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Big 3 at E3 2018: The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man Lead PlayStation's Charge

PlayStation has thrown the ordinary E3 playbook out the window for E3 2018, making random announcements before the show and focusing on four core titles throughout the week. What does that mean for what's in store for us? We examine Sony's potential E3 2018 offerings.

You might not have heard of it, but next week is the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short. This annual event is the Super Bowl of video games, the place where the entire industry gathers to talk about what’s coming up for the next year or so. Needless to say, the hype around this event is palpable, whether you’re in attendance or watching from home.

E3 2018 is particularly interesting in that there’s so much we still don’t know, despite everything that’s been leaked or rumored so far. Every day brings with it new thoughts and predictions and spoilers, which makes actually predicting the event so dang interesting. I’m going to do my best to predict the Big Three (Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo) and guess just what the heck is going to go down next week. This time we're looking at Sony, Kratos' pride and joy. 

The reigning champion of the E3 briefing circuit the last couple of years (depending on who you ask of course), Sony is riding high off of the success of first-party games like the sensational God of War and the thought-provoking Detroit: Become Human. Sony’s motto for this year’s show ought to be “strike while the iron is hot”, because MAN is that iron blazing for House PlayStation.

Sony’s broken a few of the E3 rules this year by showing some of their cards before the game starts, naming Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, and Ghost of Tsushima as their tentpoles for this year’s show. However, the more recent announcement of “one reveal every day between Wednesday June 6 and Sunday June 10” leads me to believe that while those four games might be the focus, they are but four ribs on the full-rack of Sony’s full E3 slate.

My reasoning here is simple: why give so much away before the event unless the event got too crowded with good content? These daily reveals will incrementally send the hype train into overdrive, depending of course on the quality of the announcements. Sony was nice enough to lay out the early announcements and hints on its blog, so let’s take a look:

 

Wednesday, June 6: “Announce: New PS4 game with PS VR support

Before the announcement dropped I though thiis first announcement would set the tone for the rest of the field. Are all five of these games first-party, or are third party companies involved? Once this info dropped I’d have a better idea of what to expect. However, I thought Sony should get the boat rocking right out of the gate and unveil something nuts, like Mortal Kombat 11 with PS VR support not unlike how Tekken 7 used it. Seeing Sub-Zero rip a head off in first-person sounds like something the gaming world needs, but I could be wrong.

The annoucement ended up being Tetris Effect, a brand new Tetris game by Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Rez Infinite  fame and the studio behind Lumines. A cool announcement, but probably not the one the fans were hoping to start off with. These announcements may be safer than we originally thought. Tetris in VR is pretty cool though.

Thursday, June 7: “Release Date for an Upcoming Worldwide Studios Title

“Worldwide Studios” means first-party, so that narrows things down a bit for me. However, with the four tentpoles I talked about before likely being held until the main show, that leaves Days Gone from Sony Bend as the prime candidate to get a release date here.

Friday, June 8: “Announce: New PS4 Game

Again the vague nature of these monikers leaves a lot of information to speculation. If I’m laying down a prediction here I think it’s going to be that Medievil reboot that was teased at last year’s PlayStation Experience back in December, but I’m not holding my breath on this one. You may say “but Jason it says it’s announcing a ‘new title,’ it’s not going to be something we already know” but how many times have we watched shows where a “world premiere” is a new trailer for a game we knew about already? Happens all the time. Then again I could also have this game and the Wednesday announcement flipped, which would also make sense.

Saturday, June 9: “Announce: New PS VR Game

This is one I cannot pin down. Virtual Reality is such a vast spectrum there’s no way to tell if this will be a new IP or a sequel to an existing game. I personally would like to see more Moss, so a sequel to that game would be great, but other than that this is too hard to predict.

Sunday, June 10: “Details: An Eagerly Anticipated Game Comes to PS VR

The word “anticipated” is what’s throwing me off of the scent here. This is clearly something we already know about, a game that can be played in first-person gaining VR support in some form. Smart money says one of the big first-person shooter games like Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII or Battlefield V, but I’m going to keep it in first-party and say Spider-Man. Swinging around New York in first person will not be for the faint of heart, but man it will be cool.

...and all that’s just the cocktail hour before the actual reception! The main course will have the four tentpole games from earlier, but what else? Are there some smaller first party games we’ll learn about for the first time? What third-party games will see the light of day? Capcom typically shows up at Sony’s briefing, last year they brought Monster Hunter World and Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (RIP), maybe this year they bring the highly rumored Devil May Cry 5. Black Ops IIII from Activision will feature as well I’d imagine, maybe we’ll finally get eyes on the battle royale Blackout mode Treyarch is so excited about. Warner Brothers is another wildcard, could the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 11 make an appearance, or maybe whatever Rocksteady Studios has been working on? It’s been a while since Batman: Arkham Knight, what’s next for that team? Our money is on the rumored Superman title.

If I’m organizing Sony’s show, I’m breaking it up into four chunks consisting of one of the four tentpoles, then a mix of third-party announcements and smaller first-party titles before going back to another tentpole. This mixes up the big time games with other content and doesn’t make the show top or bottom heavy. I’d put Ghost of Tsushima first since we know the least about it, Death Stranding would be second and would also have a few more smaller announcement behind it (as I’m sure we’ll need the extra time to process whatever the game presents), Spider-Man third and The Last of Us Part II ending the show. Do that and fans will be happy.

Whatever the heck Sony and its partners could be planning I don’t know, but the PlayStation conference will certainly have the most excitement behind it when it begins next Monday night.

That’s a rundown of what I think is coming next week at the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Even with the rumors and leaks and retailers gone rogue there’s still plenty of things to speculate on, to wonder about, and to predict as the show inches closer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year to be a gamer, so sit back and let the E3 news tsunami wash over you. If you want more of our predicting prowess, check out our thoughts on Microsoft's and Nintendo's conferences.  

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