Sony shows off violent, but touching gameplay footage of The Last of Us Part 2 at E3 2018 keynote

Sony shakes up its E3 keynote formula with intimate venue and focus on games

The Last of Us Part 2

For the tech giant’s E3 presentation this year, Sony and the company’s PlayStation brand opted for a different approach than what is typically expected from the video game industry’s biggest conference.

Rather than a bombastic, celebrity-filled keynote, Sony took a low-key, intimate approach to its event, both in terms of venue and the presentation’s focus on what matters to the average viewer — the games.

Sony opened the keynote with an extended look at Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II featuring the protagonist from The Last of Us, Ellie. The gameplay demo featured the familiar brutal violence the series is known for, but also touching moments more akin to Left Behind, The Last of Us‘ critically acclaimed DLC — particularly when it comes to the relationship between Ellie and the other woman featured in the trailer, Deana.

While the The Last of Us Part II’s demo was visually impressive, the facial expressions present on enemies’ faces, as well as characters in general, featured a level of detail rarely seen in video games.

As expected, a specific release date for The Last of Us Part II was not revealed during Sony’s E3 keynote.

Next Sony moved on to show gameplay footage of Ghost of Tsushima, the next title from Sucker Punch, the developers of the Infamous franchise.

The game features impressive graphics and what looks like third-person hack-and-slash gameplay mixed with stealth oriented mechanics that share similarities with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series.

The open-world game is set Feudal Japan, specifically the year 1274 on the island of Tsushima. What’s most noteworthy about Ghost of Tsushima is that the game is an original property, a rarity in the modern video game industry that often relies on sequels.

Following Ghosts of Tsushima, Sony showed off another new title called Control from Remedy, the developers of the Alan Wake series and Quantum Break, marking the developer’s return to creating games for a Sony console. Control is set for a release at some point in 2019, according to Sony’s keynote. Next Sony revealed a remake of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 for the PlayStation 4, with the game’s release date set for January 25th, 2019.

As expected, Sony also spent a significant amount of time showing of Kojima Production’s Death Stranding. The game, which I’m still convinced won’t actually be released on the PlayStation 4 and instead will drop on whatever the console’s successor ends up being, is stunning looking, but it’s still unclear exactly how the title will play.

The brief gameplay demo shown off during Sony’s E3 keynote seems to feature the game’s main character, which is played by The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus, carrying various futuristic looking bags across alien-looking terrain. Oh, and the weird floating, invisible enemies and fake womb, complete with a baby inside it from last year’s E3 trailer, are also back.

Sony then moved on to play new footage of Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, the web slinger’s return to video games, showcasing the game’s fluid traversal system and key enemies fans will recognize like Mr. Negative, Scorpion, Rhino, Electro and Vulture.

During the keynote’s post show, Sony revealed that FromSoftware, the studio behind the Bloodborne series, is working on a PlayStation VR title called Déraciné. Beyond the game’s title, little is known about the serene looking virtual reality Déraciné so far.

Sony also spent time highlighting Trover Saves the Universe, the next PlayStation VR game from Justin Roiland’s Squanch Games.

The list below is every game Sony showed off during its PlayStation keynote:

  • The Last of Us Part 2
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Control
  • Resident Evil 2 (remake)
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • Trover Saves the Universe
  • Death Stranding
  • Nioh 2
  • Spider-Man
  • Déraciné