E3 2016 Monday Impressions: This Gamer Can Haz Opinions?
“It’s beginning to look a lot like E3… everywhere you go!” and that’s just alright with me. I love the hype, and the puffed out chests, and the whole dog and pony show that is E3. It is an opportunity for game designers and other folks within the video game industry to look like rock stars… and why shouldn’t they? These are the talented and connected individuals that bring us these wonderful digital delights each and every year. What did the rock stars have for us yesterday? A ton of stuff was announced by both Microsoft and Sony, as well as a few other surprises. Here’s what struck my fancy… but first: ALL ABOARD!
Monday Non Conference Games: There was at least one cool thing that made it out into the wild yesterday and that I thought had potential.
- Vampyr: A new IP from the DONTNOD, the creators of Remember Me and Life is Strange (which I liked quite a lot). In Vampyr, you take on the role of a doctor that has recently been turned to a vampire in England, circa 1918. the protagonist struggles with his new found bloodlust, especially in how it relates to his Hippocratic Oath, in this open world action-RPG that will allow you to determine the fate of just about everybody in the game. My Take: Sign me up! It looks dark, moody, intense, and given DONTNOD’s pedigree of narrative design, the story should be a wild ride.
- Custom X-Box Controllers: Go online, design the controller color scheme – from button colors, front and back of the controllers, and more! All told, there are over 8 million ways to customize the controller. Customize away, pay for it, and Microsoft will ship it to you. My Take: This is genius, and should have existed a long time ago. Kudos to Microsoft.
- X-Box One Slim Confirmed: Pretty much everything I mentioned yesterday was confirmed. It comes in 3 flavors: 500 MB HD, 1 TB HD, and 2 TB HD. Project Scorpio (the upgraded spec X-Box) was also confirmed, but seeing as they are targeting Holiday 2017, I don’t see the point in talking about it right now. My Take: The Slim looks sharp, and it has an upgraded controller. hard not to love the updates.
- X-Box Anywhere: A system that allows for games on both the X-Box and a Windows based PC to be purchased Cross Buy style for the price of a single game, including shared save files and multiplayer compatibility. Certain games will support this feature. My Take: Cross Buy is a win-win situation, and being able to carry over the save files and also playing multiplayer between the platforms is a triple win-win. Microsoft is making some serious amends these last 2 years.
- ReCore: Recore looks to be a fun action game with a lot of variety. Set in a sci-fi like setting, it has the player controlling a human protagonist as well directing a small squadron of robot helpers that can help you explore and attack your enemies. My Take: This game shows a lot of promise. As long as there is enough depth in the gameplay and in the game world, ReCore should be a blast.
- Sea of Thieves: Rare’s MMO-style take on pirates. A vastly open world game in which you create a pirate, join a crew (with other players), and drink, pillage, plunder, and partake of other pirate like activities as you explore the golden era of pirating! My Take: The gameplay trailer was goofy as all get out, but it did a good job of showing off a wide variety of jobs and things that each pirate could do. If I thought I could find enough friends online on a regular basis to play this with me, I would definitely play this.
- Scalebound: Scalebound looks epic. Who doesn’t love a good “ride a dragon and wreck shop” type of game? This one looks great. My Take: Platinum Games hasn’t let me down yet. They make terrific games. This looks to be another fantastic title from the studio that gave us Bayonetta, the Wonderful 101, and Anarchy Reigns.
- Dead Rising 4: Frank West returns! The grab anything, create anything, and pretty much do anything to kill endless hordes of zombie games is back. My Take: More Dead Rising is always a good thing. It’s mindless fun, kinda of like a Dynasty Warriors style take on the zombie apocalypse.
- Grow Home: A sequel to Grow Up (A unique platformer that was quite good). This appears to be more of the same with some new bits added in here and there. My Take: Could be good, if not a little derivative. If it doesn’t feel too much like a retread of the first game it should be a fun play.
- For Honor: A melee combat game, similar to Dynasty Warriors, that allows for combat between 3 distinct factions: Knights, Vikings, and Samurais. There is a full single player campaign, as well as robust online multiplayer options. The game looks violent, bloody, and relentless. My Take: I like knights, vikings, and samurais. I also like games with a healthy combat engine. If it has more meat, in terms of depth of combat, than I would definitely be interested in For Honor.
- God of War 4: Kratos is a daddy! But in all seriousness, this game looks graphically amazing, the combat looks terrific, and the atmosphere and sound design for the stage demo were terrific. My Take: I’m not the biggest fan of the God of War series, but this stage demo looked exceptional. I may go back to this franchise… one more time.
- Days Gone: A new Zombie game from Sony’s Bend Studio. This one has some wicked fast zombies that move more like the zombies in the World War Z film. It looks intense. Watch the end of the Sony press conference to see a full stage demonstration – it’s nuts! My Take: As long as the story is as involved and heart wrenching as The Last of Us, Days Gone may be another solid 1st party title for the Playstation team.
- The Last Guardian: 10 Years! The Last Guardian has been in production for over 10 years. From the team that brought us ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, comes this tale of a young child that befriends a Kitty-Chicken (my wife’s words, not mine). It looks amazing, and is finally coming out in October of this year. My Take: TAKE MY MONEY AWAY!
- Detroit: Become Human: Detroit is a Sci-Fi adventure game with a heavy tip of the hat towards Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner. Androids are used by humans to help in everyday situations, but what happens when they want to become more like their creators? Can Androids achieve sentience? These are the core questions tackled in Detroit, which looks to be a thrilling game. My Take: Quantic Dream will always have my money. This looks to have decisions with deeper impact than any of their previous games, and a return to controlling multiple characters throughout a winding narrative. SIGN ME UP!
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Sony showed Horizon off briefly last year. The game looks as if it has progressed well. The stage demo was quite nice. My Take: I will definitely be playing this when it comes out. It looks like way too much fun to pass up!
- Spider-Man: Insomniac Games (of Ratchet and Clank fame), is working on this Spider-Man game which will be exclusive to the PS4. It looks pretty amazing, and gives me the good Spider-Man 2 chills. My Take: As long as the web swinging is on point, the upgrades actually matter (faster swinging, advanced combat techniques, etc.), and the city is vibrant and full of fun places to explore and people to save – then Spider-Man should be fun. A great story would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath…
- Death Stranding: The new game from Kojima Productions. I literally know nothing about this game, but the teaser was very striking. My Take: I have no idea, but it seems intriguing and Kojima nearly always makes good games. I’d like to see more about it, but I’m cautiously optimistic.