E3 Thoughts This Year?

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Harry Sunderland
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E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by Harry Sunderland »

Hey guys,

I was wondering what everyone thought of E3 this year. In particular, I'd love to hear Matt's opinion, as he was freaking there!

I've been following the news coverage and trailers all weeks, and here are my impressions:

- I've yet to see a title that makes me want to get an XBONE or PS4. Even the new stuff

- I was very excited by some of the indie titles displayed. In particular, my heart is nerding out over "No Man's Sky." I told my wife that someone is making the game that I fantasized about constantly as a child. "Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time" looked cool too.

- I thought the most exciting announcements were for Wii U. It just looks like title after title being announced was absolutely killer. I really want a Wii U now that I've seen the new Zelda, Star Fox, Mario Maker, Captain Toad, Yoshi, Kirby, Mario Party and of course Mega Man in SMASH BROS!!!

What were everyone else's thoughts? It seems to me like a recurrent theme was "Make Your Own Levels/Games/Etc" and also "Play as the Bad Guy".

I bet Matt's got some interesting thoughts if he would be gracious enough to reply too.

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JPrice
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by JPrice »

Well I'll structure it conference by conference and give my general E3 impressions at the end

Microsoft
Actually had a pretty decent showing, but it was just that "decent". There wasn't anything there that blew me away in terms of games that I really wanted to play sadly.
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare looked somewhat interesting for a COD game, even if it looks like it borrowed heavily from Crysis/Titanfall hahaha
- Sunset Overdrive actually looked like it would be a lot of fun and I love that games style. Also given that it's being done by Insomniac Games, I'm sure it'll be a fun ride. Though I wouldn't buy an Xbox One just for that game sadly enough
- That game Ori and the Blind Forest looks great though! I've heard that it's coming to PC however which means I don't need an Xbox One for it hahaa
- Rise of the Tomb Raider is interesting as I liked the original reboot
- Phantom Dust, Scalebound and Crackdown all just seemed OK to me, nothing really spectacular at the moment though.

EA
Erghhh god this conference was so dull, I'm only going over the things that interested me because most of it was just tedious
- Mirrors Edge 2 looks pretty neat, although I would have liked more than just what was essentially a developer diary/pitch.
- The new Criterion game looks like it has the potential to be awesome, although again all they showed was concept stuff so

Ubisoft
Pretty decent but not all that many games to fill out the conference, some highlights:
- The Division looked pretty neat, although a little bland. Had a nice, sombre trailer though
- Far Cry 4's showing was cool and I like the new villian. I will admit though Sony had the better showing with some actual physical gameplay which looked cool, looking forward to that!
- Valiant Hearts: The Great War looked rather touching and it's nice to see WWI represented in games for once, if it's coming out for PC I'll definitely check that out
- Rainbow Six | Siege only looked interesting because it reminded me of SWAT 4 and I really liked that game :lol:

Sony
Good show overall, although it had some pacing problems and got dragged down near the middle
- Destiny looks kinda neat, nothing all that new or ground breaking but solid enough
- The Order 1886 looks ok, although comments by the developer are putting me off slightly (Seriously 24fps being "a film look" despite the fact that its a game and the lower FPS will make it play worse as a result)
- Entwined looked neat and I like that they released it on that same day, kudos!
- I like the fact that Little Big Planet 3 exists, even if I'm not all that fussed on playing it myself. It's just such a cutesy fun game that inspires a lot of creativity, which is always rad
- Dead Island 2 trailer was great, loved that they went in a different direction to the first games debut trailer
- Grim Fandango was completely out of left field, would be interested in playing it finally although it's coming to PC apparently after the exclusive window has ended so there's that
- No Man's Sky looks really good, almost too good. Like I feel that the game is going to be underwhelming when it finally comes out given all its promise
- Mortal Kombat X looks brutal as ever. Always had a soft spot for that franchise, looking forward to playing the new one!
- Batman Arkham Knight looks great, can't wait to finally play that
- I've liked the Uncharted series since its inception so I'm sure that Uncharted 4 will be cool

Nintendo
Now honestly I'm not gonna do a run down of games for Nintendo because honestly their conference was rather dependent on how much you like their existing franchises. Like SSB, Zelda, Yoshi, Kirby all look solid but have no interest for me so that conference did nothing for me really. That said if you really like them then it was probably the best conference of them all as they just got to the point with a nice pace and such. The only thing that interested me in Nintendo's conference personally was that Splatoon game as the idea seems unique.

