PlayStation E3 2017 Recap: Best of Sony at E3 2017

Sony's E3 2017 press conference has come and gone, and, well... Ubisoft's presser is still way in the lead for best of show. Granted, the PlayStation pressers of the past few E3s set quite the high bar, but this year lacked that same oomph and energy - not to mention lots of technical presentation wizardry that really only benefitted those attending in the LA theater. Regardless, Sony had plenty of big titles to show during its lean one-hour presentation, like God of War, Days Gone, and the exclusive Spider-Man game. Here's a rundown of everything that was shown off in case you missed the show (or just don't want to watch an archived version with wonky audio). 

Hidden Agenda leads the surprise pre-show game announcements 

In an interesting move, Sony snuck in a few reveals for unannounced games into the pre-show leading up to the main event. The standout game was Hidden Agenda, the next project from Until Dawn studio Supermassive Games, which highlights the new PlayLink system that turns smartphones into makeshift PS4 controllers (similar to the You Don't Know Jack games, which you should totally play if you haven't already). PlayLink turns this crime thriller about a serial killer named The Trapper into a quasi-multiplayer affair, though you can still play solo if you so choose: up to five people can vote for in-game choices using their phones, then watch the tense police drama play out based on their decisions. It's a smart response to the way some people played Until Dawn in groups, voting how the main player should proceed.

There were also other appealing announcements: Matterfall, a bullet-hell sidescroller from the makers of Resogun, a PS4 port of the upliftingly wonderful Undertale, and another PlayLink game called That's You, the tonal opposite of Hidden Agenda with a much lighter ice-breaker theme involving plenty of selfies.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy promises plenty of ancient tombs and treasure hunts 

Oddly gentle sitar music and a light-show waterfall kicked off the Sony E3 2017 press conference in a pretty darn strange way, but it was a fitting lead-in to a gameplay trailer for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, showing Chloe and Nadine traveling the globe in search of treasures far away from Nathan Drake and co. The pair are searching for a series of artifacts - a trident, bow and arrow, and an axe - tied to a battle of Hindu legend that will lead them to the Tusk of Ganesh. Chloe and Nadine look like they have something of a tense partnership that's a bit lacking in the trust department, but hopefully they can straighten things out when Naughty Dog's standalone follow-up launches on August 22. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn enters a nice Ice Age with The Frozen Wilds DLC 

A snowy post-apocalyptic wasteland awaits in the Horizon: Zero Dawn DLC, The Frozen Wilds. An extremely brief trailer showed Aloy, clad in her enhanced techno-armor and ready to hunt her share of robo-dinos. The DLC will launch later in 2017.

Days Gone gameplay demonstrated how to weaponize a zombie horde 

We got another good look at Bend Studios' zombie apocalypse game Days Gone, only the baddies weren't just the frenzied mutants we've seen in previous demos - there were a couple of rude dude human thugs roughing up our main character Deacon St. John. The fight led to QTEs aplenty, and even some Batman: Arkham-style 'Detective vision' as Deacon scanned his surroundings, which turned from an idyllic forest into a nightmare of hanging corpses real quick. Deacon picked off the enemy survivors with ruthless, stealthy efficiency, planting a bear trap and employing the classic 'throw a stone to make a noise' distraction. The pained screams of the poor sap who stepped in the trap attracted a horde of mutants; the following gunshot in the distance only worsened things. 

The trailer showcased Days Gone's ability to render dozens of writhing undead onscreen at once, as Deacon snuck past more hordes to save his captured pal Manny. Luring the horde to the human encampment by blowing out a dam with C4 served as the perfect distraction to save Manny - but a barb-wire-wrapped zombie bear lumbered into view and complicated the situation before the demo came to an end. 

Monster Hunter World ushers in a new age for Capcom's megahit series 

Shawn Layden stepped out to greet the crowd and talk up the PlayStation brand's successes, as is customary at these sorts of affairs. But bring on the games, already - like a gorgeous new Monster Hunter with super high-res, realistic visuals. The third-person hunting action has the methodical pacing you'd expect, with some new flourishes: taking cover in bushes, and covering yourself in foliage to act as makeshift camouflage. The monsters you're hunting are also much more like dinosaurs, further from the fantastical creatures of your standard Monster Hunter game. That is until a giant, fire-breathing dragon creature flew into view. Monster Hunter World looks like the next step forward for the series, and will be coming in Early 2018. 

Shadow of the Colossus is getting a gorgeous, ultra-HD remaster 

Shadow of the Colossus is commonly known to be one of the best games ever made, and it's been remastered in HD once before on PS3 - but it looks like that bears repeating. A trailer with some very familiar Colossus designs - albeit spruced up with some slick new textures - went by in a flash, with this refurbished Shadow of the Colossus set for sometime in 2018. 

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite adds a whole bunch of heroes to the roster 

As is standard practice in the lead-up to a new fighting game, Capcom showed off more characters in the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite roster, including Doctor Strange, Gamora, Thanos, Black Panther, Nova, Dante, Arthur, and appearances by X's pal Zero and Strider's nemesis Grandmaster Meio. It looks like Thanos and Ultron-Sigma will be vying for who gets to be the main baddie; you can get a taste of the story mode with a new demo available right now. The trailer closed out with a fun touch: Dante throwing Ebony and Ivory pistols to Rocket Raccoon for some dual-wielding action. 

