E3 has close its doors a couple of weeks ago, but its echo will keep singing for a while longer.
Personally I really enjoyed the show and here’s a recap of some of the games I managed to get a closer look at.
Since it was first unveiled at E3 last year this has been one of my most anticipated games. And, considering the current XboxOne “BigBrother”-Kinect debate that is going on (and other matters outside the gaming world as well), its release also matches the current mood of people, wondering if we’re starting to be TOO connected and reachable /controllable for our own good.
There’s something that didn’t click with me though: if the payer is going to be able to use different strategies to solve the various missions throughout the game, why were we shown the same scene, played in the same way over and over again? I can understand the recorded videos, of course, but the very same scene was played (in the very same way) inside the booth. Showing a different approach would have spoken volumes about the possibilities the game can offer! Still, one of my most interesting games of the next few months!
The game looks great: complex, great, with awesome, realistic lighting and the weapon shows an impressive amount of detail. And speaking of the weapon, it’s probably BFG’s next best thing, maybe even better! Its design is really something different and realistically complex. I commented about that with the guy that played the game in front of us, and he mentioned the weapon designer is a kind of “maniac” (in the good way) when it comes to weapon designs and that he has spent months perfecting it. I can easily believe it because it takes skill, study and dedication to design a weapon so complex that can work in a believable way, because while Killzone is futuristic, it also aims to feel very realistic. In the end such scrupulous work on the weapon is worth it, since in a shooter, it is always at the center of the stage!
Apart from the weapon anyway, I was positively surprised by the new abilities the player has, most notably the presence of a resourceful flying bot companion: it distracts enemies, shoots ropes to reach otherwise unreachable areas and generally makes your life easier. I was also surprised by the setting, definitely not the “usual” grim Killzone environment we are used and which I hope will be present sometime during the game (gimme the raw Killzone!) but definitely detailed and complex. A new chapter not to be missed!
The game you play to create your game. Spark seems to expand on the “Play, Create and Share” ideology launched by Little Big Planet, but it has less “Play” and more “Create”. In fact, that game itself doesn’t offer anything for “actual” playing, no premade levels or games, the creating part is its core, but a complex one at it.
Having previewed it on a tablet, I can say that it’s really a breeze to create your setting by brushing with your finger on the flat surface that quickly takes on shape and life. There are many different materials, tools and props to create your scenario and you can also combine various props to create new ones, even very complex. But the most interesting part is certainly the BRAIN editor. In fact, every item in the game can have a brain, and the brain / behavior / AI, call it as you wish, can be as simple or as complex as you dare.
All you have to do is create a chain of commands and reactions, the typical if / when one, that will regulate every movement of your creature, but it’s interesting that you practically have no limit about it.
This is something that can really empower in the creation of a game, whether it’s going to be applied to enemies, allies or even just items or props, depending on the kind of game you want to create.
So, to call it with its name, Spark is actually a game editor and one that can be used to create a wide variety of different genres. It also includes many different map sizes to allow for even complex games, such as RPG adventures that require a vast world.
This is the dream come true for any aspiring game designer / creator. When I asked about the possibility to create custom content, items to be added to the library of props, my interlocutor mentioned they couldn’t talk about content yet, but something will be revealed soon.
Let’s hope the community will unleash its creative mind and share many fun games, as for myself, I already signed up for the beta!
Impressive is the first world that comes to mind.
The gameplay news is that you destroy the environment AND change the battlefield in this way, meaning you can blow off a wall and then climb it to get out, or a garage roof and climb it and so on, quite impressive to see.
My first impression is that the maps are richer, more varied and allow for bigger and more complex battles. They seem less focused on a certain kind of play and mix soldiers and vehicles of every kind in a more complete way.
The graphics, as always, are amazing, with great detail and even more effects to add realism.
This is a unique platform that absolutely stands to its promise.
So, who needs a PS4 when the PS3 can still offer such titles? I’m kidding of course, there’s enough space for both on my desk ;)! Puppeteer has a darkish atmosphere, it is a witch tale-platform that flows in a unique way: as a side-scroller, with levels that shifts from the top to the bottom. It’s extremely fascinating and sucks you into its unique, fairtale-with-a-twist world. Personally, I started playing a level and didn’t want to give up the pad…
IBB & OBB
Kuri Kuri Mix’ next best thing? Maybe! Of course the style is totally different and we’re talking about a 2D side-scrolling game, but collaborating is essential!
Ibb and Obb sports two cute characters that have to overcome a series of obstacles to continue on their path and to so do, need each others’ help. The beautiful , vector graphics are stylistically minimalistic and chic. It’s basically a collaborative puzzle platform that plays on gravity and inversed gravity: playing it with a buddy is a TON of fun!
Sounds good, looks good, but there’s still red barrels to shoot!