Overall I thought E3 was good this year, although it felt very "safe" as well. Like there wasn't a lot of huge announcements or failures, just a consistent feeling throughout all the conferences. So yes a good E3, even if it was a tad boring compared to other years :D
"Always look on the bright side of life"
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matt
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by matt »

Well, I’m not sure how much insight I can offer because I showed off Neverending Nightmares as part of the Ouya/IndieCade booth. The only things I played was Alien: Isolation, Occulus, and Morpheus. I will save my reactions for developer diaries, but the Alien: Isolation demos I played (Challenge mode and Occulus VR) both had serious issues. You'll find out more when I upload them. :-)

Personally, I thought Microsoft had a great show. Besides Alien and Evil Within, I’m most excited about D4 and Sunset Overdrive – both Xbox One exclusives. D4 is from Swery 65, and sounds absolutely amazing. I’m also excited about Remedy’s Quantum Break (yet another Xbox One exclusive) because I loved Alan Wake, but they chose not to really show it at E3.

Also, Phantom Dust is really exciting because it was designed by Yukio Futatsugi, who created Panzer Dragoon, my very favorite game series. I have the original for Xbox, but I just never found the time to play it. Now I’m going to wait for the remake. It was a really cool and interesting choice for a remake rather than the usual more recent/popular titles they usually pick.

Speaking of remakes, I am super happy about the return of Grim Fandango! It is an AMAZING game. I just played it recently, but I’ll probably play it again anyway.

I wasn’t as excited by Nintendo’s announcements just because it’s 99% more of the same. The only new-ish titles were some prototypes of new games by Miyamoto, but they seemed super rough. I found it ridiculous the new Smash Brothers are named “Super Smash Bros. For WiiU” and “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS”. Even the names are uncreative.
I played Captain Toad, and it was really easy. I’m not sure if it makes sense as a $60 disc game, but maybe it’ll be a downloadable thing. I am excited about Bayonetta 2, but the demo looked the same as last year. Also, the touch screen controls seem to make the game trivially easy (at least last year), which seems odd from the crazy challenge of the first game…

I didn’t really look into Splatoon, but it just seems like a multiplayer 3rd person shooter without the violence.
Mario Maker seems weird. Hopefully they’ll let you make Mario 3 and Super Mario World. In the demo, it was just SMB1 and NSMB, which aren’t the best in the series.

24 FPS is pretty terrible because unless you have a fancy new TV, you aren’t actually presenting at 24 frames a second with Vsync. Instead you get some unsmooth combination of frame doubling. If you play our Ouya build, there is no way to time the vsync to 30 fps (even though we try to lock it down) and you can see the unsmoothness.

While most Blu-rays are 24p (because that’s what they are shot at), the camera motions aren’t nearly as fast or dramatic as they are in video games, so it’s harder to see the lack of smoothness. It seems like an excuse for not being able to maintain 30 fps… :-/

Releasing an unannounced game at a press conference seems like a strange choice. Unfortunately, it seems like Entwined isn’t that great if you put stock in metacritic.
I am also excited for Mortal Kombat X as well.

While I didn’t get to play them, I did like that both Sony and Microsoft had quite a few indie games in their booths. I was disappointed that I didn’t see any indies in the Nintendo area, but perhaps I didn’t look hard enough. However, it seemed like pretty much 100% first party in their booth.

Overall, I don’t think it was an AMAZING E3, but it is a weird year. Since projects are multiyear developments, we aren’t seeing many titles that are designed around the abilities of the new hardware. (Most of the big titles are cross generational like Destiny and Titanfall) I think there are a lot of old franchises, but I’m excited about the potential for some new ones. However, there isn’t much new coming in 2014…
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Grabthehoopka
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by Grabthehoopka »

matt wrote:Also, Phantom Dust is really exciting because it was designed by Yukio Futatsugi, who created Panzer Dragoon, my very favorite game series. I have the original for Xbox, but I just never found the time to play it. Now I’m going to wait for the remake
YES! THANK YOU! I felt like I was going nuts! I could have sworn that a game came out for the Xbox about people in anime clothes running around a post-apocalyptic city and striking poses as they throw multicolored fireballs at each other, and I felt like it was called something like phantom dust as well, but like, NOBODY is bringing attention to the fact that it's a remake, so I thought I was just having the most severe case of deja vu I've ever felt in my life. Okay, I'm sane. Thank you for that.

