Teddy Diefenbach is a busy guy. He's one of the developers on the high-profile indie title Hyper Light Drifter, but when he isn't doing that, he's making more games. Kyoto Wild is his side-project, and Diefenbach says he's been working on it for about a year, but only really started focusing on it within the past month or so.
Kyoto Wild is a four-player weapon brawler with an isometric viewpoint that can be simultaneously frantic and methodical, brutal yet beautiful. One-hit kills, projectile weapons, and small maps ensure that no one sit out too long once dead and no taste of victory is too prolonged.
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 darting around in fighters, they will be commanding huge, lumbering vessels that scoff at smaller ships. "Probably just debris, sir."
Despite the inherent coolness of taking control of a ship on the scale of a Battlestar, it is not something that comes up too often in games. In practice, it makes sense: the speed and control afforded by a smaller vessel is exciting, and that alone does not translate to huge ships. However, with its focus on tactical combat, Dreadnought makes it work, and it does so while remaining accessible to new players. Even though it treads less traveled ground in its subject matter, it features classes and tactics that will feel familiar to most gamers.
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 2 and Broforce, and more recently announced titles. The Talos Principle is one such game, and as usual, Devolver knows how to curate good content.
Though it is being developed by Croteam, which is probably best known for its over-the-top first-person shooter series Serious Sam, The Talos Principle has more in common with Portal. Its first-person puzzle platforming is not built off the most mindblowing ideas, but it is only part of the focus. The rest is on a deeply philosophical narrative, courtesy of Tom Jubert, who delivered a fantastic story in my favorite game from 2013: The Swapper.
Suffice it to say, I left the camper with fairly high expectations for this.
Fantasy games have some of my favorite settings in all of videogames. Forests, mountains, chasms, rivers -- they all have a serenity and majesty about them that wonderfully adds to the sense of scale. It shouldn't surprise me that Dragon Age: Inquisition is poised to be incredibly huge and make nice use of the locations. At the beginning of a 30-minute presentation, I couldn't help but be amazed anyway.
The first thing I noticed in the hands-off demo was simply how big everything was. The open area that we started in seemed to stretch on forever -- mountains book-ending the sides, with a ton of detail in between, thanks to the use of the Frostbite 3 engine. Inquisition's executive producer made sure to make a point that everything we could see could be traveled to.
I wasn't out of my mind for thinking that it looked big. That area alone was larger than the entire play space of Dragon Age: Origins. Inquisition will be the biggest Dragon Age game to date. But, all that area isn't going to waste. Every location in Inquisition is part of a larger story.
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, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down. That's great news for players that like their games with plenty of adrenaline-fueled moments.
At E3, Activision was showing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in hands-off presentations. While that format isn't very conducive to getting a good feel for games, the demo did a fine job of driving home the point that Advanced Warfare is going to be laced with over-the-top setpieces.
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. When I finally did see and play this unimaginable creation from indie debs Phantom Compass, I certainly was surprised.
First, I was surprised at how off-base I was with my imagined concepts. More importantly, I was surprised at how well it all came together in upcoming game Rollers of the Realm.
In a presentation through Microsoft's ID@Xbox program, The Farm 51's Lead Designer Kamil Bilczyński first showed the trailer for the upcoming first-person shooter/mystery investigation hybrid game Get Even.
It is clear why he opened with it; the footage is stunning. One of the others in the room asked if it was live action that was filmed, and it turns out that it was entirely rendered by computer. Get Even had our attention at that point, and fortunately, there is more to it than just being a shooter with realistic looking environments.
I've always felt like the videogame industry doesn't feel right without a Mortal Kombat. So many games are always striving to be these serious affairs, and it takes something like Mortal Kombat to remind people that oh right,...
The debut of Dead Island led us to believe that it would tell a very dramatic and serious story about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. That’s not quite the game we ended up with, so it’s refreshing to know th...
I've been treating Alien: Isolation coldly. If I don't let myself get invested or excited, I can't be hurt. I think Alien is a perfect piece of film making. That doesn't need, should never have been, a franchise.
I played one of Alien: Isolation's challenge maps. I don't know if the entire game will end up being this good, but as a slice that demonstrates the mechanics and tone, it completely won me over and I'm dying to play the full thing.
I also died a lot in the challenge map. I played for about a half hour without getting to the end. I'd died as early as 30 seconds in. I'd survived as long as eight minutes. I was stressed out with a racing heart. I took the headphones off to wrest myself from Isolation's constricting, horrible world and struck up conversation with one of the developers to try and calm my nerves.
Where some E3 meetings have PR people hovering or hands-off slide shows to watch, the meeting with CI Games for Lords of the Fallen was on the other end of the spectrum. There was no briefing or helpful tips, just a station set up with some headphones and a chunk of time to play.
In a way, the meeting reflects the game itself. There was no hand-holding through the short but brutal dungeon. The player is left to figure out how best to approach each room, and the game pulls no punches in terms of difficulty. After around my fourth or fifth death, restarting at the beginning, I thought I would never see the end of the demo, but patience, perseverance, and a little luck got me through it.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was pretty fun for what it was: a new take on the beloved character where you're running and gunning with a friend through all sorts of dangers.
Now, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is bringing that same formula over to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, with the major addition being four-player co-op. Quadruple the fun!
I've had a chance to check out quite a few games on Oculus Rift. From Japanese indie projects at BitSummit to the latest build of EVE Valkyrie, I've gotten a good look at the progress of developing virtual reality games from both large and tiny teams. Having seen the evolution of the technology, it's easy to recognize that it's getting significantly better, and, it's all happening very quickly.
Meeting with Oculus VR at E3, I had the opportunity to demo three titles I hadn't seen yet -- Superhot, Lucky's Tale, and Alien: Isolation. All were vastly different from one another, but each was damn impressive.
We got our hands on the newly announced Rainbow Six: Siege last night at E3, letting us play the exact same 5v5 SWAT team house siege that we saw in the Ubisoft E3 briefing demo. If you've seen it, you know how it plays out. But after playing both sides -- SWAT team and hostage takers -- I appreciate what they're doing even more.
Since its reveal at last year's VGX show, information on Tales from the Borderlands has been trickling out. With a launch planned for this fall, the Telltale adventure game set in Gearbox's kooky shooter universe is finally ready to show. At E3, Telltale is doing hands-off demonstrations of the first episode, focusing on one of the two protagonists, Rhys.
In the first episode, we begin to learn a bit about Rhys, including his motivations for embarking on adventure, how his control of a Hyperion Loader Bot comes into play, and what the deal is with his heterochromia iridum. Spoiler: it's probably not genetic.
This marks the second E3 we've seen Tom Clancy's The Division, an ambitious online open-world RPG that sees a players dealing with a disaster after society has fallen. This is also the second year in a row that we could not get our hands-on with the game.
Instead, Ubisoft played through a build for us. First they showed us what you all got to see during Ubisoft's press conference (video above). Then we got to see the same area, but during a nighttime setting.