E3: Sony PlayStation’s Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills
Sony has previewed one of its most anticipated PlayStation games with a trailer that shifted focus from two women kissing to a hanging man being disemboweled in its opening minutes.
The Last of Us Part II is the follow-up to one of the top-reviewed and most awarded games of the PlayStation 3 generation.
Gameplay footage made clear the sequel will be at least as bloody as its predecessor.
However, no launch date was given.
Initial reactions to the title from industry watchers were mostly positive, although one games reviewer remarked that the title was “fetishising extreme violence”.
Sony also premiered the first gameplay footage from its surreal horror title Death Stranding.
The game is being masterminded by Hideo Kojima, who was previously behind the Metal Gear series.
The trailer showed the lead character – who is modelled on The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus – trekking across a variety of landscapes before coming under attack from a group of invisible monsters, whose presence appears to be exposed by a foetus he is carrying.
The plot still remains unclear and, again, no release date was given.
Sony has sold more than 76 million PlayStation 4 consoles to date, according to research firm IHS Markit.
That represents nearly twice as many units as Microsoft’s Xbox One, although it is still some way behind the PlayStation 2’s tally of nearly 158 million.
Many believe the Japanese firm’s success has been driven by the popularity of its in-house exclusives including Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War.
However, Microsoft now boasts having the more powerful games machine in the Xbox One X and has just announced it has acquired and created several games studios.
“A strong first-party library is what convinces people to buy your box over someone else’s, and this generation of consoles has hammered home that is still true,” commented Laura Dale, news editor of the Kotaku UK news site.
“The PlayStation 4 has had frequent, high-quality first-party exclusives – which is something the Xbox One has not had.
“So, Sony goes into this E3 with everything to lose in the sense that it is in a strong position, but Microsoft did have a very good showing on Sunday.”
Other first-party exclusives shown off at the event included Ghost of Tsushima, a Samurai-themed third-person sword-fighting game set in 1274.
The Gaming Bolt review site suggested it resembled an episode of Assassin’s Creed set in Japan.
New footage from Spider-Man – the centre-piece of Sony’s 2017 E3 event – was also presented, featuring Electro and Rhino among other villains. The game is due for release in September.
Content from third-party publishers was also displayed.
Capcom showed off footage from a remastered version of Resident Evil 2.
The survival-horror game was first released in 1998 and helped drive sales of the original PlayStation. The new version is set to be released on 25 January 2019.
Remedy Entertainment announced Control, a sci-fi game featuring a female lead with a shape-shifting gun who encounters several people’s bodies floating mid-air.
The Finnish developer was previously responsible for the Xbox/Windows exclusive Quantum Break.
California-based Squanch Games also announced a platformer featuring new characters developed by one of the co-creators of the TV comedy Ricky and Morty.
Trover Saves The Universe’s madcap storyline centres on efforts to prevent a villain from draining dogs’ life essence as part of a plan to destroy the universe.
Unlike the other titles shown off at the event, it is being developed for the PlayStation’s virtual reality headset as well as use via a normal screen.
Sony did, however, announce some other PlayStation VR games following its conference.