25 Jun 2012

Monday Media Fun - E3 and the new kids

Note: Getting all the links for the vids was taking too long so I suggest you just search on google, youtube or gametrailers for the videos on the games below.

Ahh… E3 has come and gone yet you’re left with an overwhelming sense of sequel with the showcased products of E3 2012. The new Intellectual Properties, or IP, seemed to have faded in the background. Yet with a few more sad seconds of searching you find a few nuggets of fun that have little or nothing to do with a previous game or are a non established, new IP.

I find it sad that these new games took a back seat to the sequels. Pushing new IPs should be a major feature for the various briefs that litter the convention floor at E3. Showing growth instead of stagnant iterations is important to the consumer.

You have Gears of War 4, Judgement, stuff… what ever, who cares. That’s not the point, remember when the first game came out and took hold of the audience? I do, I disliked the game but it sold well and it was pushed hard by publisher, developer and everyone else under the moon. It broke the rules because it tried something new… yet we see little new. Gears of War was the new game, now it has got some longer fangs and found a place to hang it’s coat.


Well some publishers put out a clone of other games, using their version of another’s gameplay. That’s not a new game or anything fresh, it’s old with a new look, idea or back story. Don’t wonder why it didn’t sell. You’re boring or someone else is doing it better.

For this reason, new IPs are like unicorns in the industry. I’m talking about new IPs that are of quality that can sustain itself over years and iterations of games. When Assassins Creed came out, the industry needed a kick in the creative pants. I feel once again, we are there. Yet too few of the publishers are willing to take the chance… the list of Mirrors Edge titles that barely survived after birth is sad.

I’m not saying that the older games with the AC3s or Halo 4s should be burned, they could be great games. I know I’m buying AC3, because of a fan of the series, Halo 4 is a not so much since Reach failed to grasp my attention after the awesome of Halo 3 and Halo: ODST. I’ll keep my head up but that’s about it.

So let’s look at some of the new games that look worth our time:

Zombie survival horror, side scrolling, ‘metroidvania’ (google this), PSN/XBLA game. Sold. Look up the trailers and wonder that games like Shadow Complex and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night rocked the various electronic releases. Why not mix in some interesting game play and have an awesome look it as well. Then add survival and then zombie.

Now I like my Zombie games, but I love survival even more. I rocked Oregon Trail when I was a kid. That whole game was a survival experience. Since then this genre gets mixed with Horror, Shooters and Zombies and but rarely by itself you have to accept those add-ons.  After the ‘I am Alive’ snafu, that’s a post for later, I really feel that the survival sub genre is lacking some good games… I’ll try out Walking Dead while I wait and hope for this one to rock.

X-COM: Enemy Within-
It’s a ‘return’ game. I get the FPS is due around the same time, and is a whole new take with the IP… wait, am I talking about Syndicate or X-COM. Ahh right, same mistake, different IPs. Now don’t get me wrong, Fallout survived the change, but X-COM does not feel like X-COM. Syndicate is on my list of bargain-bin buys for the future for three reasons: The Demo was great, Richard Morgan wrote the script (read his shit) and I love me Syndicate. But it didn’t feel like Syndicate and expect little from the title other then an Ok experience. Fallout kept its feel and it was awesome.

Now X-COM and I didn’t have the same love affair but I did enjoy playing it. Ask Longsword or Yasha (a pair of X-COM fans and mates of mine) and they lived and breathed X-COM. After looking what the XBLA/PSN X-COM:EW game was offering, my desire of an asymmetric view tactical game with great looking base building game play won me over. I wana play this game.

Watch Dogs-
Sure GTA style world and game that allows to… ahem … “Hack the Planet!” Ok you got me. The little touches shown in the demo; the info off each NPC, interesting visual references and active HUD look great I’m also interested at the end gameplay of the demo’s video. I wonder where this is going. No matter what E3 is a showcase and Watch Dogs showed enough that I’ll be keeping track of this one until it’s out.
Last of Us-
Looks kewl, I don’t have a PS3 but if this a good game I may borrow it. Who know’s I may buy a used PS3 just to enjoy it. I dunno, it’s been a while since I put the PS2 to bed and went Microsoft for my generation seven system. There has been no real reason to own both consoles as I did in generation 5 and 6. If the game is as good as it seems and they spend some more time on the survival aspects rather then the action, I may finaly break the seal and jump on. But only if it’s THAT good. Maybe when the generation ends, I’ll get a PS3 to play Uncharted, MGS4 and God of War 3. Maybe… maybe.

Beyond: Two Souls-
Ellen Page is a favourite actor of mine, since seeing her in Trailer Park Boys as Layhe’s daughter and through her carrier she’s done some great work, minus being unused in X-Men 3, but hell there is a lot fucking wrong with that flick… she could have really rock Kitty Pride but alas she was squandered, like most of everything else in that flick.

Her new game looks neat, but I need to see more. E3 won the part as I’m looking out for more on her game actively. This has potential… yet so did X-Men 3, Miss Page couldn’t save that one either.

Bethesda, you rock. Fallout 3 and New Vegas (even with the issues) were great games. I’ve avoid Skyrim until my wife leaves me or I get a week away from her and the rest of my hobbies. I loved Daggerfalls. I never got back into the series; there was no pull for me… until now.

So Bethesda, you now have a new game… and she looks fun. Steampunk, Thief style game play… what are you doing? I don’t know but I want to play it so far. Keep teasing me and in the end don’t fuck this up… please.

South Park: Stick of Truth-
I want to play this. Obsidian has done some good work, not the best work mind you but good work. They are reliable in making fun games… I also like South Park. I’m not a fan, but I enjoyed the first few seasons before they fell off my radar. Of course the World of Warcraft episode was brilliant. So I’m keeping an eye out for this.

Starwars 1313-
Starwars does not equal lightsabers and jedi, they just happen to be there. Some of the most popular characters in the series are none of those things. Solo, Lando (best dude ever of the whole series hands down… sorry), Leia, Chewy, Fett, Thrawn, R2-Mother Loving-D2 (the little robot, in every flick).

Now with a great game play video, awesome graphics and interesting game play… yeah cover shooter with moving shifting cover and destructive environments (another love of mine)… I’ve got my eyes open.

So... urm... well then.

Well, E3 is done… honourable mentions go to RE6, Castlevania:LOS2, MGR:Revengence, Borderlands 2 and a few more to ponder. I likes this year so far, lets see what Sept-Dec looks like when I gotz the games in my hands.