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MGSV photo
MGSV

Hollywood loves the E3 trailer for Metal Gear Solid V


Filmmakers offer praise for MGSV and look to the future
Jun 28
// Alessandro Fillari
It should go without saying that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain had a great showing at E3. Not only was the official trailer a stellar piece of work, and a big indication of how grim the game will be, but the 30-minute ...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Photo realistic cat heads in Wii U's The Devil's Third


Itagaki's insane multiplayer Wii U game
Jun 25
// Steven Hansen
It's weird clicking a mature content warning on a video on Nintendo's YouTube with Mario staring innocently at me. But the collaboration between Itagaki and Nintendo for The Devil's Third, revived as a Wii U exclusive, is we...
Game Critics Awards photo
Game Critics Awards

Evolve and 2K lead the way for E3 Game Critics Awards nominations


PS4 was the platform with the most nominees, barely
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
With E3 2014 in the rear-view mirror, it's time to see which publishers and games impressed the Game Critics judges the most. The Game Critics Awards are handed out after judges from 39 outlets vote on titles that were a...

The 5 best parts from the E3 demo of MGS V: The Phantom Pain

Jun 20 // Max Scoville
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...in under 2 minutes!
Sure, you could go watch the whole half-hour demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain we saw at E3, but then you don't get to look at my pretty face. Also, an animal shows up at the end of this video! Can you guess what it is? 

Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo's E3 2014 streams are now up on YouTube


Live with Treehouse
Jun 20
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo's decision to let its Treehouse staff stream games throughout E3 2014 was smart. It gave those of us at home extended looks at the latest 3DS and Wii U titles, let us hear from developers themselves, and overall hel...
Conan photo
He checks out the big three again, mostly
Conan O'Brien has once again visited E3 to take a look at a selection of games, and addition to the jokes, you can also get a look at some gameplay that wasn't previously available. Conan checks out Sunset Overdrive, Entwine...

Video: No Man's Sky impressions

Jun 18 // Max Scoville
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Max and Bill attempt to describe procedural generation
Of all the games we saw at E3, No Man's Sky is probably the most difficult to describe without sounding like we just came down from a mescaline trip. A procedurally-generated universe filled with millions of planets? Each with new and unique flora and fauna? Spaceships that shoot lasers? This is definitely a high concept game. Hopefully, the final product delivers, because it sounds cool as hell.

Behold, the winner of our E3 2014 Community Choice Award!

Jun 18 // mrandydixon
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt! Not only did CD Projekt Red's third entry into the fantastic Witcher series impress the pants off our own Max Scoville (not to mention numerous other editors), but it won your hearts and minds as well, blowing the rest of the competition out of the water! And what's not to like? The world is enormous, the graphics are gorgeous, and the gameplay promises to expand on the already successful Witcher formula; sounds like a winning combination to me! So please join me in congratulating CD Projekt Red and The Witcher 3, winner of the Destructoid E3 2014 Community Choice Award! ---------- Here are the nine runners-up, in order of votes received: Zelda USuper Smash BrosNo Man's SkySplatoonBloodborneXenoblade XMetal Gear Solid: The Phantom PainBatman: Arkham KnightHalo: Master Chief Collection Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote! Until next year!
E3 Community Choice photo
Witch game won your hearts?
Last week, we asked you to weigh in on your favorite games of E3 2014. And weigh in you did! There were approximately eleventy bajillion votes cast and hand-counted by yours truly, making this one of the most popular E3 award...

Dreadnought's huge spaceships are a fairly untapped idea, but still feel familiar

Jun 18 // Darren Nakamura
Before jumping into a team deathmatch, the five ships available in the E3 build were introduced. Though all ships in Dreadnought are meant to be big, they do still run a range of sizes. The titular Dreadnought was likened to a Star Destroyer, an enormous capital ship that can take and deal immense amounts of damage. On the other end of the spectrum is the Corvette, which was compared to the Millenium Falcon; it is easily the fastest of the ships on display here, but still several times larger than a single-pilot fighter. However, what that all translates to in game terms is a fairly standard class-based multiplayer setup. The Dreadnought is your tank and the Corvette is your scout. Also on display were the Destroyer, an all-around combat ship, the Artillery cruiser, a long-range damage dealer, and the Tactical cruiser, which was essentially a healer. Though only five ships were shown, more are planned for the future. There will eventually be more classes of ships, as well as different ships within a class, each produced by three different in-game manufacturers. In the couple games we were able to fit into the session, I got to try out the Tactical cruiser and the Artillery cruiser. Both handled similarly: They are smaller and less armored than the Destroyer or the Dreadnought, but still take some time to get where they need to be. The movement is tank-like, where ships can move forward and backward or they can turn, but they cannot strafe. Additionally, as airborne vehicles, they can ascend or descend. All of the movement, thrusting, reversing, turning, ascending, and descending is appropriately slow. It can be a little jarring for those more accustomed to fast action, but it makes sense and it sets up a different pace for the way battles play out. Thankfully, one of the features that all ships have is the ability to divert power between subsystems. Diverting power to thrusters will make your ship move more quickly, and diverting it to shields will increase the amount of damage that can be absorbed. Additionally, certain special abilities, like the Tactical cruiser's enhanced repair beam, drain energy. This focus of energy cannot be sustained indefinitely; once the meter runs out, the ship must resume normal operating conditions while it recharges. Each of the different classes of ships has a set of four special abilities to use. In addition to its powered up repair beam, the Tactical cruiser could self-repair, for instance. The Artillery cruiser has a nearly invisible cloaking ability, as well as a siege mode, which increases damage output, but decreases mobility and makes it more susceptible to damage. Though we only got to try out team deathmatch, there are three modes planned. The second one discussed was team elimination, which was described as taking the deathmatch gameplay and slowing it down even further, creating an even more tactical experience. The third game type was not portrayed in detail, but one of the developers described it as a unique game that that fits into the universe. He said that the team took what they learned with how the battles changed when transitioning from deathmatch to elimination, and built the third game mode with those fundamental ideas in mind. Though we were shown a simple, ten-player deathmatch, Dreadnought is not solely a multiplayer affair. Yager reported that it would also include a single player campaign, with episodic content. Additionally, it is planned as a free-to-play title. Yager would not discuss the details of how it intends to monetize the game, but the developers on hand did mention that progression through the ranks would be horizontal, cutting down on more experienced (or wealthy) players having access to strictly better gear. The developer intends to avoid a pay-to-win setup. Dreadnought is set to release on PC initially. There are no official plans to release on additional platforms yet, but the developer did mention that it has a build that is playable with a gamepad, so the ability to branch out onto consoles is there, should the opportunity arise. This is a strange beast in my brain right now. Its pacing is sure to turn off players who prefer faster action. It is not a game about dogfighting so much as it is about moving as a team, maintaining strategically advantageous positioning, and using abilities effectively. With its standard class archetypes and huge ships, it plays almost like an MMORPG dunked in molasses. And yet, I still feel compelled to check it out when it releases. I am not even sure that I really enjoyed my time with it, but I am sure that I want to spend more time with it to find out.
Dreadnought photo
Like Team Fortress 2, except with hulking, massive spaceships
The reveal trailer for Dreadnought pushes a lot of the right buttons for science fiction fans. It puts potential players into the right frame of mind and really sets up the scale of the endeavor. Combatants will not be dartin...

