E3 2017 has been really weird. Not only is the show itself morphing into a consumer-focused entity, but the press conferences have been oddly muted this go ’round. At last night’s Sony event, only a single person (Shawn Layden, CEO of SIEA) spoke on stage, and the rest of the night was made up of only music and trailers. But in spite of the wonky presentation, it’s crystal clear that Sony is doubling down on games — including VR titles.
During Microsoft’s press event on Sunday, we saw a similar scenario play out: A minimal stage presence; mostly trailers for new games and DLC. Still, Redmond had shiny new hardware to show off, so it felt more substantial. On the Sony side, it was little more than trailers with crowd cutaways.
Heavy-hitting exclusives like God of War, Spider-Man, and Days Gone got some attention, and the surprising Shadow of the Colossus reboot was there to please the diehard Sony fans.
However, DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn and a follow-up to Uncharted 4 were among the most exciting trailers on offer. Add in Bethesda’s standalone expansion for Dishonored 2, and updates might be more exciting than brand-new games this year. Whether that bodes well for the future of the industry remains to be seen.
On the third-party front, Capcom’s Monster Hunter World, Bungie’s Destiny 2, and the demo for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite were the most noteworthy. David Cage’s new robot noir game might end up being neat, but we’re a bit skeptical of the execution.
Last but not least, virtual reality received more attention than we ever anticipated. These expensive helmets haven’t been able to stay in the limelight, but it seems that the PSVR is doing well enough to earn a large chunk of Sony’s presentation.
While Fallout 4 VR is being tied to the HTC Vive for now, Sony’s console will enjoy Skyrim VR. Doom VFR is also in the works for the Vive and PSVR, but we’re unsure of exactly what that entails. Is it a tiny proof of concept demo or a full-on campaign? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Supermassive Games, the folks behind Until Dawn and Tumble VR, are working on two PSVR games: Bravo Team and The Inpatient. While the former looks like a straight-forward squad shooter, the latter is a horror game that’s very reminiscent of this studio’s previous output. As big fans of Until Dawn, you can color us excited!
And to round things off, Square-Enix is releasing a Final Fantasy XV-themed fishing game while Playful Corporation and Polyarc are making third-person VR titles. Star Child features a purple-haired lady interacting with giant robots while Moss stars a cute mouse adventurer in what appears to be a fantasy setting. That’s a nice, if odd, selection.
In spite of the lackluster overall performance of the big names this E3, we were heartened to see that VR isn’t dead. And with the recent success of Farpoint and Star Trek: Bridge Crew, those pricey helmets aren’t collecting quite as much dust as we thought they’d be.
Now read: The Best Free Games on the PS4