Ramblings: E3 Quick Thoughts Part 2

Yesterday, I rambled a little about the companies that presented yesterday and the day before.  In a sense, E3 is almost like a holiday to me at this point.  While I’ve been falling out of loop with the gaming world, tons of great titles and genuinely fascinating events have been pulling me back into it.  That said, two platforms for gaming have been constants for me, even after I faded in and out of the fandom and community.  Today, it’s all about PC gaming and Nintendo!  Brace yourselves, this one’s quite a bit longer than the last one!!!  More after the jump.

To get this out of the way, Nintendo gave us what we wanted and what we expected.  It was fun, but safe.  We knew a little bit about Yoshi’s Wooly World, StarFox, and Mario Maker.  If anything, this just gave a little update while keeping up the hype machine.  If anything, the post-E3 interviews involving Legend of Zelda felt more grabbing than the actual event.  In a sense, it felt a lot like last year’s presentation; charming and amusing sketches brought to life through the team behind a popular show or work, updates on hyped Nintendo properties, and a few genuine surprises to get truly excited for.  The Wii U equivalent of Four Swords Adventure (Tri Force Heroes) looks like a real party to dive into, as I had fun with multiple links romping around last time.  Also, world building a la Mario Maker and the new Animal Crossing (where you work for Tom Nook?) seem fascinating enough.  Though, I always love world building and construction games.  If Minecraft came out when I was in Middle School or even High School, I would have been addicted to that for ages to come!  Overall, there isn’t too much to say on Nintendo.  Their presentation was full of the usual Ninty charm, but that’s really it.  It was nice, plain and simple.  That said, where’s my Zelda news?  I know I talked about it already, but I’m quite the demanding fanboy…

As for the “glorious PC gaming master race”, we saw a couple highlights, some slight hiccups (not unlike the unfortunate glitch in the Uncharted gameplay trailer seen at Sony’s panel), but overall things looks pretty sweet.  For starters, we saw some sexy building and deconstructing of a PC to almost gratuitous levels.  Hey, someone’s into it, right?  Also, our pals at AMD loved coming on the stage to promote their magnificent graphics card for optimized vidya experience… over and over again.  I guess they really like reminding the audience how cool they are.  (And to be fair, I prefer them to Intel, no matter what the super fans say.)  The new Radian looks as cool as any graphics card goes, and probably runs as cool too.

Now, onto the games themselves, we were greeted with a clip show of PC games both familiar and less so.  Seeing a bit from my favorite space simulating game gone bonkers (next to Moonbase Alpha) was a nice treat of course.  There was some tributes to AAA and mainstreams (like Half-Life and assorted Tim Schaeffer works) as well as acclaimed indie titles (“PAPERS PLEASE!”)

Afterwards, we got a peak into more fun with Killing Floor 2.  I mean, Killing Floor was already fun, but it’s all good.  And by that I mean, more blood and gore splatter than a Tarantino flick… not that I’m complaining.  Besides gore, we have tons of neat industrial environment and an assortment of cool weaponry and pretty sweet enemies to blast through.  Plus, we have tons of free content to explore too because E3!  Hey, that’s cool in my book. For a similar but fun looking experience, we got a peak into Strafe.  Kinda looks like Quake for the modern age, but Quake is awesome.  Either way, I want Trent Reznor to go back into video game soundtrack recording.  It was a neat bullet packed look into the GRIMDARK future of 1996, as the copyright on title card said.  That said, Dirty Bomb’s open outer space playground might be more appealing in terms of online shooter experience.  Though, both are probably tons of fun for all I know.

After this, we got an Apocalypse Now montage, leading to a Rising Storm sequel.  Now, I was never really a fan of the first one, but it could be mad awesome for all I know.  Granted, I’m more interested in that absolute horrors of war rather than a cool war shooter…  But, thems my thoughts.  Now, with our favorite agent revealed in a prior trailer, it was expected to see more insight into the world of Hitman!  Not much to say, since it was more of what I saw before.  It seems like a fun game, even though I never got into Hitman myself.  We also got more into Total War, which I believe we saw with Ubisoft’s panel.  At least this version uses the creepy version of “Everybody Wants to Rule The World” as heard in AC: Unity trailer.  Hmm, that bodes as a bad sign.  On another war related note, we have a look into GW’s Warhammer property.  I didn’t see much, but I want to play as Vampire Counts or Skaven.  Though, why don’t I just play the actual wargame then?  To wrap up war (never changes), we saw some more peaks into the Gears of War remake.  I already wasted my snark on the last couple remake announcements… and this is a year chock full of HD remakes (Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 0, Final Fantasy 7, etc)

