Episode 259: The Beautiful but Incredibly Underwhelming Sony PlayStation E3 2018 Show

Hiya!

Last week, I gave my predictions on what Sony had for us this year in E3. I didn’t get anything right. No new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake. No Shenmue III news. No release dates for Last of Us: Part II nor a demo for Death Stranding. I know most of my hunches were off base but that was because I always have high hopes for Sony’s E3 show. I was disappointed with last year’s E3 show but I was positive they would get their act together and give a more bombastic and hype inducing show this year. While it felt much better and more focused as they focused on only four games, I was still left wanting more. Much, much, much, much more.

Sony’s E3 showcase actually started a whole 5 days before the E3 show proper so I had to watch those as well since they were technically part of Sony’s E3 presentation. Prior to their “showcase,” Sony streamed several exclusive PlayStation games and some of them were much to be desired. The first game they showed was a hyper-trippy version of Tetris called Tetris Effect. Now, I like Tetris as much as the next person but is this really a big enough game to warrant a huge announcement for my expensive PlayStation 4 console when I can download virtually the same game on my phone for free?

On the second day, they showed a new trailer for Days Gone, a game that was revealed during the 2016 E3 show. I will say that it looked good but, on the other hand, it is just another post-apocalyptic world filled with the walking dead. The third day gave us a new game called Twin Mirror. It’s from the folks that gave us Life is Strange so I’m betting it’s going to be an adventure game wherein your choices will influence the story. It seems interesting enough by itself. Days 4 and 5 were about Ghost Giant and Beat Saber, two games that are coming to the PlayStation VR and the instant I heard they were coming to PlayStation VR, I immediately tuned out since there was no way I was going to be able to play them since there has never been a VR game that I was remotely interested in playing.

Those were just “teasers” anyway. Small little tidbits to whet my appetite for the main course which was the E3 show proper. I expected big things and, while I did get some big shocks, they were few and far between… literally!

The show started promisingly in, of all things, a church-tent. I liked it because it was… different. It was a big contrast between that and the usual glitzy stage shows of E3’s past. I actually wished they had the entire thing in the church-tent but I’m getting ahead of myself. They then introduce some banjo player and I immediately realized they were going to start the show with Last of Us: Part II, one of the biggest exclusive games Sony had in their arsenal. While I initially was into the banjo song, it just dragged on for too long! I was expecting some clever transition from the live music to the in-game music but I was so wrong! Instead, we got the banjo guy for a solid 2-1/2 minutes!

Thankfully, once the song was over, the did show us a really awesome trailer of The Last of Us: Part II. The trailer opened with Ellie in a church-tent, much like the venue, when a new girl pulls her into the dance. They kiss and then the scene transitions to Ellie slashing someone’s throat! Well, that escalated quickly! The gameplay they did show looked like a real player getting their hands on the game for the first time. It wasn’t a flawless gameplay showing which made it feel like a real person playing instead of the usual perfect scripted ones we get in other shows. I really appreciated that. After the battle, we go back to the church-tent setting with Ellie, completing the circle.

After that awesome Last of Us: Part II trailer, I was ready for more. Unfortunately, they weren’t. Remember when I said I wanted the entire thing to be held in the church-tent? Well, it turns out they had to shuffle out all of the people in there and herd them into the actual area, which really slowed things down! We then got the same people who did the E3 “preshow” events just blathering on about stuff for a good 10 minutes! I desperately wanted to fast forward this but it was a freaking livestream!

We then got a boring trailer for new Call of Duty DLC with one heck of a magic bullet that just tore through everything in its path and a new trailer for Destiny 2 while in the middle of this loooooong intermission. They also gave a brief breakdown of the 5 previous games mentioned during the “preshow” episodes, which made it a waste of time to watch them!

When we returned to the show proper, we then got another musical number, this time with a guy with a Japanese flute. Obviously, this was to signal that the next game was to be Ghost of Tsushima. But did we really need another musical interlude after making us wait for 5 minutes? When the did cut to the actual trailer and gameplay of Ghost of Tsushima, I did forget about the flute playing guy since the trailer was good. I mean, the color schemes were fantastic and the action and camera angles were beautiful! Oh, and they couldn’t get a Japanese guy to play the Japanese flute? C’mon, Sony!

