The Sony booth this year is the home of the Annual Update Games- specifically, FIFA
and Call of Duty
, with the more interesting games hidden behind them.
Notable also is the amount of space dedicated to Sony's desperate attempts to make Playstation VR
a thing, including a massive VR helmet which makes the booth look like a Daft Punk tribute to Planet Of The Apes.
Like Nintendo's booth, it's full of titles that are already out, like expandalone Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
, Star Wars licence Battlefront II
, inexplicable sequel Knack 2
and microtransaction shitfest Everybody's Golf
. Some smaller new titles which were also there included Hob
, which is a top-down-ish adventure game where you play as a guy with a massive hand, which he uses to solve puzzles in order to gradually unlock a tower by rotating bits of it.
I've not explained that very well. It does, however, look like what Knack
was probably meant to, so there's that.
We saw Monster Hunter Stories
on 3DS yesterday and today we say Monster Hunter World
on PS4. A more 'curated' demo than its handheld counterpart, this does a much better job of explaining its mechanics and objectives- although this could also be related to the presence of Scoutflies, which effectively point out everything of vague interest to progressing through the mission.
The initial mission offered sees you trying to hunt a monster by first having some footprints drawn to your attention, then a scrape on the ground that the game nicely describes as "skidmarks", then another footprint and another until eventually the Scoutflies form a trail to follow to the monster. This is one of the new features added to make the game more accessible to people less familiar with the series, but it feels that it could turn the game into a box-checking exercise.
There was also Ni No Kuni II
, which looks as pretty as you'd expect. The battle system can be a bit chaotic during boss fights, but it seems to work quite nicely in battles against smaller enemies in the world.
Also present was David Cage's new title Detroit: Become Human
, which I didn't get the chance to watch today- although I did overhear one of the reps on the booth send one of the professional cosplayers they had manning the booth on their break by calling them over with 'Android, come here" and telling them to go into maintenance mode for thirty minutes.
Sony's recent push into phone-controlled games in the form of Playlink
was represented by Frantics
, by Affordable Space Adventures
dev Knapnok. This is a series of motion-controlled party games, hosted by a slightly posh-talking fox, and controlled using the accelerometers in the phones- four top-of-the-line Sony devices, in the booth's case.
There were three games in my session, one where you have to avoid slipping off an ice platform by tilting the way you want to go, another where you fire yourself out of cannons so some (but not all) of you are on a platform, and another race game where before each race you secretly choose a player to have some modification to their vehicle which may or may not be helpful to them.
There was an interesting twist where, before the third game, the host 'called' one player's phone to give them a secret misison.
It's hard to fault the party games themselves, but the phone apps crashing exposed that each Playlink title needs its own individual app- Frantics
ostensibly cannot be played using the app associated with That's You!
, which has been out in the wild for some time- and that connecting your phone to your PS4 needs you to enter an IP address, which loses the immediacy of the browser-and-four-digit-code setup of the Jackbox
games, and is a far cry from the apps-within-an-app world promised by xBox Smartglass
Speaking of Far Cry
, the Ubisoft booth next door housed the fifth game in the series. The short part of the game available focused around the obligatory Ubisoft Game tower, and charged the player with killing all the cultists around the base of it. A number of ways of achieving this was offered, from flinging in grenades to fighting them in the streets to sniping them from the top of the tower.
This, alongside stablemate Assassin's Creed: Origins
which seems to have ditched parkour in favour of putting things really far away from one another and making you travel to them, were the first games to really show any seriously large queues- although Ubi made use of the extra space available to them, running lots of demo units and moving people through quickly.
Most of the booth, though, was some Mario + Rabbids
demos sparsely dotted about in an almost empty space dominated by a massive fibreglass Rabbid Kong. (There was also South Park: The Fractured But Whole
tucked away in a corner)
Sega, meanwhile, chose to showcase Sonic Forces
, which looks like it's as good an extension on the Modern Sonic/Generations
format as we're going to see. Three levels were on offer, including one of the mental genre-flip-flopping arrangements Colours
perfected, a boss level, and a new 'Avatar' level where you put together disparate elements to create your own Original Character Do Not Steal and play as that. It also doesn't quite work, which I'm assuming is satire.
Last but not least, there was a few PCs running Total War: Warhammer II
. Which was Total War: Warhammer II