Sony teased that “E3 was only half the story” and today, it kicked off a nearly two-hour event from Paris Games Week, revealing the latest PlayStation news, trailers and announcements. There was a lot of stuff to go over, but not all of it was important. We’ve focused on the big takeaways here, if you missed the show and want to get caught up. Let’s go!
Ghost of Tsushima kicks off the show, The Last of Us Part 2 closes it out
First-party exclusives remain the lifeblood of any console, and Sony put its biggest announcement at the top of the show. Ghost of Tsushima is an open-world game set during the era of the samurai in feudal Japan, and it’s developed by the studio behind the Sly Cooper and Infamous series, Sucker Punch. There’s no word on when we can expect Ghost to be released, but judging by the cinematics-heavy trailer Sony shared, we’re far from seeing actual gameplay and, in turn, playing the actual game.
During last year’s fourth-quarter PlayStation briefing, held at the PlayStation Experience event in December, Sony unveiled the widely anticipated The Last of Us Part 2 by closing out the show with its debut trailer. This year, the game returned to close out the show after skipping out on E3 over the summer. We didn’t learn much about the game, but we were treated (?) to a particularly violent and hard-to-watch scene that recalled the debate over the first game’s debut, which was marked by extreme violence. Does an extended scene of violence against women connect when it’s entirely out of the context of the game — and what game is this? who are these characters? what is the circumstance of their capture?
Rounding out the first-party showing were new looks at E3 repeats like Insomniac’s Spider-Man, Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War refresh, the upcoming Shadow of the Colossus remaster and Horizon Zero Dawn’s upcoming Frozen Wilds DLC.
Blood and Truth anchors a surprisingly robust PlayStation VR showing
PlayStation VR came out one year ago this month, and while it was released alongside an impressive lineup of titles, things have been relatively quiet on that front in the months between. Sony was eager to address that today by dedicating a large percentage of the event to all things PSVR, starting with a new title from its London Studio called Blood and Truth.
The PlayStation VR action game is inspired by the studio’s previous action game experiment, The London Heist, according to its creators. The London Heist was a PlayStation VR demo featured in Sony’s PlayStation VR Worlds collection. Sony’s London Studio said it went back to that title to turn it into a full game and “dial it up to 11” with expanded gameplay.
Also announced today were Megalith from Disruptive Games and Bow to Blood from Tribetoy, both promised for release in 2018 exclusively on PSVR. Megalith has players inhabiting the role of a Titan and encourages them to “become a god” by battling for titan supremacy in this “PS VR hero shooter.” Meanwhile, Bow to Blood asks players to “take to the skies as captain of a powerful airship” and “discover a fantastical world of airborne gladiatorial sci-fi.”
Outside of the new announcements, we also got new looks at Star Child, first revealed at E3 this year; a release window of Feb. 2018 for Moss, also known as That PS VR Game With The Cute Mouse; a release window for League of War: VR Arena in November; and two new horror games released in time for Halloween.
We also got PS VR announcements of a handful of upcoming PC-based VR titles, like Dead Hungry from PixelJunk developers Q Games and Stifled, from Gattai Games, both of which are coming to PSVR this week. There’s also Sprint Vector from Raw Data developer Survios and Ultrawings, which came out on Steam this summer.
Resident Evil 7 and its upcoming DLC remain playable entirely in VR, and the Final Fantasy 15-themed fishing game, Monsters of the Deep, is coming to PSVR next month. In all, it was a strong showing for PlayStation VR and a solid reminder that, even with the Xbox One X coming out this week, the PS4 remains the only console with virtual reality support, and Sony isn’t going to let us forget it.
Best on PlayStation remains a core strategic principle
Though the age of third-party exclusives is largely over, Sony is doing what it can to make sure you think of PlayStation when you think about your favorite third-party blockbuster. That means two of the biggest — if not the two biggest — releases this year are getting special treatment from Sony.
Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris is the first expansion for Destiny 2, and while it’s coming to PS4, PC and Xbox One all on Dec. 5, Sony was able to show off the very first footage and share the first details of the game on its stage today. Sure, Sony didn’t detail any PlayStation-exclusive content in the press conference, though this section of the presentation focused on that kind of content, but it’s probably safe to assume PS4 owners will get an exclusive armor set or a weapon as part of this co-marketing deal. But still, the on-stage reveal shouldn’t be undervalued at creating that consumer connection between PlayStation and all things Destiny.
Not to be outdone, Call of Duty: WWII — Activision’s other FPS tentpole, launching later this week — will receive its first piece of DLC, titled “The Resistance,” first on PlayStation 4 on Jan. 30. This has been standard operating procedure for Call of Duty titles and PlayStation 4 this generation, so consider this more of a reminder.
Lastly, Monster Hunter: World is coming to Xbox One and PS4 early next year, but a beta was announced for Dec. 9 on stage today. And for those playing on PS4, they’ll be able to play as Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy, a dinosaur hunter herself.
Spelunky 2 reveal leads Sony’s return to the indie well
Coming “first to PS4 and Steam,” a sequel to indie superhit Spelunky is one hell of a way to let players know that indie games are still an important part of the PlayStation 4 platform strategy. After doing some of the heavy lifting at the beginning of the console’s life, indies have taken a decidedly smaller stage as the PS4 grows. But a significant part of today’s event — both the indie-heavy pre-show and the main event itself — leaned on indie titles, including Spelunky 2.
Guacamelee 2 also was announced by DrinkBox Studios. The 2013 game originally launched on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita before coming to PC later that year and other consoles the following year.
At E3 2014, Sony surprise announced / released Entwined, the first game from a new studio named Pixelopus. Pixelopus is back this year with Concrete Genie, a new title that made the main press conference stage.
While not a Pixelopus game, Sony was back with another surprise announcement — and release. This time it’s Oure from Heavy Spectrum Limited, the studio behind last year’s Shadow of the Beast remaster.
And lastly, in addition to a PC and Mac release next year, puzzle game The Gardens Between is coming to PlayStation 4, developer The Voxel Agents confirmed during today’s event. Players will move forward and backward in time to “discover each garden’s secrets and reveal a story about friendship, childhood and growing up.”
Are indie titles moving millions of PlayStation 4 consoles? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it’s nice to see them given solid billing in front of a large global audience, proof that there’s room for games of all sizes even when you’re on top.