I am back! Yeah, stuff came up so nothing went up anywhere but now that’s sorted so, I back!
Anyway, what do I think of this years E3?
“It sounds like battleships. E3! Hit! You sunk my console!”
“Speaking of sinking people’s consoles…”
[Paul Goodman/Jon Bolding on Escapist Magazine Podcast]
There was the spat between Sony and Microsoft. Or the ‘PlayStation 4’ and ‘Xbox One’ in the media machine. Frankly, its been a cluster F**k. With Microsoft pulling what the internet has dubbed the “Xbox One-80”, Sony not really doing that much as moving on and everything else. Here is how the consoles stand at the moment.
Xbox One: No DRM/always online/no permanent Kinect connection. But with the taking away of that the “Family plan” [the 10 people on you list can share from one catalogue of games] went with it.
PS4: Allows used games and has no DRM, but have to have a PS-Plus paid account to play online.
Peter Molyneux I think made a good point in saying that Sony and Microsoft where “like two frat houses.” and that the Microsoft conference was “un-professional” adding “As a consumer, just show me why I should be always online and I’ll be happy with it. At the moment, it just means game sale authentication. I don’t want that.”
With Microsoft u-turning on that policy has made me suspicious more than anything else. Yes, it is a good thing that they have repealed it but, as Jim Sterling said, we shouldn’t forget that they tried this because it may rear its head later. And the fact that everyone involved with the Xbox One at E3 defended the DRM to the hilt really made me think that the U-turn came from the much-higher-ups looking at the press and graphs and math, which makes me more concerned that it may be a console that is controlled more by the executives and shareholders rather then the game section of the company or by actual gamers. Sony has pretty much had a free ride because of all the cluster f**k that has revolved around the Xbox One. Sony hasn’t more far from its current model of doing business. The only big change is that people have to have PS-Plus account [a paid subscription] to play online. Although Sony has said that it is up to the publisher. So players of games like “DUST 514” may not have to pay because its free-to-play, but it is un-clear, to me at least, if this is the case or not.
Overall, I still think that the most likely big winner of the next generation is probably going to be the PC. There has been a big shift towards PC gaming. But If I had to choose a consoles, it would be the PS4 or the Wii U. People forget the Wii U but that happened last generation and the Wii sold solidly for many years and I expect the Wii U to do the same. Not to the huge extent that the Wii sold at because some people, including me, are unwilling to upgrade or spend the extra money for the Wii U but I have a feeling that the sales figures are not going to dip that much.
Now on to the games.
“Kingdom Hearts III” had me open-mouthed in awe and glee. I love the “Kingdoms Hearts” series [you should play it right now] and III is one I will get.
Another one glad to see is at least in production is “Star Wars: Battlefront.” As 3rd person shooters go, the “Battlefront” series has always been solid and I’m looking forward to it the with “Star Wars: 1313” being cancelled.
Seeing Insomniac Games, a company that made the great Sony-only “Ratchet & Clank” and “Resistance“, move to make the Xbox exclusive “Sunset Overdrive”. It seems awesome but seeing what happened to “Overkill“, or should I say “FUSE“, I hope it stays that way.
“The Order: 1886” is another steampunk shoot-’em-up. I love Steampunk and it would be good to see how that turns out.
I should give an honourable mention to “Call of Duty: Ghosts” and “Battlefield 4“. That’s it. More of the same. Just bigger, more people and [with COD anyway] more dog.
“Destiny“, that small Bungie thing that always has ‘By the makers of ‘HALO’ ‘ stamped all over it, seems to be going alright. If they do everything they say then it will be a very good game, but they said they would do a lot.
I called “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” when it first went public, [they wouldn’t have spent that much time on the ship mechanics for a mini-game/side quest] but pirates always seem to do well and they have my attention. I just do wish they will drop the weaker story elements now [spoiler redacted] at the end of ACIII. Just do the adventures in the past with the past story lines. Drop all the present day stuff please.
“Titanfall” seems a whole load of badass but hearing that its online only, I have to admit, has tempered my enthusiasm. It seems great with the mecha’s and the jet-packing around but it had a lot of potential for a great story campaign. But it is by Respawn Entertainment and if there is anything they can do it is multiplayer games.
“Tom Clancy’s The Division” looked rather interesting. It may not be my cup of tea but it is a game that I will keep my eye on.
“Mario Cart 8“. What can I say? It’s Mario Cart!
“Watch_Dogs” I will get. It seems brilliant and I say you should get it too.
I know one guy that is looking forward to “Batman: Arkham Origins“. Although it does seems badass like the rest of the Arkham series so far.
There a bunch of driving games coming out. Most of them racing-sims. There’s “The Crew“, “Drive Club“, “GT6” and more. And there is also a “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” movie. All I can say on that is, Hollywood took its time. It green-lights “Fast & Furious” films and NFS is not that far off from that.
“Project Spark” seems very interesting as a game make tool. Worth keep your eye on if you like that sort of thing, including me.
Sony showed a big line up of ‘indie’ games. Some like “Don’t Starve” you can get on Steam, but stuff like “Octodad” shows they have a good indie policy.
“Minecraft” is coming to Xbox One. Not much of a surprise but it always seems like Markus ‘Notch‘ Persson wouldn’t mind it going to Playstation as well. Sony did invite him to E3 with a Golden PS1 because Mojang didn’t do to E3 this year. Least it’s on disk for 360 now.
And there is, of course, “Peggle 2“.
There are loads of games but going through all of them would just take too long.
More news and such.
Nintendo was fairly quiet this year. Most because it knew that it couldn’t compete with the shouting from Sony and Microsoft. But it had a small conference that pretty much just said what we wanted to hear. decent games, nothing outstanding but nothing to make people forget them about them this year. There is a new “Smash Brothers” with a ‘new’ roster. It’s pee’ed a few people off because of their selection but the characters are carefully selected so they can’t say that much about it.
People following the Ouya would have an interesting time at E3. Firstly, properly as a cost saving measure, they didn’t buy a space in the main hall. But they did rent out a space in the parking lot and had a small show there. They didn’t have that much to show off so I can see why they did that but the Entertainment Software Association [A.K.A. the ESA, A.K.A. the guys who run E3] didn’t see it like that. So they rented out some 18-wheelers and parked them in front of them, blocking them from view of the public. The Ouya rep’s responded by getting its own 18-wheeler’s and parked them in front of the ESA’s trailers and stuck signs to the effect of ‘Ouya this way‘ on them. ESA’s response to that was calling the police to get them evicted. [Which fell through because they had the permits to be there.]
Well that was an interesting E3 2013 in a nutshell. It would be fun if I could get their next year.