Super Ultra Metanorn E3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha
Another year of E3, another year of gamers doing their unique version of financial planning on video game purchases. Now that the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are out in the wild, it’s time to start pumping these consoles with more great games and additional reasons to make the $400 spent worth it.
Like Jrow said, these new consoles are really in need of new games. My PS4 has essentially been a very, very expensive Infamous-playing machine. I’m still not convinced there are enough good games to look into buying a WiiU either. Thankfully, E3 is all about new games and new technology. I can now fill the void of the my gaming cabinet and…transfer that void to my wallet.
Quick Conference Recaps – They’re All Winners!
It was important to Microsoft that you knew the Xbox One press conference was going to be about games. It’s new head Phil Spencer’s point of emphasis to be of the gamers and for the gamers, and the conference went game after game after game. Some exclusives, some multi-plats, Indie Love and more kept Microsoft’s conference at a steady and interesting level. Of the gameplay we saw, Sunset Overdrive impressed me quite a bit and The Witcher 3 might be my first Witcher game I play. The Master Chief Collection is an incredible collection done right, and I can’t wait to replay those games on X1 and the Guardians beta.
EA admitted that some of the stuff we’d see were early prototypes, which meant that weren’t going to see much gameplay. I’m anxious for Mirror’s Edge 2 and was impressed by Battlefield Hardline’s escaping of modern warfare to cops ‘n robbers, but just saying there’s a new Mass Effect isn’t that exciting since in reality we all knew you were making it, Bioware! And how about that new IP, eh? Yeah, I don’t know what that was meant to show us, either…
I felt Ubisoft did better than its primary 3rd party counterpart with a nice showing of all their open-world wares. I’d say I kid, but it’s becoming their bread and butter by now. Far Cry 4’s demo at Sony’s event looked like a blast, 4-player co-op in Assassin’s Creed Unity should be great fun, and The Division had an impressively depressing trailer. I also really enjoyed Rainbow Six: Siege’s hostage mission, though I question the capabilities of the players on the tactical team.
Sony is always one to put on a good show, and for the most part they did. While me and my buddy Xcom yawned during the Powers presentation, the show had some big hits and nice trailers. It closed strong with confirmation of GTA V’s Generation 8 presence, Phantom Pain and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End trailers. Indies got love here as well, with Entwined now available, Abzu looking swimmingly and No Man’s Sky looking like an open-galaxy game more than open world.
Nintendo has opted again to do another special Direct video instead of a straight-up press event, and this year they found ways to have fun while presenting new games. The general impression I’ve seen of Nintendo’s conference are that people are warming up a bit more to the idea of buying a Wii U, especially because of Smash Bros being Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 including the first game and Nintendo cosplay, and a major Zelda title being developed for it. And also, we all liked Palutena and that animated fight scene between Link & Pit. Do you realize how much money there is in a Smash Bros anime? My goodness… anyways, with a good showing from Nintendo and Mario Kart 8 selling Wii U’s, things are looking a bit more upwards for Reggie, Iwata and co.
5. Far Cry 4’s online feature
While the game itself looks pretty cool, even more interesting was the announcement that you can invite friends who don’t own the game to play. How it works is that the game owner gets 10 keys to dole out to friends, and those with PS Plus memberships essentially download a trial version of the game and get to play co-op with their friends. It could never be a full game for the non-buyer, but it’s a brilliant idea by Ubisoft as a way to get gamers who are on the fringe about Far Cry 4 to eventually consider purchasing it – by being able to play the actual game with their friends.
4. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider was a sensational all-around game, and the story gave weight to the actions Lara took in her adventure. The E3 trailer shows a commitment to that story as she sees a therapist to deal with the memories in her head of her previous ordeal where friends died, killing and maybe from the gruesome deaths players put her through. I knew it was her even with the hoodie up, but it was a no-doubter once you heard Camilla Luddington’s voice after Lara jumped.
3. Sunset Overdrive
If you put Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in a blender, you’d get Sunset Overdrive. Third-person games these days like the cover mechanics and tight level design that makes it predictable as to when you’re just meandering around and when you’re entering a battle scene, but Sunset Overdrive looks like it revels in being fun and having your self-made character grinding and shooting zombies. I’m an Xbox One owner who only has Titanfall for it, and I’m looking forward to what should be a bit of a return to form for Insomniac Games.
2. Indie Montage
It’s a good time to be an indie developer; Microsoft & Sony make sure these small dev companies get love, montages and screen time at E3. Of the many interesting indie games to pop up at E3, No Man’s Sky looks like the biggest and most ambitious of them all. While Overcooled discusses the visuals and the world below, it’s also very interesting that each gamer starts on their own planet, meaning that the universe of No Man’s Sky grows as each new person plays the game and creates a seemingly endless amount of actual planets to explore for all gamers. Hello Games also seems to have the capability to make each of these worlds unique. Forget being ambitious for an indie dev, I’m not sure we saw any game reach the heights No Man’s Sky is reaching for.
Also looking great was Cuphead, which looks just like an old-timey cartoon; I’ve been anticipating Hyper Light Drifter for a while, and Inside looks like it can be a worthy follow-up to Limbo.
1. Destiny & Battlefield Hardline, playable… now!
You guys, I’m playing Destiny now!
