Some thoughts on E3
This has been one of the better E3s in recent memory, with every conference being focused on games - many of which I wanted to play! Sony and Nintendo’s conferences have been the highlights of the show - Sony because they continue to show a devotion to a wide diversity of gaming experiences (and a seemingly genuine love of artistic expression) and Nintendo because their conference was all about games that looked a pure joy to play… you know, actual FUN games! 2015 is shaping up to be an incredible year. Here are the games you should be aware of:
Bloodborne | PS4 | trailer
This is the new PS4-exclusive action RPG game from Japan’s From Software, makers of Dark Souls (which, after its release in 2011, has quickly climbed the ranks of my all-time favorite games). Although only appearing as a pre-rendered CG trailer at Sony’s conference (linked above), Bloodborne is far along in development and a release is planned for early 2015. An actual 30 minute gameplay demonstration was shown behind closed doors today, so here’s hoping for someone to leak that.
No Man’s Sky | PS4, possibly PC | trailer 1 | trailer 2
First announced last year at the VGX awards, No Man’s Sky came out of nowhere. This is the first game from tiny indie developer Hello Games. Look, just watch those trailers. This was made by something like a 5-person team, and it’s a procedurally generated INFINITE UNIVERSE that you can explore on foot and in an X-Wing thing. I’m usually dubious about procedural content, which can feel soulless and arbitrary, but if the footage above is any indication, this universe feels full of life. I love the colors and the weird creatures. This one is crying out for VR support (oh, that’s right, did you know the PS4 is getting a VR headset like the Oculus Rift? It’s called Project Morpheus).
Abzu | PS4 | trailer
From the makers of Journey, this is basically the game that Joaquin Phoenix was always playing in Her. Unfortunately, to my knowledge it does not feature a foul-mouthed alien child.
Inside | Xbox One and PC | trailer
This was the highlight of Microsoft’s conference, and the only game that made me think for a second about buying an Xbox One. Luckily, it’s coming to PC as well. Do you remember Another World, from the 90s? This seems like the natural evolution of that game.
Bayonetta 2 | Wii U | trailer
One of the increasingly many reasons why you should get a Wii U, Bayonetta 2 now has a release date (October of this year) and, amazingly, ALSO INCLUDES THE ORIGINAL BAYONETTA on the disc. If you missed Bayonetta on PS3 or Xbox 360, this is a must-own. Bayonetta was the best damn action game of the previous generation, and Bayonetta 2 is shaping up to be a worthy successor. Plus: Link and Samus costumes??
The Legend of Zelda | Wii U | interview/teaser
At the end of the video linked above are the most exciting 30 seconds of this year’s E3. The introduction’s worth hearing, too, for its implications about the upcoming Zelda game for the Wii U. It sounds like this is the first truly open world Zelda (that is, if you don’t count the NES original) with a massive, fully interconnected environment. They even used that now-familiar open world game speak: “you can even reach the mountains in the far distance if you walk far enough.” We’ve heard such talk many times before, but somehow it sounds new and exciting coming from Nintendo. And then, the end. The animations. The expressiveness! This will be quite a treat.
Yoshi’s Woolly World | Wii U | trailer
If you’re anything like me, you have a big soft spot for Yoshi’s Island, the side-scrolling masterpiece from Nintendo’s SNES days. You probably also saw the recently released Yoshi’s New Island on 3DS and wondered how they could screw up the art style so horrendously. Well, along comes this adorably handcrafted new game that looks PERFECT (without simply retreading the old style) and seems to play exactly like the SNES classic. All that remains to be seen is if they can nail the difficulty.
Xenoblade Chronicles X | Wii U | gameplay walkthrough
The original Xenoblade Chronicles was an instant cult classic JPRG on the Wii. It played like the natural evolution of FFXII and featured a huge, imaginative, free-roaming world. This new installment, while having nothing to do with the original’s story, looks appropriately more massive and more detailed. Where are all the other JRPGs like this? Also, Nintendo did a great thing in devoting 30+ minutes of their livestream to a surprisingly thorough demonstration of the game, from the opening up to the first boss, which you can watch above. Also also, New Los Angeles is totally Midgar.
Assassin’s Creed Unity | PS4 and Xbox One | trailer
I’ve had my ups and downs with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but Black Flag was a refreshing take on the series and I can’t help but be excited for the first fully next-generation installment. Paris looks fun to explore, the climbing animations seem to be all new, everything looks beautiful, and those crowds!
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain | everything | trailer
Nobody makes games like Hideo Kojima. This one is “coming 1984,” whatever that means.
The Best News of E3
Grim Fandango to be re-released on PS4 and Vita (and probably other platforms too, says Tim Schaefer)
Possibly my favorite PC adventure game, Grim Fandango has long been out of print and difficult to get running on modern PC hardware. The biggest surprise from Sony’s conference is that Tim Schaefer has secured the rights from Disney (who recently bought Lucasarts) and a re-release is in the works. So far they say it’s coming to PS4 and Vita, but Tim said on Twitter that he’ll be talking about other platforms soon. No footage yet.
Final Fantasy Type-0 is coming to PS4 and XBO in HD
Type-0 (previously Final Fantasy Agito XIII) came out on the PSP in Japan a few years ago, but for some odd reason was never localized for English-speaking audiences. Square Enix is finally rectifying that with a remastered HD version on PS4 and Xbox One. No word on release date.
Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney releases on 3DS August 29th
Need I say more?
- The Last Guardian (Team ICO’s follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus)
- The Witness (a beautiful Myst/Riven like game made by the creator of Braid)
- Rime (a previously announced PS4 game that seems to take equal inspiration from Ico and The Wind Waker)
- Final Fantasy XV
- Metroid (they’ve got to be working on it, right?)