E3: Sony PlayStation’s Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills

Last of Us 2 E3: Sony PlayStation's Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills E3: Sony PlayStation's Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills 816abd0aabImage copyrightSony
Image caption Ellie’s kiss in the Last of Us Part II served as a contrast to the explicit violence that followed

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”.

Skip Twitter post by @Patrick_ORourke

Wow. The Last of Us looks absolutely incredible. This is everything I want from the sequel to my favourite game of all time. #E32018

— Patrick O’Rourke (@Patrick_ORourke) June 12, 2018

End of Twitter post by @Patrick_ORourke

Skip Twitter post by @DanDawkins

Amazing. But so weird cheering such violence.

— Daniel Dawkins (@DanDawkins) June 12, 2018

End of Twitter post by @DanDawkins

Skip Twitter post by @thejenna

Thank you, The Last of Us Part 2, for giving us the gay romance BioWare so cruelly deprived us of

— Jenna Stoeber (@thejenna) June 12, 2018

End of Twitter post by @thejenna

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.

Image copyrightSony
Image caption Death Stranding’s plot remains a mystery

The plot still remains unclear and, again, no release date was given.

Image Copyright @MaxScoville@MaxScoville
Twitter post by @MaxScoville: Once again, a Death Stranding reveal has left me speechless and utterly bewildered, but I'm still 1000% onboard. #E32018 E3: Sony PlayStation's Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills E3: Sony PlayStation's Last of Us Part II has kisses and kills 1964003ddeImage Copyright @MaxScoville@MaxScoville

Console wars

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.

Image copyrightSony
Image caption The Last of Us Part II featured several gruesome killings

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.

Image caption The opening part of Sony’s E3 event was held in a room dressed up to look like one of Last of Us Part II’s locations

“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.”

Medieval swords

Image copyrightSony
Image caption Ghost of Tsushima is being developed by Sucker Punch, the Sony division that created Infamous

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.

Image copyrightSony
Image caption The Spider-Man trailer featured the super hero under attack from several of his enemies

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.

Image copyrightCapcom
Image caption Leon Kennedy returns in a Resident Evil 2 remake unveiled at the Sony press conference

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.

Image copyrightRemedy Entertainment
Image caption Remedy Entertainment said Control was set for release some time in 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.

Image copyrightSquanch Games
Image caption Trover Saves The Universe is set for release in “early 2019”

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.

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