The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, Bloodborne 2, and more – Screen Critics Sam predicts the Sony E3 2017 conference.
Strap yourselves in, folks. This is gonna be a long list. Sony have managed to take the lead in the console market by consistently delivering hit exclusives, which this year alone proved to be a stellar one after the success of Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata, and Persona 5. The PlayStation 4 may not have a leg up on the hardware side of the show to follow in the shadow of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, but trust Sony to once again lay all their cards on the table and churn out another exciting, games-focused conference that’s sure to be filled with plenty of surprises – and hopefully some release dates. We’ve waited too long for Kingdom Hearts III…
THE LAST OF US PART II
Sony certainly doesn’t have a knack (haha) for subtlety, so it came as no surprise when Naughty Dog unveiled The Last of Us Part II earlier this year. The much anticipated sequel to 2013’s extraordinary apocalyptic survival horror is sure to be one of the major players in the conference, either opening or closing the show in spectacular fashion. While we don’t expect any gameplay to be shown, perhaps another trailer might tide us over until the games’ inevitable release date which will most likely be near the end of this console generations cycle. Nonetheless, Sony has hit home with this announcement and its sure to be a hot talking point for E3.
When Hideo Kojima revealed Death Stranding at Sony’s conference last year, there was a thunderous applause followed by many baffled expressions in almost an instant. This strange, cerebral sci-fi action thriller from the mind behind Metal Gear Solid has already released two trailers, the second equally as confusing as the first, but it does give us a little taste of what we might expect from Kojima’s ambitious original project. Death Stranding will reportedly make an appearance at Sony’s conference this year, but mainly in the form of another trailer. Due to its still relatively early development phase, nobody really expects gameplay footage to be shown, but then again, Sony are maestros at orchestrating clever ruses, if Resident Evil 7’s eye-opening unveiling is anything to go by.
GOD OF WAR
Kratos has returned bearing a son and a manly beard in Sony’s next God of War entry, which is now set in Norse Mythology – I guess after the carnage the vengeful Spartan reigned on Greek Mythology, it’s hard not to see why this is a necessary step. Sony’s conference last year opened with God of War’s reveal, and leaped straight into gameplay, but not exactly the kind we’re used to. Instead, Sony have taken a few notes from Naughty Dog’s style of gameplay in shifting the camera perspective to an over-the-shoulder point of view, with combat far more restrained than the usual hack and slash prompts of the past games. This could be another massive selling point for the PlayStation 4 if the conference this year gets a little more in-depth with its gameplay along with a possible release date.
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY
The standalone expansion for Uncharted 4, titled The Lost Legacy, will unfortunately not see the return of Nathan Drake but rather his former lover, Chloe, in a new adventure that looks to retain the same cinematic, over-the-top action that the series is widely known for while expanding upon the spin-off characters of the universe, particularly Chloe in the main role who seems to exude a little less finesse than Lara Croft and more down and dirty tactics. The expansion – which we can probably call a full game – will have a spot at Sony’s conference this year, possibly revealing new gameplay to expand upon the excellent PSX demonstration it was unveiled at.
Insomniac Games, the masterminds behind Ratchet & Clank and Resistance, plan to revitalize the Spider-Man name in gaming with their own rendition of the beloved, iconic spandex-wearing superhero. This may be an important title for superhero games which first saw a critically successful burst into stardom with Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham trilogy, so Spider-Man may pick up the mantle. Spider-Man has definitely been around in the gaming world for quite some time, but none have quite measured up to Spider-Man 2 since then. We’re hoping Sony will shed some light on the finer details of the webslingers next big landing.
The World War Z zombies seemed to have stumbled into a post-apocalyptic Sons of Anarchy with Days Gone, first revealed E3 2016 not only with a trailer, but extensive gameplay to close the show. This original zombie IP could be the kick the sub-genre desperately needs right now, given the horde of zombie-based shooters flooding the market. Days Gone aims to take a more personal look at the tragedy surrounding such a cataclysmic event. It could be another tearjerker, but one thing is for certain; expect to see Days Gone take up a good amount of time at Sony’s conference this year.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Rockstar must have come to the realization that fans were angrily lining up outside of their offices with signs calling for another Red Dead Redemption, so when they finally unveiled the sequel, the gaming community collectively cried in joy. Red Dead Redemption 2 will make an appearance at Sony’s conference this year, perhaps with another trailer, but many are hoping to feast their eyes on what the gameplay will look like. After all, with such an insane amount of hype that the game had already amassed from a one-minute teaser, there’s no telling what will happen if a gameplay demonstration is showcased. We’re not ruling out spontaneous human combustion just yet.
