E3 2018

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukWith some exciting new releases on the way and the return of fan favourites it’s time to get your game on.

This article titled “E3 2018: live news from Sony’s Playstation press conference” was written by Keith Stuart and Keza MacDonald, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 12th June 2018 01.15 UTC

Here’s the view of the church scene, from within Sony’s church. So meta.

Last of Us 2
Last of Us 2 Photograph: Sony

Ah now it becomes clear. We’re getting a scene from Last of Us 2, set in a church tent similar to the location of the press conference. We see an older Ellie slow dancing with another female character – and they kiss. It’s very sweet.

But then the scene shifts to a swampy woodland, with Ellie creeping through the darkness. She witnesses the brutal scene of a man being hung and stabbed – it looks like a scene we saw in the earlier trailer, but now from Ellie’s perspective. From here, Ellie has to navigate through a broken down multistorey car park before running into the long grass of an abandoned lot to avoid gunfire. It’s tense graphically violent stuff.

Sadly this is Keza’s view from inside the tent.

Sony E3 conference
Sony E3 conference Photograph: Sony

Sony has made the interesting decision to begin its E3 conference with some banjo music.

We’re starting with Sony US chief Shawn Layden who has made some jokes about the church tent the event is taking place in. He’s also pretty much hinted that there won’t be many announcements – the emphasis will be on telling us more about games we already know.

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The Playstation E3 2018 conference has started

What does Sony have up its sleeve? How will it compete with the game onslaught of the Xbox show? Will we finally understand Death Stranding? Let’s watch and hope.

Well, this is unusual. I’m inside now and Sony appears to have built a fake church in the middle of a movie set. Everyone has to stand in the middle like we’re about to watch an up-and-coming band. Or like we’re at a creepy wedding reception.

Sony E3 2018
Sony E3 2018 Photograph: Keza MacDonald for the Guardian

Hello from a big parking lot in downtown LA, where lots of people are shoving small portions of food into their mouths in order to survive through Sony’s E3 2018 press conference. there’s not much to report from outside, but once we’re in, the conference should begin at about 6pm.

I’m expecting Sony to do much the same as Ubisoft today: focus on games that we already know about, but show much more footage of them. Expect zombie open-world game Days Gone, the new Spider-Man game, The Last of Us Part 2 (of course), and probably some new games for PlayStation VR.

Okay, we’re going to take a break until just before the Sony conference which kicks off at 6pm PST, which is… (*works it out on his fingers*) 2am in the UK. This is Keith signing off for now; Keza will be building up to the big PlayStation 4 event.

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And the award for the funniest trailer of E3 so far may well go to Rapture Rejects a new isometric Battle Royale game from TinyBuild, based on the Cyanide & Happiness webcomic. Here, the survivors of a biblical rapture fight it out on a devastated Earth. It’s very silly.

And while we’re looking at super cute, highly stylised games, here’s the brand new E3 2018 trailer for the gorgeous Ooblets, a life simulation from Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser. You could just hug it.

Ooh, there’s a new trailer for the lovely Knights and Bikes, a hand-painted adventure game from UK studio Foam Sword. You have to watch this.

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I missed this earlier but it’s worth checking out Sable from Shedworks, a coming of age tale inspired by Moebius and maybe Studio Ghibli.

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Ooh another really interesting trailer from the PC Gaming Show – Night Call is a monochrome detective noir game featuring a Parisian cab driver hunting a serial killer. The twist is, you have to earn money driving your taxi and then use it to continue your investigations, and part of the challenging is working out your work/hunting balance. It’s kind of LA Noire meets Papers Please.

OMG, the best game of E3 has just been revealed at the PC Gaming Show. Manhunter is an open world adventure where you play as a shark, eating swimmers and anglers as they stray too close to the sea. You can upgrade your shark as you go, unlocking sharper teeth and new abilities.

Oh this will be popular with Yakuza fans…

We’ve just popped over to the PC Gaming show, which is live right now. Frogwares’ open-world investigation adventure The Sinking City looks really interesting with its mix of Lovecraftian monsters and detective fiction tropes. The lead character has a sanity meter which is affected by stressful decisions and events in the game.

Ubisoft E3 2018 conference summary: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Starfox joins Starlink and an end game for The Division 2

It was another idiosyncratic and high energy conference from Ubisoft at E3 this year, the publisher throwing everything into its presentation from dancing pandas to an onstage motorcycle accident. But with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey already revealed a little early, there was very little in the way of fresh announcements.

Instead, Ubi told us more about the latest Assassin’s Creed epic, which will be set during the Peloponnesian War and features two playable characters, both with customisable gear and weapons, and a deeper RPG system, including dialogue trees which will affect the story direction, and romance. It’s launching on 5 October.