The premise is quite intriguing, playing as Mad Max in a dusty, post-apocalyptic setting where custom modified vehicles and weirdly “modified” humans populate the lands and try to dominate the roads. Vehicle customization is a topical part of the game, since you’re basically a road warrior and what has been shown so far looks quite intriguing. However, when approaching the foe’s bastion we still have to shot at the “ever-present” red fuel barrels: when will villains stop crouching just on top of death-traps? That said, this won’t likely make the experience less intriguing, this looks like a unique ride where your car is just as important as you gun (and even more!).
INFAMOUS: SECOND SON
I am biased because ever since the first Infamous was released, it has become a personal favorite franchise. But let’s be honest, biased or not, what Second Son has shown so far is utterly spectacular and beautifully so. At E3 the game wasn’t hands-on but a guy from Sucker Punch guided us through a scene, so it was the actual game in front of our eyes.
Apart from being extremely cute, Delsin seems to be quite a departure from Cole, he is a self-confident daredevil and it will be interesting to see how he, personally, will evolve during the game as he will certainly have to face important decisions. With great powers come great responsibilities, after all!
As InFAMOUS 2 was bigger and better than the first chapter, Second Son also seems to build on the previous titles and be even bigger and better. Delsin’s powers are even more spectacular and crazy and because he can copy other conduit’s powers, they’ll likely be quite varied. The environment has likely been build to really have fun with the powers (for what little we have seen so far) and the graphics looks absolutely beautiful. Your super-move will really wreak-havoc all around, although I’m not sure the whole city is feely destructible.
Well, let’s be honest, while on the E3 showfloor you mostly speak with people directly involved with the games, more often than not with people that are working on them, Nintendo’s space wasn’t too much like this. The pretty girls in cute green hats would explain how to handle the nunchak and ask how you felt about it, but that was all. So, personally, I just played a few minutes without grasping the full potential Pikmin 3 promises to have, and I’m sure there’s more about it that what I experienced. The graphics aren’t exceptional but overall it looks very cute and being able to play it cooperatively is certainly a bonus that boosts the fun.
An adventure set in a peculiar world: a paper-world. Beautiful, rich and really unique it comes to no surprise that there’s the brilliant minds and hands of Media Molecule’s behind it.
Tearaway uses all the PSVita features in a smooth and smart way. The scenery looks complex and it expands on multiple levels to explore. The graphics are rich and detailed and absolutely beautiful to look at. It has a great style, both game-play and setting-wise. This is a MUST-HAVE for PSVita!
BEYOND: TWO SOULS
Beyond has been extensively covered at E3 and the idea behind it looks as intriguing as it was first presented. Jodie and Aiden (a supernatural entity) share a life that is peculiar to say the least. The game will present several “scenes” that depict topic moments in the life of Jodie and each scene will play in a different way. Therefore Beyond promises to give the player different gameplays depending on the kind of scene and moment of Jodie’s life that is being played.
This is certainly an interesting and unique concept that maximizes the idea of varied gameplay.
At E3 we were shown a played scene of Jodie acting as special agent in a warzone, her mission: to kill the local warlord. Aiden’s abilities are, of course, supernatural, and she is a powerful ally that can easily play the “muscle”, for example, she can posses people and therefore solve some kind of situations quite easily. The contrast between Aiden’s actions and Jodie’s reactions is very apparent as Aiden seems to be much more ruthless, or maybe just lacking some kind of conscience in her behavior, while Jodie is the opposite and the consequences of Aiden’s actions kind of pour on her. To be honest the warzone scene felt a bit “forced” in the way it played, but it certainly had a lot of pathos and, in the end, I’m really curious to play the game.
Heavy Rains, the previous game from Quantic Dream, certainly left a mark on me, I can still recall some of its scenes so vividly!
I loved the idea when I saw it during the Sony conference and absolutely wanted to try it out. This game is by Supergiant Games, the developers of acclaimed Bastion.
The graphic is beautiful and I don't just mean what you see on the screen, but the art direction, it has a unique and unified vision that sucks you into the world. The setting is very futuristic but with a warm though given by both the palette and the melody and voice that accompany you.
Red, the character you play, is being chased by 5 assassins, but she has a formidable weapon with her, a weapon that cointains the voices (soul?) of other people and that grant her powerful moves.
At the core this is a strategy game, where you can enter a "planning" mode to layout your moves (you have a set number of points and each move costs a different amount depending on their effect / effectiveness) and then execute them.
The game, the tactic part, it's easy to grasp and the difficulty increases as you progress, it plays very smooth and it's addictive. I played through a level and absolutely wanted to go on. What really sets it apart though, it's the mood. The sword voice feels so intimate, it really speaks to your heart (I'd say better play this with an headset) and the music sets both the mood and pace. Red is an heroine you immediately feel attuned to.
Greg Kasavin, creative director of the team, is at the booth and you can really perceive his passion and when he thanks you for playing and listed to your comments and feelings about the game!
Definitely a game to look forward to, I'm already in love with it.
Whatever your platform of choice, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the coming months!