Our weekly dose of hot takes, occasionally well formed opinions, and fevered outbursts is back; yup, it’s the Question of the Week! Last week was E3 so of course this weeks question deals with the massive gaming show :
What E3 2016 game or reveal has you the most excited? Which has you the least excited?
I’m still getting through E3, but the biggest news is probably Project Scorpio followed by Xbox Play Anywhere. Microsoft was the company most devs would identify or hint at when it came to preventing cross platform gaming, and got into the console business when they pretty much dominated computers in general. Both of these are great moves, but Scorpio is almost scary because I think most of us assumed that Nintendo was planning to do this with the NX. Not showing anything while MS did just feels like Nintendo really dropped the ball this E3, yet their booth is very busy (probably because they’ve enclosed the space and force people to line up to enter, even just for viewing, which feels much more closed than they have in the past).
What game am I most excited about? the Psychonauts spin-off of course! One of my early favorites! I mean I can’t really say anything nice about Tim, but if I ignore his involvement and sing ‘lalala’ over my thoughts of Psychonauts 2 I can be quite happy. In the first game I was always fascinated by the characters, especially the groovy teacher Mia. Also, one of my most terrifying experiences outside of survival horror was falling into a box in that game to be screamed at by the spirits of dead children, ah memories. Still makes me shudder to this day. I was a little annoyed at a voice change for Sasha in the trailer, but otherwise I’m cautiously excited. Sasha and Mia better get together in this game, those two: still a better love story than Twilight. It’s the first VR game I’ve actually really wanted to play. I will say the character proportions looked kind of scary in first person, Mia is like Jack skeleton. We Happy Few also looks fantastic too, like Bioshock and 1984, dark but colourful. I wasn’t very excited for Gravity Rush 2, mainly because it’s for PS4 not PS Vita. Gravity Rush was cool when it was on Vita for me because it was innovative and just seemed to fit the device, as a console game all I can feel is ‘meh’ at most.
Trying to limit my pick to what I’m most excited for from E3 to every game will be nigh on impossible. Instead, I’ll stick to the games that were newly announced at E3.
It’s still a tough call, InSomniac’s Spider-Man, God of War, and the Crash Bandicoot remasters all have my attention. Overall, it has to be Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding though. There’s so much mystery around it, and the short trailer we saw was full of the classic Kojima weirdness and a few hints too. Apparently it’ll have some action in it, but it looks kinda like a subtle horror game to me. Regardless, I’m a big fan of Kojima and I have no doubt whatever Death Stranding is (which I’m calling right now isn’t its real name) will be great. It just pains me to think we’re probably not going to get to play it until 2019.
Picking one I’m least interested in isn’t so difficult. Days Gone, the open-world zombie survival game looked about as dull as that sentence sounds. Do we really need another zombie survival game? Is throwing in a biker gang and a lot of zombies on screen at once really going to change that generic formula? I strongly doubt it.
(I only paid attention to Sony’s conference if you couldn’t tell)
For me, I’m most interested in the announcement of Hideo Kojima’s new game. Death Stranding is most certainly an odd name, but Metal Gear Solid was too. As for the content, we basically all know absolutely nothing about it beyond its weird music video-style teaser. It’s because we know so little that I’m excited to learn more about it. It will be incredibly interesting to see what Kojima does now that he’s not forced to work within the confines of Konami. PSVR news has me the least excited compared to others. Final Fantasy XIV, Batman, and other games are effectively just getting VR minigames which seems like the most minimal effort possible. I wish Sony really made a strong case for why their headset will matter.
I want to say I’m most excited for Mass Effect Andromeda, because I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy, have a Para-gade tattoo, and N7 decals on my car, but the trailer was really underwhelming. This was Bioware’s chance to show us something new, instead they just rehashed the last trailer. Luckily, there are a few other good things to come out of this year’s show, notably Dontnod Entertainment’s Vampyr. Ye Old English vampire doc? Yes please.
The biggest let down of the show for me, aside from lackluster Andromeda, was probably the new God of War. Not because it didn’t look good, but because it’s a PlayStation exclusive. I loved the original, but haven’t kept up with the changing console generations, so it looks like I’ll be missing out on the adventures of Dadtos and Mini K.
Most excited? The signs that the big publishers are looking to take virtual reality seriously with franchises like Batman, Star Wars and Resident Evil all getting on board (even if the Final Fantasy VR game looking distinctly underwhelming). I’ve been sceptical for a while that VR will be anything more than a gimmick but watching LeVar Buton enthusiastically getting to grips with the Star Trek VR game had even me itching to have a go.
Least excited? That would be the new rebooted Prey game which is seemingly completely ignoring the legacy of the original and its aborted sequel in favour of being a more generic first-person sci-fi game. Even worse is the showcasing of a completely pre-rendered trailer at an E3 when most publishers seemed willing to show off actual gameplay footage.
I followed E3 2016 far less than any year prior, so I only heard the big stories. That being said, my favorite and least favorite thing is actually the same game.
As a self-proclaimed WWI nut I was excited to finally see a WWI game done right that isn’t a flight sim. That’s not to say I have anything against flight sims, they’re my first love after all, but the Great War has so many more set pieces to offer outside of the air war. Initially I felt that Battlefield 1 could be a game to bring about a WWI gaming renaissance, similar to the WW2 one we recently went through. Unfortunately, after watching some gameplay it appears as though Battlefield 1 may be nothing more than yet another Battlefield game with a new skin.
There may be a silver lining though. If Battlefield 1 proves popular enough then maybe we’ll see more WWI inspired games hit the market?
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