Veteran Nintendo fans were thrilled to discover that Starfox will make a guest appearance in the Switch version of open-universe space combat game Starlink: Battle for Atlas. We also found out that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is paying lots of attention to the end game, with the addition of eight-player raids. At the end of the campaign, you also pick a fresh progression path for your character, adding new specialisations, tools and abilities. There will also be three big pieces of free DLC this year and more are promised.

There was a new cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 which will be a prequel to the original title and features a younger version of its lead character, Jade. Ubisoft is also working with Joseph Gordon Levitt’s company Hitrecord to offer budding artists and musicians the chance to contribute to the game while its being developed. There was also a thrilling gameplay demo of Skull & Bones, the seafaring adventure, based around a deep naval battle simulation, including co-operative tactics between different players.

The only announcement was Trials Rising, a new outing for the motorcycle stunt series, coming next year. It boasts a strange new co-op mode called Tandem Bike in which two players work together to control a single vehicle. It’s also heading to the Nintendo Switch for the first time.

So this was an event all about showing much more of the games we knew were coming rather than giving us anything new or shocking. Unless you count the dancing panda at the start.

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Well, that’s it from Ubisoft. We were hoping for more from the panda and his marching band but it was not to be. Summary coming up!

The demo ends with a little glimpse of a minotaur. Excellent. Here’s the full thing for those with time to watch it.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey leaked before E3, or this would be Ubisoft’s first game announcement today. We’re certainly seeing a lot of footage, including what it actually looks like to play: blue skies, populous coastal villages, horseback combat and classical architecture.

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Wow, the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey section is still going on and there’s no sign of it finishing. It’s like a Homeric epic.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will have both a male and female main character – you can play the whole game as either of them, and “interact with history as never before”. The developer is talking up more of a role-playing approach this time, rather than just action.

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Here’s the thing people were really waiting to see: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, set in the time of the ancient Greeks, during the rise of democracy. I’m hoping you’ll get to meet mythological Greek heroes in this and finally have a use for that Classics module I did in University.

It will feature the Peloponnesian war between the Greeks and Spartans (thanks, Classics module), and you’ll be able to explore on land and at sea.

Ubisoft has yet to announce a game today. On the plus side, that means that everything we’re seeing will actually be released within the next year.

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Now to Ubisoft’s historically flexible fighting game, For Honor, which is now free on PC for a limited period. The forthcoming Marching Fire DLC adds a new faction and four new fighters. There is also a four vs four combat mode named Breach.

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The most famous video game designer in the world, Shigeru Miyamoto, has turned up to receive a tiny model of a starship in honour of this crossover. Poor Miyamoto is now being ushered backstage to the developers, who will presumably all be too shy to talk to him.

That Starfox content will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of Starlink Atlas.

Miyamoto at Ubisoft’s E3 2018 press conference
Miyamoto at Ubisoft’s E3 2018 press conference Photograph: Ubisoft

Here’s the newest trailer for Starlink: Battle For Atlas, which we’ve just found out has Starfox in it!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a space combat game with a cartoony Star Wars vibe that… wait, what? Nintendo’s Star Fox has just shown up in the middle of this trailer! What is it with Ubisoft and unlikely crossovers?

Anyone who played Lylat Wars on the N64 is feeling a bit giddy now.

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Here’s the trailer for Transference, a game that blurs the line between game and film:

Wow, Ubisoft has brought in another Hollywood star, this time Elijah Wood. His company Spectrevision is working with Ubisoft on Transference, a VR psychological thriller featuring what looks to be the world’s most dysfunctional family.

Good to see some actual gameplay rather than yet another cinematic trailer. Here’s some pirate action in the Hunting Grounds:

Skull and Bones has single-player pirate adventuring AND shared-world piracy where you head out to smash up other players’ ships, as is now being explained.

Ubisoft’s pirate game Skull and Bones looks rather less cheerful than Rare’s Sea of Thieves, which came out earlier this year. Lots of skulls and fire and killing. I am on board (fnar) with any game that riffs on Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, however, and Skull and Bones definitely does.

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Here’s the producer of weird, funny strategy game Mario x Rabbids, the most unlikely video game crossover of all time, and famous video game composer Grant Kirkhope, giving a live musical introduction to the new Donkey Kong-themed expansion, in a classic earnest-yet-comical E3 press conference moment. That’s out June 26th.

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We’re moving on to Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. There’s a long cinematic trailer of a devastated city with citizens cowering in fear, hiding from armed gangs, and dead animals floating in flooded streets. We see a woman being executed, and then it’s pretty much over.

