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Sony swings into E3 last and steals the show on day two

New footage and surprise titles stunned fans and press throughout Monday.

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"Marvel: Spiderman" due to release in 2018.

Courtesy of Marvel

Courtesy of Marvel

"Marvel: Spiderman" due to release in 2018.

Carlos Villicana, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

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Console gaming giants Sony and Ubisoft had the largest impact on Monday afternoon at the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo, as both showed off widely anticipated games and revealed others that were long-rumored to be coming.

Computer gaming’s E3 presence was felt first, kicking off with the reveal of an expansion pack for turn-based tactics video game XCOM 2, following the XCOM military organization as it fights against an alien occupation of Earth. The “War of the Chosen” expansion pack will add three more alien species to the game who, like the player’s character, will evolve throughout the game. Players who get the expansion pack on Aug. 29 will also receive special character types to counter new enemies.

The presentation included many announcements for expansion packs, card games and more turn-based strategy games featuring worlds at war, such as “Battletech” and “Total War: Warhammer 2.” “Battletech” allows players to assume control of giant machines for combat, while “Warhammer 2” gives players the options of Lizardmen, Dark Elves, High Elves or a fourth race that is yet to be revealed. Both are expected to release in the fall.

Then, Ubisoft took over and began by confirming that it was working on “Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle,” a crossover of its “Raving Rabbids” and Nintendo’s “Super Mario” franchises that had marketing plans leaked in May. It won fans over with gameplay that showed Mario teaming with the Rabbids, dressed as friends of the jumpy plumber to save the Mushroom Kingdom from an unknown evil.

The company also officially unveiled “Beyond Good and Evil 2,” a prequel to 2003’s beloved but commercially unsuccessful “Beyond Good and Evil,” ending a decade of speculation about its existence. Game director Michel Ancel was moved to tears on stage by the response to the cinematic trailer that showed off a chase in the game’s multicultural, intergalactic future. Little of the game was revealed, but fans of the original responded in-room and online with joy.

“You can get out of the Chinese restaurant, jump into your spaceship, go across the atmosphere, and go into your giant spaceship, and then change the planet,” Ancel said. “And all this does no loading, and you can be attacked whenever it’s happening. It’s like GTA but in space, in three dimensions,” Ancel said.

Other Ubisoft titles that impressed included racing game “The Crew 2,” first-person shooter “Far Cry 5,” and the reveal of multiplayer pirate game “Skull & Bones.”

Sony took the stage last and stole the night with an hour long stream of trailer after trailer after trailer, showcasing footage for the largest lineup of blockbuster titles that included “Call of Duty: WWII,” new zombie game “Days Gone,” “God of War,” a “Horizon Zero Dawn” expansion and a remake of “Shadow of the Colossus,” which is often considered one of the greatest video games of all time.

But tonight the best was truly saved for last, as Sony provided a lengthy look at Insomniac Games’ “Marvel: Spider-Man,” due for release next year.

The footage begins with Spider-Man stopping a criminal and speaking with his boss, iconic Marvel villain Wilson Fisk — also known for his stint in “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix. Spider-Man agrees to rescue his thugs in exchange for information on a mysterious new gang. This leads to a long and thrilling chase through the skyline of New York City as the web shooter tries to bring down a helicopter wrecking buildings in its path.

With numerous known titles yet to be revealed and three more days of E3 to go, fans can expect much more excitement to come.

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