E3 2017 In Retrospect: PlayStation

They brought the games.

PlayStation, the annual heavyweight at E3, came onto the scene this year and made a big splash on stage. Well, they had a waterfall at least.

It felt like there was something missing from their event this year. They showed off a wide array of games, ranging from PSVR titles to the bombastic action-packed shooters from Activision, but the soul of a PlayStation conference wasn’t there.

The Pre-Show Show

Probably the most interesting part of the PlayStation E3 event was the part I missed last night when I was preparing to watch it. Prior to the scheduled portion of the event, Sony ran a pre-show to highlight games like Knack 2Hidden AgendaGran Turismo SportSuperhot VR, and the wonderfully produced Undertale faux-mercial.

As a sidenote, I really didn’t care for Undertale, but I think the hype surrounding it kinda set me up for disappointment. I don’t want folks to assume I think it’s bad; I just didn’t enjoy it.

What I found the most interesting from the pre-show (that wasn’t a game trailer at least) was the in-house interview with Mark Cerny regarding the PS4 Pro, where he noted the limitations of marketing visual improvements to those that don’t have the ability to actually see what has improved for themselves. The same applies to VR as well. In order to see what it’s really like, you have to actually see it in person.

It’s funny to me too that both Superhot VR and Hidden Agenda seemed like stars of the show. Hidden Agenda, from the team that made Until Dawn, seems to play out like a murder mystery party game, with players using their phones via a new service called PlayLink to influence the story. Each player appears to be given Hidden Agendas, which will help spice things up a bit.

The Show, Proper

Once the lights dimmed in the theater, and the sitar started playing, it quickly became clear that PlayStation was starting off with a trip over to Asia. Then up popped The Lost Legacy, a DLC planned for the hit Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Next we got a glimpse at my personal favorite of the presentation, Horizon: Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, which filled me with childish delight. I seriously cannot get enough of Horizon: Zero Dawn, so the prospect that I’ll be getting more content to enjoy is a dream come true.

But then things took a turn for the cliche, and we got another trailer for the upcoming The Last Of Us spinoff title, Days Gone; complete with a zombie bear! Maybe I’m just being too cynical, but I can’t help but shake the feeling that Sony’s Bend Studio is trying to capture that lightning in a bottle that Naughty Dog let loose.

Then Shawn Layden took the stage to start things off, cracking an awkward joke about zombies and announcing that he’d be taking a backseat to the trailers.

Then the show began…

  • Monster Hunter Worlds
  • Shadow of the Colossus remake
  • Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • God of War
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Destiny 2
  • Spider-Man

The big show-stealers during the showcase definitely were Monster Hunter Worlds and the Shadow of the Colossus remake, even though they’re of little interest to me. I’m firm in my belief that the PS4 will be getting a remake of Ico at some point now as well. The rest of the titles mostly just rolled off with little fanfare.

Obviously, Activision and Sony had to show off Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII, though I doubt many people were surprised to see those two titles on the screen.

Detroit: Become Human showed, proving that David Cage still has a knack for capturing people’s attention, though I’m a little bothered by the appearance that the main character is going to be such a generic good guy stereotype. Hopefully, Quantic Dream can pull it off.

PSVR Makes A Case For Itself

It’s good that Sony is showing active support for their VR platform. Unfortunately, the list of games they showed off for the PSVR didn’t seem worth the cost of admission.

  • Skyrim VR
  • Star Child
  • The Inpatient
  • Final Fantasy XV VR Fishing simulator?
  • Bravo Team
  • Moss

Moss and Star Child seem pretty promising. The former appears to be a puzzle game where the player has to help an adorable mouse through different challenges. The latter is a 2D VR game, which is odd considering the huge focus on making VR games all take place in the first-person perspective.

Bravo Team and The Inpatient look to be decent, at best following the usual tropes of VR gaming. Bravo Team appears to be a modern version of Farpoint, trading alien monsters for waves of terrorists. The Inpatient looks like another VR horror title, which requires a little more effort in the wake of Resident Evil 7 VR.

As for the rest… Seriously? A Final Fantasy XV themed fishing game? I hope it’s free.

And last, as well as definitely least, yet another version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for the modest price of:

$60?! FOR A GAME THAT LOOKS LIKE IT BELONGS ON THE PS3!

Ugh. When is Bethesda going to stop milking Skyrim and work on something new for the Elder Scrolls IP?

Closing With A Showstopper!

Well, sorta. When Mr. Layden took the stage again, the theater grew excited. Almost as if there was the expectation that something big was coming. He drummed up the crowd into thinking something truly groundbreaking waited for them, and he cleared the air after giving his closing comments.

Sony closed the PlayStation E3 Showcase with an extended look at the PS4 exclusive, Spider-Man. While it looked competent, and somewhat enticing, it’s hardly what I’ve come to expect from the kings of first party content. Well, maybe the bishops… Nintendo is really the king of first-party content… for the most part.

Then, just as uneventfully as the showcase started, it ended.

Apparently, Sony is putting more and more effort into the PlayStation Experience. We’ll just have to put on brave faces and hope for the best.

You can get the info on Sony’s showcase directly from the horse’s mouth below. Well, it’s a YouTube video… No horse there.


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2 thoughts on “E3 2017 In Retrospect: PlayStation

  1. Hidden Agenda sounds cool, I’ll have to look that up.

    I finished Sony’s conference feeling a bit deflated. They showed games that look really good but most of what I want is next year at the earliest. I’ll maybe get Uncharted, which I think is stand alone priced at $40. And I’ll possibly get GT Sport too. But overall I wasn’t wowed by most of it and a lot of their big stuff from their studios had been shown a previous E3s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it was Days Gone that my husband mentioned had an interesting gameplay concept? I would have to ask him again but something about split screen or something. I don’t know. I was mostly focused on
    DETROIT BECOME HUMAN. OMG. I have been waiting on that game forever – or so it feels like. I remember the previous trailer they teased us with that had me all on the “Come on already let me plaaaaaay” type of mood.
    Still haven’t played Horizon: Zero Dawn so… shifty eyes

    Nothing else called to me really. I… Don’t have VR. Probably won’t look into it any time soon. So….. Eh.

    Liked by 1 person

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