June 12, 2014

The E3 Blog: 2014

This year I decided to switch up the format a bit, and present my thoughts to you by presentation. I basically just jotted a sentence or two for everything shown during the conferences - while watching them - so it's a little point form-y and disassembled, but my thoughts are there, nonetheless. There were many other games present at E3 that did not make an appearance during any of the conferences, and as such, they are absent from this blog. I don't want to bore you COMPLETELY to death, and I still have a great deal of research to do myself. So without further ado…


Microsoft
Ladies and gentlemen, since you clearly don't know where you are or what we're doing, we're going to use the most annoying announcer ever to tell you…
So anyway, they start off by telling us the entire briefing is about games, that's a good sign.
Call of I don't care about the game much less the add-ons or DLC. I actually used this time to check e-mails... so... moving on.
I sort of lost touch with racing games a few years ago, so I regret to inform you I don't really care about Forza Horizon 2 either. If however, you are a car slash racing game person, this is looking pretty fly. Yes I said 'fly'. Fuck you, I'm old.
I don't care much for FPSs but Evolve looks like a fun mix of Mass Effect and Battlefield. Don't know if it's my jam, though.
I have to say Assassin's Creed Unity looks really great on XOne. I've remained unmotivated to buy one and I'm not yet caught up on the AC series anyway but based on this demo alone the game looks like alright! I like the idea of working with other assassins. I'll keep my ear to the streets for this one.
Not gonna lie, I got a little excited when I saw the preview for Dragon Age: Inquisition. I actually didn't recognize it for a moment there. I haven't paid much attention to the Dragon Age series so I don't have much to offer here, but it looks like it has potential.
Sunset Overdrive - that was cute. Still not sure if this game is up my alley or not but it gets big points for having possibly the most entertaining promo in all of E3. Jet Set Radio meets Resident Evil. The multiplayer actually appeals to me for this one. Could they really not come up with a better name than "Sunset City" though?
Dead Rising Super Mega Ultimate Tournament Alpha 2 Blah blah blah DLC: cute presentation. Haven't played DR3.
Dance Central Spotlight: long hair, don't care. (Yeah, I don't get it either, but it's what the kids say these days. I haven't ever played Dance Central.)
Fable Legends looks phenomenal. I've always enjoyed Fable games in the past and this is the only game shown in this conference that I'm truly excited about. Co-op could go either way. Interesting that you can be the villain. I've always liked villains…
I really love the graphic style of Project Spark but the game still seems a little all over the place to me. I'm having a hard time understanding how it's all going to come together, but I suppose I'd actually have to play the game to make heads or tails of it. I'm happy to learn that it's for the 360 as well, and also Conker. Yeah.
Did anyone else think "Studio Ghibli" during the Ori and the Blind Forest show? I don't what this is but it's bloody gorgeous and you have my attention, Xbox.
Halo is another series that I just never got behind. I understand this it's extraordinarily popular and probably a great game, but I'm so disconnected from it now that I just don't have much of a fuck to give about Halo 5 or the Master Chief Collection. Congrats to Halo lovers; moving on…
Inside looks… weird.
The ID@Xbox showcase was a nice touch. I like that Xbox tries to support independent developers. I've come to know a handful myself so I feel better knowing there are programs and support out there for people with great ideas.
I could smell this was a Tomb Raider almost immediately and I haven't even played the latest one yet. This "new" TR series seems to have a generally positive aura with gamers, so I'll throw my name into this hat.
Ah, good, more Witcher 3. I remember this being announced last year, and it's been so long since I've seen or played a Witcher game, so this is refreshing. Looks spectacular.
Regarding Phantom Dust: um.
The Division remains very interesting, good looking, and another game I'll likely never play. I just don't think this is for me.
Scalebound doesn't look like anything Platinum has made before. I don't know if that's good or bad. Need to see more.
Crackdown looks, visually, very cool; different. Not convinced the game as a whole is for me.

Summary: this was a great conference to kick off E3, and a much needed redemption for Microsoft and the Xbox One. "We will continue to listen to you, our community…" are words we like to hear, don't forget to live up to them, Microsoft. All in all, not a bad show.
You got my attention: Assassins Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, Sunset Overdrive, Fable Legends, Project Spark, Ori and the Blind Forest, Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3.
You did not get my attention: Call of Kevin Spacey.