I guess this is happening. While the first Destiny was by no means a bad game, it just didn’t make a compelling argument for itself past the pretty but shallow vanilla release and all the expansions that weren’t remotely half as interesting as The Taken King. Bungie wants to make a good impression at this conference, so expect a lengthy section of Sony’s show to be focused on 13 reasons why Destiny 2 is even better and more ambitious than the first. We are quite interested to see what the gameplay has to offer, but outside of that, the story really isn’t grabbing anyone’s attention except the die-hard fans of the first game.
CALL OF DUTY: WWII
Activision will follow up Destiny 2 with Call of Duty: WWII, the next instalment in the massive first-person shooter franchise that gratefully isn’t set in the far reaches of space or includes exo-suits and killer robot hounds. Instead, this iteration will take the series back to its gritty, boots-on-the-ground roots primarily set in World War II. The reveal event trailer looked very promising, so we’re expecting to get a good glimpse at what the single-player campaign will look like and perhaps have our first taste of the new multiplayer.
DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
Developer Quantic Dream have impressed us in the past with pre-release hype and expectations. The quality of their final products are debatable, but Detroit: Become Human offers a lot more than meets the eye. Last year, we had a good, albeit brief, look at what the sprawling, multiple-choice gameplay will feel like, and it’s truly remarkable how many outcomes our decisions will create. It also doesn’t seem to be falling into the same trappings as Heavy Rain where multiple choices only leads to sadness, death, gloom and a man screaming “Shaun!” in a cartoonish fashion, but rather many positive finalities that ultimately look to be the key factor in Detroit’s complex narrative-driven gameplay. With a showcase already confirmed for this year, we’re hoping that they will elaborate on the gameplay just a bit more.
GRAN TURISMO SPORT
Sony’s reigning king of racing simulators is back with Gran Turismo Sport, the next entry in the long-running Gran Turismo series. While this is admittedly a bit of a wild card as no confirmation has been made on the game actually appearing at Sony’s conference this year, we’re at least expecting to see a bit of a surprise attendance by way of a flashy trailer with a solid release date.
There’s loud whispers about FromSoftware, the creators of the Souls series, making a surprise reveal with Bloodborne 2. Several leaks leading up to E3 have all hinted at some kind of project that FromSoftware will unveil at the conference, with many believing it to be the very anticipated sequel to the 2015 stellar hit. Whether or not this holds up to be true, we can surely expect the developer to have some kind of new gift for us this year as many others have pointed out that they are actually working on a new IP entirely, reportedly called Phantom Wail. It might not be Bloodborne, but given FromSoftware’s great stature in the gaming world, anything they put out at this point will land with a bang.
RESIDENT EVIL 2 REMAKE
After the monumental success of Resident Evil 7, Capcom is full steam ahead for the future of the Resident Evil franchise now, and what better way to celebrate than to announce the remake fans have all eagerly been asking for; Resident Evil 2. To call Resident Evil 2 a major turning point for the series would be an understatement, as it not only tweaked and refined everything that made the first game great to utmost perfection, but also gave us the fan-favourite leading man of the series, Leon S. Kennedy – who was back then a rookie cop who couldn’t shoot straight. Several theories point to this being very much a reality. Resident Evil 7 was announced at E3 2016 in June for a January 2017 release date, so the tables clear for the Resident Evil 2 remake to follow suit. This also lines up with the 20 year anniversary of Resident Evil 2 as January would be the same month that the game was initially released back in 1998 for a January 2018 release date. A few leaks of apparent conference schedules also revealed the remake to be part of the line-up.
DEVIL MAY CRY 5
Speaking of Capcom replying to the hopes and dreams of gamers everywhere, another one of their most prized franchises is in desperate need of rejuvenation, and not in the Ninja Theory way. Devil May Cry 5 might be one of, if not the most demanded announcement of the entire conference, bringing back the original Dante and all of his companions for one more demon-slaying, heavy metal-induced adventure. It’s been seven long years since we sunk our teeth into a Devil May Cry game (actually almost ten if we don’t count Ninja Theory’s misfire). The opportunity is ripe for Capcom to swoop in and steal the entire show if they do bring to fruition both the Resident Evil 2 remake and Devil May Cry 5.
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (& KINGDOM HEARTS III)
Finally, there’s Square Enix’s golden children with the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III. These games have already been announced, but with no leads to go by for release dates, despite available early gameplay footage already released, there’s no possible way of knowing how far along in development these gems actually are. It may just be wishful thinking, but if Sony were to come forth and magically spawn release dates (even a release window will do), I’m sure it would sooth many restless souls including our own.