Your actions will apparently have clear impacts on the lives of civilians as you attempt to pacify Washington DC. At the end of the campaign, you pick a new progression path for your character, adding new specialisations, tools and abilities. This is clearly answering some of the complaints about The Division’s lack of a clear end game.

The big news: raids are coming to Division 2! “We’re launching with plans for years of frequent content updates,” says the creative director. This year will see three DLC deliveries with new activities and missions, and they’re all free.

The Division 2 – a game about trying to keep order after a pandemic has destroyed the US – seems to be really leaning into the human angle this time, at least in the trailers. Lots of evocative shots of kids at play in the trailers. Lots of people in difficulty, trying to comfort each other through the disaster. Some very uncomfortable footage of people getting shot or kids desperate for help. The first Division, set in frosty Manhattan, felt oddly impersonal most of the time, so this is definitely a change.

If you don’t know what Trials is all about, this trailer for the new game is pretty much all you need to see: I like to think of it as a game about balletic failure.

Trials is back – we know this because the game’s director just arrived on a motorbike, dressed in Evel Knievel regalia, and crashed into a podium. Trials Rising takes the player around the world in a bunch of new environments including castles, cities and moving trains. There’s a closed beta happening next year and the game is releasing in February 2019, on PC, PS4, Xbox and Switch!

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The creator of downhill motorbike racing game Trials has just claimed to be the prime minister of Finland. Spoiler: he is not.

Here’s that Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer, for fans of talking pigs:

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Next up, a section on Rainbow Six eSports which I’ve missed because I was busy looking up how to spell Joseph Gordon Levitt. We’ll come back to this.

Joseph Gordon Levitt Ubisoft E3 2018
Joseph Gordon Levitt Ubisoft E3 2018 Photograph: Ubisoft

So this is really interesting. Ubisoft is asking for community involvement in the design of Beyond Good and Evil 2, via actor Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Hit Record project. Ubisoft is looking for artists and musicians to contribute tracks and art to the game through the Space Monkey Program.

Next up, a lovely cinematic from Beyond Good and Evil 2. It looks like what would have happened if Jean-Pierre Jeunet had directed Guardians of the Galaxy. And Jade is back, as a younger version of herself for this prequel adventure.

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Ubisoft E3
Ubisoft E3 Photograph: Ubisoft

Okay stop E3, Ubisoft has won. That was quite an opening for Just Dancing 2019. While the rest of the industry pays lip service to diversifying its audience, Ubisoft just throws it out there with rainbow marching bands and cuddly pandas.

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Ubisoft E3 panda
Ubisoft E3 panda Photograph: Ubisoft

Okay it’s Ubisoft so we’re starting with a dancing panda.

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Ubisoft press conference has begun

Here we go with the creators of Assassin’s Creed, The Division and more!

By the way, this is how I’m fuelling my E3 coverage.

Oh if you’re looking forward to Just Cause 4, you should definitely catch the game’s section from the Square Enix conference earlier. There was lots of information including the dynamic weather disasters (blizzards! Tornados!) as well as the ability to drive bulldozers and wrecking balls. Square Enix is promising a huge “deeply advanced” systemic world, which has been built using a new engine named Apex.

We’re especially excited to find out more about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Is it more than just a ‘kicking someone off a cliff’ simulator?

So what do you want to see from Ubisoft? The French-Canadian developer usually puts on quite a show at E3, and by ‘quite a show’ we mean lots of weirdness and dancing.

On the menu this year are Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Crew 2, Beyond Good and Evil 2, more from For Honor, Skull & Bones, Starlink: Battle for Atlas and surely a couple of new announcements.

Here’s something else from the Square Enix conference earlier – The Quiet Man, which the publisher bills as a short cinematic adventure that players will be able to complete in a few hours. “Seamlessly blending high-production live action, realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay” it’s coming to PS4 and PC in August.

While we’re waiting for Ubisoft to start, let’s have a quick look at the trailer for Babylon’s Fall the new game from cult studio Platinum Games. It was revealed during this morning’s so-so Square Enix conference.

Hello and welcome to the second day of our coverage from the E3 video game expo in sunny Los Angeles. Today is the turn of Ubisoft and Sony to thrill a global audience of millions with their latest offerings.

First up will be Ubisoft at 1pm Pacific time, showing off their latest titles from Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 to Skull & Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2.

Later tonight, from 6pm (PST) will be the turn of Sony, with its answer to the strong Xbox showing. Expect Last of Us 2, Spider-Man and of course more from Hideo Kojima’s perplexing Death Stranding.

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