So, it’s finally over: the gaming industry’s showcase of the year, the main event, the literal SummerSlam, that sometimes can turn in somewhat a lying contest…but we’re not here to debunk possible graphical downgrades, aren’t we? Let’s leave that to the actual debunkers.
What we ARE here to do is discuss the good stuff that e3 has brought to the table this year, focusing mainly on full fledged games…so yeah, DLC and various Updates not included. But let’s cut to the chase fellas, shall we? We got a lot to cover!
Today we talk EA, Bethesda and Ubisoft, so small fry, but with big plans.
EA: It May Be In The Game This Time
Aside from a whole lot of FIFA-related news, including a “story mode” similar to NBA 2K16 (hopefully better written, Spike Lee sure has lot his touch), the Scrooge McDucks of gaming didn’t bring nothing too spectacular or unexpected, the highlights of the conference being:
-The Titanfall 2 trailers, one for the regular multiplayer and one for the long-waited singleplayer Campaign. The game seems to improve the already pretty good formula of its precedessor, with new pilot and Titan abilities like a device that will make the pilot go invisible for a short period of time after being hit (in a similar way to the Dead Ringer clock from Team Fortress 2), AoE “moves” for the Titans like what looked like an energy beam and a ground pound, better Titan melee, specific “anti air” weapons -still for the Titans- to punish pilots who jump in front of them, hoping to land on the “weak spot”, Zero-G grenades to make opponents float in place, incapacitating them, and the Grappling Hook, an item that we’ll see come back many times during the rest of the event.
-A one-hour long match of Battlefield 1, confirming that the pacing of the game will be similar to the previous games in the series but in much bigger maps (no soul crushing trench warfare and suicidal bayonet charges), the playable “classes” (Assault, Medic, Scout and Pilot), vehicles ranging from the british Mark V proto-tank to bike-sidecar combos, and the presence of the Behemoths, massive “special vehicles” that need +4 people to be manned and consist of a Zeppelin, an Armored Train and a Battleship, each one specific to a particular map.
-A trailer dedicated to all the “Star Wars” related projects that EA is working on, one for each dev team, apparently, which didn’t show much of the actual games (sadly), but gave some insight on where the Star Wars franchise is going, videogame wise, and fortunately it’s not just EA Battlefront and mobile games.
Bethesda: The Bring-Backers
Bethesda loves to play Frankestein these days: when it’s not announcing DLC for Fallout 4 (Nuka World and Build-Your-Own-Vault) or another repackaging of Skyrim (a remastered, this time, with mod support enabled on console), it’s resurrecting franchises, and after Wolfenstein and Doom, now it’s Quake’s turn, confirming the pre-e3 rumors.
…And yeah, about Quake…it’s called “Quake Champions”, and it looks like it’s going to fill the slot of “Character-based multyplayer FPS” that Overwatch created the need for. Now, i know that the purists must be freaking out in pure desperation, but i wouldn’t be so quick to judge: the last time we did that (Doom), it turned out pretty awesome, hasn’t it? Even if i myself don’t like the idea of Over-Quake, let’s give it some time, shall we? Bethesda may have an card up their sleeve.
Also, Dishonored 2 looks amazing, Corvo and Elisabeth (who grew up from the last game) will be playable and will have some different powers to eachother, Elisabeth’s signature technique being…the Grappling Hook.
Ubisoft: Potential and Lies
O Ubisoft, Ubisoft…wherefore art thou, Ubisoft?
You see, these guys have the potential, so much potential, and sometimes they even let some of that slip out of the curtains, with a Watch_Dogs 2 or a South Park: Fractured But Whole…but then it comes to delivering what they promise, and everything just falls down…it’s like they don’t want to use that potential!
Their big promises this time are:
-Watch_Dogs 2 looks really fun, both in trailers and gameplays: San Francisco is a good choice for the sequel’s setting, Silicon Valley and all, and looks much more vibrant than Chicago, and the new protagonist himself, Marcus, feels a bit more of an actual character than his predecessor, Aiden “Irish Punisher” Pearce, showing actual humour and personality…something nice to see, once in a while.
This time you’re part of DedSec, the most “gangsta” hacker group i’ve ever seen, and act out of a mixture of conscience and boredom, exposing all kinds of corporate and political scandals like it’s a game, to initially tear down some congressman’s presidential campaign, who is apparently using social media to manipulate the opinion of the voters…you know, your tipycal cyberpunk-ish plot where hacker groups are involved. Your options have been greatly expanded, with more non-lethal weapons (like the melee Clacker Volley) and hacking options to compensate for the variety of 3D printed custom guns you’ll have at your disposal, to offer a freedom of approach similar to the latest Deus Ex games.