Electronic Arts
I'm not the biggest fan of Star Wars games, in fact, I've barely played any of them. As a fan of the movies though, the highly emotional mission statement from the crew making Star Wars: Battlefront was a nice touch. Not the worst way to open the show.
This guy can stop talking any time now…
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Getting that live gig must have been an elating call to take. I like the sound of having a choice between an action or tactical approach to combat. I'm a fan of tactical. That said, I'm waaaaaaay behind on Dragon Age, so this won't be a reality for me for a while yet.
Mass Effect 4: new everything. Sounds like there might be a lot more exploration and the game got a makeover and it looks goooood. This has been a very cryptic message from your friends at Bioware.
Regarding The Sims 4: I just. Don't. Care.
Regarding UFC: I just. Don't. Care.
Regarding NHL '15: I just. Don't… you get the point. I like my hockey on ice or worst-case scenario on the telly. I'll leave the sports games to you guys.
Criterion's game: I'm getting bored, EA…
Oh lord, GOLF?! I could be playing Muramasa right now, EA! (PGA Tour)
Madden NFL '15… blah blah blah… enjoy, sports gamers.
Oh, look! Something moderately interesting: Dawngate. Certainly looks beautiful, but I'm not a PC gamer. Let me know how this one goes, y'all.
We finally got a little more info about Mirror's Edge 2! Here's my snippet from last year's blog:
I remember when the first one came out, I was surprised by the look of it. Not just the choice in graphics style, but the fact that it's so bright and sharp and colorful. For a first-person action, this seemed a bit out of place, which is a good thing if you're me! It also broke all the rules with movement and displays. Really all you have is what you are, and that's pretty cool. 
My impression remains the same.
Fifa FifteeeeeeezzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzz…
Battlefield Hardline looks… different. In a good way. It's nice to see them trying something new, but it's still not a game for me. BF fans ought to be intrigued.

Summary: EA had a very well directed conference which flowed nicely, but obviously not many of their games appeal to me.
You got my attention: Dragon Age Inquisition, Mass Effect 4, Mirrors Edge 2.

Ubisoft
Epic opening with Far Cry 4, the characters in this game look really interesting and well done! Based on that first five minutes, I'd play this game. Based on this intro, I regret not spending more time with previous Far Cry games, and I don't really like first-person games. That's effective.
Just Dance is another franchise I've never subscribed to, in spite of my love for terrible dance, so this new installment fails to pique my interest. Neat presentation, though. Also, have you heard my new hit song on the radio yet, 'If You're Happy and You Know It, Shoot Pharrell'?
I touched on The Division in my Microsoft bit; I haven't much more to say at this time.
More news on The Crew, which remains outstanding as a racing/driving game but as I said before, the genre and I are not on speaking terms. I know a few people that will get a kick out of this game, so I look forward to their feedback.
I touched on Assassins Creed Unity in my Microsoft bit (lots of overlap at E3) so I won't waste your time with more babble. I appreciated the long demo.
Regarding Shape Up: I fully support fitness games. They tend to be hit or miss, but I love the idea of using games to exercise! I like that Shape Up literally turns working out into a game. I will likely give this game a shot, I just worry that - like so many fitness games before it - it will get old fast and end up on the shelf. Also those are not correct push-ups, Ubisoft employees…
Valiant Hearts, on paper, doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy but based on the preview and thorough description, I'm rather impressed! LOVE the way it looks, and it sounds like it incorporates real history the way Eternal Sonata did.
Rainbow Six Siege looks really interesting but as we all should know by now, first-person, online multiplayer is not really my thing. This demo looks like it's basically capture the flag, which isn't terribly new or exciting either.

Summary: When Ubi does good, Ubi does REALLY good. When Ubi does "meh," Ubi does really "meh."
You got my attention: Far Cry 4, Assassins Creed Unity, Shape Up, Valiant Hearts.

