As we’ve talked about for some time now, this weekend is PlayStation Experience 2017. Two days of playing upcoming games and meeting the people who make those experiences possible. For its first three years. PlayStation has typically used Saturday morning of the show to put on a hype-building keynote with announcements galore. PSX’s return to Anaheim saw the company take a different, more pants off, approach in 2017. While not full of surprise announcements, it was an interesting peek behind the curtain of the gaming giant.
Instead of PlayStation CEO Shawn Layden hosting a press conference style show, the Friday night “PlayStation Presents” saw Layden joined by Social Media Manager Sid Shuman in a more relaxed environment complete with comfy couches and all. The two talked about the company’s 2017 successes such as Horizon Zero Dawn. When it came to what the new year will hold for PlayStation, new details were sparse.
Three of the company’s most notable 2018 confirmed games were shown as fans got updates on God of War, Detroit Become Human, and Dreams. Sony’s Santa Monica Studio’s creative director, Cory Barlog, gave a bit more insight into the God of War footage shown during Paris Games Week.
As the scene showed protagonist Kratos battling Norse demons with the aid of his son, the game’s creative director pointed out the boy’s dialogue has been balanced to not dominate entire scenes. In what they called the “banter system” Kratos and his son will have conversations that reflect player action and surrounding. However, the big update on God of War didn’t come in the form of a release date but Sony Santa Monica did let the audience know the game’s length would be somewhere in the 30hr range. That’s a lot of game.
Media Molecule the creators of the Sony staple, Little Big Planet, went into more detail about the Dreams trailer shown at The Game Awards, from lead Siobhan Reddy. We now know the game’s single-player story will reflect three characters over different worlds. Shown off was one detective character in a noir style setting. It played out in a puzzle scenario similar to Little Big Planet but with larger scale. Media Molecule mentioned the creative tools players will get in Dreams eclipses their previous efforts as once again the focus of their venture is unleashing the creative power of the players. You’ll be able to build levels, characters, and incorporate different gaming genre elements. Dreams will have a beta for fans before the game’s launch, but no exact date was given.
The other big presentation focused on studio Quantic Dreams’ highly anticipated title Detroit Become Human. It’s a story which takes place in the near future. Humans are now aided by robots who look and (to an extent) act human. You’ll play as three of these androids trying to unravel the mystery of why robots are malfunctioning and displaying the worst of humanity. A lengthy live play was shown of the game’s hostage standoff level. One of the malfunctioning androids has murdered a man and taken his daughter. As the robot called to aid the situation you’ll need to find out as much information as you can from the crime scene before stepping outside to defuse or completely botch the situation. Once you’re in the heat of the moment, any number of different outcomes are possible. The kidnapper could kill the child he’s holding at gunpoint, you could be shot, in one possible scenario the kidnapper and child both fall from the highrise ledge. Become Human is intense to say the least, and luckily 2018 will be the year we get to play it.
While there were no bombshell announcements, the presentation had plenty to offer diehard PS fans. Sony’s holiday gift to adopters of VR brings the cult hit The Last Guardian to VR in a special short adventure where you get to go up close and personal with Trico. You won’t have to wait long for that as The Last Guardian VR will be available for free on PSN next week even if you don’t own the standard game.
Some more off the wall titles were shown such as a strange new game called Donut County. A game where you drop trash in a hole to make the hole bigger until it eventually swallows reality itself.
The moment which really spelled out what Friday’s presentation was about, came near the end of the show. Exiting chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, came on stage to say farewell to the audience. House has been with the company for 27 years and has been with PlayStation since its inception in the mid-90s. The man responsible for what PlayStation is, felt it was time to hand the business to a new generation to build the next future of gaming. One of the last things House was responsible for was giving iconic game creator Hideo Kojima a chance to create his next game. Kojima joined House on stage to talk about the chairman’s hand in Kojima Productions and once again show that Norman Reedus baby eating trailer for Death Stranding.
PlayStation Experience has been the place where classic franchises get brought back to life. No better example of those words could be shown that a remaster of a PlayStation 1 hit, Medievil which will be releasing sometime in 2018.
PSX happens all weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, in fact, Saturday the show will be open from 10am-10pm, then Sunday a bit shorter from 10am-6pm. Single day tickets are still available here. To all the brave women and men who will be working to entertain convention-goers Saturday, godspeed.
Next week, we’ll recap the show and rundown the five best games at PSX’17.
Oh and one more thing…
Wubba lubba dub dub!