Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thoughts on E3: GAMES! GLORIOUS GAMES!


Last time I posted, I talked about my reactions to E3 specifically regarding the console wars (PS4 or XBox One?).  This time, I thought I'd list some of the games that caught my eye.

Not all of these games will be PS4 exclusive or anything, so don't go freaking about that.  These are just the games that I'm considering getting.

One problem that I noticed both the XBox One and the PS4 have in common is a ridiculous over reliance on shooter games.  There are so many first person shooters, and they seem to come in two varieties--gritty modern war games, or gritty sci-fi games.  This results in every game looking basically exactly the same.  There are so many versions of Call of Duty that I can't keep track of what games are what anymore.

Another weird trend that I think I saw first pointed out by Saladin Ahmed was the bizarre trend of angsty heroes in hoods.  There are a lot of them.  And not only the Assassin's Creed games fall into them.  I think this is a character design that we should start moving away from.

And another thing:  I will never ever ever ever in a thousand years give a shit about a driving game.  I don't understand the appeal at all.  It looks incredibly boring.  It's driving.  Unless it's Little Big Planet Karting or Mario Kart, I really don't give a shit.

So, with that said, let's look at the games that looked cool to me.  As Chuck Wendig likes to say IMHO, YMMV, and all that.

KNACK - image from PlayStation.com
This little game, at first glance, just looked like something fluffy and cute to play--not everything has to be burly grizzled men with big guns.  But watching the trailer revealed a surprisingly compelling storyline about a little robot that can disassemble and reconfigure himself using various parts.  Basically, he can go from the tiny little fellow pictured above to a big-ass motherfucking monster in no time.  I believe this game is a platformer and puzzle game.  I love those types of games.  I was already considering this just based on the looks, but the trailer with the storyline made me want to buy it all the more.

Storyline is the most important part of a game for me.  I can forgive some pretty bad gameplay if I'm invested in the story.  I've had fun with games that have great game mechanics--Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands had fantastic gameplay--but if the storyline is boring, I'll usually not give a crap.  It's why I prefer Brutal Legends over the aforementioned Prince of Persia game.  The story for Forgotten Sands was incredibly bland and boring.

image from PlayStation.com
I loved the first inFamous.  The story was a little thin, but it picked up and featured a very memorable conclusion.  I haven't had the chance to pick up inFamous 2 yet, but since it continues Cole's storyline, I'm definitely stoked to get it.

inFamous: Second Son features the introduction of a new protagonist.  I'm not sure if or how this protagonist fits into the original game's story, but I'm definitely intrigued.  I loved the trailer for this one.  The character design is a nice change from the bald and gruff Cole character.  The one is a bit of a wise-ass, and the soundtrack certainly sounds pretty bad ass.  I'm stoked to find out more, and the gameplay looks like it's gotten even better.

image from:  BioGamerGirl.com
There are entirely too few games out there that feature female protagonists, especially realistically written, strong protagonists.  By the way, strong protagonists doesn't mean that the female character has to be able to crush a hunk of metal with her bare hands, just that she makes her own choices and isn't constantly driven by the men in her life.  This game was a godsend.  In an E3 that featured tons more games about big dudes with big guns, this was a breath of fresh air.  The story line was intriguing, and it was pretty odd and interesting for Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to not only provide the voices for the game, but their likenesses--probably mocap.  Really looking forward to this one.

image from:  PinkSquadron.com
Once again, all you had to do to get me excited was to show me a game with a female protagonist.  Selling point number two would be the bright colors and super cool art style.  Once again, not every game has to be all grim and gritty and grayed out.  Some games can have color, it's okay, honest.

The one thing that worries me about this game is that it's partially a turn based strategy game, and I'm not a fan of those.  XCOM has a great rating on Amazon, but it left me largely bored and uninspired--but the storyline was the most compelling one either.  So, I'm hoping this one pulls it off, because it looks super cool.

The main character, aptly named Red, has fallen into possession of the gigantic magical sword you see above--called Transistor.  The game features a cool sci-fi storyline involving voices stored in a nationwide cloud database.  Color me intrigued, okay?
image from: gamentrain.com

image from: steampowered.com
image from:  thefourohfive.com

I put these three titles together because this post is starting to get kind of long and to be honest, I don't really know enough about these games to say why I'm interested in them beyond that 1) they're indie games, and I'm all for supporting the indies, and 2) I love the distinct and interesting art style of each one of them.  Each one has a look that has me very excited to give them a try.