Now if there’s one thing I love, it’s games that let you explore.  It’s why A Link to the Past/Between Worlds rank as my favorite Zelda titles and the FromSoft Souls/borne series remains among my go to series.  As for the real goods goes, STAR CITIZEN!  For all of you who remember this, it started as a Kickstarter that took forever to get off the ground as well as develop.  We’ve seen tidbits over the years, as long as guilds already forming and gaining plenty of power (if you backed it at least).  And now, we get to see what this space exploration sim and successor to Freelancer is all about!  Roberts is here to assure us that the wait will be worth it by bringing a game that balances a free landscape with a compelling story.  It’s a tough balancing act, but I really enjoyed Freelancer, so I have faith in Roberts’ ability.  Now, I may be quite biased, but I have high hopes for this title.  And I have high hopes that running it at full won’t cause my computer to go completely haywire as well.  I guess you can tell I’m very hyped for this game…  Speaking of other exploration games, Beyond Eyes looks like it could be a genuinely fascinating experience.  We saw a little with XBox, and we get more here.  As the title implies, it’s about using other senses to explore and become familiarize yourself with the world.  What you lack in sight, you can learn by utilizing everything else.  If you want immersion, this concept has it!  Though, we’ll see how far the end game takes us, as this game seems truly artful.  But, if that doesn’t grip you, maybe romping around a Mars base in Take On Mars will.  Though, I’m weary of anything tagged “early access” nowadays, due to rampant misuse.  Though, if anything has grabbed more as much if not more than Star Citizen during E3, No Man’s Sky was among those things.  After hearing bits and pieces prior to the expo, I was waaaaay too eager when it was first on the show.  Upon returning once more, the hype is real.  While not Half-life 3 levels, I’m still hyped.  Maybe I can catch and catalog a whole bunch of space fish!  Both trailers enjoyed some space fish.

Also, we saw a little bit of Deus Ex from other panels, but we got plenty more here.  As a fan of all things dystopian cyberpunk, the long awaited sequel greatly pleases my mad obsession with neon-lit cybernetics enhanced futures!  Following the end of Human Revolution, augmented people are now seen as a threat.  Now, the narrative of discrimination against posthumans isn’t new, but it’s one that none the less fascinates me to no end.  So, with augmented folk in shitty slums, someone’s gotta do something about it!  And that’s where the main character comes in.  Keeping in line with modern trends, there seems to be stealthy or psycho plays.  As much as I loved Wolfenstein The New Order, it totally popularized the concept to the point of a tacked on expectation.  And speaking of terrifying cyberpunk futures, it was cool to have a dive into the wonderful world of Virtual Reality!  Oculus Rift is go, but that’s old news by now.  Besides the neat gaming exhibits we’ve seen prior to E3, there was tons more to behold here.  Now, they didn’t go into much, but I figure it wasn’t really need it.  The world already knows about the rift by now and this was merely an attempt at wetting our whistles while informing the audience that “IT’S HAPPENING!”

As the above indicates, I loves me some immersive action experiences!  Fallout’s returning, Deus Ex is returning, and countless others are getting nice pick me ups.  Pillars of Baldur’s Gate… err, of Eternity is no exception!  This title is both a love letter to isometric RPGs of the 1990s and an overhaul of the idea.  Here was a dark fantasy RPG that brought classic PC RPGs into a modern age and proved that this style of gaming was both valid and popular.  Though, Shadowrun Returns and the Enhanced Editions of Black Isles games also say hello.  That said, their Icewind, umm, White March expansion grabs me immediately.  It brings to mind nostalgic romps through the frigid regions of Faerun, uncovering conspiracies with fiends, mad mages and more.  Since a lot of the folks behind those classics are working on this, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.  But onto more modern-centric titles, Guild Wars 2 is back with more content to boost the experience.  New means of buffing your guild, customizing, and helping to build your legacy sounds cool and all, but I’m hoping it has a dynamic impact on overall gameplay and possibly world.  Granted, I’ve been less a MMO type gaming and fan of growing and overarching plots.  Now, if only Destiny didn’t screw up its launch, eh?  That said, the arena brawling and adventuring additions look like a blast that will really open options for the GW experience.  Who knows?  I might just have to return to it myself!  And of course, Blizzard’s always around for their contributions to the RPG world.  I’m not huge on Heroes or Starcraft, so nothing grabbing me here.

Now, the moment I saw Planet Coaster, I couldn’t help but get a nostalgic rush for the Rollercoaster Tycoon series.  To be honest, it’s everything the long awaited RCT4 should have been.  Though, Rollercoaster Tycoon World has yet to prove itself to a jaded market.  That said, the trailer was hella misleading.  Here I was lead to believe that the people who bought and mangled the RCT series (with two flunk sequels in a row) were finally showcasing the World game that they promised was the holy grail fans had wanted.  But hey, this Planet Coaster Simulation thingamabob might be the spiritual successor of RCTW fucks everything up.

Now, if there’s one gaming genre I love, it’s survival horror!  And who does it best in the modern age?  The creators of Amnesia, in my opinion!  They’re back and they’re taking us somewhere beyond the sea.  While it sounded like BioShock at first, SOMA takes us through eerie corridors that are likely filled with all sorts of nasties in the final version.  While we don’t really get much out of it, we know that Frictional hasn’t lost their touch.  Speaking of horror games, we got some more goodies for DayZ.  I’m not a zombies guy myself and this title never grabbed me, but I’m glad they’re going head first into steam workshop.  Maybe we’ll get weird shit like in Left4Dead as well!  Zombie teletubbies are surprisingly terrifying, after all.

Now, my eyes are pretty much dried out after watching expo panel after expo panel.  Now, I avoided the hustle and bustle of crowds as well as the joys of gamer-funk, but what a few couple of days!  I have a few things to look forward to, some things to gawk about, and some more things that might garner my interest at some point.  This is doc signing out (and awaiting plenty of review material!)

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