Our personal game of the show picks for E3 2014

Jun 18 // Steven Hansen
Night in the Woods At E3 this year, there were plenty of big, loud action-packed games that got my attention with their ridable elephants, exploding testicles, and crapping horses, one game managed to stand out as something special. A Night In The Woods is a platformer adventure game in which players take on the role of a ennui-laden twenty-year-old cat named Mae, who's stuck living in a small town at her parents house, suffering the same existential crisis that many twenty-somethings experience when they don't immediately hit their stride after high school. In my time with the game, I hopped around exploring the world, examining objects, and talking to townspeople. One of my peers had been forced into therapy after getting caught stealing codeine cough syrup. In an attic, I found some baby rats living in a decommissioned parade float. The subject matter and tone was reminiscent of movies like Adventureland, Ghost World, and Girl, Interrupted, but with an aesthetic and sense of humor more in line with Guacamelee. I ended up putting my controller down before the demo was even complete, because I didn't want to spoil anything else before I had the full game in my hands. E3 is one of the biggest, loudest, most commercial events I've ever attended. Sure, I'm still stoked for the games with the explosions and guns and ninjas ripping out peoples' spines, but it's refreshing to come across something so weird, personal and human. Even if you play as a cat. Far Cry 4 I had so so so much fun with Far Cry 3 that I'm beyond excited to get my hands on Far Cry 4. The team at Ubisoft know how much of a success that Far Cry 3 was, and they're expanding on the core elements in lots of fun ways. Ridable elephants, semi-auto grenade launchers, cutting the breaks on cars -- tons of small touches on top of a system that was near perfect already, at least in my opinion. The new setting completely encourages vertical play, so you'll be getting that awesome wingsuit way earlier this time around. Plus grappling hooks! What's even more exciting is that you can invite your friends on the PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4 to help you play through the game in co-op even if they don't own a copy of the game. That's a concept that I really hope becomes a trend going forward. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, Titan Souls, Bloodborne, Super Smash Bros, Hyper Light Drifter, Batman: Arkham Knight, Splatoon, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse No Man's Sky Exploring is the best, isn't it? My favorite part of Minecraft is walking around caves and land masses just seeing what's out there and more often than not being totally amazed. No Man's Sky elevates that exploration to a whole new level. Exploring new planets and then exploring what's on those planets sounds like too much. In fact, it does sound like too much, at times. However, I know with Hello Games behind the helm that No Man's Sky will deliver. It may sound odd saying that, since their only track record is the Joe Danger series, but after meeting and chatting with Sean Murray at E3 2012, I know this ambitious title is in good hands. Plus, the Joe Danger games are amazing. Hello Games is like Thomas Jefferson, asking us, Lewis and Clark, to explore the Louisiana Purchase, which is No Man's Sky. It'll be ambitious, scary, but in the end, totally rewarding. And I'll take this moment to ask Steven Hansen to be the Meriwether Lewis to my William Clark [I do! - Ed.] If When Hello Games delivers, No Man's Sky will be their defining game, and the defining game of a generation. Assassin's Creed Unity Believe it or not, I'm still not tired of Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft has brought the kind of iterative design process you'd normally see in franchise shooters or sports games, but amazingly, managed to make it work on the scale of these open worlds, and it's working (for the most part). If Assassin's Creed Unity can provide on the fronts we've come to expect from a new entry in the franchise, while improving on what came before, then next year's romp in the chaos of the French Revolution should be pretty boss. Plus, being that far out should hopefully give the many Ubisoft teams at work on Unity time to course-correct after the debacle that is their current stance on having playable female characters. That's a real shame, considering that in the triple-A development space Assassin's Creed has been a somewhat reliable property to pay attention to diversity, at least compared to other mega-franchises. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed, The Order: 1886, No Man's Sky, Destiny Destiny The phrase, "From the creators of Halo," has been prominently featured in just about every piece of Destiny marketing, and for an unabashed Halo fanboy such as myself (yes, I even liked Halo 4 and ODST), the phrase commands a level of trust in what Destiny could be. As time went on however, it felt like little more than a marketing tagline. You see, the problem I, and many others, have had with Destiny was how coy Bungie was being with the details. Considering the game's title and first details were forcibly outed via a court document during the West-Zampella vs. Activision lawsuit, this isn't incredibly surprising. But when you invite an army of press up to your offices, and make an appearance the previous E3, I shouldn't still be confused as to what the game is. For me, E3 2014 was Destiny's put up or shut up time, and by God, did they put on a show, not only on the show floor, but also with the recent alpha. While we knew that the game was some sort of mesh of first person shooters and MMO's, the brilliance of it can not be appreciated until you've sat with it for a few hours. With a quest filled open world, and dungeon raids with bosses who's strategies would be right at home in Guild Wars 2, Destiny has so far done an amazing job of introducing the better parts of the MMO genre to an audience, like me, who's been typically disinterested. Don't misunderstand me either; I'm well aware that Destiny's MMO sensibilities are standard fare in any proper MMO, but the way it's brought together with the familiar Halo-feeling shooting gels into something great. It also helps that the game world does a great job of, while aesthetically science fiction, invoking the mystery and intrigue of a fantasy setting. Not enough can be said for the music either. Marty's ambient, soft chanting choirs, and dramatic swells during combat make me feels some type of way. Virtual Reality More interesting than the individual games that are revealed each year at E3 are the trends that dominate it. It gives a glimpse to the direction of the industry and what we can expect more of in the near future. This year, thanks to a strong showing, it's tough to not be convinced that the virtual reality space will be a very serious one very soon. It's not surprising that those working on virtual reality had an impressive E3; almost every single show turns out that way. But, it's the strides that are being taken to make the likes of Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus more monumental each time we slide that peripheral over our eyes. Lucky's Tale and Alien: Isolation are games that look to be light years ahead of where the technology was when it was first introduced. When will it plateau? When will we stop noticing such grand advancements with relative frequency? I don't know, but it's sure exciting to watch. Other favorites: Assassin's Creed Unity, Super Smash Bros., Alien: Isolation, Titan Souls, Far Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid V Master Chief Collection If you had any friends at all whom you wanted to play games with in 2004, they were playing Halo 2. It was a phenomenon; the masses bought an Xbox for the original Halo, and they purchased Xbox Live for Halo 2. And there