Sony E3 Press Conference 2016 recap - God of War, Kojima Productions, Resident Evil 7

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That's how you do it. Sony followed up its E3 2015 showstopper with another stellar presentation, showing off game after game with minimal downtime and tying everything together with a performance from a full orchestra. It's worth seeing for yourself, but if you don't have the time, we've gone ahead and condensed the entire press conference into a few hundred words. Click on through the gallery for a full recap of everything Sony had to show during its E3 2016 press conference.

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God of War is back with a Norse reboot

The show opens to a trailer featuring a scarred boy playing with toys, called in to the house by his father. That father turns out to be Kratos, the God of War, who's sporting quite the manly man's beard. Looks like those rumors of Norse mythology were true, and Kratos' usual chain blades have been replaced(?) with a giant axe. The trailer had a Horizon quality to it, with Kratos training his son how to hunt with almost zero action or violence in the first half of the trailer. If you can believe it, Kratos doesn't appear to be the best dad, as he sends his son into the forest to find the deer he failed to kill. No sooner does he wander off than ghouls attack; Kratos deals with them in his usual fashion, bashing their bones in with his bare fists before force-returning his mystic axe to his hands. Moments later, a giant troll springs up and mentions Valhalla, then attacks with a lava-spilling foot stomp. By pressing L3 and R3, Kratos activated his Spartan Rage, triggering a vicious cutscenes as he smashed the ogre's head to pieces.

His son was all set to land the killing blow, but hesitated when the troll begged for his life, with the arrow pinning his father instead and forcing Kratos to carry out the execution. A dialogue exchange between the two lads suggested that Kratos may be the boy's adoptive father, with Kratos saying "Didn't your mother teach you how to hunt?" The boy finds the elusive deer and finally gets a kill through his father's guidance, but is once again unwilling to finish the job without Kratos' help. In the distance, a dragon flies overhead. We fade to black and then the title: God of War, no number, no subtitle. This could very well be a full-on reboot for the franchise, complete with nuanced character development and gorgeous PS4 visuals.

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Days Gone tells the tale of two brothers in an undead wasteland

Here's an interesting one, ostensibly telling the tale of two brothers who ride motorcycles and experience hardships together. The lead appears to be Samuel Witwer, who played Starkiller in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The reveal didn't have much in the way of concrete details, but don't worry - we'll come back to it later.

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The Last Guardian is only a few months away

The next trailer for the greatly anticipated title showed off more gameplay for this story of a boy and his giant feathered pet, along with a slightly different aesthetic for the boy. And after all those years wondering when we'd get the chance to play, the wait is almost over: The Last Guardian will be released on October 25th, 2016.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn shows off more gameplay

Last year, we were introduced to the robotic wildlife of Horizon; this year, we get a brief glimpse at the remnants of humanity in a new gameplay exhibition that follows Aloy as she goes on the hunt. This time, the creatures she's tracking are hermit crab-like 'bots carrying cargo crates on their backs, which contain materials Aloy uses to craft explosive traps. Suddenly, she comes to the aid of a villager being chased by a 'corrupted' machine. Aloy exchanged words with the man, triggering a very BioWare-esque conversation cutscene complete with a dialogue wheel. The open-world map looks giant, and Aloy can use the wild, deer-like Broadheads as a mount to get around faster once she's 'hacked' their mainframe with her staff. We got more gorgeous views of the surroundings and their blend of the natural and technological, with a lush forest in the foreground and a colossal mountain in the background. 

But trouble lay in store back at the village, with a vicious machine called the Corruptor wreaking havoc on the huts. Aloy pegged it with some arrows to get its attention, then set up the explosive trap she crafted earlier and lured the Corruptor into the blast. She can also whistle to her mount for a quick getaway, or to strafe her enemies and launch a volley of arrows. The ropecaster that helped Aloy fell the tech-rannosaurus rex from the original reveal trailer also did a number on the Corruptor, allowing Aloy to land the killing blow on its power core. While inspecting its corpse, Aloy wonders where the creature came from, saying "this machine looks ancient".  

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Detroit: Become Human trailer introduces android detective Connor

Here's a different take on Quantic Dream's Detroit - one that has nothing to do with Kara. We see an android doing skillful tricks in an elevator, heading to the roof to defuse a hostage situation. The android, named Connor, attempted to reason with the robot Daniel who has taken a girl hostage. They debate over the purpose of an android's existence, before Daniel jumps and takes the daughter with him. But that's just one possible outcome: by doing detective work beforehand and making the right choices in the moment, Connor can change the outcome of the tense situation. Decisions like lying or telling the truth, obeying or ignoring Daniel's wishes, all have consequences on the negotiations, and whether or not you ultimately save the little girl's life. Like Quantic's previous works, Detroit will be a game of branching possibilities, and it looks like seeing which iteration you end up with is half the fun.

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Resident Evil 7 shows off nail-biting first-person horror

This reveal trailer was the perfect bait and switch. We start out in a dingy room, before a phone rings with the person on the other end telling us to get out of there. Our protagonist realizes he's in a room full of disturbing mannequins. He wanders around an abandoned apartment as the tension builds and builds... We see a table covered in rotting food and cockroaches, then a strange figure walks down the nearby hall and disappears into thin air. A TV suddenly turns on, crackling with static; our hero finds a video tape and foolishly decides to watch it. Horrifying scenes from an investigation play out in random order, then we cut to a Ring-like compilation of freaky images while music plays. Turns out, this is the return of Resident Evil, with Resident Evil 7. The game will be out on January 24th, 2017.

