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Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima headline Sony's E3 briefing

No new first-party games for PS4 announced, but showcase does include quick looks at Remedy's Control, Resident Evil 2 remake, and Nioh 2

Sony did its best to set expectations for E3 last month, when it announced it would not be showing any new hardware or new first-party software at the show, choosing to instead focus on four already announced games: Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us Part 2. The PlayStation 4 maker did indeed follow through on that promise, and even threw in a few new announcements for third-party games in what will go down as a very unorthodox E3 showcase.

  • Sony Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden welcomed everyone to "church," referring to the unusual wedding reception-style tent setup for the E3 PlayStation Showcase.
  • Layden said Sony decided to mix up its E3 presentation this year. Rather than bombard people with "new creative," the idea this year is to take people deeper into a smaller number of titles.
  • Gaming is an industry, but Layden said Sony sees it more as a vocation.
  • He then introduced a banjo player, whose performance leads into the first game, The Last of Us Part 2.

The Last of Us Part 2

  • The Last of Us Part 2 trailer opens with a party in a church tent, providing some explanation as to Sony's E3 briefing décor.
  • The trailer features an older Ellie making small talk with another guest at the wedding named Jesse.
  • Ellie then dances and has a conversation with another woman at the party, who tells Ellie the men are scared of her. They kiss and it quickly segues to Ellie killing a man in the woods and the beginning of a gameplay demo.
  • Ellie makes her way through the woods in a crouch. Men with torches comb the woods; bodies hang from the trees. Ellie comes across a group of men executing another as he hangs from a rope. They're alerted to her presence and begin searching the area.
  • Ellie takes one of them down with her bow and arrow. As she goes for a stealth kill on a second, she is spotted, and a bit of gruesome melee action buys her enough time to run while gunshots ring out. The NPCs keep referring to her as "wolf."
  • There's a lot of interesting possibly scripted moments and specialized animation happening in the middle of the gameplay, like Ellie being dragged out from underneath a car right after she shoots one of her attackers in the face. Or a melee exchange that ends with the attacker throwing Ellie through a conveniently located nearby counter display. Or cinematic camera angle changes during gruesome kills.
  • After one last kill, the action cuts back to the scene in the wedding and the end of the kiss Ellie shared with her dance partner. Her partner says the men are right to be scared of her, and the trailer ends.
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  • Sid Shuman and Ryan Clements fill a bit of time as the attendees at the briefing are moved along to an auditorium where they will watch the rest of the showcase.
  • Layden joins them and they talk about the idea of a God of War New Game Plus mode. Layden confirms they're working on it and will have more updates in the future.
  • They watch a few trailers for Black Ops IIII and some other recently revealed games like Tetris Effect, Ghost Giant, and Beat Saber.

Ghosts of Tsushima

  • This begins with another musical performance, this one on a wind instrument.
  • A trailer for the game opens with the edge of a forest during a rainstorm. A samurai emerges from the woods, with a horse walking behind him. It's day nine of the Mongol Invasion, and the camera shifts to a third-person behind-the-back view following the samurai as he walks up a hill.
  • He crests the hill and the camera pans to show off the impressive grasslands on the other side. He returns to his horse, mounts it and rides through the valley at speed, then down another forest path. He dismounts and sprints to confront a trio of soldiers. There's a tense stand-off where the protagonist samurai stylishly dispatches with a rushing opponent, followed by some more familiar looking melee combat.
  • The samurai pairs up with a woman archer, and the pair sneak up on a couple other Mongol soldiers guarding a large building.
  • The player climbs a smaller building nearby, and uses a grappling hook to locate himself in the rafters of the larger structure. There are a few enemies threatening a man, at least until the samurai drops down and dispatches them in brutal fashion (with a bit of slo-mo action to help him end the fight before it really begins).
  • As he helps the man out of the building, his archer friend shoots the newly liberated man, and after a bit of banter about betrayal, we get a good old-fashioned samurai duel, even as Mongol forces can be heard approaching from the distance.
  • The samurai wins the duel, but rather than killing his opponent, he helps her up and they confront the Mongols together.
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More game announcements

  • There's a banana playing guitar briefly, and then they launch into another trailer, this one for a trippy third-person shooter called Control from Remedy and 505 Games set for release in 2019.
  • The next trailer is first-person, apparently from the perspective of a rat hiding in a supermarket as a police officer attempts to apprehend someone. Things don't end well for the rat, or the police officer, who's eaten by a zombie.
  • Resident Evil's Leon Kennedy shoots the zombie, and from that point we get a more clearly Resident Evil-style trailer showing Lickers, creepy children, and more. It's the Resident Evil 2 remake, with a January 25, 2019 release date.
  • Squatch Games then showed off a trailer for Trover Saves the Universe, which definitely reflects creator Justin Roiland's sensibilities.
  • A Kingdom Hearts III trailer is up next, with the game's Pirates of the Caribbean world showing off a lot of celebrity likenesses from the films and a fair bit of Keyblade swashbuckling.
  • There are also Toy Story, Hercules, Tangled, Monsters Inc., and Frozen worlds, as well as a fair bit of story we won't try to recap. It launches January 29, 2019 and there will be a Kingdom Hearts III limited edition PlayStation 4 hardware package.

Death Stranding

  • Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding is next, with an in utero baby shot opening the trailer followed by a bit of exposition on Norman Reedus' character, who insists he just makes deliveries.
  • He is then shown carting a bunch of packages across barren environments, most of them large boxes, but one clearly a wrapped human body.
  • The trailer switches from mournful to tense when Reedus is resting on one of his deliveries and an invisible monster walks nearby, leaving footprints in the mud and breathing menacingly. Reedus and a woman with a spiky outfit cover their mouths to avoid detection.
  • Later on, Reedus' character is sneaking through an area with a flashing light on a stick and a jarred baby strapped to his chest. His plan doesn't seem to work out as intended, and he is swallowed by a large pile of goo on the ground. Actresses Lea Seydoux and Lindsay Wagner are then revealed to be in the game as well.
  • If that last section didn't make sense, we suggest you take it up with Hideo Kojima.
  • Tecmo Koei then showed a teaser trailer for Nioh 2, followed by another quick musical interlude, this one featuring a man playing a piano poorly.
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  • The section for Insomniac's webslinger game starts off with Spidey and a woman named Yuri surviving a helicopter crash while en route to The Raft maximum security prison right as Electro is releasing all of the prisoners from their cells.
  • Spidey subdues a mob of inmates with character-appropriate speed and grace, then rogues like Rhino and Scorpion show up to toy with our hero. They run off, leaving Spidey to subdue another group of inmates, some with shields that he can web away and then sling into other enemies.
  • That leads to an Electro chase sequence which is briefly interrupted by The Vulture.
  • Spidey closes the gap on Electro a couple times, but the chase continues and eventually leads to a rooftop confrontation where Rhino, Vulture, Electro, and Mr. Negative put the beatdown on Spidey in a pre-rendered cutscene, ending with Spidey turning to the camera after seeing the mysterious head villain and saying, "You?"
  • And that's the end of the show.
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