Things then got a little bit surreal as they then had a banana playing a guitar. Ooooookay. I guess they couldn’t find another live person to play a guitar? They then showed a trailer for a new game called Control. It looked good but they didn’t really show much in the form of content. Just a girl who seemed to have a gun that changes forms and has telekinetic powers. I’m just guessing here since, like I said, they didn’t show much. The next game after that was a big one: Resident Evil 2 Remake! The game looked amazing. I remember watching my brother play the original game a long time ago and this version looked loads better! I do feel sorry for the rat that had to die in a senseless scuffle, though.

We once again get another musical interlude, this time with a polygon man playing the piano. Why is Sony doing this when none of these games are music games? Anyway, the game they showed was something from Justin Roiland, one half of the team that makes Rick and Morty… who is pretty much Rick and Morty since he does the voices for practically all the characters, including Rick and Morty. Anyway, the game, Trover Saves the Universe can be played in VR. I don’t get the point of playing it in VR since it looks rather okay as a “regular” game. If its funny, I may give it a second look. But as it stands, it’s a solid pass.

We then got a new Kingdom Hearts III trailer, featuring the Pirates of the Carribean world. I guess way back during the first Kingdom Hearts game, everyone was hype as this was a crossover of Square and Disney. But things have gotten so much different since then and I can’t really say I’m excited for it anymore. It’s funny because if you asked me a couple of years ago, I would’ve been so hyped for a new Kingdom Hearts game! Still, I was impressed by the realistic looking Jack Sparrow!

After the Kingdom Hearts III trailer, we get another music segment with singing… I don’t know. Are they birthday candles? Anyway, we then got an extended look at Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s new project. This was a big trailer that didn’t really give us too many details but that’s par for the course for a Kojima game. I guess it’s a world where there are invisible monsters everywhere and the hero uses a baby attached to a radar dish that reveals them. No, really. That’s what I think is happening. It did really pique my interest and I really hoped my prediction of a Death Stranding demo came true!

After that amazing (and crazy looking) trailer, we got a teaser for Nioh 2. I didn’t play the first so I have no feeling for this. We then got polygon man playing chopsticks on the piano and… really, Sony? What’s the point of all of these musical pauses? It’s like you plotted the show to be filled with musical numbers like banjo guy for Last of Us: Part II and flute man for Ghost of Tsushima then realized you didn’t have anything planned for the other games. Instead of just letting things be, you guys had to push though with the ill-conceived musical interludes throughout the show when it wasn’t necessary!

Ahem… let me get back to the show.

Sony closed the show with a new Spider-Man trailer. Or it could be the next Batman Arkham game. The two games look incredibly similar. The combat looks similar with Spidey flying across the screen to hit baddies with combos. The action almost looked like the Web-Head was traversing the areas with a grappling hook and gliding with a cape. All that’s missing are the gadgets! Still, if you’re going to copy a superhero game, you might as well copy the best one out there, huh, Sony? And that’s the end of the show, apparently. I was expecting more but we then went back to the group who did the “preshows” for more talking! I was half expecting them to return back to the church-tent to close the show there!

This was a very schizophrenic show. While I liked the trailers and the focus on the four games with their extended looks for them, it felt like Sony wasted so much time in the middle. I guess they wanted to focus more on quality than quantity because, while they didn’t show that many games this year, it was more focused on showing us really intensive trailers on Last of Us: Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding and Spider-Man. But, since they only gave a release date for Spider-Man and not for the other three games, it looks like I’ll be twidling my thumbs waiting for most of them!

They’ll probably be released sometime next year. So, why put the spotlight on them instead of games that are going to be released this year like the upcoming Valkyria Chronicles 4, The Walking Dead: Final Season, Dragon Quest XI, Red Dead Redemption 2 or many of the other games that’ll be released in 2018? I guess because they aren’t PlayStation Exclusives. But I really wanted to be excited for the games I can get this year, not with the games I can get way in the future!

I think Sony dropped the ball with this year’s E3 again. As much as I liked the things I got to see this year because the trailers were all wonderful to watch, it’s just a matter of showing too little. Better luck next year, Sony!

What did you think of Sony’s E3 show this year? Let me know in the comments section below!

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