Sony
Destiny, huh? I have to say this is the first promo I've seen that makes this game look like anything more than eye candy. Not a bad opening, I guess.
Oh goodie, I can get a white PS4!
Ugh, my impression of this preview of The Order is that it looks like a lot of regurgitated crap that we already have tons of. Interesting setting but does not get my vote.
So… Entwined is that old "if a bird loves a fish" adage? I'm not entirely sure what's going on here. Looks like a short fil- oh god this is that duel analog stick crap! I hate that! I don't know guys, this looks pretty and pretty boring.
Second Son DLC may appeal to me after I play Second Son, regardless of its availability to all users. It's gonna be a while before I get around to SS and frankly, I need to give the whole Infamous series another look. First Light looks great, but I won't jump in until later.
YAY! Another Little Big Planet! Looks like a definite leap in design, which is great, and I look forward to new levels. And we get new friends to terrorize! I felt like a child watching this demo, it looks like so much fun; a much needed boost in this otherwise damp conference so far. Playing other people's creations? That could be dangerous…
If Silent Hill and Castlevania had a baby, it would be Bloodborne. This game looks… creepy. Need more info.
I spoke a little about Far Cry 4 in my Ubisoft bit; nice to see a little more this time. Looks gorgeous. Sounds entertaining. Amazing that you can invite friends to play even if they don't have the game! That'll do wonders for this game (although maybe not the numbers).
Regarding Dead Island 2: Um. That was cute. No thank you.
The Last of Us enemies in Diablo 3, huh? Haven't brought myself to play D3 yet, but that's a fun addition. Regarding TLOU on PS4: I've played this game many times on PS3, and it's doin' just fine there.
Battlefield Hardline - already said all I have to say in my EA bit. Hooray for grappling hooks.
Disney Infinity does not apply to me.
Magicka 2 = WTF.
When I was 12 10 46, I had much nicer penmanship. I don't believe I've ever played Grim Fandango, so I guess this is my chance.
The Devolver Digital lineup… well they certainly are varied and crazy. A few of those are going to be really weird playing on a PS4, but might be a good pickup for Vita…?
Let It Die, while whimsical, failed to keep my attention.
Abzu looks really pretty, but I didn't really see enough in this preview to get a read on it.
No Man's Sky looks to have a LOT of potential. Very beautiful but again, not a ton of info in this preview. I loved the presenters description of the game. One of the very few "massive" games that I'd really like to sink my teeth into, based on this showing.

And now, lots of boring crap including more on project morpheus - which I paid exactly zero attention to when it first made waves, and then our shiny new CEO talks a lot, which he cannot do without moving his hands. Yes, PSN is important to Playstation gamers. I can't say YouTube integration is terribly important to me, but I know a lot of people will appreciate this feature. I don't know how much I'll use the broadcast features of the PS4, only time will tell. I like free stuff; it would have been nice if they'd shown us the names of these games as they demonstrated them. I am now thoroughly confused as to what Playstation Now is. I'm happy to be a PSVita owner, and it looks as though they intend to keep experimenting with it. PSTV - I'm getting a little tired of every company inventing their own TV device and services. I'm not sure I have any interest in this product but we shall see. "Millions of people use their Playstation for Netflix and blah blah blah…" I'm not one of them. Games please. I feel like even this blog is getting boring...

Back to the games: we have a new Mortal Kombat. MK is a series that's very close to my heart but not many fighting games stand out to me anymore. This looks like another gathering of weird characters and who knows what the story is. Plus, I had to add my own "get over here!" to this presentation… bogus.
Ratchet and Clank movie looks cute, but I'm glad they didn't piss away a lot of time on it. New Ratchet and Clank is always welcome.
Ah, Metal Gear Solid V, where skin is made of rubber. I enjoy MGS games as a rule and this looks to be another highly cinematic one, so I hope it's at least really interesting, surprising and entertaining.
Regarding GTAV on PS4: I still have not played it on the previous generation, so I haven't much to say. Looks cool on PS4, and it's nice that you can transfer your file if you've got a nice one going.
New Batman! I know a lot of people will be salivating for this, but I've never particularly warmed to the Arkham series, and Arkham Knight is no exception, so far. Looks gorgeous though; Scarecrow got a fantastic makeover. Incredible effects.
And finally, the crown jewel, the moment I've been sleeping through this whole conference for: Uncharted 4. If you've been a reader, you already know my love for the Uncharted games, and I am so so so stoked for A Thief's End. Nate looks unbelievable on PS4 and I can't wait to ruin my boyfriend's life with my eternal love for the Drake man. I'm really looking forward to this and of course, Sony saved the best for last.

Summary: Sony and Microsoft seemed to have switched places this year. Micro gave us games, and Sony gave us all the other crap we (or at least I) don't care much about. I realize E3 is about "entertainment electronics," and that doesn't mean JUST video games, but they must realize their audience isn't comprised of much more than gamers.
I don't know if it's just 'cause it was late and I was tired as I watched this or because it was really boring, but save for a few key hits, this conference was pretty... boring. It felt much longer than it was. This presentation was incredibly slow-paced and a little depressing for me as a Sony fan, and as you'll see below, I didn't take much away from this discouraging presser.
You got my attention: Infamous First Light, Little Big Planet 3, Far Cry 4, No Man's Sky, MGSV, Uncharted 4.

