Hello Lamentorians – that’s the collective name for my fans – It’s time to bring you all down from your E3 high. As you can imagine E3 is an enjoyable affair for me too, I am a gamer after all, but where there’s a silver lining there is also a cloud. I am that cloud and I’m about to make it rain.
Here is a quick list of things that left me feeling like Young Grinch in love with Young Martha May:
· Horizon: Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games
· Rise of the Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics
· Unravel by Coldwood
· Minecraft Hololens
· Jason Derulo
I hope that’s enough for you Ryan Davies.
Hear me moan,
I was unable to watch Bethesda’s conference because I had to work but I didn’t miss much. Only Fallout 4 and another Doom. It wouldn’t matter though, because I did manage to watch Microsoft’s conference which was hijacked more than once. Apparently one conference wasn’t enough for Bethesda because Fallout 4 crashed the XB1 show. Then Peter Moore wandered on-stage to advertise EA’s Vault, which was baffling because EA had their own press conference later that same day.
It was great to see Microsoft taking more of an interest in indie games. A little late though; one of the reasons I ditched my Xbox 360 was because of the expansive indie library on PS4. Beyond Eyes got a mention – a game that is supposedly about discovering the world using your sense of touch and hearing. I’ve played Beyond Eyes and it’s the absolute opposite. You actually wonder around a blank canvas until you’ve ‘painted’ everything back into something your eyes can interpret, not your ears or fingers.
Rare announced a new game about pirates as well as Rare Replay, a compilation of past Rare games remastered for XB1. This is fantastic for Rare, but at the same time it felt like a pitiful apology from Microsoft. They’ve treated Rare like shit for so long and now, out of the middle of nowhere, they’re trying to prove how valuable they are to the company.
The big announcement from Microsoft was backwards compatibility. They had a cheeky dig at Sony by stating the Xbox catalogue of games are free, obviously alluding to Sony’s subscription-based streaming service. This is a great function that adds to the XB1’s worth but how many of us ‘next-gen’ owners still have our old games lying around? And how long do you think it will take for people to start wishing their old Mass Effect games looked like Mass Effect 4?
The next Need for Speed will make you question what’s real and what’s virtual. This is bullshit because developers have been throwing this piece of bait around for decades. We all bite it because we all want it to be true but we all know the next game will be even more likely to trick us, and so on and so on. The trailer was convincing though, I’ll give you that. I was impressed to say the least.
I muted all of the EA Sports sections of the press conference because I haven’t got time to watch virtual sports bordering the Uncanny Valley. For some reason EA have this obsession with getting players’ faces into their games. This is how Creepypastas and conspiracy theories start.
Do EA even know what they’re doing at E3? They spent nearly 30 minutes interviewing an ex-footballer! This isn’t Match of the fucking Day. Do you think football fans would appreciate an interview with EA Sports about female players in FIFA 16 during one of their press junkets? It would cause a riot that would make Green Street look like a Bugsy Malone sequel.
I remember when games would get demos but apparently that’s not enough anymore. Every game has to have a beta now. Sometimes these betas are exclusive for a particular console. Whatever happened to playing the game when it’s released? You know, like what we’ve been doing for the last 40 years. Betas are handy, sure, but because it’s a transparent part of the development process it’s going to make games without betas look like they’re slacking on development or have nothing playable to show us. Hitman played us the most though. In order to play the beta you have to pre-order the game. The marketing team must have graduated from the University of Assholes. At this point you might as well skip the beta and buy it at launch, at which point they will still have your money.
Kevin Spacey, Aisha Tyler and Angela Bassett have all starred in videogames – not as themselves but as characters resembling them. This is no different to what they do for TV and film but the beauty of videogames is the ability to create human beings (and creatures I suppose) that don’t exist. Do we really want to see all our favourite actors popping up throughout our favourite videogames? I’m not sure I welcome this development with open arms. I really appreciate the hard work that goes into motion capture and the art teams who create faces and personalities from the crevices of their imagination. It’s pretty magical actually.
Sony’s press conference will go down in history because The Last Guardian made an appearance, a game that has been in development Purgatory for as long as I could walk (I was wheelchair-bound till 2009). I still intend to buy The Last Guardian but the new demo didn’t meet my low expectations. I wanted to see something different, like another creature or a different part of the world. Unfortunately what we saw didn’t have significant changes to make the nine-year sabbatical worth it. What was shown could have easily been a remastered vertical slice from the PS3 version.
Shenmue 3 was announced. Kind of. The Kickstarter project was announced and it met its targets within 9 hours. This sets a dangerous precedent though. What’s stopping Sony from Kickstarting every one of their games? It felt a little bit like cheating. I don’t oppose public-funding but I don’t truly believe Sony needed the public to fund one of its most sought-after games.
Sony has a service called Playstation Vue. No idea what it is because it’s not available in the UK. I imagine it will be eventually and I reckon they will encounter some problems with the name. The cinema chain Vue is bound to pick fault with the name Playstation Vue. It’s not really a moan, I just thought it was worth pointing out.
The Nintendo Direct was a piss-take. Plenty of 3DS games but no mention of Zelda Wii U, ZX or their mobile games. Some stupid Metroid Prime game without Samus Aran has been created, for what God-awful reason none of us can fathom. The company is in desperate need of some fresh blood because the Nintendo business model feels staler than my unwashed sports socks. I’m sick and tired of them churning out more Mario games.
I hate the 3DS as a console. I find it impossible to play being left-handed. I detest how forced the use of the touchscreen feels – it’s just a series of swipes and jabs while trying to balance it in one hand.
And did anyone else think the Shigeru Miyamoto muppet looked like Harry Styles from One Direction?
I want to end this entry on something explosive – Just Cause 3. The game looks like an arsonist’s wet dream. However, there’s a double-standard at play within the community. We all slate Michael Bay films for featuring numerous explosions, most of which are ridiculous and unrealistic, yet as soon as an entire game is built on that exact same premise we’re all over it like flies on shit. Take a minute to think about that.
If you have anything relevant/offensive to say fire away at me in the comments below or tweet me @LeeLaments.
Lee the Lamentor