Yeah, there wasn't really anything that blew me away. I think that this new console war is an ungodly stupid waste of money and resources, and I really hope it doesn't catalyze another video game console crash like the one in the 1980s. Meanwhile, Steam is making money hand over fist despite all the problems with the store and quality control, cause the consoles are just making it too easy for them.

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matt
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by matt »

I think the console war isn't really much of a war these days. They seem to be fighting over who gets betas or DLC first. A lot of the titles shown at the Microsoft/Sony press conferences are coming to both platforms. I'm not sure how it's a waste of money and resources. Each console has a few titles that only come to their platform, but most titles come to both...

Consoles have a lot of advantages to PC gaming, so I personally am glad they exist, and I'll buy most games for them if they are available.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Grabthehoopka
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by Grabthehoopka »

matt wrote:I think the console war isn't really much of a war these days. They seem to be fighting over who gets betas or DLC first. A lot of the titles shown at the Microsoft/Sony press conferences are coming to both platforms. I'm not sure how it's a waste of money and resources. Each console has a few titles that only come to their platform, but most titles come to both...

Consoles have a lot of advantages to PC gaming, so I personally am glad they exist, and I'll buy most games for them if they are available.
Yeah, but I don't think releasing this next generation of consoles was entirely necessary. There aren't really any killer apps for any of them, and there were a lot more 2015 release dates than I had hoped for. I mean, not that I care, I can't afford another console, or a good gaming PC, I'm holding out for the 2015 holiday season to see if there's a good holiday bundle and games worth getting. But anyways, the advantage that consoles used to have over PC gaming was convenience. The hardware was standardized, so you didn't have to keep upgrading the parts, or understand how they worked. The content was all on-disc, so you didn't have to worry about installing it, you didn't have to worry about patches or DRM, you just put the damn game in and hit the damn power button, and that was all there was to it. Now, not so much.

Anyways, it seems like you hear a lot more about AAA developers and publishers reporting profit losses across the board than you do about them succeeding. I just hope this is a phase we'll move through.

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matt
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by matt »

I think that is a chicken and an egg thing. You can't make killer apps for hardware that doesn't exist, and publishers are wary about sinking a lot of money into a launch title when they don't know how well a console will do at launch. (UbiSoft has publicly admitted they regret betting big on WiiU)

This is the longest console generation ever. I thought the NES's rein of 7 years was long, but Xbox 360 lasted 8. I think we were overdue for a hardware refresh. If you look at any console launch, the games are usually pretty underwhelming. It takes at least a year to get anything really revolutionary. Since games take longer to develop, I suspect it may be even longer this generation for the really great games to show up.

Personally, I think consoles have the advantage because you don't have to worry about tweaking graphical settings. When I played Among the Sleep, I couldn't get a graphical setting I was happy with. (Maybe my hardware is just bad, but I thought the game ran poorly for the graphical quality... I blame Unity) Plus, most video drivers now default to use adaptive vsync, so I had to exit out of the game, change it to regular vsync (although I think I tried the 30 fps vsync, but that didn't work or something). Plus, the game initially didn't work on the computer I wanted to play it on. I ended up having to move a different computer downstairs to play it. Also, Steam in Home Streaming doesn't work with game controllers for Unity games (at least not for DreadOut and Among the Sleep)

So I spent like half an hour to an entire hour doing a bunch of crap OTHER than playing the game... Had the PS4 port been available, I would have much preferred that because once I downloaded it, I could just play it. hahaha

I used to get excited about trying to get the best performance and graphical settings for games, but now I don't have the time or energy. I just wanna play games!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Harry Sunderland
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by Harry Sunderland »

I'll admit I'm a Nintendo fanboy, so the lack of innovation doesn't bother me so much. Nintendo excites me because, despite the fact that they perhaps are not pushing the envelope design-wise, I really feel like you get a pretty good stamp of approval from Nintendo's first party titles. That being said, they certainly are not as refreshing as what's going down on the indie scene these days.

