E3 2018 - Sony and Ubisoft Reveals

June 12, 2018
NEWS
Multi

E3's press conference reveals continued with Sony and Ubisoft. The PlayStation creators didn't announce a raft of new titles like Microsoft did, but instead focused on extended demonstrations of games already in the pipeline — including Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part 2. Meanwhile, Ubisoft impressed with a new Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer and more footage of The Division 2. Here are the highlights:

Sony

Death Stranding - PS4

Hideo Kojima's latest got an eight-minute trailer which, despite its length, managed to tell us very little about the gameplay. Norman Reedus' character Sam appears to be some sort of post-apoclyptic postman, navigating a land filled with deadly invisible spirits while carting his Deliveroo-esque packages around. Visually it's astonishing, filled with the bizarre imagery you'd expect from Kojima. A baby in some sort of stasis pod, a woman eating a grub and one of the the most inappropriate places to wear a business suit all featured, but as to what players actually have to do in the game? Not a clue. Death Stranding will be out in 2019 but we'll hopefully learn more about the plot a long time before then.

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The Last of Us Part 2 - PS4

A beautiful and touching cinematic of Ellie dancing at a party with another girl cuts to Ellie brutally stabbing a guy in the throat. Yes, it seems that The Last of Us Part 2 perfectly balances the fragility of human nature in a world gone to hell, just as its predecessor did. The gameplay demo sees Ellie avoiding scouts in a forest filled with hanging corpses, wrecked cars and ruined car parks. Ellie is a mean shot with the bow as well as melee weapons, and stealth elements are seamlessly incorporated into combat. Enemies can be used as human shields, while collecting and using objects on the run adds a level of improvisation to Ellie's desperate fight for survival against superior numbers. There's no sign of Joel yet, but given how tough Ellie has become and how incredible the gameplay looks, if he doesn't make it to the sequel it might not be the devastating omission we first feared. 2019 has previously been mooted as a release year, but there was no confirmation by Sony at E3 this year.

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Control - PS4, Xbox One, PC

One of Sony's new announcements was Control, an intriguing third-person action game putting you in control of a female protagonist with powerful telekinetic abilities. It looks like she's up against enemies with similar skills, and while we don't know anything about the story, the gameplay demo suggests the environment can be used in a variety of creative ways. This is Remedy's first game since Quantum Break in 2016, and it looks to have all the technical panache we would expect from the Max Payne developer. Expect this to hit shelves in 2019.

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Ghost of Tsushima - PS4

Another PS4 exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima comes from the stable of inFamous developer Sucker Punch and promises lots of brutal sword action during the Mongol invasion, as well as horseplay and pretty, pretty leaves. Jin looks like a handy warrior to have in a battle and seeing him perform some rather deft (not to mention cool) takedowns and combos from above as well as on the ground certainly got us excited about the final game. The art direction is impeccable too; there's no release date, but this one is definitely on our radar.

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Resident Evil 2 Remaster - PS4, Xbox One, PC

The success of the first game's HD treatment meant that the same would be inevitable for Raccoon City's follow-up, especially given it was a bigger critical hit. If the tweaks and balances applied to Resident Evil Remaster are present and correct here too, then Leon's journey promises to be as nerve-shredding as ever, but now the visceral shocks will be even more realistic.

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Marvel's Spider-Man - PS4, Xbox One, PC

A prison break with echoes of Arkham Asylum is only the beginning as we finally get to see some gameplay from one the most anticipated releases of the year. Electro, Vulture, Scorpion, Rhino and Mr. Negative make up at least some of the villain contingent, and if the combat is true to the release then it could even give Rocksteady's Caped Crusader a run for his money. There's not long to wait to find out, as you'll be able to net a copy on September 7th, 2018.

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Ubisoft

Beyond Good and Evil 2 - TBC

Well, that trailer's ending certainly shook us. There are even more questions to be asked now, not least of which are about the events in this prequel which will lead into the 2003 game. The cinematics are stunning but we've yet to see any gameplay, and we still don't know what formats the game is going to be released on, or when. It may be this year, but without an in-game demo this seems unlikely. This is one we're happy to wait for though — it's been 15 years, so another one isn't going to hurt if it means the final product is as enjoyable as its predecessor.

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Trials Rising - PS4, Xbox One, PC

The latest entry in the beloved bike series looks as bonkers as ever. There are a multitude of ways for you to fail each of the titular trials, as the trailer hilariously demonstrates. Let's just say that riding a motocross bike near a tank of fuel is probably not going to end well. The wheels will be burning in February 2019, but there's a beta currently taking sign-ups if you want to get ahead of the game.

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The Division 2 - PS4, Xbox One, PC

We're big fans of The Division at Jump Dash Roll, so the sequel needed to be something pretty special to live up to our expectations. From what we've seen in this trailer, we aren't going to be disappointed. There's a far grittier tone and some rather nasty happenings taking place. Time to book a couple of weeks off work when this one lands on March 15th, 2019 — the US capital isn't going to save itself. Again, there's a beta available for sign-up.

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Skull & Bones - PS4, Xbox One, PC

Hoping to plunder the title of best pirate game from Rare's lacklustre entry Sea of Thieves, Ubisoft have gone for a more realistic approach brimming with splintered decking and — depending on rations — spliced mainbraces. It's a grittier game but already looks like it'll have more substance...how it plays is another matter, and we won't find out until 2019 at the earliest.

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Transference - PS4, PSVR

This one is both creepy and interesting: a psychological thriller taking place in the mind of a family. It supports VR, and with a cast including Elijah Wood it isn't short of big names as it blurs the line between game and film. We're hoping to see more before it releases in Q4 2018.

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Starlink: Battle for Atlas - PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Star Fox plus Skylanders equals Starlink? It's looking that way, as the toys-to-life genre shows no signs of abating. This action adventure doesn't do a huge amount to stand out, but kids will no doubt be clamouring for the latest add-ons when the game gets released on October 16th, 2018.

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Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ubisoft continue their relentless plundering of history for gaming goodness with a trip to ancient Greece in the latest instalment of Assassin's Creed. While it may tick the boxes for those who enjoyed Origins, some of us are not convinced. Either way, hopefully some expectations will be met by the time it beaches on our shores. When is that? October 5th, 2018.

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                                                                                                       ***

So, no huge surprises from Ubisoft and a surprisingly muted showing from Sony who, while showcasing some truly excellent footage from the big hitters we already knew about, failed to capitalise on their lead in this generation's console battle with Microsoft. A dearth of new exclusives means that the door is open for Xbox to make ground, and with Nintendo's conference due today, this generation's winner is far from confirmed.

Rob Kershaw

I've been gaming since the days of the Amstrad. Huge RPG fan. Planescape: Torment tops my list, but if a game tells a good story, I'm interested. Absolutely not a fanboy of any specific console or PC - the proof is in the gaming pudding. Also, I like cake.