E3 2018: Sony Press Conference roundup

Screenshot from Ghost of Tsushima. Screenshot from Ghost of Tsushima. SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA

Sony's conference began in bizarre fashion, with a live band composed of a number of sentient vegetables, apparently existing inside the world of Dreams; this was simply a teaser to keep the audience occupied for the final few minutes of waiting. Once the band had finished up, Shawn Layden took the stage in a more intimate setting than usual, in what he referred to as a church. He promised that Sony would take a deeper dive into several titles that had been seen before, as opposed to the shotgun blast of titles that we've seen for several years before.

The first guest invited onstage was Gustavo Santorea, a banjo musician. He played a haunting tune for several minutes, leading into a trailer for the highly anticipated The Last of Us: Part II, which took place in a venue nearly identical to the room in which the press conference took place. The trailer featured an older Ellie, watching a party take place, before transitioning into a tense stealth sequence in a forest, as Ellie made her way past a group of roving bandits with live gameplay. The video was brutal and lasted for several minutes, with nary a glimpse of Joel, a major protagonist from the previous game.

After this, Sony showed a brief video indicating the "beginning" of the conference. Sid Shuman, Ryan Clements and Shawn Layden started to speak as the attendees were moved to another location, and they discussed The Last of Us: Part II for a little while longer. The group also confirmed that a New Game Plus mode would be arriving for the newest God of War title, while mentioning that the conference would be dominated by four major games.

During the break, Sony showed a new trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, showcasing four returning multiplayer maps: Jungle, Summit, Slums and Firing Range. All three of those maps will also be available in Black Ops III, for those who pre-order the upcoming game; Black Ops III will also be available on PlayStation Plus tonight. After more discussion, with two more faces joining the group (Meredith Molinari and Ramone Russell) and a recap of previous announcements, Sony showed a new trailer for the upcoming Forsaken expansion to Destiny 2, featuring a brutalized Cayde-6 and a decimated landscape.

The show then cut to the official showcase venue, featuring another live performance, this time of a musician playing a Japanese shakuhachi flute. This led into a new gameplay trailer for an utterly beautiful game set in feudal Japan during a Mongol invasion, with the player taking the role of a lone samurai. The character made quick work of several enemy Mongol soldiers before being joined by a woman wielding a bow, and then proceeded to engage in more killing, as well as some stealth and Arkham-style jump attacks. This game turned out to be Ghost of Tsushima, and no release date was announced.

The musical fruits and vegetables returned after this, before cutting to a trailer of a strange sci-fi setting revolving around a world that defied gravity and transformed in real time, among other strange effects. The main protagonist was a woman who had the ability to control the world and the objects in it, presumably at will; this turned out to be a game called Control, being made by Remedy (Alan Wake, Quantum Break) and 505 Games (Naughty Bear, Rule of Rose). The next trailer was a first-person view of a person apparently raiding a food pantry before being captured and assaulted, after which the man naturally started eating the guard; this naturally turned out to be a trailer for the remake of Resident Evil 2, starring the now-famous Leon Kennedy. The trailer was incredibly cinematic and story-focused, showing that it was a complete remake from the ground up, and it will be released on January 25, 2019.

After another virtual musical interlude, Sony moved onto a new action platformer from the mind of Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty; this was Trover Saves the Universe, and it seems like it will have an excellent comedy bent to it. This led to yet another new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III, featuring Sora, Donald and Goofy as pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean world, among others. The trailer featured distinctly different graphical styles from one world to the next, with Pirates being highly realistic and Monsters Inc. being much less so. The game will also launch alongside a special KH3-edition PlayStation 4, as well as one mega-package that includes all three of the main-series Kingdom Hearts games.

After a bit more music, Sony brought us back to the incredibly bizarre world of Death Stranding, from the famed Hideo Kojima. This new trailer was very slightly more grounded, showing how characters might interact with the story, as well as lots of running and climbing across terrain. The trailer also "showed" more of the strange, invisible monsters that inhabit the game world, as well as the strange sky entities from the very first trailer, blinking lights, "void-outs", and the strange pouch babies from trailers past. It's still hard to say we have any idea what the game is about, and we still don't know when we'll get our hands on it.

The next game was from Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja, featuring a samurai battling against giant demons before effectively turning into one: this turned out to be a quick look at Nioh 2, the sequel to the popular Souls-like title. One brief musical piece later, we got a look at the upcoming Spider-Man title, where the famous web-slinger fought against Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and Mister Negative on an island prison for super-powered criminals. The trailer showed live gameplay with a full HUD as Spider-Man battled against a large crowd of foes as well as the main villains.

The conference then ended with a recap of what had been seen previously, with no real explanation of what the musical interludes were about. The commentary continued after the conference, however, with more gameplay of Spider-Man as well as a new game announcement: a new VR title from From Software, called Déraciné, which featured a very artistic graphical style.

Stay tuned to GeekNifty for more E3 2018 news as the week goes on.

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