Well did it? Sony are world renowned for dishing out dull conferences; even when it comes to their major E3 keynotes – attendees and internet-dwelling streamers are routinely left at best asleep or at worst on BBC3 instead. Except of course for that one year when they announced the PS4 and Jack Tretton tore off his shirt crowdsurfing to the bar.
In fact so much was that one year (the following year might have been half decent too, I’m getting old, okay) so good, that I now watch Sony events in the dimly lit, lingering hope that they’ll slam out another just like it one day… when we all least expect it.
The Paris Games Week show was not that. But you did get the feeling it was never going to be. The pre-show was filled almost exclusively with PSVR titles, most of which made a brief appearance at the actual show as well. The highlight for me was Ultrawings, because I have a ceaseless vendetta against balloons. Have a watch.
This focus on VR might seem like an obvious move from a company who’ve not long put out the relevant, 300-quid-a-pop hardware, but let’s not forget that Sony routinely slap portable consoles onto shelves and then proceed to avoid them like that friend you recently discovered is a bit racist. Sony are not only aware of their product, but they’re actively supporting it in some way this time round, and this is ultimately a good sign. And who knows, it might even help push VR gaming in general out of the tech-demo gloop they all have their feet stuck in at the moment.
Spelunky 2 also spelunked into existence before the show began but I have (criminally, I’m told) never really played the first one so. I have heard nothing but glorious things though so I’ll go right ahead and presume this is great news.
A Man in a Suit
Onwards to the main show and Jim Ryan, a man in a suit who doesn’t look enough like he’s apologising for reversing into your car (we miss you Tretton) rather monotonously ambles through a release list which erm. Isn’t terrible.
There’re a handful of rather pretty looking explorative or narrative-driven indie games on show, namely The Gardens Between and Concrete Genie, though despite being exactly my forte, neither are quite intriguing enough to get me off the sofa in search of more.
The Hong Kong Massacre looks exactly like a Hotline Miami edition of Max Payne – which I immediately tweeted, presuming my ingenious insight would be lauded the world over, only to find several other people had said the very same thing moments before, making me feel like a tit. Anyway, trailer below – I reckon this could be worth a look at some stage. It’s out next year which is too far in the future for me to contemplate.
Back to VR and Blood & Truth, a first person Bond ‘Em Up looked worthy of a head-turn until the grime soundtrack and over-indulgent cockney accents made me never want to play it. If this is ‘Guy Ritchie esque’ it looks more Revolver than Snatch at this stage. Do hope it ends up living up to its pretty blatant potential though…
After a Final Fantasy fishing game that someone, somewhere, is apparently interested in, and a live action decision-making game you can play using your PHONE (in case the controllers are on the far end of the sofa I guess) called Erica, it was time for a formal introduction to DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN.
In one of the most emotionally visceral trailers, a violent and abusive father tussles with a humanoid robot minder, a conflict that eventually ends in disaster. It’s abrasive, distressing, and moving. Then of course you remember this is Quantic Dream and David Cage, and you think oh god no, how has this been allowed to happen. Who knows how this will play it out, but credit where credit is due, it was an efficacious trail that will likely spark some heated discussion in the build up to its release. And what harm ever came from heated discussion hey, we’re all well-rounded adults here aren’t… we…
Leaving just two titles of note, the first and undoubted star of the show being Ghost of Tsushima, a new game by Infamous dev Sucker Punch. It sure looks pretty, not to mention rich in narrative, but with no gameplay in the trail, we’re left wanting. See for yourself.
Last but not least, The Last of Us Part II burst into the room swinging its hammer about the place and getting everybody squirming in their seats a bit. Watching a character be pinned down and have her arm brutally, graphically smashed to bits is certainly the most uncomfortable I’ve been watching a trailer since, well, since the Detroit one a few minutes before. I’m also not entirely sure how I feel about it as a trail. If it were a horror movie (seeing as it’s Halloween) tt felt a little like it was the jump-scare alternative to the series’ atmospheric, psychological approach. Though it was great to see older Ellie in action, and it raised a few questions as well.
So that’s what happened at Sony’s PGW conference. What do you think? Are you satisfied? Content with your lot? Do you wish there were more? Do you wish you hadn’t had to watch the Detroit trailer? Does your arm feel sort of funny now?
More on Respawn soon you lot.