was good reason for that. Bungie created a multiplayer experience that, to this day, is unmatched. It was simple, classic arena style multiplayer that has somehow been lost -- even within the franchise itself, unfortunately -- in the RPG class progression system of the modern multiplayer experience. Persistent lobbies and integrated clan systems were also breakthroughs in console online experiences, all backed up with the most memorable map design in any game, ever. After the original Xbox server shutdown a few years back there's no easy way to play Halo 2 online these days. However, later this year we get to do it all again with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It encompasses all numbered entries 1-4 in the franchise, with the focus being on the sophomore entry's visual overhaul. From the screenshots so far, ten years has made it look like that original target render from its first E3 teaser debut. It looks incredible, but is going to play exactly the same with all the original super bounces, glitches, etc. going untouched. That's everything I could hope for. The rest of the games are also there with their respective engines, multiplayer maps (over 100), and campaigns; all accessible at any time without having to switch games at 60 frames per second in 1080p. Nothing like that has ever been done, and that's why it's incredible and exciting. I've put in what has to be thousands of hours in the franchise over the years, so there's no reason I should be that excited to do it again, right? Well, that's exactly why I am. I can't wait to play countless rounds of Capture the Flag on Blood Gulch, Team Slayer on Ivory Tower, Team Swat on Terminal, and everything in-between. I'm ready to be excited about playing a stellar arena style online FPS again, even if it means being so about games that I already have a decade ago. Others I'm excited for: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mortal Kombat X, Phantom Dust, and Xenoblade Chronicles X DOOM 4 I play a lot of DOOM. As in, present tense. Just last month, in fact, my brothers, my dad and I all huddled around my Xbox 360 and super shotgunned our way through the entirety of DOOM II in four-player co-op -- a memory I will not soon forget. To say that id's seminal All-Father of the FPS genre holds a special place in my gib-loving heart would be a gross understatement -- I live for DOOM, even 20 years later. So when Bethesda booted up their brief-but-badass CGI teaser for the new DOOM at E3 this year, I literally punched the air above my head and shouted "YES!" Everything about this trailer excited me; from the cheesy voice over to the slow crawl across the surface of the newly-designed Cyberdemon to the quick shots of the Union Aerospace Corporation logo on its armor, I was sold. And when the video closed with the classic DOOM shotgun pump and door-opening sound (oh my god that sound) and a next-gen Cyberdemon standing ready to fill my ass full of rockets, you couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face if you had showed me John Romero's head on a pike. We still don't know much about DOOM 4 -- including if it's even called that -- but hopefully Quakecon 2014 and the upcoming beta will duct tape a flashlight onto our eyes so we can peer into its shadows and reveal a bit more about what we can expect. Until then, if you need me you can find me watching the E3 teaser on repeat in between a replay of DOOM 3: BFG Edition. Because hey, DOOM 3 wasn't that bad. Other favorites: Bloodborne, Crackdown, No Man's Sky, Splatoon Bloodborne I love all of the Souls games in my own way, but out of the current triumvirate, Demon's is still my favorite. Naturally, my interest was piqued when I heard that From Software would be working on a spiritual successor for the PlayStation 4, helmed by director Hidetaka Miyazaki. What we got was something different -- something that doesn't necessarily follow the Souls formula as closely as Demon's successors, and I'm perfectly fine with that. The long rumored Project Beast was unveiled as Bloodborne, and it looks fantastic. Guns are a go, as is a newly minted 19th century Victorian-era town called Yharnam -- which is enough to set it apart from its predecessors right there. The good news though is that the tried and true strategic combat system returns, described as a "life or death struggle." Details are still being worked out on Bloodborne (we don't even know what the death system will be like), but you'll be hearing all about them as soon as we find out, because Miyazaki and his team have once again stolen E3, and my curiosity. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Super Smash Bros., Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Zelda Wii U, Halo: The Master Chief Collection Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Super Mario 3D World was an amazing experience. It had so many memorable moments; I could just go on about it for days. The Captain Toad stages, though, those were among my favorite parts of the game. From the moment I first experienced one of these inspired diversions, wherein players take a breather from the breakneck action to explore and solve puzzles, I longed for Mario's diminutive pal to get his own spin-off. Little did I think it would actually happen. Nintendo is actually making my dreams come true, though. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is coming to Wii U this winter and it looks like the developers have found plenty of ways to flesh out the concept and craft a varied, full-bodied product. I couldn't be more happy about that. Other favorites: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bloodborne Metal Gear Solid V I could talk about my love for the Metal Gear franchise stemming from the very first time I popped Metal Gear Solid into my PlayStation, set a hard limit of two days, and finally completed it. I could go on for hours about the cinematography, the heartwrenching and yet totally engaging journeys I've gone on throughout the series, or even the fact that I can always count on a Kojima game to show me something I've never seen before. I could elaborate on how the very first full-length trailer sent actual chills down my spine, something I haven't felt from early game footage in quite some time. There are plenty of reasons why Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain remains my favorite game of E3, but the most succinct reasoning I can give boils down to four simple words: "We are Diamond Dogs." And I think I speak for every Metal Gear fan when I say that the phrase "next year" has never felt so incredibly poisonous. Other favorites: Bayonetta 2, D4, Devil's Third, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Amiibos, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Splatoon, Cuphead Starwhal: Just the Tip What's better than intergalactic Narwhals fighting each other to the death with their glorious horns? Nothing. That's what. Out of all of the games that I played at E3, the one that I had the most fun playing was Starwhal: Just The Tip. Outstanding name aside, it's actually an extremely fun multi-player battle free for all. The level of customization you can do with your respective Starwhal is pretty darn impressive. Not only can you change the basic color of you Starwhal but you can also add accessories such as... wait for it... a lightsaber for a horn. Yes. Your Starwhal can impale other Starwhals with a lightsaber. You can also dress like a Jedi, put on a Jayne hat if you're a Firefly fanatic, and you can even don a fez and bowtie like the 11th Doctor if you really want to look cool. All of my nerd senses were tingling pretty hard during just the character select. If I was having this much fun in the character select screen, I could have only imagined how awesome the game would actually be. The game did not disappoint. Your target is a giant throbbing heart (which is also customizable!) right in the Starwhal's chest