E3 is somewhat bittersweet. It’s exciting to see gameplay of Arkham Knight, but then you realize we’re not playing that until next year. With Destiny & Battlefield Hardline getting an alpha & beta release (respectively), we can ride the hype wave by actually getting to play an early build of the game! Destiny has been building up hype for quite a while, and while September 9th isn’t that far away nor is the beta scheduled for mid-July, they allowed access to the alpha version this week and I’ve spent a little time playing it. While some can selfishly look at it as the first great opportunity to try out the game, in the overall it helps Bungie and the gamers to learn from the somewhat public alpha and more public beta releases about system load and create a hopefully more ready and stable release for such an anticipated release.
5. Valiant Hearts
I don’t usually get much out of Ubisoft’s conferences. They just don’t make a lot of games I can get behind. So I was distractedly watching out of boredom when this trailer came on. This depressing, beautiful trailer marched onscreen and completely won me over. Can you handle watching a sad dog trudge through the battlefield in the rain all alone? Or stare sadly into the distance at the graves of all the soldier who have passed? No, you can’t. You just can’t. This trailer tugs at heartstrings without warning and makes you unbearably depressed about the life of this cartoon, war dog. In just a few moments, they told an entire story. It was a pleasant, creative surprise in Ubisoft’s otherwise kind of weird conference filled with scrawny dudes doing push-ups and cringeworthy hugs.
4. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Xenoblade Chronicles for the wii is one of my favourite games of all time. I’ve never played any of the Xeno-whatever games aside from this one, but it’s enough to make me seriously invested in the series. This makes Xenoblade Chronicles X my all-time most anticipated game of E3 despite the fact that it was announced last year and I don’t even own a WiiU. It’s just that promising! The new game boasts more mechs, the same huge world to discover, and lots of interesting characters. It’s like a very Japanese version of No Man’s Sky…which I can attest to because in Xenoblade Chronicles I actually did uncover new areas that were full of massive dinosaurs. So although this is old news, I’m still hyping this up. All I need to do is befriend someone with a WiiU and invade their living room. Err…anyone willing to let me into their house? No? Well, I’ll find a way to play this game because nothing can stand in the way of me and Xenoblade Chronicles X!
3. Littlebigplanet 3 Demo
I was sold on the game the second I saw the name flash on the screen. LBP is overall just a fun, playful platformer that you can spend hours playing with your friends. For me and my friends, most of those hours were spent trying over and over to finish co-op puzzles without one person dying and trying to get unstuck from under unfortunately placed piles of debris. Lots of uncontrollable giggling and the occasional yelling ensued. My point is that dicking around and trying to survive with your friends is hugely entertaining. This was probably unintentional, but the demo players did a lot of dicking around. They couldn’t quite get some of the platforming sections, and they were laughing and hollering as they struggled to progress in the map. So although they probably felt bad for kind of messing up, it ended up working for them. I love how they were genuinely having a good time. It was real laughter! Yes, real laughs not written in the script! If playing a quick demo in front of the audience is that fun, then imagine how great it will be to stumble through a level with your friends. With the addition of new sack-characters (who I sincerely hope we can customize), LBP3 looks like a great new game. Take note, everyone. If you just throw people on stage and ask them to have a good time, you’ll convince people that your game is actually fun.
2. No Man’s Sky
I’m tired of grey, dark, gritty shooters where you just run around and kill things. It’s just not my genre. Thankfully, we’re seeing quite a few games buck that trend. And boy oh boy are the results exciting when you don’t just limit yourself to games about shooting up other dudes. No Man’s Sky uses a refreshingly vivid colour palettes instead of looking like a HD prison. As a result, the world looks much more attractive and also a little more alien. That is, unless grass is Sunset Overdrive-coloured orange where you live. The trailer for No Man’s Sky showed off a bright, beautiful world that encourages exploration and I am so down with that. Of course I want to discover new species of dinosaurs and travel the galaxy! There’s no question that it would be an amazing experience! And the trailer makes it look like an incredible world to explore – made even more vast by the ability to fly to other planets and start to exploration process all over again. I dunno how much the flying and shooting will play a role in this game, but hopefully it’s not much. I would gladly spend all day just recording all the dinosaurs I saw into my little notebook without shooting a thing. I love exploring in games and No Man’s Sky is delivering just that. It’s just about everything I could want.
1. Nintendo Intro Video
Nintendo does some weird stuff. I feel that I might wake up one day in a cold sweat to find out Nintendo was never actually a real company. They do a lot of things that make no sense, but it’s so endearing and cute that you can’t help but love them. They continued to show their weird side with the opening video teasing the new Super Smash Bros. The highlight wasn’t anything really related to hype for the game. After all, we’ve known about it for quite a while now. The real highlight of the video was the all-out Brawl between Reggie and Iwata. Like…an actual fist fight that didn’t involve any game at all. I don’t think anyone knew what they were watching, but it certainly was entertaining. Nintendo has managed to make their CEOs into celebrities that are as likable as Mario himself. So it’s become quite a clever tactic for them to use these iconic company heads as a marketing ploy to make us like them more. As the most hilarious and creative start to any conference, this silly intro video was my most memorable event for E3.