E3 2018: See all the best from Sony’s showcase


With Microsoft dropping so many games at its Xbox conference, Sony had a pretty high bar to clear and went for a more minimalist route.

Sometimes, you don’t need to go first to make a stellar impression. Sure, Microsoft might have thrown as many trailers at gamers as it possibly could, but Sony still had Monday night all to itself, even after Ubisoft improved the day.

Fans have come to expect a lot from Sony, and this year, there were four titles everyone wanted to see: Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding, Spider-Man … and oh yeah, The Last of Us Part II. Any one of those alone could probably anchor a conference (yes, even Death Stranding), but all four is a solid slate at the very least.

Although fans may have thought the stream started early, it just transitioned to a pre-showcase screen with an animated band getting ready for the show. The differences continued in the actual venues — one for each game. Shawn Layden even thanked audiences for coming to church at the first time.

No, seriously.

But it provided a very sharp contrast from the word go, and honestly, that isn’t the worst thing out there. As for the games, though … Layden didn’t waste too much time before kicking the show off.

Well, more accurately, a banjo performance kicked the show off. That’s absolutely what people were expecting, right?

Note: This post will update throughout Sony’s showcase.

The Last of Us Part II

Ellie is back, ladies and gentlemen, and Sony’s choice of venue was very quickly explained, down to the lights. It looks like Ellie even has a tattoo now. But beyond that, she gets to kiss a girl …. oh, and do some stealth action. There’s got to be that balance of emotion and action, right? In fact, the trailer transitioned right into what appears to be gameplay.

We also spotted some graffiti that reads “May She Guide You” during the gameplay section. It looks like some survivors still aren’t so friendly, either; Ellie’s opponents called her a wolf repeatedly. We got to see a stealth section go awry as well, showing off the brutal melee combat.

There were some changes, though; Ellie field-crafted an explosive arrow, and a blow to the head left her ears briefly ringing and the screen blurry.

Ghost of Tsushima

Much like with The Last of Us Part II, the look at Ghost of Tsushima transitioned directly from a more cinematic look right to some gameplay — and the gameplay looked good. There’s really no other word for it but cinematic, even in the game.

But of course, there has to be a little action, right? And that action came in a one-hit strike, followed by some actual dueling of opponents. It looked like there were parry systems in place as well as some basic combos. During the fighting, though it was clear there was a transition to combat mode, there was still room for some excellent fluidity. A dropdown assault showed that there was some stealth as well.

Kingdom Hearts III

Pirates of the Caribbean is back! There’s also ship-to-ship combat. The PlayStation 4 will also get an all-in-one version including the Remixes of previous games as well as a limited edition PS4.

Death Stranding

It’s entirely possible that Death Stranding actually just showed gameplay. It looked an awful lot like gameplay, anyway, even if that gameplay appears to mostly be hauling stuff around strange environments.

But hey, Norman Reedus’ character was also in a shower. No word yet on what symbolism that might have. Nor the weird, sudden transitions … or the mysterious figures floating in the sky at one point. Cards said “give me your hand in life,” “give me your hand in death,” and “give me your hand in flesh.”

Make no mistake: Death Stranding is still weird. The last card said “give me your hand in spirit.”


It was really hard not to get vibes of Batman: Arkham Asylum from the gameplay footage shown during E3, since Spidey had to handle several different villains during a breakout in New York City’s supermax prison.

But the last character only got a “you?” from a beaten-up Spidey. Very mysterious indeed.

Next: E3 2018: Ubisoft's highlights

Other notes and announcements:

  • There were actual intermissions!
  • God of War will get a New Game Plus mode, confirmed during the first intermission.
  • Also during the first intermission, we saw looks at some Call of Duty DLC (and news that PS Plus members get to download Black Ops III).
  • Resident Evil 2 is getting a remake.
  • Control is also coming out.
  • Nioh 2 had a very brief teaser confirming its existence.
  • Déraciné will arrive for PlayStation VR.

All in all, Sony’s conference was stylish — incredibly so — but it wasn’t really worldbeating. Depending on how you feel, you might think that Sony didn’t measure up. But what it did have, though, was some pretty stuff.