unit. Your goal no matter the game mode: STABBITY THE HEART. Granted, the controls were a little difficult to get used to at first and felt a little clunky but it was still an extremely enjoyable experience. Once you get accustomed to the controls you could really have a lot of fun stabbing your friends repeatedly with your own unique Starwhal. It's a very basic set-up. You use one analog stick to move forward and another to move from side to side. There's also a taunt that you can use to troll your opponents or strike fear into their hearts. Either one. You're a fancy dressed Space Narwhal. You do what you want. Sunset Overdrive Sunset Overdrive had me more excited than anything at E3. From the giant Fizzie balloon that hung intimidatingly above the convention center to the costumed staff and giant projector in which the game was shown on the show floor, its clear Microsoft has a lot of faith in the title. From what I saw and played this past week, it pretty much delivered on every level. Insomniac Games has been building their knowledge of shooters for years and Sunset Overdrive is the perfect execution of everything they have done right over the past two decades. The shooting/platforming/grinding mechanics are solid and I was more than impressed with the fluidity of the combat. The weapons will put any Ratchet and Clank fan right at home and the platforming/grinding feels like what would happen if you mixed Jet Grind Radio with Titanfall. The game screams with neo-punk attitude, and the world is absolutely stunning and full of character. Sunset Overdrive certainly sets the bar for current gen stylized games and I have high hopes for the final release after getting my hands on it this E3. Ori and the Blind Forest Since Nintendo and Konami seem set on never returning to 2D Metroid or Castlevania, we have had to rely on independent developers to deliver that experience, and Ori and the Blind Forest looks like it will excel in that space. Combat is fast and impactful without being too easy. Traversing the environments is intuitive with impressively precise control. But what really gets people to notice are the gorgeous, hand-drawn, never-repeated visuals. Each screen in Ori and the Blind Forest is a work of art, not only making great use of color and effects, but also providing the skeleton for challenging platforming. In motion, the artwork comes together even better than it looks in still frames, and the fluidity of its gameplay complements the artwork perfectly. Other Favorites: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Sunset Overdrive, Super Smash Bros., Tales from the Borderlands Grim Fandango I was surprised as anyone when I heard that an HD remastered version of Grim Fandango would be appearing on the PS4 and Vita. The final notable adventure game from LucasArt's golden era has been out of print for a while now and has been absent from online stores like GOG.com and Steam. Fans have demanded an HD re-release but let's face it, those demand are seldom met. What's even more surprising is a one of the big three console makers having a 16 year old adventure game being worthy of appearing at their E3 press conference. Tim Schafer's final game for LucasArts was a wonderfully atmospheric mix of Dia De Los Muertos mythology and classic film noir style. It tells the story of afterlife travel salesman, Manny Calavera, who stumbles on a mystery that's seeing the dead stripped of their just rewards. Grim Fandango innovated in a quite a few ways, stripping away a lot of the interface that was a LucasArts trademark and fully 3D environments. I'd be lying if I said I thought Grim Fandango is going to shift a lot of PS4s and Vitas but hey, it's good to see one of the big three understand that re-releases of classic games like these are a great addition to a console's library. Splatoon I love Nintendo, wait no, that’s not right. What I meant to say was, I absolutely adore Nintendo, and everything they do. I also love to shoot stuff (in videogames that is). Imagine how excited I was when Nintendo announced Splatoon at this year’s E3. Two of my favorite things, shooters and Nintendo, brought together in one solid looking package. For those of you, who may have missed this amazing looking game, Splatoon is a third-person shooter starring a group of squid kids who set out to paint the playing field in as much colorful ink as possible. Now, this being Nintendo, there are no “headshots” full of blood, no gore, no limbs flying everywhere, nothing gross; instead we are treated with supersoakers full of brightly colored ink wielded by kids who can literally turn into squids to swim through their ink and sneak-up on their enemies. Although we only had the chance to view a couple of different maps, I am already sold on Splatoon and cannot wait to see how the game changes and takes shape. There’s something magical that happens when Nintendo makes games, the care and polish they put into everything they do oozes with love and I have no doubt that Splatoon will turn out any different. Color me interested, Nintendo. Other favorites: Zelda Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Yoshi’s Wooly Word, Rainbow Six: Siege Smash Bros. The Year of Luigi may be over, but Nintendo is far from done with passionately and unabashedly embracing their current outsider image. While nearly every other big budget publisher put realism and ultra-violence at the forefront, Nintendo returned fire with... the God damn Pac-Man. Nintendo showed a lot of awesome games at E3 this year, with Zelda for Wii U, Splatoon, and Star Fox hitting particularly hard, but no other game sums up exactly where Nintendo is at this moment that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. It's a new spin on the old classics, fresh and exciting while familiar and comforting, completely ignoring the latest trends in AAA gaming while offering something that has more mainstream appeal than nearly anything else at the show. Smash Bros. is a perfect fit for E3. It's a celebration of videogames as a whole, and a extreme example of a feeling that only videogames can provide. A feeling that something shouldn't feel real, but it does. A feeling that all of the ingredients should taste right together, but they do. Sonic, Mega Man, Mario, and Pac-Man all kicking the crap out of each other doesn't make any sense. It also doesn't make any sense that we would want it more than anything else in the world right now, but we do. We really do. Alien: Isolation I've already written about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for our official Game of the Show, so for my personal pick I'll go with the other title on the tip of my tongue anytime anyone inevitably asked last week, "So, did you play anything good?" Yes, you nosy, banal bastard, I did. Alien: Isolation. It was terrifying and left my hands mildly shaky and my chest heavy. I swore a lot, but with headphones on, you never know how loud or who is hearing. How the entire game is paced out will be important, but the focused challenge map I played did well to distill the essence of Alien. You are completely, hopelessly outmatched by a superior being that lumbers with great size yet zips off into the ship's underbelly with quickness. Sitting there with the motion tracker out, wondering if you're screwed, is like Jaws' orchestral tension at all times and much bleaker. Stealth by way of survival horror rather than MGSV's stealth by way of empowerment. I really hope Isolation lives up to this showing. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V, D4, Cuphead, Grim Fandango, No Man's Sky, Night in the Woods -- Ciao, amiche
Favorite E3 games! photo
And then he said, that's not my podiatrist, that's my mother!
You saw our E3 2014 Game of the Show. It was Metal Gear Solid V. Saved you a click.  Now, it's a good one. In fact, I wrote about why it was our Game of the Show in that very post you just didn't click. But E3 was full o...