For a time, I was really moving towards PC gaming mentally, but Matt has made some really good points on this forum arguing for why consoles are great. It is refreshing to know that I can bust out a Sega Saturn and just play any of those games without having to suffer through configuring emulators and stuff like that.

In theory, for indies, this should make Ouya awesome (except for Ouya Everywhere possibly undoing this advantage). But sadly, I feel like Ouya is losing more and more relevance by the day. I really like Ouya, and I really think that the concept has potential, but I think early on hardware/software/logistics issues really burnt the company bad. Any news on the Ouya front from E3 Matt? The Ouya sub-reddit I frequent is for the most part dead these days. I hope that's not a leading indicator of how people perceive the company.

But, I honestly am preferring the PC scene these days. Discs are nice, but nothing comforts me more than having a DRM free copy of something from GOG.com. Your disc can break, or can be lost, you can get hacked and lose your XBLive account, but once you have a DRM-free installer, you can save that sucker to as much storage as possible (external HD, internal, put it on several of your machines, etc). I really like that aspect.

Of course, Matt's warranted retort will be good luck getting it to run in a decade :).

I'm really pumped for that WWI game though. But I think Neverending Nightmares is the best :).

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matt
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by matt »

Any news on the Ouya front from E3 Matt?
Well, I'm not sure if Ouya has any super exciting news or announcements from E3. They are mostly focusing on interesting games both artsy (Thralled, That Dragon Cancer) and couch co-op (Toto Temple, Duck Game, etc).

Ouya Everywhere is mostly a good thing since they are keeping it all within the Tegra family and adding APIs to make the controllers consistent, which is a big problem on Android. The Tegra 3 is weak, so I am happy to have the extra horsepower on the M.O.J.O. (and I assume on the next hardware thingy is, which I had never heard of).

I agree that the early software/hardware issues have shaken some excitement/confidence in the company, and I think Ouya is still working on earning that back that trust. I feel like if they can nail the hardware in the Ouya 2, that'll go a long way toward making the platform more relevant. Long term, I feel like micro-consoles have a lot of opportunities. Next year, Ouya could release a Tegra K1, which would outclass PS3/Xbox 360 in many ways (in particular graphics feature set since it's based on desktop Kepler architecture). That would be super cool! Theoretically, Ouya could release K1 hardware this year since the first devices with it are available now, but I expect it would be tough to met the $99 price point using the latest and greatest chips. (Although the new tablet that uses it is only $240: http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/05/15 ... st-tablet/ )
-Matt Gilgenbach
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Re: E3 Thoughts This Year?

Post by ranger_lennier »

I wish more game trailers actually showed gameplay. Sure, the CGI trailers may look cool, but I often found myself having no idea how a game would actually play after watching them.

I thought Nintendo's digital event was a lot more entertaining than the standard press conferences. And since a lot more people watch the press conferences on-line than watch them in person, I don't really see the need for the stage show. A lot of their games looked cool. I'm definitely curious about what an open world Zelda game will play like. I loved Kirby Canvas Curse for the DS, so Rainbow Curse definitely has my interest. Name aside, Smash Bros. seems to be shaping up well. And what I read seemed to indicate that people who spent some time with Splatoon thought it was really unique mechanically. It's focused on shooting the ground as much as it is on shooting your opponents, and the ink really affects your mobility. Advanced players can basically shoot a path in front of themselves to propel them forward quickly, then teammates can warp to their location.

Bloodborne has my interest just from being a From Software game from the director of Dark Souls. It will be interesting to see their take on a horror title. I wish it wasn't exclusive to PS4, though. A trailer with actual gameplay is available now.



Batman: Arkham Knight looks awesome. It seems like the traversal really takes advantage of the verticality of the city.

I want to like The Witcher 3, but I started The Witcher 2 and it started to seem like too much work after awhile. (Forage for 10 of these plants to brew a potion to kill a dozen monsters to get some money to buy better armor to kill some more monsters...) The story did seem pretty good. Maybe I should just play it on easy and resist the urge to pick up every collectible that I see.

Sunset Overdrive looks fun. Kind of like Tony Hawk mashed up with Gears Of War, or something like that.

I don't know that much about the indie titles yet, but Playdead's new game looks creepy enough. I love the art in Ori And The Blind Forest.

I'm sure there are plenty more, but that's plenty for now.

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