Lego Marvel Superheros - image from: idlehands.blogspot.com
I mean...c'mon y'all.  What's not to love?  It's essentially Lego Avengers.  We love the Lego games in my house.  We don't even have kids.  They're just genuinely well done, fun games to play.  My wife has played them all (except Lego Pirates of the Caribbean because it makes her seasick...seriously) to death.  She's unlocked basically everything.

This looks adorable.  And how can I not get excited for a game in which Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Deadpool all show up.

image from:  wired.com
A rogue puppet takes control of his own destiny by stealing some pretty powerful scissors.

You guys know why I chose this, right?  I love platformers--even sidescrolling ones--I love innovative and interesting character design, and I love cartoons, stories, etc. that take a slightly twisted look at childhood things.  It's why Coraline and Paranorman are some of my favorite children's movies.

This game looks cool, twisted, spooky, fun, cute, and so many other things.  Yup.  Stoked.

image from: segmentnext.com
With the NSA PRISM scandal breaking wide open and people realizing that we're actually living in a 1984-esque scenario, this game is certainly topical and timely.  You play a vigilante character that has decided to take justice into his own hands.  Using his cellphone, he can hack into basically any electronic device around him.  He can shut down an entire city's lights, play foul with traffic light schedules, security systems, and look up personal data on literally anyone he sees.

This game is probably going to be a sort of open-ended sandboxy type game like inFamous, with lots of options to interact with civilians.  Since I LOVED that in inFamous, I'm gonna love it in this game, too.

There's some very unique gameplay mechanics at work here, and I'm looking forward to a game in which sneaking is encouraged instead of just barreling up the middle, guns blazing. Although there will probably be some shooting, too, 'cause...y'know.

The Order: 1886 - image from: polygon.com
Speaking of shooting, this game is on my list despite being a washed-out, gritty-gritty-bang-bang game with big dudes and big guns and ZOMBIES (for the love of Christ, y'all, can we let this zombie trend die?).

Why is this on my list if it has all those points that aren't...necessarily bad things but are way over done?

Because 1) it's a steampunk game, and I haven't actually seen many of those.  So the premise has me intrigued.  2) that female character was featured somewhat prominently in the trailer, so I'm hoping she'll be a playable character.  And 3) zombie steampunk story.  Yeah...that's interesting.

Also, the trailer left things very vague.  So it's like a mystery.

Mirror's Edge 2 - image from:  PCGamer.com
You get the drift, right guys?  Strong female protagonist that can handle her shit?  Interesting storyline about runners that have to traffic messages by literally running because the government has such a tight grip on the digital trafficking of information?  Topical, interesting, and it features gameplay mechanics that don't center on shooting things.

I'll admit I haven't played the first game yet.  I want to very much, I just haven't had the chance.  That being said, I highly respect Anita Sarkeesian's opinions about games, and she expressed both excitement for a sequel and love for the first.  So I'm definitely picking the first one up, and I'm already stoked for the second.

There were other games that looked interesting, but these were my top tier interests.

Now for a special bonus round: GAMES THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED BUT WEREN'T.

UNCHARTED 4

These are quite literally my favorite games.  My favorite. I love the storylines, the characters, the fact that it flip flops between being a shooting game and a platformer, and the thrilling treasure-hunting aspect.  I love these games, and each one has gotten better and better.  They are like playing a movie, and I want more.

C'mon Naughty Dog, I know you're trying to keep interest on The Last of Us, but we want to see some more Nathan Drake and Elena.  (Maybe let Elena be a playable character this time around--OOH THAT WOULD BE COOL!)

image from: PS4-Inside.de
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2

I know you've been working on this game Ubisoft.  I know you have.  I've seen the trailers, the leaked gameplay footage.  I want a Beyond Good and Evil 2.  The first one was my favorite game for the GameCube, and I'm totally gonna buy it on the PSN as soon as I get some money.

Seriously, this was a game that didn't feature guns, had a strong female protagonist, an interesting sci-fi/fantasy world, and one of the most compelling and interesting gameplay mechanics ever.  You had to take pictures to uncover a giant conspiracy.  THAT IS SO BAD ASS LET'S GO ANOTHER PLEASE YES I WANT MORE TAKE ALL MY MONEY JUST GIVE ME THE GAME!!!

Ahem...yes...well...that's all I've got for now.  What games did you find interesting?  Are there any here that you agree or disagree with?  Fire off in the comments.