The Talos Principle explores philosophy and lasers

Jun 18 // Darren Nakamura
The Talos Principle has three main parts to experience, though they run together throughout. Most of the core gameplay involves solving puzzles from a first-person perspective, using various gadgets scattered around the environment. The puzzles are self-contained, so the player knows when he is entering and exiting a particular puzzle, and that any given challenge can be completed without using outside items. There are several tools and traps that appear in the puzzles, though the ones shown during the vertical slice were a bit on the mundane side. There were impassable energy barriers, automated turrets, and tripod-mounted jammers that would shut either of the former down. There were lasers that needed to be shone into detectors, and beam splitters to redirect them. An early puzzle involved three barriers but only two jammers. Picking up a jammer deactivates it, so players cannot just walk through with one in hand. The solution involved pointing both at one barrier, allowing the player to sort of leapfrog them past one another. It was simple, but still satisfying to figure out and implement. The puzzles do get more difficult; one of the later puzzles required me to get a tip from the developer in order to solve it before the appointment was up. By solving puzzles, the player gains tetrominoes, and once a set is acquired, they can be arranged into blocks at specific terminals to unlock new sections to explore. That said, progress is not locked to any one specific puzzle. If a player is stumped, he can save it for later, explore elsewhere, and move on. Exploration is a key component, because a good portion of the philosophical questions are delivered through it. Jubert's goal in crafting the story was to make it a personal affair, with the idea that "whatever kind of philosophical baggage you carry around with you, you'll be able to express that in the game." Part of the time, a godlike voice in the sky will talk to the player, and part of the player's expression is that he can choose to listen or ignore the voice at will. More interesting are the data terminals scattered throughout, which allow the player to interact with an unknown entity on the other side. Upon walking up to one such terminal, the protagonist's hands are shown as fully metal, robotic facsimiles, hinting at a theme of artificial intelligence. The terminal is then interacted with in the form of dialogue trees, but one player's experience can vary from another's pretty substantially. Jubert explains, "Because everything is philosophically focused, we can actually go into a lot more depth and give you much more genuine agency within that. So, you can come to this as someone who believes in God and have a largely different conversation and relationship with this character than another player would." Jubert continues, "You can try and defend your ideas while he challenges them, you can give up on them and tell him he's right, you can do a bunch of things and he will do his best to remember. Philosophy isn't the sort of thing you can do very easily by just shouting at someone." Therein lies the hidden strength of The Talos Principle. By using dialogue trees in this way, the game intends to discuss philosophy through conversation with the player, rather than through a single rehearsed monologue. Though a lot of the player's attention will be spent in solving puzzles, Jubert and Croteam also want the player to think about issues centered around personhood and its relation to advancing technology. Jubert closes, "Most of us think that by being persons who are self-governing and make our own decisions, that makes us different from everything else. That makes us moral beings. As we look forward, we're going to have a lot of very difficult questions to solve as soon as we start with genetic manipulation and fucking around with people's brains. These are going to be really political hot topics in the next hundred years. It's pretty fucking shocking to me, having to discuss them in videogames." It sounds like it is aiming to be very thought-provoking. My one concern at this point stems from Jubert's previous work. One of the reasons The Swapper was so incredible was its marriage of gameplay and theme, in which each fed off the other in a very meaningful way. It is not clear yet how closely the puzzles will tie in to the narrative of The Talos Principle, but if Croteam and Jubert manage to pull it off, this could end up as a great example of videogames as a powerful form of philosophical expression.
The Talos Principle photo
'Whatever kind of baggage you carry around with you, you'll be able to express that in the game'
Nestled in a parking lot across the street from the convention center in Los Angeles was Devolver Digital's phalanx of air conditioned campers. The publisher had a good mixture of highly anticipated titles like Hotline Miami ...

Destructoid's Best of E3 2014 winners!

Jun 18 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Game of the Show: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain The couple days of E3? A bit uneventful. Nothing matching the convention's bombastic scale. The Phantom Pain wasn't a a big, surprising reveal, but it was enough to wrest a lot of us from the throes of cynicism.  Ground Zeroes was too light an appetizer, too free of Metal Gear idiosyncrasies that make Kojima the highest budgeted auteur around despite some whacked writing (also, Konami has no games). After a goofy monologue, the demo transitioned seamlessly into gameplay and a horse started pooping in real time. I really, really hope you (or enemies) can step in the poop and respond accordingly. Metal Gear Solid V offers the excitement and technical fidelity of big budgets, but with unique ideas that manifest themselves in atypical mechanics. Like the Fulton recovery system, which can be used to balloon knocked out soldiers, vehicles, and sheep back to Mother Base. Or subtler touches like rolling onto your back while crawling so you can shoot without spinning around while inching back on your elbows. Snake smokes an e-cig with holographic smoke for aesthetic effect to pass time. It's Metal Gear's grandiose self-seriousness with enough juxtaposition of weird, quirky stuff to make it interesting. To make it surprising. That capacity to surprise, to offer something new, even within a set staple mechanics, is why it's our E3 2014 Game of the Show. -- Steven Hansen. ---------- Here's our Game of the Show nominees again, with all the other winners for each category listed below.  Nominees:  Bloodborne Sunset Overdrive Hyper Light Drifter Super Smash Bros.  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt EVE: Valykrie  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Far Cry 4 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor No Man's Sky Best PlayStation Exclusive -- Winner: Bloodborne Nominees:  BloodBorne DriveClub The Order: 1886 Hohokum Persona 4: Dancing All Night LittleBigPlanet 3 Freedom Wars Best Xbox Exclusive -- Winner: Sunset Overdrive Nominees:  Halo: The Master Chief Collection Sunset Overdrive Forza Horizon 2 Fable Legends  Killer Instinct Ori and the Blind Forest D4 Best Nintendo Exclusive -- Winner: Super Smash Bros. Nominees:  Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Super Smash Bros. Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire  Hyrule Warriors Yoshi's Woolly World Bayonetta 2 Splatoon Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Mario Maker Persona Q Best PC game -- Winner: Civilization: Beyond Earth Nominees:   Civilization: Beyond Earth The Sims 4 Skyforge Gauntlet Best Portable game -- Winner: Persona Q  Nominees: Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire Theatrhythm: Curtain Call Persona Q Super Smash Bros Freedom Wars Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate  Story of Seasons Hitman Sniper Best Action/Adventure -- Winner: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Nominees:  Alien: Isolation Hyper Light Drifter Assassin's Creed Unity Batman Akrham Knight Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Bayonetta 2 Below No Man's Sky Best Shooter -- Winner: Far Cry 4 Nominees:  Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Destiny Evolve  The Order: 1886 Battlefield: Hardline Far Cry 4 EVE: Valykrie  Sunset Overdrive Splatoon Halo: The Master Chief Collection Best Strategy -- Winner: Civilization: Beyond Earth Nominees: Civilization: Beyond Earth Defense Grid 2 GreyGoo Best Platformer -- Winner: Yoshi's Woolly World Nominees: Skylanders Trap Team Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Disney Infinity 2.0 - Marvel Super Heroes LEGO Batman 3 Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty To Leave LittleBigPlanet 3 Yoshi's Woolly World Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Ori and the Blind Forest Best RPG -- Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Nominees: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Fable Legends Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire Bloodborne Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Persona Q Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley Story of Season Dragon Age: Inquisition  Freedom Wars Best Racing -- Winner: Forza Horizon 2 Nominees: DriveClub World of Speed The Crew  Forza Horizon 2 Best Sports -- Winner: NHL 15 Nominees:  NHL 15 Madden NFL 15 FIFA 15 Best Fighting -- Winner: Super Smash Bros. Nominees:  Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Super Smash Bros. Mortal Kombat X Killer Instinct - Season 2 Legend of Raven ----------------------- Editor's note: We only nominate up to a max of ten games per category. We also only select games that were actually playable in some form here at the show. 
Game of the Show photo
And our game of the show winner is ...
E3 was all about the games this year. With the console launches out of the way, game developers have been able to focus on making great games, and we saw a ton of that at E3 2014 this year.  We shared with you our nominees for game of the show and about a dozen other categories. Now it's time to find out what games have won our Best of E3 2014 winners!

