#SonyE3: Just a whole lot of games

#SonyE3: Just a whole lot of games

LOS ANGELES – PlayStation came out of the gate sprinting Monday night – with a game trailer revealing the next iteration of its “God of War” series -- at its pre-E3 game summit press conference.

“God of War” – yes, the same name as the first – reunites with Spartan warrior and slayer of most of the Greek pantheon Kratos, but now he’s got a beard!

And a son.

In the demo shown Monday, Kratos is guiding his son on a hunt for a large buck, and trying to teach the impetuous youth about patience, obedience, keeping a level head and what exactly it means to take a life.

Of course, it wouldn’t be “God of War” if brutal combat wasn’t involved. Kratos has apparently relocated to the land of the Vikings, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a war against the gods of the Norse is in the offing. So a giant troll, with a touch of the fires of Muspelheim about it, decides to challenge our hero.

The game, at least what I saw of it, looks beautiful, from the leaves on the trees to the footprints left by our characters in the snow.

And the trailer is revealing in other ways. I have a feeling Kratos isn’t actually going to be the main character. Game messages flashed on the screen when his son used a new skill, such as tracking and archery. In other words, the baton will be passed from old to new.

And that was just the first of many trailers shown that got Sony’s audience pumped at the conference. In fact, other than a brief confirmation about the impending release of the PlayStation VR headset (on Oct. 13 for $399.99) hardware wasn’t mentioned. So for now, the rumored PlayStation 4.5 remains but a rumor.

What’s not a rumor?

  • The long-awaited “The Last Guardian,” about a boy and a gryphon, from the makers of cult-favorites “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus,” finally has a release date: Oct. 25.
  • Quantic Dream, the studio behind psychological thrillers “Beyond: Two Souls,” “Heavy Rain” and “Indigo Prophecy,” is back with a cyberpunk-style investigative thriller, “Detroit: Become Human.” Players will fill the role of a synthetic human, tasked with such things as hostage negotiation. The legwork you do as you approach a situation will help determine how you ultimately resolve it. If it’s anything like the prior games, there’s no game over; events simply progress down a vastly different path.
  • “Horizon: Zero Dawn” was again on display, where you play a young woman compelled to leave her tribe and venture out into a wilderness ruled by mechanical monsters. Clever strategies will be necessary for survival, such as setting traps, capturing beasts to use as mounts or overheating enemies in order to expose their weaknesses.
  • “Days Gone,” a new title revealed Monday, will be a third-person survival-horror action-adventure in the same vein as “Last of Us.” It’s post-apocalypse, with zombie-like humanoids eager to sink their teeth into the player’s flesh. And these are the fast-moving, just-keep-running, oh-my-god-they’re-climbing type of zombies.

And then there’s all the PlayStation VR-compatible titles:

Such as “Resident Evil VII: Biohazard,” which is scheduled for release on Jan. 24. If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can download and play the demo now. The footage shown Monday wasn’t what I normally expect from an RE game. It actually felt more like the very first “F.E.A.R.”, if you’re familiar with that first-person shooter.

Or there’s “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.” The incredibly popular FPS franchise is headed into space Nov. 4, and it looks incredible, with giant space battles (please let the player actually control the spacecraft in battle), zero-G combat, and loads of intelligent-looking gunplay. Please let this be as good as it looks.

Famed game designer Hideo Kojima is returning to PlayStation too, with the newly revealed “Death Stranding,” starring a virtual re-creation of actor Norman Reedus. I have no idea what it will actually play like. The footage shown was all dead fish, oily handprints and floating enigmatic figures.

Other reveals: a new, untitled Spiderman game by Insomniac; Crash Bandicoot is visiting “Skylanders: Imaginators;” “Star Wars Battlefront” will have an X-Wing VR mission; “Far Point” will be a PSVR FPS set on an alien planet; “Batman: Arkham,” also a VR experience, is coming in October; we’ll be able to play as the character Prompto using PSVR in Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy XV,” coming Sept. 30; and a demo for “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is now available, with the game releasing in two weeks.


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