This year's E3 was wrapped up a week back, and it made modern gaming interesting again, after what I have perceived as a bit of a slump. Even Nintendo had interesting stuff on show in a game simply called The Legend of Zelda, which looked kinda like Skyrim on Zelda gear; the gameplay's supposed to be a modern take on the gameplay and general atmosphere of the very first Zelda games - hence the title, I guess - and that makes it interesting. The funny thing is, just a couple of years ago I wouldn't have given two shits about a new Zelda game, but now I'm a whole lot more optimistic. Give me one drunken, sentimental fit and the next morning I'll probably have a Wii U in the shelf. ...Nah. But, if The Legend of Zelda was from the least interesting end of the interesting stretch of games on show at E3, it must've been one hell of a show. Let's see what they had there, in alphabetical order.
Artist Matt Nava, who worked on thatgamecompany's critically acclaimed pairing of Flower and Journey, is at the director's helm of a new project called Abzû, which is being developed by Giant Squid Games for the PS4 and the PC. The teaser trailer doesn't tell us much about the game, but what we can gather is that the game is - perhaps inevitably - a spiritual successor to thatgamecompany's trilogy of games. Sounds and looks beautiful, yet minimalistic, there's this mysterious vibe to it which will surely emanate from the final product as well. I smell another sleeper hit coming. When, that we do not know, but the game will most definitely at least launch as a digital download, so it might not take that long at all. Six months at most.
Ever played Aliens: Colonial Marines? Hell, ever played any game licensed off Alien's butt? Well, there's another one coming by Sega, and this Alien: Isolation is supposed to whack their previous failure Aliens: Colonial Marines off the pages of history. What we have here is a first-person survival horror game, described by testers as one of the scariest games since the dawn of survival horror, somewhat influenced by the original Dead Space - the circle comes to a close - Outlast, and cinematically, the very first Alien film from 1979. As a fan of the Alien movies, including Prometheus which is no doubt another influential point here, I'm hoping for the best and maybe I'll even at least try the game out if it turns out better than your average Alien game. The game is slated for release on October 7th, 2014... just like a few other, much more anticipated games, so on second thought, Alien: Isolation had better be GOOD.
|Arno's the new guy.|
Guess which game is NOT coming when it's supposed to? Yep, Batman: Arkham Knight's been pushed all the way from early October to X-date 2015. The gameplay preview that was on show at E3 evoked all sorts of emotions; while others were all over how great the game looked and how vast Gotham City seemed, and the fancy utilization of the Batmobile, others felt that the game was getting too big, too technical and too action-oriented to really appeal to fans of the first two games. I'm kinda in a blender on this issue myself; I guess all my positive expectations were thrown out of the window the moment I caught the hint that the game was going to be delayed, by several months if not nearly a whole year. I watched the preview with a very sour look on my face and pointed out everything that sucked about it at first glance, and nothing more. ...Who am I kidding? Gotham is HUGE. I'm dying to get my hands on this game. I hope I'm still young when it comes out.
Just to comment on how Bethesda seemingly wants to piss people off - no, they did NOT announce Fallout 4, or anything remotely connected to Fallout, or even Dishonored 2. Instead, they formally announced the arrival of a PC-exclusive F2P multiplayer combat game called BattleCry. Yay. It's a cry, all right. Might as well mention new Battlefield and Call of Duty games in this same context, namely Battlefield: Hardline and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. And new Dead Island. And Far Cry. And Halo (and a Halo collection at that). And Homefront. And Metro. And Medal of Honor. Oops, sorry, scratch that last one.
To my surprise, Bayonetta 2 is STILL a Wii U exclusive, and to all those who ever wondered why because Bayonetta was never such a Nintendo-like title and the first game wasn't released even on the original Wii, Nintendo had answers. First of all, to our surprise, the game wasn't actually seen at the E3, but there was talk about it and at no point did system-specific censorship get mentioned, and also, it was revealed that all retail editions of Bayonetta 2 would include a Wii U re-release of the original game. Okay. Well played.
Admirers of From Software's work will get a whole new set of bones to pick with another spiritual successor to the original Demon's Souls - a PS4-exclusive by the name of Bloodborne, previously known as Project Beast. The funny thing is that I haven't had the time to familiarize myself with either Demon's Souls or Dark Souls just yet, but it goes without saying how intriguing I find those games by all the curses I've heard on the grapevine. This one has an impressive-sounding storyline - which to my knowledge wasn't a strong suit for the Souls series - and it's promised to have similar gameplay and a similar level of difficulty, so I'm sure Souls fans will, umm... "enjoy" the game. It's not gonna be out 'til 2015, though.
|Don't know who that's supposed to be, but I'm betting on|
bad ass. Dragon Age: Inquisition is on the way, fast.
Final Fantasy Type-0, previously released exclusively on the PSP and only in Japan, is getting an HD makeover and heading to the West on the PS4 and Xbox One... and even as the most stubborn Final Fantasy fan in the world, I'm not sure what to think. I didn't even know much about the game beforehand besides its name, so I headed to Wikipedia to educate myself some. What's obvious is that although it's set in the utterly boring XIII universe, it has quite enough classic Final Fantasy elements in it to make me interested. Also, the gameplay is described as the simple action-RPG style of Crisis Core, which I liked very much (although I can't immediately imagine that sort of game on a big screen). The ratings are distinctively awesome - even though all of the ratings come from Japanese publishers, who are known to be unexceptionally biased when it comes to Final Fantasy, especially (and ironically) the newer games. I smell sushi, but I'm still intrigued. My conclusion is that I'll buy it, sure as shit. But, will I like it? That's up to time to tell.