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Star Wars Battlefront, Batman, and Final Fantasy 15 are coming to PlayStation VR

As we already knew from this year's GDC, PlayStation VR launches at $399 on October 13th of this year, and will boast a strong 50 games at launch. We got to see a few of those games back to back, starting with Farpoint, which looks like an atmospheric shooter set on a Mars-like planet crawling with aliens. Next was a Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission, a space flight in an X-Wing as it engages a Star Destroyer and its TIE Fighter fleet. Suddenly, we hear Mark Hamill's unmistakable Joker voice, as he questions what drives Batman to wear the mask. Batman Arkham VR coming this October, exclusively on PlayStation VR. Next was a montage of quick cuts from Final Fantasy 15, all set to dubstep because hey, why not. Turns out, you'll be able to play as Prompto in first-person with PlayStation VR headset, which is lovingly modeled as in-game equipment. You can fire a pistol, teleport around, and squeal as Final Fantasy monsters get all up in your grill. All of these look like bite-sized experiences rather than full games, but their appeal is undeniable.

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare shows off outer space shootouts

This gameplay demo of Infinite Warfare started at a planetary map, as our hero Reyes ponders his next mission from a Mass Effect-esque bridge. We cut to a hangar full of "Hoo-ah"-ing soldiers and lumbering mechs. Reyes hops in a futuristic fighter jet and blasts into space. That led to Battlestar Galactica-style space dogfights as Reyes fires off rounds and missiles at bogeys and giant battleships. It's all a ploy to get close enough to the battleship to grapple to it on foot, making sure to gun down the reinforcement troops in zero-g. It's a Call of Duty shootout minus the gravity, and the addition of vertical movement is an interesting wrinkle. After busting into the bridge (and depressurizing everyone inside) the action shifted to the classic CoD gameplay, albeit with some futuristic shields and gravity-altering grenades. It looks like gravity is a very malleable thing in Infinite Warfare, as missions bounce back and forth between familiar physics and zero-g. There was also a trailer to hype up the return of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Both games will be out November 4th, 2016.

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Crash Bandicoot is back (in a remaster and Skylanders)

Suddenly the orchestra starting playing Crash Bandicoot music, heralding the announcement of a PS4 remaster for Crash Bandicoot's first three games on PS1, also known as 'the best Crash games'. He'll also make a cameo in Skylanders: Imaginators this October. Crash looks absolutely bizarre as an anthropomorphic humanoid when stacked up against the other Skylander design, but his animations and sound effects are all a charming callback to classic Crash. If you hadn't heard, Skylanders: Imaginators lets you recombine bits and piece of creatures to build your own Skylander designs. 

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks goofy as ever

Some of the most iconic scenes from the latest Star Wars were recreated in this trailer for the newest LEGO game, infused with bits of the cheeky humor (like Troopers playing golf in the snow and Kylo Ren smacking himself in the face while trying to retrieve his lightsaber. It felt a little odd when matched up with actual lines from the movie, but was entertaining all the same.  

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Kojima Productions' first game is Death Stranding, starring Norman Reedus

Andrew House took the stage to introduce the man, the myth, the legend: Hideo Kojima, striding onto the stage courtesy of some futuristic steps emerging from the Kojima Productions logo. With a quick intro, Kojima kicked off the trailer for his first project as a Konami-free man. We see the William Blake poem "Auguries of Innocence", then cut to a shot of dead crabs on a black sandy beach, looking god dang real as ghostly handprints appear in the sand. The camera pans to a nude man - Norman Reedus in the flesh - tethered to an infant that he cradles in his arms, sobbing. Suddenly, his hands are covered in an ink-like substance, as tiny handprints start to appear on his legs. We see that Reedus' abdomen is covered in a giant scar, as if something has been removed, as Reedus gazes out at a beach covered in dead fish and whales. Five mysterious figures in the sky fade out of view, then the title fades in: Death Stranding, as the accompanying song repeats the tagline "I'll keep coming". Good God, was that a stylish reveal if I've ever seen one.  

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Insomniac Games is bringing Spider-Man exclusively to PS4

The hits just keep coming. In a total surprise reveal, Insomniac Games - makers of Ratchet & Clank - are working on a Spider-Man game for PS4, presumably timed with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. The graphics look phenomenal, and Spidey's outfit bears an unfamiliar white spider design atop the usual red and blue. Whatever the explanation, his in-game acrobatics look phenomenal. 

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The show closes with a tense Days Gone gameplay demo

We open with our bike-riding hero, looking out over a seemingly empty encampment armed with an assault rifle on his back. He comes across some wolves picking apart a corpse, silenced pistol at the ready, before suddenly coming across a Gollum-like zombie. The deformed, mutant-like creature attacks as you come to the aid of your brother Tudog, the guy you're looking for, before he inexplicably flees to the roof. Suddenly, our hero realizes he's in the thick of it, looking down from the roof to see a swarm of undead. A stranger tackles our hero to the ground but breaks his leg and dies a grisly death to the swarm of zombies. Seeking refuge in a nearby warehouse, our hero keeps the herd at bay with a spray of rifle bullets, but they just keep coming. The swarm animated with a menacing fluidity, finally surrounding our hero and... you'll have to play the game to see how it all ends. 


Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!


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