PlayStation E3 2018 Predictions

Feature article

Twas the week before E3, when all through the reel,
every gamer was stirring, for every reveal;
the rumours were rabid by the leakers with care,
in hopes a new Sony IP would soon be there.

 

With expectations high for new games, remasters, accessories, and concepts, it isn’t a stretch to assume this E3 is one of the largest. Sony’s last financial year proves to be one of extreme quality, with nearly all their exclusives hitting the mark with critical acclaim. God of War, Ni No Kuni 2, Yakuza 6, and Horizon Zero Dawn all being perfect examples.

Sony has already got an impressive ‘bag of tricks’ full of PlayStation VR, a new SIE Worldwide Studios game, Spider-Man, and most likely Death Stranding gameplay to wow audiences. If last year’s conference is anything to go by, these early sneak peek reveals will lead to another home run presentation. Let’s look at what we can expect and what we’re hoping for at PlayStation’s 2018 E3 display.

 

What we can expect

We can assume to see more of Days Gone. The undead biker journey got a lot of attention last year. With new gameplay videos spreading across the web featuring poor optimisation of an early build, we’re talking ten frames per second, everyone is a little cautiously curious this year. The 2016 gameplay video still provides plenty of hype for a refreshing ‘spin’ on the zombie survival genre that many are still looking forward to.

Originally set to release this year, Sony announced in March that the title would be delayed until an unconfirmed date in 2019. This may all be worth it in the end after the worrisome gameplay this year. However; the graphics, voice acting, and environments all seem lively, receiving astounding reception to all who have tested it so far. With Sony’s track record, we can’t say the decision wasn’t necessary to perfect the exclusive.

This year may be the year of survival with The Last of Us: Part II likely to make a heartwarming appearance. Following the intense Fireflies teaser trailer last year, the sequel will focus years after Joel and Ellie’s harrowing adventure into the world of infected, with an even darker and more mature tone than before. Sombre melodies and graceful falling leaves are almost certainly going to open the trailer or gameplay at the conference, so keep an eye out for it.

The Last of Us: Part II aims to release sometime late this year or 2019 as of now. Viewers may be in for a treat with a release date finally confirmed and proper gameplay revealed. The question is, how will the title put itself above the acclaimed predecessor? New combat, new abilities, or new playable characters? There is many options Naughty Dog can take with this one, let’s hope they pick the right path.

Leading up to the September release, we may be seeing slightly more from Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man. The upcoming action-adventure exclusive sets you in the shoes of an experienced Peter Parker with established rivals and skills already under his belt. The title anticipates outdoing the previous two garbage Amazing Spider-Man titles and potentially beat the classic Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Ultimate Spider-Man (2005) successes.

In April 2018, the Collector’s Edition of the title was revealed with some intriguing content for Spidey fans. Costumes, statues, artbooks, and more to appeal to the most invested players. As with all games this generation with downloadable content, microtransactions quickly arose as a potential issue with the title. Insomniac Games’ Creative Director, Bryan Ithilar, responded with a sharp and bold, ‘hell no’. Well, looks like it may be the year of Spidey too.

Besides our optimism, we are in for some confusion as well. Hideo Kojima is certainly going to preview Death Stranding at the E3 conference, and hopefully it’s still as bizarre as it always is. The previous eight-minute extravaganza of ‘what the…’, featuring The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus , shown late last year sets the game to be monumental in the PlayStation library.

Hideo has confirmed a new trailer for this year’s conference. What can we expect? Probably more whales, babies, death, and existential symbolism. Besides that? Your guess is as good as ours.

 

What we’re hoping for

The Sony conference will feature four titles prominently with various others scattered throughout. With a strong confirmation on ‘no new hardware’, don’t wait up looking for a new PlayStation console, handheld, or VR system. Anticipate seeing games like Ghost of Tsushima and Media Molecule’s Dream instead.

A new From Software title is on its way, meaning everyone is eagerly speculating what frustrating action game they are planning to unleash upon us. Bloodborne 2 seems to be the consensus with the teasing words ‘Shadows Die Twice’ ending the ambiguous yet bloody snippet from last year’s The Game Awards. Others believe that the infamous developers may be rebooting the 1998 classic Shadow Tower. The first person role-playing game sets players in a dungeon crawl similar to King’s Field. If this so happens to be From Software’s new game, it will be interesting to see if they faithfully recreate the first-person perspective. Either way, expect death. An abundance of death.

Sony is well known for remastering classic gems for the new generation. With examples like Shadow of the Colossus, LocoRoco, and Kingdom Hearts, another is surely on the horizon. With Final Fantasy VII’s remake being delayed a few years and potentially in some deep waters, it’s not likely we’ll see anything fascinating from the series. However; hopes are high for nostalgic classics like MediEvil, Ico, TimeSplitters,  Dark Cloud, Silent Hill, and Crash Team Racing. We already have a Spyro trilogy remaster on the way, so why not delve into a few other happy memories of yesteryear?

After Shenmue 3 went dark at last year’s E3 conference, we can hope to see more from the ‘game that could’. Its very clear the audience demand for the title after a preposterously fruitful Kickstarter campaign. Our only concerns are whether or not the style of gameplay will hold up with the current day quality of Sony’s exclusive action games. Nevertheless, people love it, it will come.

This prediction is a little far-stretched but my hopes are high for a new SOCOM title. Tactical shooters are incredibly popular with the accomplishment of Rainbow Six: Siege, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and the Battlefield series. Would it be so unlikely for an executive somewhere to dig through the game morgue and resuscitate one of the most tactical shooters of all-time? The continuing growth in eSports, particularly in Australia with large new events, it’s time to develop a new competitive title. Not to join the bandwagon, yet SOCOM would perhaps fit well with a Battle Royale mode too…

There’s no question that Sony needs to step-up next week at E3. Nintendo is pumping gold with the triumph of the Nintendo Switch and every first-party game they release. Microsoft will reveal a new hardware or service that will blow the socks off everyone on the conference floor. Sony needs to reconfirm their stance as the best in show, bringing some crazy releases and new IPs to remind the other developers who’s boss.

Check out the Sony press conference yourself on Tuesday 12 June at 11am AEST and keep up to date on the fate of these predictions on Checkpoint Gaming.