Sony had a lot to live up to for this year’s E3 media briefing, given the PS4’s absolutely thunderous presence at last year’s event. Fortunately, the hardware giant delivered once again, presenting a healthy mix of new IPs, remakes and long-awaited sequels. There were lots of third-party games on display, but Sony was hell-bent on making sure you play them on PS4 with early release dates and Playstation-exclusive content.
Whether you’re a fighting game fanatic, sci-fi enthusiast or just really, really like killing zombies, there was something for everyone at Sony’s E3 2014 presser. Here are our highlights.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
We only got to see a few minutes of a battered Nathan Drake pulling himself up from the ground, but that’s all it took to get a roaring response from Sony’s E3 crowd. “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” will bring Playstation’s flagship franchise into the next-generation in 2015, presumably packing even more of the cinematic action-adventure gameplay that made the original trilogy a PS3 staple. What we know for sure is that Drake is looking better than ever— Sony says his character model in the trailer packs twice as many polygons as Joel’s grizzled avatar in “The Last of Us.”
The Order: 1886
Sony showed off more of “The Order: 1886” and its alternate history version of Victorian-era London, which, according to the game’s E3 stage demo, is brimming with werewolf-like beasts. Slated for a February 2015 release, this shooter will have you employing some slick gunplay in order to keep humanity from being overrun by a deadly species of half-breeds.
Infamous: First Light
“Infamous” developer Sucker Punch wasn’t content to leave fans hanging after this year’s excellent “Second Son,” and the open-world action game is getting a standalone spin-off this August. “Infamous: First Light” lets players control “Second Son” co-star Abigail “Fetch” Walker, marking the first time you’ll get to wield the franchise's insanely destructive powers as a female protagonist. You don’t need “Second Son” to play “First Light,” but Sucker Punch is promising some extra goodies if you own both games.
“LittleBigPlanet 3” brings the cutesy, customizable platformer to the next generation, complete with some gameplay tweaks to make playing with friends a more dynamic experience than ever. Series mascot Sackboy brought some friends this time around—new character Swoop can fly around and carry teammates out of danger, while the gelatinous Toggle can transform his body to get through some tight spots. One of the biggest draws of “LittleBigPlanet” is the ability to create and share levels, and all 8.5 million-plus user-created worlds from the previous PS3 games will be playable in “LBP 3” with enhanced graphics on PS4.
While Bungie once defined the Xbox with “Halo,” the developer’s upcoming multiplatform shooter “Destiny” is looking like its best played on a Sony system. Playstation owners get first dibs on the “Destiny” beta on July 17, which will be your first chance to try out the game’s futuristic suite of vehicles and weapons. There’s even a special white PS4 “Destiny” bundle that will launch alongside the game on Sept. 9.
Far Cry 4
From grappling up a mountain, to taking down terrorists from a helicopter to watching an elephant ram an enemy vehicle into oblivion, there’s simply so much stuff to do in Ubisoft’s “Far Cry 4.” This raucous open-world shooter is best enjoyed with friends, and PS3 and PS4 players can easily call in backup from their buddies—even if those friends don’t own a copy of the game.
“Dark Souls” developer From Software is making its next-gen debut with “Bloodborne,” a game that looks every bit as moody and menacing as its predecessors. While the E3 trailer doesn’t show any concrete gameplay, “Souls” faithful can look forward to some brutal looking weapons, spooky gothic locales and a few really creepy-looking zombie dogs. Not much is known about “Bloodborne” as of now, but given its legacy, this game is going to punish you.
No Man’s Sky
It’s almost a guarantee that no two gamers will have the same experience playing “No Man’s Sky.” Every moment of this colorful sci-fi adventure is procedurally generated, so you might be engaging in epic space battles one minute and exploring a new species of dinosaur the next. No part of the universe is off-limits in “No Man’s Sky,” not even the stars looming above.
Mortal Kombat X
A few weeks after teasing us with a pre-rendered trailer, NetherRealm made sure to have some gorgeously gory “Mortal Kombat X” gameplay footage ready for Sony’s media briefing. In addition to seeing Scorpion and Sub-Zero go at it (showing off some slick new moves in the process), the trailer debuts some new warriors including a winged female fighter and a duo consisting of a big brute his diminutive trash-talking sidekick. The trailer alone has some of the most violent fatalities we’ve seen in series history, so we can’t wait to see what the final product has in store.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Riding Batman’s iconic Batmobile is one of the biggest draws of “Batman: Arkham Knight,” and we got to see plenty of vehicular bat-action at Sony’s E3 conference. Speaking of Batman icons, Scarecrow is looking more terrifying than ever, and PS4 players will have exclusive access to his sadistic challenges.
Remakes and Free-to-Play
A handful of huge games are being reborn for PS4 in the near future, including “The Last of Us: Remastered” on July 29 and “Grand Theft Auto V” this fall. Tim Schafer’s beloved adventure game “Grim Fandango” will eventually get a PS4 remake, as will the original “Ratchet and Clank.”
Sony also had plenty for the gamer that prefers not to pay upfront for their games, showing off an extensive free-to-play lineup that includes “Kingdom Under Fire II,” “Planetside 2” and “War Thunder.”
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.