Video: Your end of E3 2014 requests

Jun 17 // Jordan Devore
And for old times' sake: [embed]276738:54493:0[/embed] [embed]276738:54492:0[/embed]
E3 photo
Thanks for following our coverage!
One of the fine gentleman helping us with our video coverage at E3 this year was Michael Jordan, and he put out the call for requests for things to do on the show floor. Here he is doing some of those for our enjoyment. One of you made him run and do push-ups! Poor guy. Please don't die from kissing that GameCube controller, Michael.

Titan Souls makes you feel tiny as you take on the biggest bosses

Jun 17 // Brett Makedonski
But, this top-down adventure game carves out an identity of its own. Woefully underpowered with just a single arrow that can be shot and then slowly summoned back with the press of a button, each boss requires a different strategy to best, most of them able to be killed quickly or even with one hit for those that know what they're doing. Strategy's paramount, though, because part of being underpowered is that the player's always killed with one hit. The ability to run and roll help to escape the clutches of death, but with every battle taking place within the confines of an arena, there isn't that much space to move around to -- especially considering how highly mobile the enemies are. Despite the relative difficulty of their game, the developers were unwilling to talk to me about ways to make things easier on myself. Sitting back with smug looks on their faces, they knew that Titan Souls was best consumed as a learning experience -- each defeat hopefully training you for the next go 'round. They were more than happy to offer sharp inhales and gasps when I'd gotten myself into predicaments, like a crowd at a sporting event. But advice? No, that wasn't happening. It was for the best though, because I didn't want anything to cheapen my determination and ultimate successes. I had only gotten the chance to take down two of the four bosses in the demo, but I wanted more. When the PR rep told me that my time was up because it was time for the next appointment, I actively resented her for a moment. That's the kind of mindset that Titan Souls put me in almost immediately. After beating a boss and then succumbing quickly to the next one, I was elated to find out that my progress was saved, and I wouldn't need to redo it all. "No, we wouldn't do that to you," one of the developers said before trailing off and adding that they might add an achievement for clearing them all consecutively. There's also talk of some sort of "new game plus" mode to keep gameplay fresh. However, clearing the game once won't be a small feat by itself, but when it happens, it'll come from the smallest source against the biggest odds.
Titan Souls preview photo
And leaves you wanting more
One of the smaller games at E3 left the biggest impression on me. Titan Souls is a Ludum Dare entrant that was picked up by Devolver Digital to publish on PC, PS4, and PS Vita -- sort of an appropriate underdog's st...

Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Reggie Fils-a-Mech returns to kick your ass


Project Giant Robot IRL
Jun 16
// Jordan Devore
I've always found Nintendo to be endearing, but that feeling has grown stronger ever since the company started doing its Nintendo Direct presentations and silly skits like this. We first met Fils-a-Mech earlier this year and...
Alien trailer photo
Alien trailer

Run, hide, survive: Good advice, Alien: Isolation trailer


Don't touch Willie...
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
That's the coolest SEGA logo ever. I've always liked when a logo is altered to tonally match whatever it's slapped on.  This Alien: Isolation trailer doesn't divulge too much, which is good for a horror title, thou...
E3 photo
Here's our haul from this year's expo
Best swag of E3 2014? There's the usual t-shirts, posters, stickers, and other stuff that gets handed out. Forget that. Atlus' Teddy-centric Persona bags were where it was at this year. Those Splatoon squids were nice, too. But condoms? Oh, E3.

Mr Destructoid photo
Mr Destructoid

Mr. Destructoid at E3: You've come a long way, bot


Living the dream
Jun 16
// Papa Niero
Hey new guy, did you know that Destructoid was founded just to get me into E3? No, seriously.
Corpse Party  photo
Corpse Party

This Corpse Party E3 trailer is deliciously creepy


Any Corpse Party news is good news to me
Jun 16
// Brittany Vincent
The original doujin game Corpse Party is making its way to PC, and this trailer showcases some of the fantastically disturbing dialogue and scenes you can expect from the cult horror hit. Journey through Heavenly Host Elemen...
Brandish photo
Brandish

Brandish: The Dark Revenant gets its very own trailer


There's actually a 'new' PSP game releasing, guys
Jun 16
// Brittany Vincent
Brandish: The Dark Revenant is releasing as a digital-only PSP title that you can nab only from the PlayStation Store, and you can certainly see this from its trailer. But you know what? It looks like a good, old-fashioned d...
Story of Seasons  photo
Story of Seasons

Story of Seasons gets one of the lamest trailers of all time


This trailer needs some definite work
Jun 16
// Brittany Vincent
Story of Seasons and Natsume's Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (full story on that debacle here) are undoubtedly two games that I'm looking forward to play on my 3DS the most, but with trailers like these, it's as if XSEED jus...
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt photo
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Get down and dirty with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay and screens


This is one gorgeous Wild Hunt
Jun 16
// Brittany Vincent
If you were patiently awaiting The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, this new gameplay video and bushel of new screens may just have made your wait even more difficult. Trust me, we're in the same boat. If the nearly four minutes of gam...

