A goodly number of people considered Sony's conference to be the best last year. A live orchestra and a showing that was pretty much all trailers and gameplay really raised the bar for future conferences. Combine this with several new game announcements, and you can understand why people want more of the same this time around. That's probably why Shawn Layden (President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America) has claimed that they're going to follow a very similar formula this time around. Is this even possible? Let's predict what they'll reveal when the conference starts at 2am BST / 3am CEST tonight.
Many of last year's biggest reveals have gone off the radar since then, but we know that they're coming back in style tonight. One of these is God of War. Kratos opened the show last year and caused one or two jaws to drop to the floor. Not only was it a visual showcase, but it also seemed to bring a breath of fresh air to the series. The gameplay presentation has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube since then, and we've found a ton of hidden tidbits in it that are teasing some very interesting details. Now it's time to elaborate on some of these. The game is fairly close to release, so expect a new gameplay presentation that shows off more of the semi-open world, the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, and how their relationship will affect gameplay.
Let's take a giant leap and talk about the game that ended the last conference, Days Gone. The gameplay presentation was very divisive, and no doubt a few of you dozed off as soon as we saw zombie-looking creatures. That said, there are others who like the idea of exploring this hostile world on a motorcycle. Both of these parties need to understand that there's more to the game than what Bend showed at the last conference. Some journalists got to see more of it behind closed doors and learn about what the developers hoped to achieve in terms of gameplay. Most of these mechanics have now been nailed down, so it's time to convince the doubters. Sam Witwer, who gives his voice to the game's main character, has said that Days Gone will be at E3 "in a big way" and trust us: he's not kidding.
One game that didn't get as much stage time, but that still took the world by storm, was Insomniac Games' Spider-Man. The trailer they showed actually contained a few snippets of gameplay, but expect a lot more tonight. Insomniac is known for their amazing graphics and entertaining gameplay, so we expect to learn how they'll bring this super-powered adventure to life with the man that can do whatever a spider can. It'll be very interesting to see how the young hero's acrobatics and attitude are translated into the game.
Quantic Dream loves to take its time over a game, with David Cage always seeking perfection in his cinematic adventures. When we got to see Detroit: Become Human last year, the focus was on presenting a new character and show how our choices can affect the gameplay in different ways. It definitely looked like a Quantic Dream title. The only problem was that they still didn't have a release date for us. We've heard that the game has been delayed several times without the public's knowledge, and that's why they haven't dared to announce a specific date. Fortunately, it would seem that something is happening this year. Cage has said that the game will be shown during the conference and the studio went out celebrating something a few days ago. Was it just because they'd finished the E3 presentation, or something else?
Cinematic games aren't for everyone, but Sony hopes that Knack 2 will be. Knack's return was revealed during PlayStation Experience last December and was slated to release this autumn. They only showed a trailer on stage, but we got to play a few lengthy sections of the game. That demo was very polished and fun, so we're fairly sure that the game is on track for its release this year. Sony knows gamers have mixed feelings about the original, and that they need to show everyone why the sequel shouldn't be written off. Expect to see more gameplay and a release date.
Do you remember Dreams? The Little Big Planet developers' next game where you can create environments and creatures by forming a clay-like substance? Unless you follow Media Molecule on social media, we doubt it. The Brits haven't shared all that much from the game lately, but have been hiring to add "the finishing touches". Finishing touches can mean so many different things in the gaming industry, but Sony knows they'll have to get it out the door sooner rather than later. People have started forgetting, losing interest, and they need to fix this by showing the game on stage.
From creating to racing. Some of you might have had the opportunity to try out the alpha and beta tests for Gran Turismo Sport, but it's time to find out when everyone gets to hammer the pedal to the metal once again. You know those trailers that start with a close-up of the environment, then transition over to minor details of a car before the race eventually starts? Expect one of those with a release date at the end. Gran Turismo Sport will also take advantage of PlayStation VR, so there's a chance that this'll lead on to looking at a few other games coming to Sony's virtual reality headset. To predict what these games might be is near impossible, so we won't even try.
Naughty Dog usually shows up during Sony's conferences and this year won't be an exception. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is set to launch in August, but we have yet to see any gameplay. We're sure this will change tonight.
Breaking news! Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II will be part of the conference. All of them will have beta tests in the near future and with Sony having special deals with all three game's respective publishers, we expect to see both trailers and a reminder for people about the upcoming betas.
Now it's time to move on to the less obvious elements. It's been five years since Thatgamecompany released Journey and fans of their atmospheric games have been counting every second since then as they wait for another game. Then, back in November, the studio revealed a few images showing what they were working on, saying that it would be released in 2017. If Sony is to give one "small game" time on stage this year, this is the most obvious.
Shawn Layden has said that they'll have a bigger focus on game from Japanese studios during this year's conference. We've already mentioned Knack 2, and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom got its release date earlier today. That leaves a few other candidates. The one that might create the biggest splash is From Software. Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that Dark Souls III was his last Souls game (at least for some time). That has led to some very interesting rumours. Bloodborne is considered one of the best games on PlayStation 4 and has done very well saleswise, so it's not exactly surprising that there are rumours of a sequel. Another rumour claims that they're working on a new IP and that it's set to be announced at the conference. Two rumours about the same studio? Could it just be a coincidence?
One Japanese company that is known for its strong bond with Sony is Capcom. They've already announced a partnership for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, but they always seem to announce something new at Sony's presser. We got to see the return of a popular franchise in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in January. Is it possible that the rumoured return of Devil May Cry is true as well?
Bluepoint Games has remastered several titles for Sony through the years and a job listing has revealed that they're working on remastering another beloved franchise. What could that franchise be? Spyro, Shenmue, MediEvil, or what? We may well find out tonight.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is an obvious contender in our Game of the Year discussions and has been doing very well for Sony. Guerrilla has also stated that they have more plans for Horizon in the future, which is obviously hinting at a sequel. Could it be that it opens the door for an expansion as well? The game just launched a few months ago, but should we expect a small tease or announcement?
Infamous and Sly Cooper are two well-known franchises in Sony's portfolio. Both of them were created by Sucker Punch, who's remained tight-lipped since they finished Infamous: First Light three years ago. The reason for it taking so long is that they're working on a new IP and have been even before First Light launched. Sony has an impressive line-up for the foreseeable future, so it's just a question of whether or not they want to spill all of their beans early? They didn't think so last year...
What do you hope to see?
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