Nintendo
Am I the only one that doesn't love this Reggie guy?
We've known quite a bit about the new Smash Bros. for a while now, so while entertaining, this intro was unsurprising. The news of having your mii available to fight doesn't surprise me either. A neat addition, but predictable. Of course you have to choose a "class" for your mii. Smash Bros. has never been my favorite fighting game, but it's always been a solid game, and I know it's a fan favorite, so lots of people should appreciate these new options and levels.
Amiibo, eh? This sounds like another unnecessary addition to gaming. Just give me a controller and I'll blast you with my own skills! We'll see what these toys have in store for us in other games.
Yoshi's Woolly World looks incredibly cute, I'm just not sure I could get a lifetime of entertainment out of it. I won't hesitate to check it out though, good platformers are hard to come by these days.
Captain Toad… wow. "No new Mario games so we'll capitalize on another character you usually recognize." I don't know guys.
Uh.. am I seeing a Robot Chicken skit right now?!
So… we're getting a giant Zelda. That's coo'. I'm down. I think if Nintendo didn't constantly try new things with Zelda games, they wouldn't be as successful as a whole. Different gameplay styles work for different people and help you to appreciate other titles as well. I'm not the biggest fan of massive games, but it's Zelda, how far a departure could it really be? It'll be neat that everyone can make their own path. I look forward to seeing more.
Pokemon remakes. Not going to complain, but again, no surprises.
Bayo time! I'm so stoked for a new Bayonetta. These baddies look even more infuriating than Grace and Glory. I can't wait to ruin my first 3 WiiU's with this game. Awesome that we're getting them both (1&2).
I know a lot of people are psyched about Hyrule Warriors, but honestly, it hasn't appealed to me yet. Even when it was first announced my thoughts were "yeah. Cool. Whatever." Maybe after seeing some more or watching someone else play I might fall in love, but for now, I'll leave this one to you guys.
I love most of the old Kirby games but do we really need him in clay? This game looks kind of annoying, actually, but I suppose I wont know until I get my hands on it.
Xenoblade Chronicles X looks like a Japanese version of a western RPG. It could go either way, but it definitely gets my vote. Xeno is usually worth it.
Mario Maker is going to cause hell on Earth. I can already see the torment people are going to throw at each other. Again, not the kind of game to sink 100 hours into every time, but it could be fun to pick up every now and then and screw around. Such a simple idea, I'm surprised it hadn't been made sooner.
Splatoon… oh boy. I'm pretty sure we used to play this game in real life when I was a kid. It looks fun but the issue with games like these is that there are usually people who've mastered it (like people who know quick ends to chess or tic-tac-toe) and then it's just not fun to play anymore. Basically everyone needs to jump on at the start and figure it out together, and then never play the game again until everyone's forgotten about it. I don't know, I hope I'm wrong. Playing in teams seems more appealing… I don't know, I'm really struggling to nail down my feelings about this one! But of course it had to be squids.

Summary: Too short! More Nintendo, less EA! I'd really have liked to see more of each game, especially Zelda, and more titles altogether. I'm starting to become one of those people that wishes Nintendo would branch out a little more, and not just regurgitate the same familiar characters and ideas over and over again. That said, there wasn't anything they showed today that I absolutely wouldn't play, and they remain one of the few game-makers that can do that.
You got my attention: The Legend of Zelda, Bayonetta 2, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker, Splatoon?

In the end, I felt this year's E3 was... par. Pretty unexciting as a whole, and not many surprises or things we didn't already know. But there where a few titles that grabbed my attention, and most unexpectedly, Xbox and the One are slowly gaining my favor. After last year's massive fail on Xbox's part, I was almost sure I'd never buy a XboxOne, and now here I am, considering it. I'm proud of them. I really wish Nintendo would have stepped it up a notch, not only would that have gained more points for them from both fans and non-fans, but they could have trumped Microsoft and taken the whole pot.
The games that left the biggest impressions on me, based on this year's E3 are: Far Cry 4, Uncharted 4 (mandatory), Little Big Planet 3, Bayonetta 2 and No Man's Sky. 2015 is too far away, folks.

So there you have it! My real-time impressions of E3 2014's major conferences. I'm excited for more, and the year is still long, so here's hoping! What got your attention most at this year's exhibition?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we're too much different as gamers after reading this. Other than Fable and Uncharted 4, I can agree with most of what you said. ; )

    ReplyDelete