The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) may be over, but my excitement for some of the games presented is just peaking! At first, I was hesitant to blog about E3 because of my vintage focus, but some of the games were just too good not cover. From new entries in classic franchises to an original title set in my beloved hometown, E3 had presented much promise for the future.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (3DS)
I’ve had the Vania Mania since playing Simon’s Quest as a youth, so any time a new Castlevania title is announced good times ensure. Mirror of Fate is set 25 years after the original Lords of Shadow game, initially focusing on the exploits of Trevor Belmont, son of LoS protagonist Gabriel. Eventually, players will be able to play as Trevor’s great grandson Simon (chhyeah!!) and possibly Dracula’s son, Alucard. Mirror of Fate will seemingly blend the exploratory aspects of the series (like Symphony of the Night) with the brawling of Lords of Shadow, creating a unique blend of action and adventure. The game is graphically impressive, with 3D textures spread across a 2D plane. The stage demo looked promising; I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (360, PS3, PC)
I like Need for Speed. I like Burnout. Now, Electronic Arts is finally mixing the two. Criterion Studios, maker of the Burnout games, is currently developing this latest NFS: Most Wanted. All the rancorous racing from the Burnout games is coming to the car fetish NFS series, and it’s looking great. The game is set in an open world environment (the demo I saw took place in a city), allowing for racers to bring adrenaline-fueled destruction to a spacious non-linear place. I’ve read that the game is similar to Burnout: Paradise (which I’ve never played), but considering the positive critical reception that title received, perhaps Criterion is following the right path. As long as Criterion can add to the NFS formula without making it dull and derivative, the game should be good. We shall see.
Before E3, I hadn’t heard of Hawken, but from what little I’ve seen of the game it looks good. Hawken is a multiplayer first person shooter where players pilot giant mechs in a battle plagued future. Surprisingly, the combat is brisk and brutal, a change from the slow moving mechs of similar games. Mechs jump, fire, and dodge spryly as shrapnel and fire and fills the screen. One concern I had is the game’s camera, which shakes anytime the mech is rattled by gunfire or some type of contact. This shaking effect won’t be problematic as long as it isn’t nauseating, but I felt a little dizzy watching some of the gameplay footage. Still, I’m intrigued by Hawken, and it’s definitely a title I’ll be following.
Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
Sometimes the word crazy is too liberally used. One might say, “Whoa this hot fudge sundae is crazy!” or “Man, my parents are crazy they want me to read!” Neither of those examples actually feature anything nuts (with the possible exception of the sundae, and maybe the kid’s perspective too). If you really want to see crazy, take a gander at Far Cry 3. I’m honestly not sure what is actually happening in this game—I think one of the game’s characters may even be a product of the protagonist’s imagination—but that’s part of the fun. I do know you’re stranded on an island, have hot digital sex, shoot a lot of people and nearly get mauled by feline wild life. That’s enough for me.
Beyond Two Souls (PS3)
David Cage is at it again. The creator of Heavy Rain showcased Beyond Two Souls, his latest project, and it looks incredible. The game stars actress Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, a young woman connected with a mysterious invisible entity she calls Aiden. You can play as both Jodie and Aiden, and in the E3 demo (set on a passenger train) players can float around the interior of a train as Aiden while Jodie slept in one of the train’s cars. Aiden is able to knock over objects on the train, a tactic which can be used to awaken Jodie when a police squad later boards the train car. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the game is its story, which covers 15 years of Jodie’s life. I’m anxious to see how that time is handled, and what we can learn about Jodie and her invisible friend.
Watch Dogs (360, PC, PS3)
Jaw. Hit. Floor. This was my favorite game of the event. Firstly, the game is set in my hometown of Chicago, and from what little I saw, the developers are doing a great job of digitally recreating the city. Watch Dogs’s story centers around Aidan Pierce, a man of digital and destructive means, as he battles those he feels should be brought to justice. In the demo, Pierce tracks a man who had apparently escaped conviction of murder. Pierce uses a mobile device capable of hacking into the city, giving him access to everything from the city lights to people’s salary information. The game reminded me of the TV show “Person of Interest” which also involves city wide digital espionage. I wondered how the show would look as a video game and now I have a possible answer. I’m stoked about this one; it could be an instant classic.
Well that’s all for my horridly late E3 coverage. I look forward to all of these games and might have to finally go on and by a current gen console. Until next time.
Peace & Pixels