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.
The Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain E3 trailer was good, but I'm used to good trailers for Metal Gear. It didn't light a fire in my belly. Ground Zeroes didn't exactly do so either. The behind-closed-doors Phantom Pain gameplay demonstration? Yes, yes, yes.
Red robot-armed Snake (Big Boss) ventures into an Afghan desert on horseback with Ocelot. The camera took a low angle long enough behind the two riders to appreciate some nice horse butt strut. This is the start of operation aw crap Miller forgot his sunglasses when he was kidnapped, go bring them back to him and rescue him while you're there I guess.
The introductory cutscene transitions seamlessly to gameplay. Snake's horse poops a bunch and the demo begins.
Along with our open world walkthrough, Max Scoville and I went ahead and checked out the competitive multiplayer in Destiny. We gave both maps a spin, and we also checked out each playable class for the videos.
The biggest thing you need to know is that all the weapons you can carry in the main game can be brought into multiplayer. Even bigger, you can switch your guns at any time from your inventory while in the middle of the match. No grabbing guns from the ground, no limited loadouts, just whatever you have with you. Up to at least 18 guns!
You all saw the gameplay footage of Far Cry 4, right? Well I got to play through the demo myself, specifically focused on taking over the outpost (now referred to as fortresses). We saw how to take it over from the sky at the press conference, but I decided to take things differently by riding a big elephant into battle.
It was glorious.
At the reveal event for Alien: Isolation, we were shown a lengthy demo that got right to the heart of the conflict at-hand: Amanda Ripley trying to navigate a space station as a very aggressive Xenomorph hunted her. In our first look at the game, those were the only two entities present. We were told at the time that there'd be some human survivors, but the developers were fairly tight-lipped as to what their roles would be.
Now that we've had a second chance at Alien: Isolation with a new build developed specifically for a pre-E3 event, the picture's significantly clearer as to how these interactions will go. This demo, which was about as long as the first one we saw, did more to highlight what some of the game's shortcomings might be. That said, it also reinforced our initial impression that Isolation is poised to be a tense, heart-pounding affair.
Driving is dangerous. We take it for granted, but you're more likely to die driving to the airport than zipping through the air a mile high in a heavy, metal tube. I am pretty okay at driving, but I am notably not great at driving video games. I crash a lot, even while speeding through a track designed for the sole purpose of being driven on.
I picked the loudest, yellowest Lamborghini. The camera zoomed in and showed little specs of water on the car as if had just went through a wash. I hit start race. Then Forza Horizon 2 tried to have me killed.
The folks at Bungie gave Destructoid full access to the Destiny Alpha just before E3. You may remember that I wasn't all that excited for the game the last time I saw it, but having full freedom to do whatever and being able to discover things on my own has really changed my opinion.
I'm way more excited for Destiny again now, and you can see why as Max Scoville and I play nearly an hour's worth of the open world aspect known as Patrols. Plus we went and checked out the social space hub called The Tower at the very end of our playthrough.
For more on Destiny, check out Chris Carter's full hands-on breakdown, and we'll have some videos of the multiplayer PvP stuff later today.
After months of hype it's nice to be able to sit down and actually play a game for yourself. It's crazy to think that Bungie sent over members of the press to an event without even giving them a chance to play Destiny, but here we are these many months later, and the technical alpha has started for PlayStation 4 owners.
I've been playing it for quite a while, and I'm glad to say that it was worth the wait -- even if it doesn't blow me away quite yet.
I was pretty excited to be able to be the first to tell you about Battlefield Hardline, the new team up cops-and-robbers title from Visceral (Dead Space) and DICE. But trailer leaks, detail leaks, and even gameplay video leaks ruined the fun. I played the game several weeks ago and did my job to keep the secret! Too bad no one else did.
So you probably already know the idea behind Hardline: a sandbox that takes the mayhem of a Battlefield game but puts a crime revenge twist to it. It's a multiplayer cops and robbers game, two factions going at each other like a playable heist movie. It's as cool as it sounds.
Harmonix has thought a lot about how they'll welcome players to Fantasia: Music Evolved and they've decided to add a partner apprentice that will serve as a sort of game guide. Her name is Scout, a talented but impatient apprentice that works alongside the player to fight the force called the Noise.
Scout is fully voiced and animated, and appears as the game begins to help kick off the story. She seems to have a lively personality, wearing a star-covered ball cap and street clothes. Players will cooperate with Scout to save Fantasia.
If there's one thing that the folks at Double Fine aren't known for, it's being pigeon-holed into making the same game. In fact, almost all of its titles are wildly different from one another. From the likes of Brütal Legend to Stacking to Broken Age, nothing the studio does is derivative of its past works.
It's not exactly a flag that Double Fine waves proudly, but it maybe kind of is, in a way. That's why when I sat down with publishing manager Greg Rice last month to talk about Costume Quest 2, he almost sheepishly started off with "Well, it's the first sequel we've ever done," (apart from the add-on to Double Fine Happy Action Theater, which hardly counts).
The statement struck me as unusual as I mentally ran down the company's list of titles. "Has Double Fine really gone this long without iterating on any of its other games?" I pondered. Apparently so, and Costume Quest 2 will be the game that finally breaks the streak.
And, that's okay, because more Costume Quest is never a bad thing.
All too often, survival horror titles perform poorly in some areas, but it's somehow acceptable because that's the trade-off for being survival horror. If the experience is tense and scary, it seems like everything else is forgivable. That's a very important "if" however, because if it doesn't deliver on the horror front, you're suddenly left with a game that just performs poorly.
After having almost two hours of hands-on time with The Evil Within, it's perilously close to falling into this category.
As a disclaimer of sorts, I was thrust into two levels at varying points of the story. Chapter 4 and Chapter 8 were the two sections shown, and both were ineffective at providing any scares, any true adrenaline-pumping moments, or really anything even noteworthy. For what it's worth, maybe I was missing the context of the previous parts of the game that might give others an overarching sense of fear. As isolated incidents, they were just dull.
I don't know about you, but I really like Ubisoft's recent output of games utilizing the UbiArts Framework engine. I'm quite a fan of games that use 2D visuals to tell a story, and even with the recent release of Child of Light, the publisher has got another UbiArts title in the pipeline. Revealed last year along with the 2D RPG, Valiant Hearts: The Great War plans to try something a bit different with the engine by setting an adventure game in one of the most brutal conflicts in modern history.
After getting the chance to play the title at a recent Ubisoft preview event, I came away quite intrigued with what it has to offer. With its release next month, the developers at Ubisoft Montpellier plan to take a different approach to a war game, by bringing the focus on people looking for glory, love, and the will to survive.
It's been over a year since Bungie first released details on Destiny, its next big project after handing off the Halo series to Microsoft. While the studio was done telling the tale of the Master Chief and his journey, Bungie was far from ready to leave behind the sci-fi space genre.
It has been extremely secretive with Destiny, letting bits and pieces of info flow onto the Internet here and there. That was until earlier this month when Bungie had Destructoid up to its offices in Seattle and actually gave us some real hands-on time with the game.
While I have a much better sense of how the combat and controls feels now, Bungie still held back on revealing much about the game. And it's because of that on-going secrecy that I've lost some of my excitement towards Destiny.
Xbox Originals is going to produce shows based on Microsoft IPs such as State of Decay, Halo, and more, along with producing all sorts of other original content. I have some very early impressions on a lot of the content in d...