These were the best trailers of E3 2014

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]276289:54359:0[/embed] Dead Island 2 has followed in its predecessor's footsteps with a highly memorable trailer, albeit with a severely different tone. Many would argue that the caliber of Dead Island's cinematic trailer outshone the actual game. Only time will tell what the legacy of this one is. [embed]276647:54463:0[/embed] Cuphead took a lot of people by surprise when its trailer was showed on Monday morning. "What the hell is this, and why do I want it now?," many probably correctly thought. It's gorgeous, it's wacky, and it doesn't look like else out there. It's Cuphead. [embed]276284:54356:0[/embed] Maybe the most intriguing of all E3 trailers was the one for From Software's Bloodborne. It's dark and creepy, and because it's From Software, we can expect it's good stuff. While a fine trailer in its own right, it didn't do anything to let us know how Bloodborne plays. Luckily, Dale was around to do that for us. [embed]276260:54338:0[/embed] If this trailer is any indication, Far Cry 4 will thrive partially because of a strong and insanely evil villain. That was part of the charm of Far Cry 3, and it wouldn't be particularly surprising if Ubisoft went that route again. However, it probably would be particularly enjoyable. This trailer showed Pagan Min doing what he does best, and it made for fine entertainment. [embed]276341:54380:0[/embed] Nintendo had a few interesting things to show at its E3 Digital Event. One of the definite standouts was Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which was inspired by levels from Super Mario 3D World. That's right, an entire game based on those intermission-style sections. No running, no jumping, just puzzle-solving and collectible-collecting. And it looks truly wonderful. [embed]276310:54368:0[/embed] Sony capped off its press conference with the reveal of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Its accompanying trailer did exactly what trailers are supposed to do -- get people excited for the game. One more adventure, you say? Sure, we'll happily go along with you, Drake. [embed]276220:54318:0[/embed] Lara Croft had a rough time in Tomb Raider. It's not surprising that she needs some psychiatric care to work through her trauma. Conveniently for us, that directly translates to getting a glimpse at our next experience with her in Rise of the Tomb Raider. [embed]276229:54296:0[/embed] What can you say about this trailer for Dead Rising 3's DLC? It was Capcom having fun with things, and that alone is worthy of a mention. Oh yeah, and apparently the DLC was pretty good, too. [embed]276207:54293:0[/embed] Sunset Overdrive made good use of its time in the limelight. Its trailer managed to act as an FAQ of sorts, show off some gameplay, and even make fun of conventional game mechanics. It's hard to imagine someone watching this and not thinking that all of that bouncing and sliding around looks really fun. [embed]276261:54343:0[/embed] Valiant Hearts kind of went the other way with its E3 trailer. Rather than get the crowd all excited, it brought the room down. Armed with a puppy and a voiceover, Valiant Hearts made sure everyone knows that this one's going to be a real tear-jerker. [embed]276297:54362:0[/embed] The world's a big place. The trailer for Hello Games' No Man's Sky makes sure to point that out. Starting in a dinosaur-laden swampland, it's not long before it jettisons off into space. It really drives home that No Man's Sky is a game of infinite exploration and endless possibilities. [embed]276462:54426:0[/embed] We said that these trailers are in no particular order, but that was a half lie. The truth is, we saved the best for last -- Metal Gear Solid V. Anything said here won't do it justice, so just watch it yourself.
E3 trailers photo
In no particular order
That's another E3 in the books. After months of speculation as to what gaming's most important convention might hold, four quick days clear everything up. In a way, it almost feels criminally short given everything that's on ...

Devolver @ E3 photo
Devolver @ E3

Video: E3 for Devolver Digital means pigeon dating, bros, and murder


E3 2014 impressions from Max and Bill
Jun 16
// Jordan Devore
It's true. Devolver Digital does have the best E3 presence in that its booth isn't actually a booth -- it's trailers and a barbeque in a parking lot outside of the hustle and bustle of the Los Angeles convention center. For ...
123, let's jam photo
123, let's jam

Original Phoenix Wright trilogy coming to 3DS this winter


For not Japan; it already came to 3DS in Japan
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
Ace Attorney 123: Wright Selection came out in Japan. It's coming to the 3DS eShop elsewhere this winter. Wright Selection includes Ace Attorney, Justice for All, and Trials and Tribulations, all gussied u...
NIS at E3 2014 photo
NIS at E3 2014

NIS takes us to an island paradise, battles us, then travels back in time


A new series mingles with sequels at NIS' E3 preview
Jun 16
// Natalie Kipper
NIS was a bit of a hidden treasure at E3. The publisher shared a booth with Atlus and it took me stopping and actually looking at what was on display at the demo station to put two and two together. The search was well worth it because I was rewarded with a closer look at three upcoming titles: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, and Natural Doctrine.