With information on Telltale Games' Game of Thrones adaptation still tucked well under wraps, as well as Gears of War 4, the most interesting parts of the G-department are a couple of remakes. Grand Theft Auto V is finally coming to the PC - "yay" - as well as the PS4 and Xbox One. Another "yay", although all of this was utterly expected, and I'm even glad on the PC players' behalf. Kind of interesting that console players can actually sell their last-gen copies and import their save files to the newer versions - what an impressive stunt to skyrocket 'em sales. Tim Schafer himself is directing a complete remake of his greatest directorial hit, the 1997 point 'n' click classic Grim Fandango. I'm guessing that whichever the way the remake goes, it's probably gonna be Double Fine's best-selling work to date.
The new Killer Instinct, exclusive to the Xbox One, is getting a sequel. Kinda sad that the first one is the most interesting Xbox One title in my books. No Kingdom Hearts III, unfortunately, but as consolidation, we finally have an HD remake of Kingdom Hearts II - coupled with Birth by Sleep and another cinematic "version" of Coded - coming up on the PS3. I recently played through the remake of the first game and had a hell of a time; I almost crossed the line and headed straight into Kingdom Hearts II, but decided to wait 'til they announced a remake. They made the announcement a little sooner than I expected, and scheduled the game for 2014. I hope we're talking about a worldwide release date this time around.
Not one, but two Tomb Raider games are coming up. Never thought I'd be excited about just one new Tomb Raider release, 'til last year's reboot. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a sequel to the digital megahit from a few years back, named Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and the sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot is called Rise of the Tomb Raider. Not much is known about it, but the teaser tells me we're in for perhaps an even more realistic and down-to-Earth game than its predecessor. Can't wait to see how this plot thickens; if I never thought I'd be pissing myself over a Tomb Raider game, I sure as hell didn't think that I'd ever consider the franchise to be Square Enix's current flagship.
|He's back. With friends. And he owes me a lunch - I spilled|
it across the floor once I heard the news.
As a new IP from a studio that has never made one game to impress me, CI Games' action-RPG Lords of the Fallen might not be as fascinating as Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it is fascinating, by its title and dark concept art alone. Also, it's directed by Tomasz Gop, who worked on the Witcher games - now I don't have experience from those games myself, but I've read my homework. Lords of the Fallen hits us in late 2014, and I hope it'll do it good.
I probably don't even need to name the game I was personally most expecting to see at this year's exhibition - hell, they didn't either, but 'til proven otherwise, this game is called Mass Effect 4. Rumours of the game have been circulating for two years, and BioWare still didn't have much to show, though if my memory serves me correctly, just a couple of months ago they stated that they were actually halfway done with the game, which in turn at least led me to believe that they would have something to show for it besides some random landscape videos. They looked awesome, no doubt. OK, so what we know about Mass Effect 4 thus far, is that it's a whole new game and will probably not even be called Mass Effect to separate it from Commander Shepard's story. It will play out more like a traditional RPG, and it was revealed at E3 that it will run on the Frostbite engine used in Dragon Age: Inquisition. So, here's to hoping that latter game will rock... again!
In my books, to be quite frank, Hideo Kojima's genius has been debatable in the recent years. OK, yeah, what he does usually turns out quite awesome, but everything that comes out of the guy's mouth nowadays turns to shit on its way to my ears, starting with how I think he deliberately insults fans' intelligence time and time again. We've been waiting for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for a long time - hell, just giving us a release date would be nice, since Ground Zeroes has been out for quite some time now. "Well, I think this game is too big to be completed, so I think we'll just cancel the release." Yeah, very funny. The release date, please. "Well, I know you all want this in 2014, so let's say December 31st." Enough with the fucking jokes, seriously - this kind of shit has been going on ever since Metal Gear Solid 2 hit it big 13 years ago. We didn't get a release date, we got some vintage self-loving and backing out on one's words, but in turn, we got some good-looking gameplay videos and an awesome trailer for The Phantom Pain - and when I say awesome, I mean it, 'cause as cinematically talented as Kojima is, Metal Gear trailers have always sucked; the games have instead sold themselves. When it comes to the game's graphics, I'm actually thinking of trading my PS3 version of Ground Zeroes for a PS4 version and getting The Phantom Pain for the PS4 after all... if they don't cancel the release, that is! Heh. Heh. Heh.
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings "interquel" Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is looking better all the time... and more like Assassin's Creed all the time, which is not bad as long as they stick to the actually functional AC formula! I have this game on pre-order, which is kind of weird since I rarely trust new IP's, much less from such low-profile developers as Monolith Productions, and even less from a "licensed" game. This game has the equal potential to suck royal hobbit balls as it has to be the new Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game's out on October 7th.
Mirror's Edge 2. There, it's mentioned, let's move on to another game besides Tomb Raider that I never thought to be THIS excited about: Mortal Kombat X. The 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat blew the bank; not only was it the ultimate Mortal Kombat experience, but in my mind the greatest one-on-one fighting game ever made, it's still on periodical rotation whenever I'm feeling brutal (read: quite often). New trailers and gameplay previews for the game are coming quite steadily, although the game is slated for release no earlier than 2015. There's some new features such as more interactive environments than before, some completely whack new characters to join the classic fold that at the very least includes Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and gruesome Fatalities - all the things we'd expect from a great Mortal Kombat game. Can't wait to FINISH THEM!
|Nate's gone Joel, all brooding and grey. Awesome.|
That's my list of E3's best. Have a nice weekend, and all you fellow Finns have a nice (and healthy) midsummer's party.