Call of Duty: WW2 looks appropriately shooty 

Sledgehammer Games' next Call of Duty, which takes the series back to its World War 2 roots, got an intense gameplay trailer set in the trenches, with flamethrowers roasting Nazis and Allied troops getting gunned down in droves. Massive shootouts take place in snowy fields, bombed-out cities, on giant naval warships - every kind of WW2 warzone you can think of. Call of Duty: WW2 launches November 3, 2017. 

PSVR gets some love with Skyrim VR, the promising new Moss, and more 

Following the footage from the Bethesda E3 presser, Sony showed off some more gameplay footage of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim VR, running on PSVR (though the effect is somewhat lost without a headset to view it on). Polite clapping, let's move on to games we don't already know about - like Star Child, a 2.5D platformer in which a pink-haired woman explored an abandoned facility and encountered a massive but seemingly benevolent robot. 

There was also footage of horror thriller The Inpatient; you know bad things are in store when chipper old-timey music distorts into static as you walk through the halls of an asylum. Final Fantasy 15: Monster of the Deep is a goofy, first-person VR fishing trip with the your favorite RPG boy band, and the underwhelmingly named Bravo Team looks like a generic military-themed mobile game turned VR FPS. Moss, the last PSVR game shown, was the real standout, featuring serene exploration of a jungle-based ruin as an adorable, big-eared mouse, with the player guided its journey via a matter-manipulating energy bubble, rotating statues and unlocking doors whilst guiding the mouse's hand in combat. A scaled, scary snake loomed overhead before the fade to the game name.

God of War reveals more of its father-and-son bonding amidst Norse monsters 

We already had a good sense of the upcoming God of War reboot, which shifts the mythological setting from Greek to Norse, and has Kratos watching after his young son Atreus and ushering him into the hardships of becoming a warrior. There's a distinct 'Joel and Ellie' vibe to the pairing of Kratos and his kid, with Kratos slicing up monsters as he always does while Atreus fires enchanted arrows from afar. We got a glimpse of some deadly weapons in Kratos' arsenal: lightning-charge axes that swing back to Kratos like boomerangs when thrown, and a transforming shield that can bash skeletons into pieces. We also got to see some of the supporting cast, like a magical wolf who taunts Kratos (unless that wasn't was the wolf talking and I'm just a fool), a woman who could be Atreus' mother, and the absolutely gigantic World Serpent who wants to aide Kratos and Atreus. God of War is coming in early 2018. 

Detroit: Become Human stages a robot revolution with multiple outcomes 

A somber trailer showed a quiet winter in Detroit, with robots laboring in the streets... and a pair of rebelling androids, Marcus and North, sneaking around in the sewers. "This is a night our people will remember," says Marcus, as they move to break into CyberLife - essentially an Apple store for androids - by 'awakening' any technology they touch to manipulate the environment. Like the hostage situation trailer with Connor from Detroit's E3 2016 trailer (who also makes an appearance later on, as does Kara), the android revolution played out with multiple outcomes based around violent or pacifist decision trees. In this case, Marcus opted for the aggressive path, inciting a riot that led to the spraying of techno-graffiti and the planting of holographic flags. The horror! 

Destiny 2 gets its due with plenty of PlayStation exclusives 

We've had hands-on time with Destiny 2, so you know we're already hyped - and instead of doing a deep-dive into its gameplay, Sony showed off a short story trailer. We see the big bad Ghaul, a huge, masked brute wearing ornate armor, taunting a beaten Guardian before kicking him off a cliff. So starts the journey towards rebuilding your strength - by acquiring new gear and shooting many, many aliens in the pursuit of XP. A sweet sizzle reel of high-tech firepower led into a showcase of exclusive Destiny 2 perks on PS4: the Lake of Shadows Strike, exclusive gear, the City Apex ship, the Borealis, and the Retribution PvP map. 

Spider-Man takes notes from Batman and Nathan Drake in an extensive gameplay trailer 

Sony's show ended with a deep dive into the upcoming Spider-Man game, a PS4 exclusive being made by Ratchet & Clank studio Insomniac Games. This particular Spidey suit features adjusting eyes - perfect for helping Peter Parker emote - and a suit with nifty white highlights. This mission takes place atop the upper floors of a building still in construction, where Spider-Man's thugs working for Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk from a rival gang known as the Demons. 

Interestingly, the gameplay started out with a bit of stealth, as Spidey snuck around on girders to set up quick, silent takedowns on the goons below, even employing a kind of web-mine gadget that sticks to walls and wraps up anyone who walks by. When things eventually broke out into an all-out brawl, the melee combat was Batman: Arkham to a tee, with Spidey hopping over thugs, countered incoming attacks, and walloping goons with a flurry of punches and kicks. At one point, it looked like Spider-Man was going to punch someone off a construction site and let him plummet to his death; fortunately, he snapped him up to safety with a web. Next was a fight against a tougher tank, before the big boss man himself: Martin Li, also known as Mister Negative.

Martin attempted to escape Spider-Man via helicopter, but Spidey weighed him down with a giant shipping container - only to see the chopper turn into a giant wrecking ball flying around NYC. Chasing the runaway helicopter involved some classic Spider-Man open-world webswinging, with forward-momentum-boosting zips and sprinting up walls to keep the chase running smoothly. Actually getting the helicopter to stop felt like one of the intense setpieces of an Uncharted game, with Spidey firing off quips aplenty, albeit with far more button-prompt QTEs. You can explain to play this new Spider-Man sometime in 2018.

Make sure you check out our full E3 2017 schedule to stay tuned for all the details as they arrive, and check out our roundup of all the E3 2017 trailers.  For more E3 2017 highlights, check out our Nintendo E3 2017 recap and Xbox E3 2017 recap.