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As is the tradition, Sony wraps up press conference day with it evening extravaganza, which this year featured a live orchestra scoring the whole thing. This slot allows them to counter-punch anything Microsoft announces in the morning, and is the reason they’ve dominated recent E3s. While this year’s press conference didn’t blow me away, it was easily the best spectacle during the two days of briefings. They showed a lot of games, which is really what differentiated it from the weaker press conferences. It is amazing how good Sony is it these things, and why I don’t envy Microsoft always having to go before them.

Thumbs Up:

Resident Evil VR

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Resident Evil. In VR. You have to be kidding me?! This was one of the most surprising announcements of the show for me because while I think games like this will be released on in VR, I didn’t think we would get any AAA games this soon. But honestly, is there any game series that would be more suited for VR?  The original play a game with your friends in the dark and see who turns the lights on first, will surely become the first one that everyone will show their friends. Because who doesn’t love to scare the people close to them. While the game could be good without the headset, I can’t wait to someday lose myself inside the world of Resident Evil. If anything is going to sell virtual reality to the masses, it’ll be a really good, back to basics Resident Evil game.

God of War

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As someone who’s not really a fan of the God of War series, this demo blew me away. I don’t know if my dislike of the original games was because of the perspective, the combat or just the general tone of the game itself, but the shift in all three of those things has me thinking of buying the game. Jokingly called “Dad of War” because of the depiction of Kratos as a father (father-figure?) to a young boy in the beautiful, snow-covered forest, the new God of War seems to be leaning more into the narrative than the action. The Sony Santa Monica appears to be allowing Kratos to have more of an emotional range than the “Me angry” he showed in the first three games. Assuming we’re set in Valhalla, it’s going to be Norse mythology and hopefully it will do as good a job as it did with Greek mythology. The Last of Us tone showcased in the trailer is exactly what the series needs to survive.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

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Horizon: Zero Dawn is my most anticipated game of 2017. Despite being delayed, my interest still hasn’t diminished, but I do worry a bit. The strange mix of technology and a prehistoric setting make me really want to find out as much as I can about the story, and why everything is the way it is. Besides the fact that it is beautiful, it is the most unique game in terms of tone and concept that I’ve seen in this generation. Like Fallout 4 last year, the number one spot on my 2017 top games list is Horizon: Zero Dawn’s to lose.

Thumbs Down:

Crash Bandicoot

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Crash Bandicoot was a terrific mascot for the original PlayStation but over the years I don’t think his impact is still the same. Crash was a very 90s character in terms of attitude and look, and he doesn’t really fit into the ecosystem of PlayStation today. He was a great counter to Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic, but now Sony has plenty of signature names and franchises that I don’t think they need to bring Crash back. So announcing a remaster of the first three games seems more like a nostalgia money grab than a preview of a new Crash. Sorry Crash fans.

VR

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Virtual Reality may very well be the future of the medium, but with the final headset to come to market, PlayStation VR set to release in the fall, there hasn’t been anything to convince most gamers that they need to buy these expensive headsets. While PlayStation’s launch line-up may be robust and full of well-known names, they will still have a hard job selling this new hardware to a mass audience because price is going to outweigh the curiosity. I may be totally wrong because I have not used any one of the VR headsets but there needs to be another full AAA game like Resident Evil to at least trick parents into thinking their kids want this for the holidays, or convince the non-first adopters to give it a try.

Days Gone

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Days Gone is the new game from Sony’s Bend Studio, which hasn’t released a non-portable game in more than seven years, and Days Gone looks like a game that has been in production for that long. It’s tone and story feels like something that was thought of during pre-mainstream explosion of Walking Dead and other new forms of zombies. There’s no real hook in the game for me as of yet, but if it’s just another world of zombies attacking you in large groups, I would rather go play Dead Rising and destroy them with a Weed-whacker attached to a chainsaw; Not sure if that’s an actual Dead Rising weapon, but you can’t 100% tell me it’s not.

Moment of the Press Conference:

Kojima’s Entrance and his new game

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It’s Kojima. It’s weird and awesome. Watch the trailer here, and see why the photo above does no justice to how crazy this game looks. Also, Kojima enters the press conference like the rockstar that he is.

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