Story of Seasons wants you to connect with your inner farmer

Jun 16 // Natalie Kipper
Story of Seasons puts additional emphasis the "lifestyle" aspect of the game. For the first time, there will be other farmers in your town to interact with. At times, you may be competing with them (like during festivals) and at other times, you will be working together. The Japanese game's subtitle translates to "Connect to a New World" and you can really see that theme appearing over and over again. One of the nice touches in which that idea plays out is the lack of a shipping box. I know, I know. Heresy, right? But, hear me out. Rather than just stuffing your goods in a box and never knowing where they go, Story of Seasons has you trading with other countries in the game's world. Send the citizens goods that they particularly crave and you'll get a postcard back. Little touches like that endear me to this title.  The game wants you to connect not only with the NPCs but also with other players. Using Wi-Fi, players can visit each others' farms. That may sound a tad simple but the rewards you reap from the experience flesh out the feature. Visiting friends can help with things like cheering you on as you work or watering your crops. Your friend's efforts may lead to rare crops growing. Sounds like incentive enough to me. Speaking of rare crops, Nintendo collaborated with the developers on this project, adding in some traditional Super Mario Bros. flora to the ecosystem. Thanks to this partnership, your farmer will be able to grow a Fire Flower, Super Mushroom, and a Super Star (okay, so that last one isn't really flora). These crops aren't just for show either. They'll have special effects. The Super Star, for example, will prevent crops from going bad for a period of time. What might have been considered the more tedious parts of previous games in the series are now streamlined. I'll freely admit how grateful I am that, right off the bat, 3 by 3 square plots can be seeded, watered and harvested at once. To most people, it may sound like a small thing and yes, in previous incarnations you could eventually upgrade your equipment to do this but I just love that the developers got rid of the process altogether. I think the new, quicker method actually adds to the experience, allowing you to focus more on other aspects of the game.  Beyond farming, customization looks like a big part of the experience. You can design the look of your farmer along with the layout of your farm as well as certain areas of the town. Some of the previous titles gave you free reign over your town's layout but Story of Season's has limited it to sections of land that you win ownership of during festival competitions. I can see some people being disappointed at this design choice but it looks like there will still be plenty for those customization maniacs to meticulously plan. And can we just take a moment to admire the game's aesthetic? Look through the screenshots in the gallery and if those happy critters in the lush meadows don't warm the cockles of your potentially jaded heart, I don't know what game will. I certainly came down with a case of the warm fuzzies. Get ready to reconnect with the land when Story of Seasons releases this winter.
Story of Seasons photo
The pastoral life never looked so friendly
Fans of farming and lifestyle sims are no doubt familiar with the confusion surrounding the Bokujō Monogatari series. Natsume owned the trademark on the English title, Harvest Moon, but XSEED had the relationship wi...

Do you love setpieces? You'll probably like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
There were two levels shown during the presentation, both adept at communicating the new(ish) style that Advanced Warfare brings to the table, but also assuaged any fears (or dashed any hopes?) that this year's Call of Duty will be a departure from its bread and butter. The first of the two slices was nothing more than an extended gameplay video. Set up by a violent car chase along the San Francisco freeway gone awry, the majority of the level took place fighting across the Golden Gate bridge. This is where we got to see enemy soldiers jetpacking on top of semis, as the character we were watching mirrored those movements with his own boosts onto abandoned vehicles. I couldn't help but feel as if it seemed like a slower Titanfall. Although the shooting was a lot of what we've come to expect, the setting provided a wonderful playground for the action. Terrified civilians running away and cars littering the road made for a good start. But, it went into overdrive when a pack of drones were accidentally released from the enemies' truck and started cutting the cable to the bridge. As one might suspect, suspension cables are critical to suspending a suspension bridge. Who would've thought? With several of the cables no longer intact, the bridge started to slowly come down as vehicles and people alike careened off the edge and into the bay below. At one point, a policeman was about to escape harm's way until a bus plowed into him, followed by someone jetpacking to the protagonist like nothing ever happened. His demeanor eerily mirrored what players might feel; when you've become accustomed to this level of action over the course of a decade, what will it take to truly drop jaws again? The second level, which was actually played by a presenter (supposedly), took a more methodical approach to things. Set in and around a Biolab in a Bulgarian forest, stealth was paramount to infiltrating the facility. However, just because cloaking devices and quiet knife kills were in play doesn't mean that the setpieces slowed down. Almost immediately, a helicopter spotted the two principal characters and began a mad dash through a river to get to cover before it could snipe them. After leaping off a cliff and hustling into the forest, it was finally safe. Well, sort of. Making good use of the cloaking technology, the two slinked through the forest, knifing some unfortunate enemies in the throat, while opting to spare the lucky ones. After a bit, a tank rolled through blasting some sort of light that exposed cloaked individuals -- a subtle reminder that not all setpieces need to be grand. The inside of the facility held a lot of corridor-based shooting galleries that sometimes define the first-person shooter genre, but once outside, the commandeering of a tank made things interesting again. Rumbling along, nothing was spared from the path of destruction, as helicopters, vehicles, and individual troops fell in gratuitous numbers. Upon arriving at a getaway plane, the protagonists blew up the tank just for good measure. Given thirty minutes to watch Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there are certainly mechanical changes being made to the way the game plays. However, its reliance on setpieces and scripted action makes sure that nothing strays too far from the Call of Duty formula. Maybe Advanced Warfare isn't really as advanced as everyone claims. But, maybe that sort of service to the fans keep millions of them loyal year after year. And, hey -- maybe that isn't a bad thing at all.
Call of Duty preview! photo
The action you expect
The last decade has brought us ten new Call of Duty games. With that steady drip of titles, the series' developers have figured out how to craft increasingly elaborate action scenarios. Despite being at it for a while, t...

Rollers of the Realm: A nice surprise

Jun 16 // Dale North
A female character doubles as a pinball (stay with me here) that can be launched into a play field or town to interact with enemies or NPCs by bouncing into them. You’ll guide our hero with flippers that have been placed in these locations. In the most basic example, hitting an NPC lets you speak with them in town. Hitting an enemy chips off at its hit points. If guards are blocking a gate, as was the case in the earliest level, you might have to hit them with shots to clear the way. Actually, in this case, I was able to summon my dog (also a pinball) and send him up as a distraction for the guards while I made a sharp shot towards an alternate access point into the next area. Just like in any good pinball game, there are opportunities to show off your paddle skills by launching multi ball play, or shooting through trap doors to access other locations. Expect bumpers, ramps, treasures, and bonus zones. Some of the paddles have life bars, which adds to the challenge. Completing a level requires a sharp shot to a goal zone once all objectives have been met. What’s interesting is that this character pinball is the first member of a party, and that each additional character has its own traits on the play field, just as different character types would in a traditional RPG. For example, a drunken knight hits harder and moves slower because he’s heavier, though that movement is erratic because he’s had a few too many before going into battle. I played a demo just to the point where I was able to add a third party member, a healer. This pinball also has a movement and abilities of its own to be used. As the game progresses and the levels become more challenging, use of two or more party members can be required to proceed. In one of the more interesting encounters I had to use the knight to force my way through barriers that the hero wasn’t strong enough to access. From there, the hero would take over, being more agile and fast. Rollers of the Realm is quite a bit more pinball than RPG, but the mix of elements makes feel like the biggest, most involved pinball table ever. As an RPG fan, i welcome the varied challenges. I’m not great at pinball, but after seeing what I did at E3 I’m sure I’ll be taking on the challenge anyway.   Rollers of the Realm is coming to PC, PS4, and PS Vita this holiday season.
 photo
RPG/pinball mashup succeeds
I tried my hardest to imagine what the combination of pinball and RPG would look and play like before meeting with Atlus at E3, but I kept coming to mental roadblocks so I decided to wait and be surprised when I got to see it...







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