THE dust has settled, and the victor is left standing alone. In this case, it’s got a samurai sword in one hand, a bow on its back and a PSVR headset on.
Flanking the opposition from both sides with The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghosts of Tsushima and a stampede down the middle of everything from Death Stranding to Tetris Effect and Spider-Man, no-one else really stood a chance against the Sony behemoth.
The Sun Sony was not shy about letting the public know which games were their priorities this year
The Sun Both Ghost of Tsushima and The Last Of Us Part 2 were showered with E3 awards Death Stranding’s E3 trailer is bloody, baffling and beautiful
Sony Interactive Entertainment Manicures are not commonly seen in games, making the rather painful looking one in Death Stranding all the more odd
The only downside for Sony, really, was the furore of them throwing their weight around to block crossplay for any Fortnite player who had ever played on PS4.
This may seem like a minor issue, but the problem and Sony’s reaction to it show a big beast abusing its market dominance to the detriment of their customers. The Japanese giant may–correctly–think that this sort of behaviour will shore up its dominance this generation, but is exactly the sort of behaviour that let the Xbox 360 dominate the PS3.
Back to the good stuff, though.
The Last of Us: Part 2 looks exceptional. The demo shown off at E3 tugged on your heartstrings, then kicked you in the gut. Bookending stomach-churning brutality with a tender, peaceful moment of joy is hardly a new trick, but it was perfectly executed.
Sony Interactive Entertainment A tender embrace set viewer of The Last of US Part 2’s demo up for a whole lot of bloodshed Last of Us Part Two E3 gameplay reveal goes from sweet embrace to bloody death in the blink of an eye
We’ll see exactly how well the gameplay stacks up live given the highly choreographed nature of the demo, but Naughty Dog’s unimpeachable pedigree means that even if it doesn’t quite hit the demo’s heights, it’s still likely to be first rate.
The upsetting nature of the demo is entirely intentional. That violence is meant to be offputting and, at points, repulsive.
It’s a game about the cycle of violence and the struggle to survive, and so that violence is deliberately unsanitised.
The game is not going to be fun, but it is going to be engaging, compelling and emotional. We can’t wait.
Sony Interactive Entertainment The Last of Us Part 2 is not a game that is going to pull its punches
Sony Interactive Entertainment When you stab someone in The Last of Us Part Two, expect it to get very messy
Ghost of Tsushima, meanwhile, looks like another grown-up game with massive potential. It pits you as Jin, one of a handful of samurai who survived the first wave of the Mongols’ 1274 invasion of Japan, on the island of Tsushima.
It wears its influences on its sleeve, and looks like it’s going to be yet another reason to shell out for a PS4 Pro.
The amber waves of grain rippling in the same wind that’s fanning the flames on a distant temple in the opening moments of the demo betray the game’s debt to Kurasawa, as the developers freely admit. It’s so pretty it’s easy to forget you’re in an open world that will let you run through those fields and go check out that temple on the horizon.
That demo just showed a tiny slice of one side story off to the side of the main thrust of the game. The combat within looks polished, and the main story about a Samurai’s struggle to adapt to asymmetric warfare looks likely to be compelling too.
Sony Interactive Entertainment Procedurally generated clouds and hundreds of thousands of individually animated plants mean you’ll never see the same scene twice in Ghost of Tsushima
Sony Interactive Entertainment The seamless cinematic feel of Ghost of Tsushima gives every moment an epic feel Stunning vistas and bloody combat suck you into this Ghost of Tsushima gameplay trailer
The combat looks slick, grisly and solid too. Severed limbs and arcs of blood frozen in mid air show it’s just not just the environment that Sucker Punch have been focused on getting right. If its supported by a great story, then the game’s combat with real tension and genuine peril at every turn looks to have the makings of a classic.
If the idea of stepping into the world of Kurasawa with three feet of sharpened steel in your hand appeals, then Ghost of Tsushima will be the game for you. As a bonus for those looking for an even more authentic experience, Sucker Punch also confirmed to Sun Online that you’ll be able to play through the entire game with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.
That brings us to Spider-Man. Coming out this September it clearly owes a debt to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum series. The game’s rendition of Avengers-universe Manhattan is among the most gorgeous we’ve ever seen, the combat feels slick and punchy, and it’ll be a crowdpleaser for comic fans everywhere.
There’s one more game coming out this autumn from Sony that really seals the deal, though. Tetris Effect should have near-universal appeal; it’s simple, it’s gorgeous and it is more immersive than any game we’ve ever seen before.
The Sun There’s a whole lot of bad news coming your way, Spider-Man
Marvel It’s not just the prison setting with The Raft standing in for Arkham Asylum that makes us think of Rocksteady when we play Marvel’s Spider-Man
Marvel Battling through the Raft as it blows up is a whole lot of fun Tetris coming to PlayStation VR in trippy take on the ultimate old-school classic
Those unfamiliar with the work of Tetsuya Mizuguchi — Rez, Lumines and Child of Eden — may be surprised by this, but trust us. The combination of Alexey Pajitnov’s classic to end all classic puzzle games and the audio-visual vision of Mizuguchi results in a transcendant and masterful experience.
Surrender to its charms, and you’ll be rewarded with a trip unlike any other into a world far, far away from this one.
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