LOS ANGELES - Instead of a high-octane cavalcade of big reveals, Sony elected to take fans on a deep dive throuh a number of titles it had already announced. The company also took guests who attended the press conference in real life through a series of different rooms, each one themed like a different game.
From post-apocalyptic wastelands to feudal Japan, Sony's original titles continue to highlight the strength of PS4 exclusives, giving players a taste of action, adventure and ambitious production values all around.
The Last of Us, Part II
Ellie returns in The Last of Us, Part II, and she's deadlier than ever before. Sony's extended demo of the title began at a community dance (complete with some excellent music from severely underrated bluegrass band Crooked Still), where Ellie danced with, and eventually kissed, another woman - a daring act. After a flash-forward, however, it's clear that Ellie's real daring lies in surviving the post-apocalyptic wasteland through a mix of stealth and weaponry. As Ellie explored the ruins of an abandoned mall, adjacent to a forest, she had to take out a variety of survivors. Ellie could take advantage of a knife, a pistol, a bow-and-arrow, as well as some improvised explosives. If you liked the mix of action and drama from the first game, this one should hit the sweet spot again.
Ghosts of Tsushima
Sony's long-awaited samurai game is still underway. Playing as a Japanese warrior during the Mongol invasion of Asia, Ghost of Tsushima is an atmospheric action game that prioritizes swordfighting above all else. Using a combination of subtle strikes and cunning blocks, players can travel across the Japanese countryside, full of white flowers and red leaves, as they dispatch enemies with both stealth and open combat. There's also a story about staying true to one's ideals during a complicated political situation, although so far, we've only got a glimpse of the full picture.
Control is a brand-new game from Max Payne developer Remedy, which stars a young woman who can take control of dreamlike situations. If Inception were an action game rather than a thriller film, it'd probably look something like this. Remedy hasn't made a bad game yet, and it doesn't look like Control will be the first title to break that trend.
Kingdom Hearts III
After a glimpse at the Resident Evil 2 remake (at long last!) and a bizarre action-platformer called Trover Saves the Universe (from Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland), fans got another glimpse of Kingdom Hearts III. In this demo, Sora, Donald and Goofy returned to the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, following Jack Sparrow through his adventures from the third film. This time around, however, the party got to engage in ship-to-ship combat. And there's still an incredibly convoluted story to follow, which involves all the various heroes and villains from previous games, but it will hopefully all fit together somehow.
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Hideo Kojima's original project for Sony looks just as offbeat as before, although now we've gotten a much larger glimpse into its strange world. Norman Reedus stars as a scientist or explorer of some type, able to manipulate ghostly projections through a mysterious tattoo on the back of his hand. Like most Kojima games, the story seems opaque and unpredictable, with plenty of weirdness and gore. (If you're not OK with protagonists bloodily losing parts of their bodies, you may want to steer clear of this one.)
Sony confirmed that Nioh 2, the sequel to its ultra-difficult samurai action/RPG is on its way. But after the quick reveal, Sony took a deep dive into Insomniac's upcoming Spider-Man game. In this demo, the titular web-slinger travels to the Raft: a floating prison for supervillains. There, he does battle with Electro, but encounters other mainstay villains along the way. Rhino, Scorpion and Vulture all rear their ugly heads, all of whom give Spider-Man an opportunity to demonstrate both his impressive platforming abilities and his fast-paced, flowing combat moves.
Sony's current lineup of exclusives is slated for later in 2018 and various points throughout 2019. Stay tuned to Tom's Guide, as we will go hands-on with some of these titles as E3 progresses.