fallout 4 VR (obviously) and Doom VFR respectively, both titles will launch later this year on HTC Vive exclusively.

My Thoughts: If you could afford the HTC Vive without selling your entire collection of technology and your soul, this would’ve been a huge deal. It’s a massive step for VR, whose lack of ‘Real games’ has been one of its biggest criticisms. So, if you have HTC Vive, enjoy two great games for it.

After being seen in the trailer for the system back in October, we also got a trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch. We saw that it was amiibo compatible and you can get the Master Sword, Links Blue Tunic and the Hylian Shield in Skyrim. Unfortunately we didn’t get a release date but they did say everything we saw would be out in 2017, so expect it this year at some point. Elder Scrolls Legends, Bethesda’s mobile card game also had some new content announced in the form of a brand new expansion titles ‘Heroes of Skyrim’ releasing later this month. Speaking of Elder Scrolls, we also got a trailer for the recently released Morrowind Expansion for Elder Scrolls Online. Quake Champions was also shown, with a hype trailer and a $1 million prize pool E-Sports tournament later this year at Quake Con. Wolfenstein protagonist BJ Blazkowicz was revealed to be a playable character within the game.

My Thoughts: Skyrim for Switch looks awesome, playing one of my favourite games will on the move is going to be great. If you like the Elder Scrolls Legends, the new stuff is cool. For me however, I’m not invested in this news at all. And the Elder Scrolls Online stuff was for promotion purposes only. As for Quake Champions, I don’t play PC games so have no thoughts.

Bethesda also unveiled a sort of paid mods system called ‘Creation Club’ for Fallout 4 and Skyrim where players buy credits from either Xbox Live, Playstation Network or Steam and exchange these credits for original content that won’t affect achievements, like current mods do. Bethesda mentioned in a FAQ on their website, that this is separate to Mods currently on both games and will continue to be so.

My Thoughts: I’m not sure about this, paid mods weren’t a great idea initially. and this just seems that but tied up in a nice bow and gift wrapped. However, if this stays separate to free mods, I don’t see this being an issue.

Also, revealed at the show was Arkane studio’s Dishonored Death of the Outsider, a standalone expansion, where you see Daud(the assassin who murdered the Empress in the first game) and ex-second in command Billie Kurk as you have to eliminate The Outsider. The game will release on September 15th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC and will cost $30.

My Thoughts: Dishonored 1 and 2 are both good games, so it’s a reasonable assumption that this will also be at least good, significantly shorter, but still good.

Bethesda closed the show with two major announcements in the form of The Evil Within 2, an action horror game made by Tango Gameworks, led by Resident Evil  creator Shinji Mikami. They gave the game a lengthy reveal trailer which pushed the horror vibes the developers were surely going for. The game is set to be released on Friday 13th October later this year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Closing the show, MachineGames latest creation Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. Set in 1960s America, protagonist and real American BJ Blazkowicz returns and joins up with a resistance group attempting to take America back from the Nazis (*insert Trump Joke here*). The game is set to release on October 27th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

My Thoughts: Both games had a great showing at this conference, and both follow on from great games, so I hope they live up to expectations and will definitely be getting both come October.

All in all, I feel Bethesda’s showcase was an average showing. The two games at the end made it worth the watch and I hope both games deliver.