Hey, adventurers. Today’s post is all about my reaction to the Sony press conference. Here you go.
Thanks for reading.
“Uh, Ian, is that really it?”
That’s really it. I literally fell asleep while trying to watch Sony’s press conference. I mean, I suppose if we were to put my exhaustion in context, this week has been pretty crazy and I would have fallen asleep doing almost anything. I made the terrible mistake of staying up to see Bethesda’s E3 conference, getting only a couple hours of sleep that night. This week has been a perfect storm of things happening – between work, Vacation Bible School, E3, and a relative being in the hospital, even when I actually have time to sit down and relax I’m not relaxed. My wife is stressed, I’m exhausted, and as I write this article I am fantasizing about just canceling my post for Wednesday so I can get an extra hour of sleep.
This probably seems complain-y, and that’s not really what I’m going for. I guess at this point in my week, Sony has become the focus of all the frustration that should realistically be directed towards other things. Their conference wasn’t SO awful and SO boring that it forcibly put me to sleep. But it had little to offer in terms of interesting content.
Sony promised a “diverse” lineup of games that would top 2016. What we got was five different versions of the same game. “Here’s a generic open-world survival type game vaguely inspired by Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, with dinosaurs. Now here’s one with androids. And one with zombies.” Occasionally, they threw in an FPS just to keep things really fresh.
I mean, that’s not to say that everything Sony showed off was totally unoriginal. We got a new Tomb Rai- I mean Uncharted, a new Monster Hunter, a new God of War, a new Call of Duty, and even Skyrim VR! There’s lots to be excited about, especially if you didn’t want to play anything in the year 2017 you haven’t played before.
Lest I cross the line with the jokes, allow me to be a tad more serious. Days Gone kind of caught my attention thanks to the presence of a zombie bear. I can’t say I’ve seen a game yet that has those. While I personally am not a fan of God of War and still probably won’t pick up the newest entry, this reboot (if that’s technically what it is) actually seems pretty compelling as far as story. In my personal literary experience, I’ve never enjoyed Greek mythology, so seeing this very different setting for Kratos is refreshing. Throw in a son for him to train up, and it seems like this game is going to deliver on narrative more than past entries in the series.
I’ve consistently made fun of VR for being an overly expensive tech demo, and at E3 2016 it was. However, 2017 is bringing some serious hitting power to Virtual Reality. As tired as I am of Skyrim, there are going to be people out there who want to play it all over again in the truest form of first person yet devised by the industry. But there were other exciting VR games shown off as well. Moss looks absolutely lovely, a game where you guide around an adorable mouse warrior through what appears to be a very magical and charming world. While no real gameplay was shown off for Star Child, I got the same sort of impression where I feel as if you will be a force that helps the main character of the game to overcome obstacles and progress. The Inpatient brings an original horror game to the platform, and horror is an excellent genre for the virtual reality experience. Since this title seems focused on psychological horror, I can see the game getting very trippy and legitimately messing with the player’s head – depending on how far the developers choose to go. If VR continues to grow we might start having to ask ethical questions about its applications when it comes to these sorts of games.
One game shown off that I actually want to pick up is Shadow of the Colossus. I never got to play the original as I did not own a Playstation console at the time, and the remake looks absolutely gorgeous. The idea of exploring this vast world full of massive climbable monsters is very appealing and to my understanding the narrative of the game is fantastic despite its sparse nature.
Their big reveal, it seemed, was the new Spiderman game, but it really didn’t impress me. I got a definite “trying to be Arkham” vibe from the game and while I think Spiderman is an amazing fit for a sandbox game, his unique way of moving around is something that’s very difficult to capture within the realm of a video game. Speaking of Marvel, story details were shown about Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite. It looks alright I suppose, but the fighting game genre is oversaturated with games and MvC is not one that has ever managed to keep my attention for long. I enjoyed the banter between characters, though, and it seems like Rocket Raccoon and Dante will make a pretty fun pair.
Overall, I guess the main thing I got out of the Sony conference is that I am not their target audience. There’s a demographic of gamers who are going to be really excited by what they had to show off. If you fall into that demographic, awesome. I hope you really enjoy these games as they come out later this year or early next year. For me, as someone who has no interest in VR and is fully burnt out on games that remind me of Assassin’s Creed or Arkham Asylum even a tiny bit, nothing at this conference stood out to me as exciting. In my Bethesda article I referred to folks who exclusively own Nintendo consoles as a weirdly niche audience, but one thing I’ve been seeing this E3 is that I might fall into that weird niche. Nothing that anyone else has brought to the table so far has been of that much interest to me, and that combined with the very small amount of time I’ve spent playing my own PS4 suggests to me that maybe my tastes have been so defined by growing up Nintendo that I’ll never truly get away from that.
Alright, enough weird introspection! Obviously my lack of rest is seriously impacting my focus at this point, so let’s hear from you, adventurers. What did you like about the Sony conference? Are there any specific games you are really excited for? Am I crazy person for thinking they didn’t have anything impressive, or did you also think that their promise of “diverse” games fell flat? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading in spite of my rants and poorly-executed jokes!