Sunday, June 26, 2016

HotSauce Off the Presses Post E3 - Sony Press Conference

Hello Hot Sauce Nation! SirOrin here with the next Post-E3 Hot Sauce Off the Presses! (Almost two weeks after the event is over! Oops!)

The final press conference for the day, and technically the show, was Sony. Nintendo had their own Tree House stream the following morning which I will talk about next time, but Sony was the grand finale to the conference schedule. Going in, there were a lot of questions. How much would they focus on Playstation VR? Would they bring up PS4: Neo (especially after Microsoft dropped the Project Scorpio bomb that morning)? Would they tease the audience once again with a Crash Bandicoot T-Shirt? The possibilities were endless! What we got was a trailer cornucopia, for better or worse. See my impressions below!

~ SirOrin

HotSauce Off the Presses for the Sony Press Conference

The general reaction to anything Crash Bandicoot related.
I'm not sure why, those games weren't that good. I said it.

The main thing I will say about this press conference as someone who watched it at home was that it was bizarre. Not because it wasn't impressive or that the announcements weren't entertaining but there was almost no stage presence. Besides the impressive orchestra providing the music to all of the trailers, it was just a giant screen playing trailer after trailer with some gameplay mixed in. This may have just been in stark contrast to the previous Ubisoft press conference but it was just strange. Anyway, onto the announcements!

The first enourmous reveal was the new God of War. Not only is Kratos back but he is played in third person, behind the back and in Norse mythology. As someone who was completely burned out on the series (I didn't finish 3 and never touched Ascension), this reinvigorated my desire to play as the angry bald man. The tone continued the trend set during E3 of Dads of War, started with Gears. You can tell a lot of game developers are entering their mid to late thirties and settling down with a family. Anyway, this looks great and I can't wait for it to come out!

Next was Days Gone, a post apocalyptic zombie game that utilizes the "flowing zombie" tech seen in World War Z. Other than me screaming at the player to stop shooting zombies and just run (seriously, there were hundreds of zombies and killing a dozen or two was making no difference), I didn't get much excitement from this. It looks great, and it's probably an early build but it's just more zombie fatigue on my end. I hope I'm wrong so I will wait and see.

There was a brief trailer to just reaffirm that The Last Guardian is still in fact coming out and they gave a release date of October. This was probably the best way to handle a game that has been in development hell for so long, just one last reminder before shipping the final product. It still looks like a glorified PS3 game but I really enjoyed Shadow of the Colossus so I will remain optomistic.

Another game on the verge of coming out that was shown off was Horizon: Zero Dawn. I have finally realized that this is basically a high-res, robot dinosaur version of Monster Hunter. As a decent fan of that series, I am excited to see this finally come out. I'm hoping there is more of a story than in those games because the world building could be very cool.

Next was the new David Cage game, Detroit Becomes Human. I have a soft spot for the craziness of his games and even enjoyed his last game, Beyond Two Souls quite a bit so I will definitely be checking this out. My biggest concern is that Until Dawn may have ruined these games for me. Until Dawn was a masterpiece in terms of narrative and player choice in my mind and hopefully this can live up to those lofty expectations.

Here is the big one. Resident Evil 7. The fact that this game exists is no big surprise. Resident Evil 6 was not very good but I'm pretty sure it sold well enough. The real surprise is that it is entirely in first person and completely playable in VR. There is a playable demo out right now for Playstation Plus subscribers and it is obviously heavily reminiscient to PT. That being said, PT was better. I'm excited to see how it turns out though, this is a bold direction to take the franchise in. Oh, and that graphic design with the VII turning into VIL in Evil was brilliant, give that artist a raise.

I will skim over most of the VR announcements because besides RE 7, there wasn't nearly as much as I expected. Farpoint is a FPS on an alien world that looks cool. Star Wars is doing a Battlefront X-Wing pilot VR thing. There is a Batman Arkham VR that could be good. And the Final Fantasy VR Experience just looks bad. Reports from the show floor say the FF VR game was one of the worst VR demos unfortunately. Still, I am still excited for my Playstation VR. If the Triple A studios won't provide the games I want I'm sure there will be several indie gems to keep me entertained. A release date was also confirmed of October 13th later in the show.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was next and looks like space Call of Duty. Nothing really new here in my eyes, just a campaign demo. The remaster of CoD 4 is still the most appealing part of this package to me, unless the multiplayer in it is just old maps in the current engine. I just want remastered versions of the old multiplayer (that was the one and only thing the Master Chief Collection got right).

Once again, Crash Bandicoot fans got both what they wanted and exactly what they didn't want. The old games are going to get a remaster after all but no new game was announced. Crash will be in the next Skylanders but I don't think anyone cares. People barely blinked at Bowser and Donkey Kong in the last game so I doubt this moves many extra units.

The two big finales (not counting the Days Gone demo I talked about or Lego Star Wars) were Hideo Kojima's next game and a PS4 exclusive Spider Man. First was Kojima's game Death Stranding starring Norman Reedus. This trailer was random image after random image and I was entranced. This game is probably EARLY in development, I doubt we will see it before 2018 at the soonest, but I am so curious to see what Kojima does next. Was the stolen baby an allegory for him and Metal Gear? Time will tell.

And finally was the Spider Man game being made by Insomniac. The press conference was a blur for me at this point and besides looking like a good looking spider man game, I didn't take much away from it. Insomniac makes good games and Sunset Overdrive was a good example of combat on the go so I expect this to be pretty good. 

And that was pretty much it. No real mention of the PS4 Neo, no on stage demos of the Playstation VR, no major platform changes or announcements. Just game after game. It was a good press conference and between God of War, Resident Evil 7, and Death Stranding there was a lot of big announcements. My only concern is that all of those big games are probably a year or years away from coming out. In the mean time I will be preparing for my virtual future in VR.

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