There also seems to be a greater emphasis on hacking, and now nearly every object in can be manipulated, even in multyple ways: cars, cranes, forklifts, choppers, cellphones, and other electronic devices like cleaning robots, televisions and so on are all toys for you to play, to either cause mayhem and destruction on your way to your objective, or to provide a swift escape by making everybody’s cellphone in a radius of 30 minutes vibrate at the same time.
All of this is pretty cool, and a vast improvement over the first chapter, and -like the naive fool i am- i have somewhat high hopes for this game…Ubisoft, don’t screw this up.
-Sout Park: Fractured But Whole is just all i wanted from an eventual Stick of Truth sequel: it leaves the fantasy-role playing game aesthetic behind, becoming a parody of modern superhero movies…hell, the whole premise of it it’s how Eric Cartman, the “con artist” of the bunch, fails to impose his business model for their new superhero “franchise” on the rest on the rest of the kids, causing a Marvel-style “Civil War” between them (way ahead of schedule, apparently).
Gameplay wise is a straight improvement from Stick of Truth, adding a movement grid reminiscent of games like Fire Emblem, farts so powerful that switch the turn order (it’s South Park, people) and “shoving” moves that can knock enemies into props and your own alllies for extra damage (cue to people screaming “Wombo Combo”). This is, of course, as far as they’ve shown, and we’ll probably hear more about it in the near future. Again, the hype is pretty real, but i’m sure these guys will deliver.
-For Honor: the year is…somewhere around the middle ages. An earthquake of apocalyptic proportions killed EVERYTHING other than a few thousand survivors in europe and japan, and each of the three big “clans” of survivors is guided by a “raider”, a warrior of ungodly skill who took them under his wing and rebuilt their respective civilization: these three warriors are a samurai, an european knight and a brutish viking, and the gameplay trailer at the conference, introduced by the sexy beast that is Jason Vanderberghe, showed quite the” cultural clash” between the viking survivors and japanese survivors.
As far as we know it’s gonna be a hack and slash game somewhat similar to Ryse: Son of Rome, with a singleplayer story mode revolving around leading one of the three factions to supremacy, and a multyplayer pvp mode that will probably play similar to a Souls game, but with a bit less weapon variety.
Even though i personally despise everything regarding the Middle Ages, this game has me quite intrigued, and there’s not much for Ubi to screw around either, so let’s keep an eye out for this one.
-Ghost Recon: Wildlands looks like The Division’s big brother, ditching the futuristic look of Future Soldier for something more “present”, but plays like a mix between regular Ghost Recon and Metal Gear Solid V, so you got this big open world with towns, outposts, gas stations, roadblocks and fortresses and so on, vehicles to travel it (choppers included, unlike Metal Gear, and this time you can literally HALO jump from them!), and of course the missions sprawl through it, with stuff like “interrogate guy in point A to know where point B is”, and you can either massacre everyone bewteen you and your target or slowly crouchwalk your way to him, occasionally popping some “hombre”‘s head with your silenced pistol, if they get too close.
About hombres and cabrones, this time your “sandbox” is -apparently- the whole Bolivian state, offering a great lot of enviroment variety, since this little South American state has got everything a good tactical shooter map needs to be interesting, ranging from Metal Gear Solid 3-style jungle enviroments to montainous deserted regions, with your urban enviroments here and there. The game will have, of course, an online co-op component, but if the bots are as good as Future Soldier’s, it won’t be a Payday 2 scenario, where playing without human players means certain Death.
Another incredibly promising game, what a coincidence! It would be a shame if bad business practices were to ruin it…
-HONORABLE MENTION TO-
Steep…a really weird way for Ubisoft to finish the conference, this “sports action game” is basically a playable version of those go-pro extreme sports videos that Red Bull posts constantly, an unexpectedly violent first person snowboarding, skiing, skydiving and parachuting simulator with possible VR support that…well…looks really neat. It’s not a groundbreaking game frankly, but i think it deserved some recognition just for the shenanigans that are going to ensue, being DEATH in gruesome ways enabled and all…
…So, this one was just a warm up, to get the small fish out of the way: from here on out it’s gonna get better and better, with the literal Umbran Climax that was Sony’s conference, so, if you don’t find me literally painful to read, stick around, ok? It’s gonna get really hype up in here!
I hope you found this report entertaining and somewhat insightful, this is 3rd Runner, signing off.