An Opinion That Doesn't Matter: Thoughts On E3
[The sad lead-in to this writing: For some reason, I have to write that this is very much a tongue-in-cheek article. Because some people wouldn’t have gotten it by the fourth or umpteenth paragraph, I guess.]
Is it done? Are we safe? *dons pointy hat* Is it safe?!?!
E3, for all intents and purposes, is done. For most people, it was done two days ago. For journalists, it won't be over for two weeks as they extend their various interview tidbits as far as they can. But, for us, the event itself is over when we stopped getting live streams of new game information and find ourselves discussing the same hot topics over and over rather than talking about any new information that was recently learned.
Okay, maybe that's just me? I'm going to pretend it's everyone. That's right, Grandma Fay, it's you too. Congrats on getting the peeps at the community center to tune into G4 the whole 3 days though!
But, what did we learn from E3? Wait, I don't care about that. What DID I learn from E3? Well, let me see.
BOOKS ARE BORING
Marketing has shown that books are losing their market share. The whole black and white thing isn't tracking well. Even with putting them onto portable digital devices, there's been no sign of recovery. Fortunately, the genius minds over at H.P. Huffenpuff have teamed up with Sony to solve this issue. With only the use of a PS3, HD Television, PS Move camera and wand, and a large book that you can lay in front of your TV on your spacious living room floor, you can stop reading your books and instead watch it come alive.
Well, not quite alive, but interactive. You can wave the wand around and cause your book to catch on fire and then put it out all by yourself. No need to stop, drop, or roll. That's right kids, next time Mommy accidentally starts a fire in the kitchen, use what you learned from your interactive book experience.
DANCING IS THE FUTURE OF GAMING
If Kinect Star Wars wasn't a sign of this, this E3 was. Usher is now one of the biggest names in gaming from a miraculous showing on Microsoft's E3 conference stage, ushered on and off with great applause and a rainbow of lights. Flo Rida started off the Ubisoft conference with dancing women in wife beaters and a microphone so blinged out that Aisha Tyler couldn't help but touch and feel awed at the future of gaming.
But, it doesn't stop there. It's not about Just Dance-ing, it's about giving players the control they want over how others dance. A dance coordinator, of sorts. And the Wii U teams up with Ubisoft to make this a reality. Don your leg warmers, prime the water bucket over your favorite dining room chair, and get to manipulating each other from a Wii U tablet. Seriously, do it. You know you'll need the practice for the next Gears of War and Killzone games where forcing your opponents to dance to your routine will be integral to the complete gaming experience.
DEVELOPERS ARE WADING INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY
Every few years, the people who make our games look to truly evolve gameplay. These evolutions come from analyzing technology, other mediums, and every-day occurrences in order to take from them ways to enhance the games we play. We’ve seen it in this generation as Assassin’s Creed and others made parkour a new form of movement in open world games. This year, we’ve been seeing a lot of this again.
The latest Tomb Raider is a reboot to the guts, replacing the old Tomb Raider who would perform backflips like crazy while dual wielding pistols and taking down some hungry endangered white tigers with one more grounded and emotionally invested in her own storyline. What we’ve been shown focuses on a young woman who is forced into an adventure, and we get to control her between one cinematic experience to another. There are moments where the player has their control temporarily removed from them as Lara is swept away by water, forced to the ground and tied up, found and assaulted by the same man at a later time, and many other elements where giving player the control they may want would destroy the cinematic experience.
Another game at the show was the first showing of Star Wars 1313, which... well, let me just describe the first few seconds of gameplay we saw. Our protagonist and a buddy are walking down a corridor filled with crates. The door at the other end gets blown open and the crates go flying, but land to create some clever cover pieces, while the protagonist and buddy are temporarily stuck on the ground as a scene of enemies approaching and one robot pulling away a specific container. Then, the protagonist recovers, goes right into cover and begins to shoot at his enemies. He continues to advance by rolling from one cover to another and even takes one guy out by pulling him over the cover. As this goes along, the walls of this corridor are removed in a cinematic experience. Eventually it cuts to a cut scene where the protagonist has to jump to another falling piece of debris and ends up dangling from the end of it and having to crawl his way back up to the main piece of falling debris. It was a cinematic experience
With games moving in the direction of forcing story elements upon players, we are truly looking forward to the future of gaming with innovative designs that will not only challenge games through quality third-person gameplay but with interruptions that test their patience.
WE ARE NOT READY FOR NEXT GEN OR NEW IPS
The plethora of video game announcements on the stages of E3, publishers showed us why we don’t need new technology. From titles like Uncharted 4 (shown on the floor as The Last of Us), Halo 4, Gears of War 4, God of War 4, Call of Duty 9, Assassin’s Creed 5, Indigo Prophecy 3, Just Dance 4, Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider 10, Splinter Cell 7, Super Mario #WeLostCount, and many other titles.
This showing of completely new ideas and concepts proves to us that we’re just not ready for the next generation when there’s so much more to be explored in this one.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO PLAY ON MULTIPLE SCREENS
A big, high definition TV screen isn't working anymore. People need more, just not too much more. That's why we've gotten Microsoft and Nintendo giving us more in the palm of our hands. Smart Glass is Microsoft's new software application that will extend your screen to any touchscreen phone or tablet. Go from doing something on your 360 straight to your portable device or receive extra details in your hand for the program or game you're watching on the big screen. And, of course, Nintendo has their Wii U, their latest not-quite-next-gen-or-this-gen device that focuses on a thick tablet device that combines analog, d-pad, buttons and a touch screen to give players everything they could possibly need. While others are playing with the usual Wii Motion Plus or the new Pro Controller, one lucky person can sit back and hit it up on their new tablet. And forget having to manage your inventory in Batman: Arkham Asylum on just one screen, you do it all in your hand.
You’ve waited for it with your chameleon-esque ability to control both eyes at once, and it’s coming soon to your hands.