I cannot say a single conference on Day Zero surprised me. Sony was no exception. Still, there were some pleasant announcements. They started everything off with Destiny, Bungie’s glossy successor to Halo. I distinctly heard Peter Dinklage’s voice assuring the player that they were the last hope of humanity and, “You know, no pressure.”
There were some nice bits of gameplay shown. The Order: 1886 showed off some steampunk-action chops and looks good for new IP. Little Big Planet 3 dragged on a little too long, but it was adorable. The colorful No Man’s Sky looked like it might, just might turn out to be good. However, the insufferably artsy Entwined, which was put on the Playstation Network during the show, is probably the only thing we’ll see from them for a couple of months.
The one thing I could have done without is the full-blown fanfare for console ports. Sure, it’s cool that The Last of Us, GTAV, and Grim Fandango are coming to the PS4, but this was an excessively padded conference that could have easily cut these parts out. They also droned a bit too long about television. Sony stopped a smoking-hot conference dead in the water in order to have Brian Michael Bendis ramble about something called Powers.
One trailer I wasn’t expecting was a gameplay trailer for Mortal Kombat X. They showed some new characters, including a hulking brute with a little clawed thing on its shoulder. My favorite Twitter moment of the day was reacting to that by saying “What are Jak and Daxter doing in Mortal Kombat X?”
The two gameplay bits that stick in the mind the most are Far Cry 4, which showed a base capture mission done with the help of a nearby elephant; and Batman Arkham Knight, which showed off the expanded Gotham City map and the newly-available Batmobile. I’m looking forward to both of these games almost in spite of myself.
The plethora of mostly-cinematic trailers made up the remainder of the notables. The creators of Dark Souls showed some nasty-looking Victorian horror called Bloodbourne. Suda 51, maker of quirky games like No More Heroes, has a PS4 exclusive called Let It Die on the way. The one that takes the cake in the trailer department was the fully cinematic trailer for Dead Island 2, which followed a just-bitten jogger as he morphs from male model to walking abomination. It’s neat, but I seem to recall the last Dead Island having a cool yet ultimately irrelevant trailer.
They closed the show –finally—with footage from the next Uncharted game. When footage popped up and I heard the inevitable sound of Nolan North’s dulcet pipes, I said “Oh, that game.” The subtitle is called “A Thief’s End” and both Drake and Sully insist that it’s “one last time.” Oh, Naughty Dog, you don’t fool me a bit. It was like a microcosm of the whole conference: Pretty, glossy, but very vague and intended to set the hype machine rolling.